BET OF THE DAY: (1u) Dallas Renegades -4 @ -110
Dallas Renegades @ Los Angeles Wildcats, 3:00 PM:
The reason we’re backing Dallas.
Dallas (0-1) had an underwhelming opening to the season under head coach Bob Stoops as they failed to score a touchdown in a 15-9 losing effort to the St. Louis Battlehawks.
With starting quarterback Landry Jones out with an injury, Philip Nelson filled in and completed 33 of 49 for 209 yards. The amount of passing featured in the offense resulted in the fastest pace (28.4), but the lowest time of possession in the league at (26:02).
Los Angeles (0-1) had an ugly start to the season after losing to the Houston Roughnecks 37-17.
Quarterback Chad Kanoff filled in for injured quarterback Josh Johnson and clearly had some rust to shake off, completing 21-of-40 for 214 yards, one touchdown and an interception.
In a debut featuring highs and lows, no performance was higher than wide receiver Nelson Spruce. Spruce led the XFL in receptions (11), targets (15) and target share percentage (37.5%), while adding the second most receiving yards with 103 yards.
After allowing an XFL-high 37 points in a disappointing defensive debut, the Wildcats wasted no time making a change by firing defensive coordinator Pepper Johnson.
Although they’re playing at home, Los Angeles seems like a bit of a dumpster fire at the moment with a struggling offense and an already fired defensive coordinator. Dallas also looked rough around the edges but I have more hope in the Renegades pulling out the win and covering with Jones expected to return to the lineup.
The Over/Under is set 48.5 points and I’m rolling with the Under in this matchup mainly because of the inconsistencies from both of these offenses.
(1u) Houston Roughnecks -8 @ -110
St. Louis Battlehawks @ Houston Roughnecks, 6:00 PM:
The reason we’re backing Houston.
St. Louis (1-0) pulled off the biggest upset of the weekend when defeating the Dallas Renegades at home 15-9. The Battlehawks opened as nine-and-a-half point underdogs and won the game outright.
The Battlehawks used a ground-and-pound style of offense to chew up the league’s second highest time of possession (34:32). St. Louis totaled 191 rushing yards on 42 carries, and although no XFL team had a 100-yard rusher, running back Matt Jones and quarterback Jordan Ta’amu combined for 162 rushing yards.
Running back Kirk Ford and wide receiver Alonzo Russell contributed the only two touchdowns in the game.
Houston (1-0) got off to a hot start and covered the spread easily in Week 1, defeating the LA Wildcats 37-17.
Quarterback Phillip Walker went off and filled up the stat sheet completing 23-of-39 passes for 272 yards, four touchdowns and an interception, adding 26 rushing yards and a 100.6 quarterback rating.
Former third-round Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Sammie Coates drew plenty of double-teams and attention which resulted in fellow wide outs Cam Phillips and Kahlil Lewis getting open often. Phillips caught four of nine passes for a team-high 67 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown. Lewis added five receptions on six targets for 45 yards and a touchdown.
Houston remains at home for Week 2 after scoring an XFL-high 37 points there one week ago. Although St. Louis pulled off an exciting upset in Week 1, I’m not buying in on the Battlehawks just yet after only defeating the shorthanded Renegades by six points.
The Over/Under is set 50.5 points, and I really like the Over in this matchup. The Roughnecks offense seems for real, and if St Louis falls behind they’ll have to bail on the running attack and take some chances down the field through the air.