XFL Week 3 Picks
I’ll be making my XFL picks on all the games again this week. First let’s reflect on the 2020 XFL season after two weeks of action.
The XFL So-Far
I went to the Dallas Renegades and Los Angeles Wildcats game last week. It was great. It was football and people got into it. I still can’t get over the AYSO team names, but maybe they will grow on us. . All the action on the field was solid, but you can tell that this isn’t top tier guys. When someone who has a few years of NFL experience, like Nelson Spruce, is on the field you can see them stand head and shoulders above the other players. This most definitely isn’t the USFL and it’s nowhere close to the NFL, however, the quality of play is solid and the games are entertaining as all hell. I’m very much on board with giving this league a real shot.
Speaking of a real shot, the NFL should be paying attention.
Interviewing the players after a score seems a little gratuitous if you’re some purist who thinks football is an extension of corporate sensibilities and a reflection of the protestant work ethic where celebrations are to be shunned and a player should be pouring over read outs of the defensive play set, but hey, enjoy the moment. I covered some of the rules changes last week and after seeing them for another week I’ve seen nothing to change my mind about them. No PAT kicks? Yes, please. Safer kickoffs where guys aren’t getting their heads caved in because they are human missiles? All the way, baby. No punting out of bounds? I love it. The fixation on jiggering your strategy to exploit loopholes is smart and all, but it takes the fun out of a game.
There’s nothing extravagant about the XFL games or the presentation, but who cares.
You know you’re at a secondary league and that’s a good thing. Have you been to an NFL game? It takes forever to get in and out and even nosebleed seats are expensive if you want to catch two good teams. Tailgating was a breeze. Grills and beers? No problem. Out of the stadium in minutes instead of a couple hours. Have you ever tried leaving the Coliseum? Bruh, there’s a reason I watch games from my personal bar stool at my local bar instead of trekking to the Coliseum and hanging out with 90,000 of my best friends. I only wish the Wildcats played at the LAFC stadium next to the Coliseum because it’s like 15 minutes away.
This league is fun. On to the XFL Bets for week 3.
My XFL Betting Predictions for This Week.
Houston Roughnecks at Tampa Bay Vipers
Spread: Houston -6.5
Saturday, 2PM on ABC
Normally I blanche at the idea of taking what’s basically a touchdown favorite on the road against anyone. Houston is considered one of the two best teams in the league right now even with the limited information that we have. It makes. June Jones is a legitimate coach who could probably be an offensive coordinator in the NFL right now and would fit in with the Pac 12 or Big 12 with that offense that’s scoring 32.5 PPG.
Jones has JP Walker throwing on 68.8 percent of their plays and he’s got Cam Phillips, Sammie Coates, Kahlil Lewis, and Nick Holley to throw to. So far this is the best overall passing game in the league. Walker and Phillips are hooking up on the regular with Phillips pulling in 130 yards and four touchdowns on 12 receptions. Look at this team to be banging when it comes to scoring. On top of that, Houston is boom or bust on defense. They’ve given up six touchdowns in two games but also have four picks and eight sacks. Combine these wonder twin powers and stimulating scoring on both sides of the ball and they’ve been part of the only two overs in the league this season.
Tampa does nothing for me. Taylor Cornelius and Aaron Jones are probably very nice young men, but Tampa’s QBs have yet to throw a touchdown. De’Veon Smith is second in rushing but he has no touchdowns either. Tampa’s scored only 12 points on the season. Yuck. Houston has a +24-point differential, so even with this limited of a sample size I lean to the favorite even on the road against an inferior team. But for my money, I like the over and Tampa finally turning all the yards they are racking up into some points. THE PICK: OVER 47. IF YOU’RE DARING: Tease Houston and the OVER down to -1 and OVER 41.
Dallas Renegades at Seattle Dragons
Spread: Dallas -5
Saturday, 5 PM on FOX
I was wrong about Dallas not being able to cover in Los Angeles, but Seattle is kind of putrid. I guess part of it is my memories of Landry Jones playing like shit in the NFL. He was replaced by Mason Rudolph, for goodness sake. But here we are with Jones shining and Bob Stoops making his guys look good. Seattle is racking up yardage on the ground, but they stink otherwise. I’m not really a fan of fading Seattle teams at home even with Jim Zorn coaching the team. This is one I’d generally stay away from, but I have to make a pick to keep us all entertained. Factoring in Seattle’s bad offense and Stoops I’ll look at that tasty under, thank you. THE PICK: UNDER 44.5.
N.Y. Guardians at St Louis Battlehawks
Spread: New York +10
Sunday, 3 PM on ESPN
St. Louis is a plodding team and they have maybe the fourth best club in the league, but they are 2-0 ATS and doing it running the ball 55.2 percent of the time. Doesn’t mean they are killing it. They average just 3.7 YPC. They also did this on the road, so you have to give them credit. Now they are coming home to face a team that is averaging 45.5 plays per game and have scored zero points in their last six quarters.
Matt McGloin and Marquise Williams are bad quarterbacks and St. Louis QB Jordan Ta’amu is completing 78.1 percent of his passes and averaging 7.7 yards per pass. The contrarian feel is to take NY and the points because, well, it’s double digits. No smart bettor should be consistently looking to take games at a touchdown or more. I do like St. Louis to put the clamps down on defense and win going away, but I can’t see NY putting up more than low double digits. THE PICK: UNDER 42
DC Defenders at Los Angeles Wildcats
Spread: DC -7
Sunday, 6 PM on FS1
There’s no doubt that Nelson Spruce is the best receiver in the league. He’s leading the league in receiving yards and he shredded Dallas in the second half beating coverage up and down the field. But he’s not going to be enough. Pep Hamilton has his guys dialed and Cardale Jones is looking like he will deserve another shot in the NFL. I also love Donnel Pumphrey and Jhurrell Pressley and Los Angeles got gutted by Dallas’ running game in the second half. The Wildcats have serious issues on defense that go beyond defensive play calls and schemes.
This is another one where I hate laying that many points, but Los Angeles’ problems on defense give me pause when I think about putting money on them to cover even a full touchdown at home. They consistently got gashed on draws and play action and I can see Pep Hamilton dialing up some creative calls to replicate the success Houston and Dallas had against the Wildcats the first two weeks of the season. Watch this, the Wildcats will get their act together and burn me even though they have given up the most points in the league (62) and have a -27-point differential. THE PICK: DC -7. SECOND PICK: OVER 45.5.
Stay tuned to The Props Network for sports betting news and picks. XFL betting odds can be found at all of the top US online sportsbooks. Find a new sportsbook or the best sports betting site for you here at TPN.
The XFL is a professional football league owned by Vince McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment company. After a one season attempt of launching in 2001, XFL Football is back in 2020.
The eight XFL 2020 Teams are The New York Guardians, DC Defenders, Dallas Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, Los Angeles Wildcats, St Louis BattleHawks, Seattle Dragons and Tampa Bay Vipers. Check out all the XFL logos and XFL Jerseys here.
Dallas Renegades are coached by Bob Stoops. The Houston Roughnecks are coached by June Jones. The LA Wildcats are coached by Winston Moss. Jim Zorn coaches the Seattle Dragons. Pep Hamilton coaches the D.C. Defenders. The NY Guardians have Kevin Gilbride as their head coach. St Lous Battle Hawks head coach is Jonathan Hayes and the Tampa Bay Vipers hired Marc Trestman to be their head coach.
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