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And then there were two. The UFL’s inaugural season comes to a close this Sunday evening as two of the league’s best square off in The Dome. The San Antonio Brahmas will represent the XFL conference as 3-point underdogs against the USFL’s Birmingham Stallions in a game that features a paltry 41.5-point total. As for Brahmas OC A.J. Smith, the San Antonio offense has been a farcry from the pass-first Air Raid system he deployed in the XFL last season. Now, through 11 games in the UFL, Smith is dropping back at a below league-average clip (55.2%), scoring just 56.5% of his touchdowns through the air. What profiles as a more traditionally ‘balanced’ offense, we should expect to see Smith to try and #EstablishIt early with a two-headed monster in the backfield that racked up 196 rushing yards in last week’s Conference Championship game. With QB1 Chase Garbers back and healthy, we should expect an equally heavy dose of the quick passing attack that was successful in his four starts this season, resulting in a 68.8% completion rate on a 6.7-yard aDOT. It should be noted that Birmingham has defended the league’s highest overall pass rate (63.5%) — largely as a result of positive game script — and as 3-point dogs, Smith may be forced into more obvious passing situations than we’ve grown accustomed to this season.

Despite some question marks under center leading into Championship weekend, we should have a pretty good idea of how Birmingham’s HC Skip Holtz will make use of his offensive weapons. Now in his third consecutive Spring Football championship game, we know that Holtz also wants to lean on his rushing attack, as he did for much of this season, ranking second in the UFL in rush rate (48.6%), scoring 47.7% of their touchdowns on the ground. Unsurprisingly, playing a ball control style of offense while averaging 5.1 yards per carry, Birmingham tied San Antonio for a league-high 60.6 offensive snaps per game. Birmingham and San Antonio’s offensive philosophies differ most in their aerial attack, where the QB1, Adrian Martinez, has attempted a league-high 16.1% of his passes at least 20 yards downfield compared to just 9.4% for Garbers. All said, I think this game will play close to the 41.5-point total and would lean UNDER if forced to choose, as both offenses look to Establish The Run with varying levels of success that should lead to long, sustained scoring drives when they are creating yards.

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