Week 2 of the XFL season is now upon us and we’re ready to see what this go-round has to offer. Last week, about 3.3 million viewers tuned in to see Week 1, and it even spiked at 4 million during the final quarter of the first game. The XFL has also done a fantastic job with its transparency in making this a safe haven for bettors to place some wagers.
This week’s matchups include the New York Guardians at DC Defenders, Tampa Bay Vipers at Seattle Dragons, Dallas Renegades at Los Angeles Wildcats & St. Louis BattleHawks at Houston Roughnecks. Let’s jump right in and view our top Week 2 XFL Betting Picks.
- New York Guardians at DC Defenders
- Tampa Bay Vipers at Seattle Dragons
- Dallas Renegades at Los Angeles Wildcats
- St. Louis BattleHawks at Houston Roughnecks
New York Guardians at DC Defenders
New York Guardians (+6.5/ML: +215) at DC Defenders – Total: 48
Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020 – 2:00 p.m. EST
Audi Stadium – Washington, DC
Two teams that won their season openers will square off in Week 2, as the New York Guardians make the short trip to face the DC Defenders. For the second straight week, we’re seeing the Defenders as huge favorites. However, our XFL betting pick is for the Guardians to cover the 6.5-point spread. Let’s dive into some factors that will give some optimism to our selection.
XFL Betting Line: Guardians at Defenders
If the games were decided by team names, we would probably expect a defensive battle. Then again, we might have that type of game anyway. Both sides flexed some serious muscle in Week 1, with the Defenders creating numerous turnovers and the Guardians only allowing three points.
DC and New York showed massive amounts of potential, and the 6.5-point spread could be a bit much for the home team. Not to mention, the new extra-point scoring could have a big effect on this game.
Guardians Betting Form
Defense was the name of the game for the Guardians in Week 1. The Tampa Bay Vipers came in as one of the favorites to win the XFL title, and New York shut those hefty expectations down very quickly. The Guardians defense wound up with eight QB hits, five sacks, two interceptions, a fumble recovery, and a touchdown.
QB Matt McGloin wasn’t needed much in the Week 1 win, but he did play well enough. The former Penn State and Oakland Raiders signal-caller went 15-for-29 for 182 passing yards and two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing).
One of New York’s biggest strengths coming into the season was the offensive line. However, that wasn’t necessarily on display in the opener as the Guardians ran the ball only 13 times for 44 yards. That will certainly need to improve in Week 2, especially if they want to play keep-away from DC.
Defenders Betting Form
QB Cardale Jones was 16-for-26 with 235 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1. There’s no doubt that the former Ohio State standout is one of the best QBs in the XFL. Jones does have a plethora of weapons like WRs Rashaad Ross and Eli Rogers at his disposal. However, his offensive line wasn’t great against a Seattle team that some have regarded as one of the worst in the XFL.
The Defenders’ defense was outstanding in the season opener, forcing a couple of turnovers and getting touchdowns by an interception and a punt block. Although they were facing a subpar Seattle team, it’s tough to know exactly where they stand. The level of competition will be much better this time around.
XFL Betting Pick: Guardians +6.5 (-110)
Although DC may have the best home-field advantage in the XFL, we believe New York can go on the road and keep this one close. The Guardians’ defense proved to have a solid gameplan in the opener against what was supposed to be one of the better offenses in the league. Look for this to be a nail-biter of a game. We’re not going to say New York wins this outright, but we wouldn’t be totally surprised either.
In fact, you might be able to get this game at +7 or +7.5 if you wait until kickoff. DC is certainly one of the early favorites in the XFL since they won the first game, which everyone was tuned into. If it weren’t for a clumsy late fumble by Seattle, DC would not have covered the spread in Week 1.
Tampa Bay Vipers at Seattle Dragons
Tampa Bay Vipers at Seattle Dragons (+3/ML: +130) – Total: 45
Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020 – 5:00 p.m. EST
CenturyLink Field – Seattle, WA
A pair of teams looking for their first win will face each other, as the Tampa Bay Vipers head West to face the Seattle Dragons. There’s a crucial travel element to this game that could certainly factor in the game. Because of that, our XFL betting pick is for the underdog Dragons to win outright. Let’s dive into the factors that led us to this decision.
XFL Betting Line: Vipers at Dragons
It’ll be interesting to see how the public reacts to both teams in this matchup. After all, the Vipers had plenty of expectations and the Dragons were basically an afterthought. Tampa Bay may very well be the better team when the season is all said and done. However, the travel itinerary for the Vipers could certainly hold them back on Saturday.
Vipers Betting Form
Tampa Bay may have a talented roster, but head coach Marc Trestman could hold this team back from reaching its true potential. The Vipers had a league-high four possessions inside the red zone in Week 1 and failed to come away with a touchdown. Before the season, we looked at Trestman as someone who could thrive in this offensively-driven league. However, as we saw in the opener, he may be in over his skis once again.
QB Aaron Murray was under duress all day in the Week 1 matchup against New York. That’s a big reason why his current foot injury will keep him out on Saturday. The former Georgia standout went 16-for-34 with two interceptions. Dual-threat QB Quinton Flowers could have a bigger role this time around and possibly even get his team into the endzone. QB Taylor Cornelius will likely get the start, with Flowers mixed in on certain packages. It’s not exactly a situation we’ll know much about until we see it for ourselves.
Meanwhile, the running game worked well, going for 150 yards, led by RB De’Veon Smith (79 rushing yards). Look for that to be a point of emphasis this week. WR Daniel Williams led the XFL in Week 1 with 123 receiving yards on six catches but did not find the end zone – just like the rest of his team.
The Vipers defense actually had the fewest plays (51) against them of any team in Week 1. New York didn’t have to get too fancy with its offensive scheme, so there weren’t many takeaways we could learn from in that matchup. Although, it’s certainly fun to see Jerry Glanville back on the sidelines, even if it’s as a defensive coordinator.
Dragons Betting Form
Not much was expected of the Dragons in the season opener, but they did hang tough against a heavily-favored DC team. Head coach Jim Zorn had his team prepared for the first game, and that factor of coaching should come into play on Saturday night with much more preparation than their opponents.
Seattle’s run game looked good in the opener, with RBs Kenneth Farrow and Ja’Quan Gardner combining for 77 yards on 16 carries. Farrow had the highest yards per carry (5.9) of any player with at least five carries in Week 1. WR Austin Proehl was the star for the Dragons in the opener, with five catches on 10 targets for 88 yards and two touchdowns.
QB Brandon Silvers had a decent day, with three touchdowns. He did throw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. However, the pick-six came on a play where a receiver slipped in his route and it was a clear path to the end zone for the defender. Silvers did suffer an ankle injury on the second-to-last play of the game. He didn’t practice on Wednesday but should be able to play on Saturday.
XFL Betting Pick: Dragons ML (+130)
If we know anything about Seattle sports, this is a city that gets behind its teams. We expect this to be a raucous atmosphere that’ll have Tampa Bay in a tizzy once again. In fact, the Dragons had so many requests for tickets that they had to open up additional sections of the stadium in order to meet the demands.
Let’s also not forget, this will be the second road game already for the Vipers. Not only will they have a day less to prepare, but they’ll be going all the way across the country to play. Seattle also played on the East Coast in the season opener. However, getting back home a day earlier has its advantages.
Dallas Renegades at Los Angeles Wildcats
Dallas Renegades (-4/ML: -190) at Los Angeles Wildcats – Total: 48
Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020 – 3:00 p.m. EST
Dignity Health Sports Park – Carson, CA
Two teams looking for their first win will do battle, as the Dallas Renegades travel West to face the Los Angeles Wildcats. Both teams were essentially playing with a backup QB in the opener but managed to stay competitive for most of the game. Our betting pick is for Dallas to get the win and cover the four-point spread. Let’s take a look at some factors that’ll lead to this outcome.
XFL Betting Line: Renegades at Wildcats
Dallas will likely run away with this one, especially if their star QB finally healthy enough to play. Even in a road game, this doesn’t even seem like to much to lay on a team that only scored nine points last week. Those were different circumstances, and this is a new week. Let’s take a look at the two teams and give Dallas some more validation.
Renegades Betting Form
QB Landry Jones was active for Week 1 but the Renegades said that he would only be used for emergency purposes. Many have labeled him as the face of the XFL, considering he was a fantastic player for the Oklahoma Sooners in college and got some meaningful reps with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL.
Look for Landry to find WR Flynn Nagel early and often – he was the leading receiver, catching all six targets for 43 yards. WR Freddie Martino only had one catch for 11 yards last week, but he could be a big factor with Jones under center.
Kicker Austin MacGinnis was 3-for-3 on field goals in the opener. If we’re trying to get a cover, those kinds of numbers are certainly going to work in our favor. Of course, we’d rather Jones throw four or five touchdowns en route to victory, but we’ll take it any way we can get it.
The Dallas defense was gashed by the St. Louis running game for 191 yards last week, so perhaps this is an area that LA can attack. Although, the game plan could change depending on who is starting at QB for the Wildcats.
Wildcats Betting Form
QB Chad Kanoff only had a couple of days to learn the Wildcats playbook, and he came out slinging. His first half in Week 1 was much better than the second — in total, Kanoff threw for 214 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He did have to come out late because of an injury, though.
Josh Jackson, formerly of the NFL, was supposed to be the team’s starter for Week 1. However, head coach Winston Moss said that Johnson should be ready to go for Sunday.
WR Nelson Spruce had 11 catches on 15 targets for 103 yards while TE Jordan Smallwood had three catches on seven targets for 28 yards and a touchdown. Had it not been for the team’s late collapse in Week 1, these guys could have had even bigger games.
Another major detriment is the Wildcats firing defensive coordinator Pepper Johnson after just one game. We can’t even begin to comprehend what happened there. However, that’s obviously not a good sign for the defense. Look for Dallas to get going finally on offense and put the game out of reach early.
XFL Betting Pick: Dallas -4 (-110)
LA obviously has some internal issues coming into this game, possibly giving us our first disaster in XFL 2.0 history. With Johnson presumably ready to go, the Wildcats should at least put some points on the board. However, the return of Jones to Dallas could prove to be too much for an LA defense that has to be wondering what direction theyre heading in.
St. Louis BattleHawks at Houston Roughnecks
St. Louis BattleHawks
at Houston Roughnecks (-8/ML: -315) – Total: 50.5
Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020 – 6:00 p.m. EST
TDECU Stadium – Houston, TX
The Week 2 finale will have a contrast in offensive styles, as the St. Louis BattleHawks travel to face the Houston Roughnecks. While St. Louis ran the ball a lot in the opener, Houston displayed an all-out aerial attack. Nevertheless, our XFL betting pick is for the Roughnecks to cover the eight-point spread. Let’s dive into some factors that’ll have the home team winning by a healthy margin.
XFL Betting Line: BattleHawks at Roughnecks
Given what Houston showed in the opener, it’s no surprise to see them as the most heavily favored team in Week 2. It’s also not shocking to see this game has the highest total of the bunch. After all, when you have the Roughnecks’ head coach, you have to expect that. St. Louis capitalized with their opportunities last week, but 15 points aren’t going to cut it this time around.
BattleHawks Betting Form
RB Matt Jones led a BattleHawks ground attack that had 191 rushing yards in Week 1. In fact, Jones was the only player to have 80+ rushing yards in the opening weekend. QB Jordan Ta’amu tacked on to the rushing total with 77 yards of his own while also throwing for a touchdown and completing 20 of his 27 passes. Look for Ta’amu to be the key cog in the offense once again, especially when they’ll need to put points on the board to keep pace.
The St. Louis defense had a good day but did so against a backup QB. Dallas was missing their starter, so it’s tough to get a barometer of where they are. Of course, it was a solid performance allowing only nine points, but that will not be the case on Sunday night in Houston.
Roughnecks Betting Form
QB PJ Walker earned the Week 1 XFL Star of the Week award for his massive performance. The former Temple star went bananas for 272 passing yards and four touchdowns. Walker’s athleticism was on full display with plenty of plays avoiding pressure in the backfield and slipping away to get the ball to his playmakers.
With head coach June Jones and his run-and-gun offense, Walker is certainly looking like the early candidate for the MVP award. In addition, there are plenty of weapons for Walker to get the ball to. RB James Butler scored two touchdowns (one rushing, one catching) inside the red zone and numerous receivers got it done as well.
It took a while for Houston’s defense to get it going in Week 1. While the first half was basically a feeling-out process, the Roughnecks really honed in on getting to the QB in the second half. Former NFL first-round pick Kony Ealy had five QB hits and 0.5 sacks while CB Deatrick Nichols had an interception, a sack and two deflected passes.
XFL Betting Pick: Roughnecks -8 (-110)
It was a truly impressive performance by Walker last week and we believe we’ll see more of the same. While St. Louis got a road win last week, it’ll be very difficult to do that two weeks in a row. Look for Houston to put up too many points for St. Louis to keep pace with.