XFL Betting Guide: Week 2
Where is there value for Week 2's four-game set?
Week 1 showed us our first glimpse of XFL action and team information, but it also resulted in some shifting in the XFL Championship odds.
Here is every team's new (and old) championship odds, per FanDuel Sportsbook.
|FanDuel Sportsbook Odds||Current||Last Week|
|New York Guardians||+430||+430|
|Tampa Bay Vipers||+650||+400|
|St. Louis BattleHawks||+700||+1000|
|Los Angeles Wildcats||+1000||+650|
New York Guardians at DC Defenders (-7)
According to oddsFire, the public-backed New York squad are receiving 67% of the bets to cover the spread and 68% of the bets to cover the moneyline at +215. At +215, the Guardians are shy of 32% likely to win this game on the road.
New York ranked fourth in the XFL with 5.02 offensive yards per play in Week 1 but actually were out-gained 394 to 226 by the Tampa Bay Vipers.
On the other hand, the Defenders averaged 5.27 yards per play (third-best in Week 1) despite running more times (28) than they threw (26). Cardale Jones racked up a league-best 9.04 yards per pass attempt. Again, the Guardians did let up yardage to the Vipers, so it's no wonder that the Defenders are favored by so much.
These teams combined for only four offensive touchdowns and allowed three total in Week 1, so I would like action on the under here, and given the low touchdown expectations, Guardians +7.0 seems like the best way to get exposure to this matchup.
Tampa Bay Vipers (-2.5) at Seattle Dragons
The Vipers' starting quarterback, Aaron Murray, is out for this game. He had a very disappointing opening matchup but did move the ball fairly well with a yards per attempt average of 6.79 (above the XFL average of 6.37).
In his stead will be a combination of Taylor Cornelius and Quinton Flowers, with Cornelius getting the majority of the starters' reps. Cornelius is undrafted out of Oklahoma State but posted a 61st-percentile quarterback rating and has decent athleticism. Flowers ran 4 times for 34 yards and threw 2 times over 26 Week 1 snaps. The combination should give the Vipers a multi-faceted attack.
Seattle's quarterback, Brandon Silvers, is listed as probable. He's dealing with an ankle injury. Silvers did throw for three touchdowns in Week 1 but also a pair of interceptions and some overall poor play, earning ProFootballFocus' worst grade among starting quarterbacks. Seattle is still the long shot to win the championship.
Given the uncertainty and yet another new quarterback to get acclimated to for Tampa Bay, as well as the second road game in a row, the offense could sputter enough on both sides for the under to be attractive. I'm also inclined to take the points and go with Seattle +2.5.
Dallas Renegades (-4.0) at Los Angeles Wildcats
The Renegades are getting Landry Jones back for this game, and that'll boost the offense significantly. Philip Nelson kept the ball close to the line of scrimmage but did throw 42 times in Week 1.
On the other hand, Josh Johnson is expected to sit again for the Wildcats, giving a massive edge to Dallas at the quarterback position, as LA will be relying on Chad Kanoff or Jalan McClendon, who made relief appearances for Kanoff last week.
The Wildcats overall allowed 37 points last week, including four passing touchdowns, they fired their defensive coordinator, and they'll face another tough quarterback test for Week 2. Sometimes it's best to keep it simple. My action is on Dallas (-4.0).
St. Louis BattleHawks at Houston Roughnecks (-8.0)
The BattleHawks and Roughnecks both outperformed expectation in Week 1. St. Louis won 15-9 over Dallas, and Houston trounced Los Angeles 37-17.
The BattleHawks' running back situation is pretty dicey, as ostensible workhorse Matt Jones was limited in practice and Keith Ford has missed practice. They could be relying on Christine Michael, who turned 8 touches into -1 yards in Week 1. Their quarterback, Jordan Ta'amu, had the ground game going with 77 yards on 6 rushes and completed 74.1% of his passes for a 7.7 yards per attempt clip. Houston's front recorded a quarterback hit on 32.7% of drop backs last week, easily a league high. St. Louis could have to play keep away to avoid the pressure.
Houston's PJ Walker stole Week 1, however, with 272 yards and 4 touchdown passes, a showing that resulted in the Wildcats' firing of their defensive coordinator. St. Louis allowed a lot of completions (79.1%) last week but didn't allow downfield completions (just 5.09 yards per pass attempt) and registered 4 sacks against the Renegades.
Given the potential for the BattleHawks to drain the clock and the elevated total, I like the under as well as St. Louis (+8.0).