UFL Week Three: Jared Shuster’s Best Bets

UFL Week Three: Jared Shuster’s Best Bets

This season’s record: 3-3

Week 3 Picks:
Renegades +2
Roughnecks @ Panthers UNDER 38.5
Battlehawks -2

Week two of the UFL was extremely exciting with every game coming down to the final minutes of the fourth quarter. The highest of highs, to the lowest of lows. After a clean sweep to start the season in week one, I dropped all three games in week two – by a combined two points (!!). However, we have another slate of excellent games this weekend with some very intriguing lines. As teams start to find their spot in the pecking order, let’s look at the best bets of the weekend.

DC Defenders @ Arlington Renegades (+2)

The Renegades will host the Defenders on Saturday as home dogs looking to avoid an 0-3 start. Arlington can’t afford that, especially in a ten-week regular season. That’s exactly why I expect them to play extremely hard, on the verge of being desperate. After a tough week one loss to the Stallions, they somewhat bounced back and did cover against the Battlehawks in front of 40,000+ fans. It was a game they could’ve very easily won outright, as well. Quarterback Luis Perez played a great game against a good St. Louis secondary. Still, he has very little support in the run game, which is something to worry about. Regardless, I think Perez and his weapons should be able to move the ball well against DC.

Despite feeling good about the Renegades’ offense, this play is more about the Defenders. They’re 0-2 against the spread this year and haven’t looked like the same team that dominated in the XFL last season. I noted in my week one picks that I felt the losses of running back Abram Smith, along with wide receivers Lucky Jackson and Chris Blair, would cause a ‘2023 Generals-type’ fall off. Quarterback Jordan Ta’amu has been good for the most part, but has a ton on his shoulders, while facing a lot of pressure through two games. Despite the win against Houston, he still threw a pick six and was off target on several attempts. Arlington may give up yards, but I’m expecting them to force a couple Ta’amu mistakes and keep it close – with the possibility of winning outright.

Houston Roughnecks @ Michigan Panthers

UNDER 38.5

The Panthers are hosting the Roughnecks at Ford Field in a clash between two of the best defenses in the UFL. Both squads are giving up 16.5 points per game and have favorable matchups against struggling offenses. The Panthers are averaging 15.5 points per game, and the Roughnecks aren’t far behind at 15 points per game. They’re also the two worst offenses in the league in yards per game. To put the cherry on top, the under has hit in three of their four combined contests this season. Michigan quarterback EJ Perry has done well using his legs but has noticeably struggled through the air – outside of a long touchdown pass in week two. He’ll likely be forced to do more throwing, facing an excellent Houston run defense. On the other side of the field, the Roughnecks are without quarterback Jarrett Guarantano and dynamic WR/RB Kirk Merritt, both of whom left their week two game against DC with significant injuries. Star running back Mark Thompson hasn’t played this year and it’s still unclear if he will on Sunday. Expect a lot of punts and kicks in this defensive battle.

St. Louis Battlehawks (-2) @ San Antonio Brahmas

In our final matchup of the weekend, I like the Battlehawks a lot as road favorites. I was on St. Louis -4 last week against Arlington, but they won by three. Still, I expect them to cover in San Antonio this week. The Brahmas’ offense has been very streaky through two weeks. They scored 20 of their 27 points in the first half of week one versus DC, and all 20 of their points in the fourth quarter against Memphis in week two. The latter being a game that they had no business winning. Being explosive is great, but that’s much different than being inconsistent. San Antonio has high-flying potential, but the Battlehawks’ roster is very good from top to bottom. Their offensive weapons stepped up big in week two, and running back Mataeo Durant adds an element to their offense that I felt was lacking last season. If they’re able to run the ball as well as they did against Arlington, St. Louis should win this one handedly, and cover the spread.

Are you putting any wagers on the lin the week? Let us know down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.