1. #1
    Hman's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Week 2 XFL Best Bets 🏈

    Week 2 XFL best bets: A number we like on each game


    Our experts -- ESPN betting analysts Doug Kezirian and Anita Marks, sports betting deputy editor David Bearman and Matt Youmans of the Vegas Stats & Information Network -- are here to give their best bets for XFL's Week 2 slate.

    Saturday's games

    New York Guardians at DC Defenders (-6.5, 47)

    Bearman: This line continues to move in the Guardians' favor. I had it at about a 2-3 point spread and will happily grab it at 6.5. It's only a one-game sample size, but I watched the Tampa Bay-New York game last week and Jim Herrmann's defense was extremely impressive. Much has been made of how bad Tampa QB Aaron Murray was, and a lot of that has to do with the pressure from a defense that had five sacks and four takeaways. Backup Quinton Flowers didn't look any better, as the Vipers completed less than half of their passes.

    DC's Cardale Jones, Eli Rogers and Jhurell Pressley will pose a tougher test for the New York defense, but I also expect the Guardians to score. Matt McGloin looked poised in his first start, has a stable of receivers to throw to and a two-headed running back system with Darius Victor and Tim Cook. Seattle, for all its issues last week, still put up 19 on DC and had two red zone turnovers.

    And let's not be fooled by the 31 points the Defenders put up, as two TDs came on defense/special teams. I have these two teams rated in the top three of power rankings and, even factoring in home field, 6.5 is too much.

    Pick: Guardians +6.5

    Marks: Quarterback play is so crucial in the XFL, and with that being said, I'll take Jones over McGloin seven days a week and twice on Saturday. McGloin was pressured almost 50% of the time in Week 1, and the Guardians' offense had a difficult time converting on third down. The Defenders have a lot of weapons on offense, and I expect Pressley to have a big day. Defenders get to 2-0 and do it by at least seven points.

    Pick: Defenders -6.5

    Tampa Bay Vipers (-2.5, 45) at Seattle Dragons

    Youmans: It's important to guard against overreactions from Week 1, when Murray was benched during a dismal offensive display by Tampa Bay. Murray completed only 16 of 34 passes, threw two interceptions and lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown in a 23-3 loss at New York. Murray has a lower leg injury, and he is questionable for this week. Vipers coach Marc Trestman said Murray will remain the starter if healthy.

    Flowers, who also gets snaps at running back, is a decent backup plan at quarterback. As we have seen in college football and the NFL, teams often show dramatic improvement from Week 1 to Week 2. Trestman will focus on fine-tuning his offense, but he probably needs more than a week to get something substantial accomplished.

    Pro Football Focus graded the quarterbacks in the first week, and Murray ranked sixth in the eight-team league. Seattle's Brandon Silvers ranked as the worst. This could be a game dominated by the defenses. Led by end Marcell Frazier and tackle Will Sutton, Seattle pressured QBs on 48.5% of dropbacks, the second-best defensive rate in the XFL, according to PFF. The Dragons led all defenses with 2.0 yards after contact per rush attempt. The Vipers also graded out well in terms of putting pressure on the passer. Considering the quarterbacks in this matchup, it's difficult to envision a shootout developing.

    Pick: Under 45

    Marks: Murray was just plain bad in Week 1, sporting a 47% completion percentage and two interceptions. The Vipers had four red zone drives that amounted to exactly zero touchdowns. Murray is dealing with a foot injury, and there is a chance Flowers might start, which doesn't do much for me either.

    The Dragons' front seven was impressive last week, especially against the run, limiting the Defenders to less than 2.5 yards per carry. The Vipers hit the road for the second straight week -- last week to NYC, this week to Seattle -- and more than likely not on a private jet = no bueno. Give me the home dog.

    Pick: Seattle +2.5

    Sunday's games

    Dallas Renegades (-4, 47.5) at Los Angeles Wildcats

    Youmans: Parity will be a buzzword in this league, especially after preseason favorite Dallas was upset 15-9 by St. Louis, a 9-point underdog, in Week 1. It's still unknown if Renegades quarterback Landry Jones, who suffered a knee injury in training camp, will be ready to start this week. The former Pittsburgh Steelers backup will probably be rusty if he does return. The Renegades' "Air Raid" offense never got off the ground last week.

    Houston has overtaken Dallas atop the power rankings after the Roughnecks ripped L.A. 37-17. It was a deceptive score, however, because it was a one-point game at halftime and the Wildcats were moving the ball.

    The QB position for L.A. is TBA this week. Josh Johnson, the league's most experienced quarterback, missed the opener with an injury. But the offense has two legit playmakers in running back Elijah Hood and wide receiver Nelson Spruce. The Wildcats also have a couple of defensive stars in rush end Shawn Oakman and cornerback Harlan Miller. The quarterback play must improve, but the Wildcats should make a good run for the money against an overrated Renegades team.

    Pick: Los Angeles +4

    Marks: I'm banking on Dallas getting Jones back at QB this week. Considering he was very close to being active last week, let's hope he's not only active but an attractive option in Week 2. As for the Wildcats, their quarterback is dealing with a thigh issue and might not play.

    Wildcats head coach Winston Moss fired defensive coordinator Pepper Johnson after Week 1, and his defensive captain, Anthony Johnson, quit the team. Too much drama in Hollywood!

    Jump on this line now, before Jones is confirmed the starter and it jumps up (#RunDontWalk). It has already moved from -3.5 to -4.

    Pick: Dallas -3.5

    St. Louis Battlehawks at Houston Roughnecks (-8, 49.5)

    Bearman: This number continues to grow and grow to a point where it is entirely worth jumping on St. Louis +8. Don't get me wrong, Houston was among the most impressive teams in the league last week behind P.J. Walker and an explosive offense. But don't forget that it was a one-point game at halftime and L.A.'s defense was so bad it fired its defensive coordinator after one game.

    The Battlehawks went into preseason title favorite Dallas as a 9.5-point 'dog and held the Bob Stoops/Hal Mumme offense to three field goals. Quarterback Jordan Ta'amu had as impressive of a debut as any player in the league with 286 total yards while completing 74% of his passes. Matt Jones paced all XFL running backs with 85 yards as St. Louis showed a balanced attack.

    When this line opened in the 4.5/5 range at books, I wasn't too keen on picking against Houston. But at 8, and with all the new, exciting ways the XFL incentivizes comebacks (see the 2-minute rules), I'll grab the number.

    Pick: St. Louis +8

    Marks: Walker passed for 272 yards and four touchdowns while adding 26 rushing yards for a 103 quarterback rating in Week 1. He is the perfect fit for June Jones' run 'n' shoot offense. Behind a good offensive line, Walker is tossing the rock for completions of 20-plus yards, and that will be hard for the Battlehawks to defend. Walker continues his strong campaign with a convincing win over St. Louis.

    Pick: Houston -8

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    No opinion on this material guys.

    Posting per request for those who don't have access.

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    SBR Drew
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    Thank you

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    thanks for sharing

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    Cool, thanks!