After the Super Bowl ends, does the lack of football get you down? Perk up, because the close of the 2023 NFL season means the return of the United States Football League is just around the corner. And with it comes the ability to bet on the USFL in New Jersey.
Eight teams are ready to play when the season starts on April 16, including our own New Jersey Generals, whom you may remember from the first USFL installment back in the 1980s. That team made two playoff appearances in three seasons, and its namesake will look to continue that success with the return of the USFL.
With sports betting gaining increased legal acceptance — and remembering what sportsbooks offered when the XFL returned in 2020 — we anticipate a full array of USFL betting odds. Expect team and player props along with moneylines, spreads and more. Depending on the sportsbook, you may also find a selection of USFL betting promotions like odds boosts and parlay bonuses.
Best USFL betting sites in New Jersey
Top NJ sportsbooks for USFL betting odds
All the NJ sportsbooks we recommend offer a good number of betting options, and we expect the same when USFL betting odds start rolling out for the first games in April. Here are our picks for the best spots for USFL team odds:
- DraftKings Sportsbook — DraftKings knows football, and we expect solid USFL odds. New customers can check out the available options with DraftKings welcome bonuses totaling up to $1,250.
- BetMGM Sportsbook — BetMGM offers an assortment of bets and strong odds, making it a solid choice for USFL bets in New Jersey. With the BetMGM bonus code PLAYBONUS, new users can receive a risk-free first bet for up to $1,000.
- Caesars Sportsbook — You may already know the commercials, but you’ll get to know more about Caesars once you sign up and claim up to $1,250 in first bet insurance with the Caesars promo code LEGALFULL.
How to bet on the USFL online
Ready to bet on the USFL? Whether it’s moneylines, over/unders, player props or other options, New Jersey sportsbooks make it easy for you to bet with streamlined registration processes, easy control of your money with deposits and withdrawals, and apps so you can bet using your phone. Here’s how to sign up at an online sportsbook:
- If you are 21 or older, find the NJ sports betting sites or site you want to join by browsing PlayNJ and clicking either a link or the “Play Now” button.
- On the sportsbook registration page, enter the necessary details and create your username and password.
- Enter a bonus code, if necessary, to claim any welcome promotions and free bet offers in New Jersey.
- Deposit some money to wager with, and you’re ready to bet.
After signing up and claiming any NJ sports betting bonuses, if you want to bet via an Apple or Android mobile device, you may want to download the sportsbook’s app:
- On your mobile device’s browser, go to the site where you signed up and look for the “Download for Android” or “Download on the App Store” button or something similar. Alternatively, you may need to select a download button from a banner at the top of the screen or in the sportsbook’s main menu. Either way, this should take you to a download page on the appropriate app store.
- If the sportsbook doesn’t have its app on the Google Play Store, you will need to download it manually. Once you tap “Download for Android,” it will download a .apk installation file to your device. Tap the notification when complete and it may prompt you to change your settings to allow installations from unknown sources. Once the installation is done, you will see the app’s icon on your screen.
- You will now be able to log in on the app using the same credentials that you created when you signed up and bet on the USFL.
Got questions about the return of the USFL? We’ve got you covered.
Is the USFL coming back?
Yes, the USFL is officially returning on April 16, 2022. While the name evokes memories of the original USFL, which launched in 1983, there is no connection to that version other than the name. The current owners of the league are National Spring Football League Enterprises and Fox Sports.
Since the original USFL dissolved in 1986, there have been a handful of non-NFL football leagues, usually scheduled during the spring and summer when the NFL isn’t playing. Here are some of the most notable:
- World League of American Football (later NFL Europe) (1991-2007)
- XFL (2001, 2020, returning in 2023)
- United Football League (2009-12)
- Alliance of American Football (2019)
And while many of these start-ups folded soon after debuting, the USFL has the backing of Fox Sports and a broadcast package that includes games on Fox Sports channels and NBC Sports.
What teams are in the USFL?
There will be eight teams in the new USFL, with the most notable locally being the New Jersey Generals. In the initial USFL, the Generals achieved some success, with noteworthy players like Doug Flutie and Herschel Walker suiting up for the team.
The Generals played at The Meadowlands, although the plan was to try to move the team into New York in 1986 before the league folded.
Here are all the teams that will play in the new USFL:
- New Jersey Generals
- Michigan Panthers
- Philadelphia Stars
- Pittsburgh Maulers
- Birmingham Stallions
- Houston Gamblers
- New Orleans Breakers
- Tampa Bay Bandits
All of these teams were in the original USFL, as the current owners obtained the necessary rights and logos.
How many games in a USFL season?
There will be a 10-week schedule with all eight teams, and all 40 games will take place in Birmingham, Alabama.
Are the USFL rules different from the NFL?
While the USFL was still codifying its full rules, league VP of Operations Brian Woods announced that “98% of our rules come directly from the NFL rulebook,” though he said there may be minor deviations to help with pace of play and to help make games more competitive.
We now know that there are several major differences compared to the NFL rules you may be used to, which may change the way USFL betting odds and markets are offered:
A Touchdown Could Be Worth NINE Points??
The first rule that caught us off-guard is the addition of a three-pointer after a touchdown, giving USFL teams the chance to rack up nine points per score. Teams can choose can go for 1, 2, or 3, with the extra point and two-point conversion the same as the NFL, but the three-pointer puts teams at the 10 yard line with one chance to score.
Expect OT periods to go quickly with both teams getting a chance to win in the extra time. In a best-of-three situation, teams get alternating chances at the opponent’s 2 yard line. Similar to an NHL shootout, if the teams are still tied after three chances, sudden death rules apply where the next score wins.
New Onside Kick Alternative
Similar to the recent Pro Bowl onside kick rule, a team can choose to try and convert a 4th and 12 from their own 33 yard line. If they succeed, they get to keep the ball. However, if they fail, the other team takes over. This is a great way to mitigate risk of injury over a true onside kick where players no longer have to scramble for a loose ball.
In what states can I bet on the USFL?
Sports betting is legal in more than half of all US states (plus Washington, DC). The USFL has already announced that a number of states will allow people to bet on it. Here are the states so far, in addition to New Jersey. Note that some of these states will only allow betting on USFL at designated casino locations:
- West Virginia
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- South Dakota
Basics of USFL betting
Much like NFL bets, we expect most of the same wagers to be available for USFL betting at sportsbooks in New Jersey. Let’s discuss the most popular bets — moneylines, point spreads and over/unders:
|Moneyline||Bet on the favorite or underdog to win the game, with heavy favorites carrying low value and heavy underdogs serving as high-risk/high-reward options.|
|Point Spread||Popular in football because it levels the odds, a spread bet assigns a number that a favorite must win by or that an underdog has as a cushion. For example, Generals -3.|
|Over/Under||At its most basic, a bet based on the total combined score of a game, allowing you to bet whether it’ll be over or under a specific number. For example, Generals vs. Stallions, O/U 48.5.|
Props and futures
Team and player prop betting options for the USFL will likely become clearer once the season starts, but we fully expect there to be weekly props available. Futures odds will also be available as we get closer to the season’s start.
Prop bets are wagers on smaller elements within a game, often using statistics for a specific player or team. Player props might include bets on the following stats for individual players:
- Passing yards
- Rushing yards
- Receiving yards
Here are some potential team props, meanwhile:
- The first team to score
- Race to x points
- Longest touchdown
- Longest field goal
The available prop bets depend on the sportsbook and the state where you are betting.
Futures bets, meanwhile, are focused on long-term results:
- USFL Champion
- Division winners (North, South)
- Award winners (MVP of the regular season, postseason)
Live betting on the USFL
We may have to wait for the season to start before knowing the extent of available live bets on the USFL. However, you’ll likely be able to bet on the games live as they happen, with USFL betting odds and lines that can change with each play. This can be a good way to hedge your bets if your pregame wager isn’t working out. Here are some of the benefits of live betting:
- Take advantage of swings in momentum during the game.
- Use changes in live sports odds to capitalize on who you think will win or bigger underdog odds.
- Game and player props are also sometimes available, including betting on the next play, player TDs, etc.
USFL playoffs and championship
One of the cooler aspects of the inaugural USFL playoffs and championship is that all games will take place at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, located in Canton, Ohio, near the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The playoffs will start on June 25.
The top two teams from the North and South divisions will make the playoffs and play to see which two teams will play for the USFL Championship on July 3.
USFL betting partnerships
While the USFL hasn’t announced a specific partnership with a sportsbook, it does have a deal with Sportradar, which gives it an official integrity partner and data provider. This was a necessary step for it to receive approval to appear in sportsbooks in New Jersey.
Sportsbook rules for betting on the USFL
While rules for USFL betting may differ depending on the sportsbook you’re using, some general betting rules apply:
- Moneyline/three-way regular season bets include overtime since regular season games can end in a tie. However, playoff bets don’t include overtime.
- Highest scoring halves and quarters include overtime if it takes place. That means bets on the second half would include OT, as well as the fourth quarter.
- Suspended games have rules about when the games can be completed and whether the suspension will void the bets. If a game pauses and then starts again from the beginning, bets on it will be void.
Make sure to review the rules for each sportsbook where you bet.
5 USFL players who went on to star in the NFL
It’s no secret that the NFL will be keeping an eye on players from the USFL, as it’s done in the past. In fact, there are many former USFL players who went on to have solid careers in the NFL. Here are the top five USFL players who successfully moved on to the NFL:
- Steve Young — The NFL Hall of Famer and three-time Super Bowl champion got his start when the Los Angeles Express took him in the 1984 USFL draft and signed him to a lifetime contract worth $40 million. When the team folded, he received a settlement before going on to star in the NFL.
- Reggie White — Sack master Reggie White started off as a defensive end for the Memphis Showboats, registering 23.5 sacks in two seasons before joining the NFL and racking up 198 more.
- Jim Kelly — Even though the Buffalo Bills initially drafted Kelly, he chose the USFL because he was able to pick the team. Not a fan of the cold, he chose the Houston Gamblers and won the 1984 USFL rookie of the year. When the team and league folded, he did eventually go to the Bills, and the rest is Hall of Fame history.
- Herschel Walker — The single-season pro football rushing record-holder tallied 2,411 yards for the New Jersey Generals during his 1985 USFL MVP season. Moving on to the NFL proved fruitful, as he was a Pro Bowl selection while playing for the Dallas Cowboys.
- Sam Mills — Known as an unstoppable workhorse despite teams dismissing his skills due to his size, the Hall of Fame linebacker played three seasons with the Philadelphia (then Baltimore) Stars, winning a championship twice while cementing himself as a speed demon on defense. He then starred for the New Orleans Saints and later the Carolina Panthers, going to the Pro Bowl five times in his illustrious career.
What is the impact of USFL/Generals on New Jersey?
The impact on New Jersey as a state will be from local TV broadcasts, as all of the USFL games will take place in Birmingham, Alabama.
What is the USFL broadcast schedule?
The USFL announced that the following channels will carry the new league’s games:
- Fox local channels (14 games)
- FS1 (eight games)
- NBC local channels (nine games)
- USA Network (nine games)
- Peacock streaming (four games)
First round of the 2023 USFL draft
Here is a breakdown of the first-round selections from the inaugural USFL draft, which were all quarterbacks:
|Michigan Panthers||Shea Patterson||Michigan|
|Tampa Bay Bandits||Jordan Ta’amu||Mississippi|
|Philadelphia Stars||Bryan Scott||Occidental College|
|New Jersey Generals||Ben Holmes||Tarleton State|
|Houston Gamblers||Clayton Thorson||Northwestern|
|Birmingham Stallions||Alex McGough||Florida International|
|Pittsburgh Maulers||Kyle Lauletta||Richmond|
|New Orleans Breakers||Kyle Sloter||Northern Colorado|