XFL Betting Guide: Week 5
As we enter Week 5 of the XFL's 2020 season, we have a few tight games on tap, a few blowout spots, and some relevant injuries to note before we lay down any action.
What stands out for the XFL's fifth weekend?
Roughing Up the XFL
The XFL championship odds are looking quite different than they did to start the season, and even from last week, we're seeing significant shifts. The Roughnecks are separating from everyone else, and a few teams toward the bottom of the league are basically eliminated already.
Here is every team's new (and old) championship odds, per FanDuel Sportsbook.
|FanDuel Sportsbook Odds||Current||Last Week|
|St. Louis BattleHawks||+320||+450|
|New York Guardians||+900||+1200|
|Los Angeles Wildcats||+1200||+1000|
|Tampa Bay Vipers||+2000||+2000|
Seattle Dragons at Houston Roughnecks (-12.5)
Based on the betting odds, this game features the XFL's best team (Houston (+185)) and the worst team (Seattle (+2500)), and with the game being in Houston, that explains the large spread. Of note, only 54% of the money and 52% of the bets are on the Roughnecks to cover that number. In my projections, the spread should be around 9.0, but I'm still not buying into the dysfunctional Dragons' ability to cover.
PJ Walker and the Roughnecks have scored 126 points through four games, and no other team is above 91 points. The Roughnecks have basically doubled up four of eight XFL teams in scoring and boast a stout defense, which ranks first in ProFootballFocus' overall grading.
As for the over/under, I have it around 48.5. The injection of life that BJ Daniels gave Seattle last week suggests that this one could have a little more back and forth. The over is where my action will be.
New York Guardians at Dallas Renegades (-7.0)
Landry Jones is out again, so the Renegades will turn to Philip Nelson at quarterback. In Week 1, Nelson led the offense to nine points against a tough St. Louis defense. New York is the worst overall defense in the XFL. Nelson's profile is that of a quarterback who will complete short passes and play it close to the vest, as he leads the league in completion rate but is last in yards per attempt.
The Guardians have a quarterback conundrum on their hands: Luis Perez started last week and rated out well, and the Guardians had a 17-14 win at home. Matt McGloin is listed as probable, so he could take the reins again.
With the swap back to Nelson, Dallas is commanding only 24% of the bets to cover the spread, and roughly 60% of the action is on the under here. I don't want to put that much trust in Nelson to cover the spread, and the under hits in 54% of my simulated games. That's where I'll be on this game.
St. Louis BattleHawks (-4.5) at DC Defenders
My BattleHawks get it done by dominating on the ground but also run a lot of offensive plays. DC has lost two straight games on the road against poor teams and are now back at home to face the XFL's second-best squad. After dominating in two cakewalk matchups (58-19), the Defenders have been outscored 64-9 over the past two weeks.
My projected spread for this game is 3.3 in favor of the BattleHawks, so there's slight value on DC to cover at home. As for the total, I've got it at 40.5, and in a thousand simulations, the over hit 56.8% of the time. It's hard to bet against the red hot BattleHawks and back a struggling squad, so I'm again avoiding the spread and betting the over/under, this time siding with the over.
Tampa Bay Vipers at Los Angeles Wildcats (-2.5)
These two teams have failed to live up to expectations, as both are 1-3 through four weeks of action. The biggest on-paper discrepancy in this matchup comes down to quarterback play. LA's Josh Johnson leads the league in yards per attempt and quarterback rating. Tampa Bay's Taylor Cornelius is sixth and eighth, respectively.
Frankly, these two teams are each a little better than their records indicate, so it's disappointing that one of them will drop to 1-4. My sims have the Wildcats winning this one 58.5% of the time by an average score of 3.9 points. The projected spread here gives us value both on the Wildcats (-2.5).