Houston Roughnecks vs. Tampa Bay Vipers: XFL Odds, Picks and Predictions
SATURDAY'S BET OF THE DAY: (2u) Houston Roughnecks -6 @ -110
The reason we’re backing Houston
The Roughnecks (2-0) used a 21-6 halftime lead to power past the St. Louis Battlehawks 28-24.
Quarterback P.J. Walker put on a clinic, throwing for three touchdowns on 20-of-31 passing for 170 yards. Walker leads the XFL with 7 passing touchdowns.
Wide receiver Cam Phillips went off catching 8-of-10 targets for 63 yards and all three touchdowns.
Tampa Bay (0-2) will finally return home in Week 3 after falling on the road to the Seattle Dragons 17-9. The Vipers have put together the fewest points in the XFL over the first two weeks with just 12 and have yet to score a touchdown.
Tampa moved on to their third quarterback in two games with Taylor Cornelius who completed 16-of-27 attempts for 154 yards and two interceptions.
Road teams are (2-6) overall in games this season which is why the spread is sitting as low as six points. However, with the amount of talent on offense the Roughnecks have displayed compared to the lack of offense the Vipers have demonstrated, my expectation is Houston will break the trend and cover the spread with ease.
(1u) Seattle Dragons +5 @ -110
The reason we’re backing Seattle
Seattle (1-1) got back on track and covered as home underdogs (+3) with a commanding 17-9 win over the Tampa Bay Vipers. The Dragons bounced back behind a big defensive day and balanced rushing attack with three different running backs, each carrying the ball 10 or more times. Seattle forced three interceptions, held the Vipers without a touchdown and under 300 total yards of offense.
Kenneth Farrow and Trey Williams both contributed 45 rushing yards, and Ja’Quan Gardner added 27 rushing yards. Quarterback Brandon Silvers did just enough to get the job done, completing 7-of-18 for 91 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Led by a high-power offensive attack, Dallas (1-1) got into the win column with a 25-18 victory.
Quarterback Landry Jones made his presence felt on his season debut by completing 70 per cent of his passes (28-of-40) while throwing for 305, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Running back Cameron Artis-Payne had an excellent day, rushing for 99 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns.
The Renegades defense was also solid, allowing fewer than 300 total yards of offense, and forced two turnovers (two fumbles).
With how road teams have been trending (especially against the spread), this is a case where I expect the Dragons to keep the game close down to the final whistle. I’m anticipating a high- scoring affair between Dallas and Seattle with Jones proving to be the difference at quarterback for the Renegades.
SUNDAY'S BET OF THE DAY: (2u) D.C. Defenders -8.5 @ -110
The reason we’re backing D.C
D.C. (2-0) barely broke sweat en route to shutting out the New York Guardians 27-0. The Defenders defense yet again took over the game with three turnovers, including their second straight game with an interception returned for a touchdown.
The D.C. defense also allowed only 137 total yards, five first downs and totaled two sacks.
Quarterback Cardale Jones was on point, completing over 60 per cent of his passes (23-of-37) for 276 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Wide receivers DeAndre Thompkins and Rashad Ross led the passing attack. Ross had a team-high 95, catching four-of-five targets, and Thompkins led the team with both six catches and nine targets with 92 yards and a touchdown.
Los Angeles (0-2) remain winless after losing at home to the Dallas Renegades 25-18. The Wildcats defense was stuck in the mud, allowing 444 total yards of offense, yet managed to still force three turnovers (two interceptions and a fumble).
Quarterback Josh Johnson played well in his first start for LA, completing 18-of-34 for 196 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Nelson Spruce was Johnson’s go-to man, catching six-of-nine targets for 89 yards and two touchdowns. Spruce leads the XFL in receiving yards with 192 yards over two games.
Another bright spot for the Wildcats was becoming the first and only team so far to nail a three-point conversion.
Although road teams have shown troubles at times this season, the Defenders are just top to bottom the better team with how the roster is currently constructed. The Wildcats’ offensive struggles matching up against the Defenders’ dominant defense is what I expect to be the difference maker.
(1u) St. Louis Battlehawks -9.5 @ -110
The reason we’re backing St. Louis
St. Louis (1-1) suffered their first loss of the season, but covered for the second straight game, and were responsible for the only over total (51) covering during a 28-24 loss to the Houston Roughnecks.
Quarterback Jordan Ta’Amu was sensational in completing over 80 per cent of his pass attempts (30-of-37), four total touchdowns (three passing and one rushing) with 284 passing yards, 32 rushing yards and two interceptions.
St. Louis’ ground game continues to be the focal point of the offense as the only team in the XFL with over 100 rushing yards in each of the first two games.
New York (1-1) showed little fight during a 27-0 shutout loss to the D.C. Defenders.
Quarterback Matt McGloin came crashing back down to earth and ended up benched in the fourth quarter after completing 8-of-19 attempts for 44 yards, two interceptions and a 10 passer rating.
Aside from two untimely interceptions, St. Louis has looked one of the most efficient offenses in the XFL. Although New York’s defense has the potential to counter the Battlehawks offense, the Guardians offense is concerning. The spread seems heavy, but after an ugly outing in D.C. I don’t have much confidence in the Guardians to keep up with the Battlehawks.