Last Updated Mar 09, 2022, 1:30 PM

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The Michigan Panthers are Favored to Win the Revamped USFL in 2022

There will be spring football once again in 2022. The USFL announced its 2022 schedule on Monday. Every game will be played in Birmingham, Alabama due to COVID, and the season will start on April 16 and run until June 19. The Michigan Panthers are favored to win the new USFL, but a lot of that comes from Michigan stealing the headlines after taking local product Shea Patterson with the No. 1 pick in the USFL Draft two weeks ago.

2022 USFL Futures Odds at DraftKings

  • Michigan Panthers +400
  • Tampa Bay Bandits +550
  • New Orleans Breakers +600
  • Pittsburgh Maulers +600
  • Philadelphia Stars +600
  • New Jersey Generals +700
  • Houston Gamblers +700
  • Birmingham Stallions +700

One of the things we’ve learned about spring football is that quarterback play matters even more than it does in the NFL. The Orlando Apollos were the best team in the AAF in 2019 before the league folded due to the play of Garrett Gilbert and the offensive genius of Steve Spurrier. Meanwhile, Houston was clearly the top team in the XFL in 2020 with P.J. Walker at the helm. That makes it important to identify the best quarterback in the USFL early.

That means you can probably scratch off Houston and Birmingham from your futures list. These are two of the three longshots, and they both have quarterbacks that aren’t good. Clayton Thorson was never good during his time at Northwestern and floundered in the NFL, while Alex McGough was only decent during his time at Florida International and couldn’t stick at the next level.

Former Broncos' QB Paxton Lynch will play quarterback for the Michigan Panthers this season. (AP)

It's hard to know what to make of New Jersey and Philadelphia too since their quarterbacks didn’t play at the Division I level and have been unknowns over the last couple years. Bryan Scott was drafted by the Stars and bounced between the CFL and The Spring League without establishing himself, while New Jersey’s Ben Holmes couldn’t beat out Drew Powell to start for the IFL’s Arizona Rattlers last year.

That eliminates half the league and leaves us with Michigan, Tampa Bay, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh. The best bet of those four teams is Tampa Bay as Jordan Ta’amu is the quarterback that is the most likely to shine at this level. Ta’amu was solid with the St. Louis BattleHawks of the XFL, and he has still has time to develop as a passer. Additionally, Ta’amu beat out Shea Patterson for the starting job at Ole Miss, so the Bandits probably have the best quarterback in the USFL.

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