We now have three weeks of data for the XFL season and, hopefully, that means we can make better predictions. The XFL season is very short and we’re dealing with mostly unknown players, coaches and systems, so it makes it more difficult to make educated picks. However, we are a combined 11-5 on the moneyline and the spread, so we’re doing very well there. The game totals are another matter, however, and I wouldn’t put too much stock into our over/under picks until after four weeks of data, when we can establish better baselines.
Houston Roughnecks at Orlando Guardians
- Moneyline: Houston -365
- Spread: Houston -8.5
- Total: Over 37.5
The Roughnecks come in at 3-0 and bring their high-scoring offense into winless Orlando to face the league’s worst defense. Houston quarterback Brandon Silvers is tied for the league lead with seven touchdown passes, three of them to Jontre Kirklin, who is averaging 15.7 yards per catch. I would expect the two to hook for at least one more TD this week. Houston also has the league’s top defense, giving up only 200 yards per game, while the Guardians are scoring a league low 11 points per game. This is a pretty easy call on the moneyline and spread. I feel cautiously confident on the total and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Roughnecks cover it on their own.
San Antonio Brahmas at Seattle Sea Dragons
- Moneyline: San Antonio +180
- Spread: San Antonio +4.5
- Total: Under 40.5
This will be an interesting matchup to see if Seattle’s top-ranked offense can overcome their below-average defense. The Sea Dragons are averaging an insane seven yards per play behind Ben Ducci’s league-leading 285 passing yards per game and the league’s top two receivers, Jahcour Pearson and Josh Gordon. Seattle also has the league’s top rusher in Morgan Ellison. However, they have a negative point differential and are giving up the second most points per play on defense. San Antonio uses a run-heavy approach on offense and has arguably the league’s second best defense. The contradiction in styles will be interesting to watch. I think San Antonio has a great chance to win this game outright if they can keep Seattle’s big plays contained. My model leans towards the “under” for the game total, but as discussed earlier, I’m not especially confident in that pick.
Arlington Renegades at St. Louis Battlehawks
- Moneyline: St. Louis -175
- Spread: St. Louis -4
- Total: Over 36.5
Offense vs Defense will be on full display in this game. Arlington has the worst offense in the league, averaging 183 yards per game, 50 fewer than the next team. On the other hand, St. Louis is giving up 321 yards per game, which is 7th in the league. The Battlehawks’ offense, which has been efficient, if not spectacular, should be the difference in this game. Quarterback A.J. McCarron and wide receiver Hakeem Butler have formed one of the top QB-WR duos in the league and should continue their success against the Renegades. My model gives St. Louis 69% odds of winning against the implied Vegas odds of 63.6%, so I feel good about picking the Battlehawks on the moneyline and spread.
Vegas Vipers at DC Defenders
- Moneyline: DC -240
- Spread: DC -6
- Total: Over 41
This game is similar to the Houston-Orlando game in that it involves a top-tier team versus a bottom-tier team. DC is only behind the Roughnecks, in my power rankings, while Vegas is only ahead of the Guardians. The Vipers are giving up the most yards per game in addition to allowing 5.7 yards per play on defense. I have the Defenders with the second-highest total of the week and easily covering the point spread.
Doug Burrell finished 2022 as Fantasy Nerd’s Most Accurate Expert in NFL Picks and Tallysight’s #1 ranked expert Against the Spread Expert out of 200+ experts. He is a veteran, a runner and an avid fantasy sports enthusiast since 1999. You can reach him on Twitter @dougwburrell.
Doug is a veteran, an avid runner, and works as a copywriter. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and three dogs. You can reach him on Twitter @dougwburrell.