The USFL’s postseason format involves the matching up of each Division’s two top teams, with the winners advancing to the league’s Championship Game.
Due to the low number of teams included in the USFL’s ranks, the league has the potential to grant subpar franchises entrance into the playoffs while leaving superior squads on the outside looking in.
The image attached to this story is representative of what the USFL Playoffs bracket would look like if the postseason began today. The top two teams in the USFL South Division rankings also represent the top two overall teams.
Both the Philadelphia Stars and the Michigan Panthers of the USFL North Division would rank below all four South teams if they were placed all together.
Legal USFL betting sites have refrained from posting championship futures, indicating that they’re unclear on which direction the playoffs will go down. Not only is the North performing poorly, but the South is also highly competitive, with all teams possessing winning records.
How To Qualify For The USFL Playoffs
The team that wins each division is automatically granted a spot in the USFL Playoffs. The team that places second in each division gets to challenge the top team, and the two winners become the participants in the USFL Championship Game.
There is a strong possibility that two or more teams in each division will finish the 2023 season with the same win-loss record. If that happens, the league operates under the following tie-break policy.
- The first consideration is the head-to-head record against each other
- Then the best win-loss percentage inside the division is considered
- Next is the strength of victory rating, which is based on the collective win-loss percentage of the teams each team won against
- Total net points for the season
- Total net TDs for the season
- A coin toss
Normally, online sportsbooks that offer USFL Playoff betting would have futures on the boards that give gamblers a good indication of which teams will make it to the semifinals.
The absence of championship odds from the betting boards indicates uncertainty in the market, but there are some insights that can be gained by comparing the USFL Week 9 betting lines and the current standings.
- Philadelphia Stars 4-4 (projected to beat the Generals)
- Michigan Panthers 3-5 (projected to beat the Maulers)
- New Jersey Generals 2-6 (projected to lose to the Stars)
- Pittsburgh Maulers 2-6 (projected to lose to the Panthers)
- Birmingham Stallions 6-2 (projected to beat the Gamblers)
- Memphis Showboats 5-3 (projected to beat the Breakers)
- New Orleans Breakers 5-3 (projected to lose to the Showboats)
- Houston Gamblers 5-3 (projected to lose to Stallions)
If all projections hold at USFL sportsbooks for this weekend’s games, the playoff standings will remain the same. The two top teams in each division are projected to win their Week 9 games.
If this scenario remains in place, the USFL could suffer a fate similar to that of the XFL Playoffs in 2023, where a 4-6 team made it over a franchise that finished 7-3.