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Expert handicapper Stephen Rodriguez gives us his top picks for XFL's Week 4 action

BET OF THE WEEK: (2u) St. Louis BattleHawks -12 @ -110

Seattle Dragons @ St. Louis BattleHawks, Saturday at 5:00 PM:

The reason we’re backing St. Louis

Football returned to the city of St. Louis for the first time in four years, and the BattleHawks showed up. St. Louis (2-1) kept the wins coming as they took down the New York Guardians 26-9.

The BattleHawks rushing attack continued to be the best in the XFL behind league-leading rusher Matt Jones, who had 15 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown. Fellow running back Christine Michael added 13 carries for 44 rushing yards and a rushing score of his own.

St. Louis’ defense and special teams helped put the game out of reach with an 84-yard kickoff return touchdown, a blocked punt and an interception.

The Seattle Dragons (1-2) led 12-6 at halftime, but saw the offense stall out and were held scoreless in the second half during a 24-12 loss to the Dallas Renegades.

Quarterback Brandon Silvers completed 21-of-34 for 204 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Wide receiver Austin Proehl was the go-to target for Seattle, catching six of seven targets for 81 yards and one touchdown.

The 12-point spread is hefty, yet with St. Louis playing at home led by their rushing attack my expectation is that the BattleHawks will wear out the Dragons as they did the Guardians.

(1u)  LA Wildcats -7 @ -110

Los Angeles Wildcats @ New York Guardians, Saturday at 2:00 PM:

The reason we’re backing LA

Los Angeles (1-2) finally got themselves into the win column with a dominant upset as they blew out the D.C. Defenders 39-9.

Quarterback Josh Johnson and running back Montez Carter both had coming out parties. Johnson was on point completing 18-of-25 for 278 yards and three touchdowns, and Carter rushed for two touchdowns on 11 carries for 34 yards while adding three receptions for 41 yards and a receiving touchdown.

New York (1-2) dropped a second straight game in another rough offensive outing losing to the St. Louis BattleHawks 29-9. The Guardians were held without scoring double digits for the second consecutive game, and didn’t find the endzone until late in the fourth quarter with third-string quarterback Luiz Perez.

Perez put together a solid drive completing 4-of-5 passes for 39 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Austin Duke led the team with four receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown.

These teams are trending in completely opposite directions. New York’s quarterback situation is up in the air, and although they return home to the scene of their first and only win, my confidence level is at a low for the Guardians offense. Meanwhile, the Wildcats seem to have a good thing going with Johnson under center.

(1u) Houston Roughnecks -1 @ -110

Houston Roughnecks @ Dallas Renegades, Sunday at 4:00 PM:

The reason we’re backing Houston.

Houston (3-0) remained unbeaten and continued to overpower teams offensively as they outlasted the Tampa Bay Vipers 34-27. The connection between quarterback P.J. Walker and wide receiver Cam Phillips single handedly won the game for the Roughnecks.

Walker was spot on completing 24-of-36 for 306 yards and three touchdowns, and added four carries for 34 yards and a rushing touchdown. Phillips caught all three of those touchdowns along with eight receptions for 194 yards.

Dallas (2-1) picked up a second straight win after battling back to defeat the Seattle Dragons 24-12 on the road.

Quarterback Landry Jones had an up-and-down outing completing 30-of-41 attempts for 274 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Wide receiver Donald Parham led the way snagging five receptions for 101 yards with two touchdowns, and Lance Dunbar added a team-high nine receptions with 56 yards.

With the spread sitting at practically a pick ‘em, I’d usually like to tip the advantage towards the home team. However, Houston has proven to be the top team in the XFL with the top offense over the first three weeks and I’m not ready to bet against them.


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