We’re already nearing the half-way point of the XFL season, with some of these contenders are starting to separate themselves from the pretenders. In Week 5, there are some fascinating games that could possibly determine the shape of the stretch run.
The Week 5 matchups include the Seattle Dragons at Houston Roughnecks, New York Guardians at Dallas Renegades, St. Louis BattleHawks at DC Defenders & Tampa Bay Vipers at Los Angeles Wildcats. Let’s waste no further time and dive into our Week 5 XFL Picks.
- Seattle Dragons at Houston Roughnecks
- New York Guardians at Dallas Renegades
- St. Louis BattleHawks at DC Defenders
- Tampa Bay Vipers at Los Angeles Wildcats
Seattle Dragons at Houston Roughnecks (-12.5/ML: -500) – Total: 45.5
Saturday, March 7, 2020 | 2:00 p.m. EST
TDECU Stadium – Houston, TX
The XFL’s best team will be on display once again, as the Houston Roughnecks look to keep their unbeaten 4-0 record against the 1-3 Seattle Dragons. Last week, Seattle showed it could hang with a tough opponent on the road in St. Louis. However, that type of energy will be tough to duplicate in back-to-backs. The first of our week 5 XFL picks is for Houston to cover the 12.5-point spread.
XFL Betting Line: Seattle at Houston
It’s no surprise to see Houston as the largest favorite this week. After all, the Roughnecks are back home to face a 1-3 team. Let’s not sleep on Seattle just yet, though. The team is 3-1 ATS early on in the season, including a cover last week in a very hostile St. Louis environment. The oddsmakers made this a very savvy spread, so it’ll be interesting to see which team comes out on top in that regard. Although, we’re pretty confident that Houston gets the outright win.
Seattle Betting Form
Seattle head coach Jim Zorn benched QB Brandon Silvers in the second half last week. In relief, BJ Daniels came in and wowed a hostile St. Louis crowd, rushing for a total of 84 yards. Despite only playing in only one game this season, Daniels now has the third-most rushing yards for any quarterback – Jordan Ta’amu (STL) ranks first with 186 and PJ Walker (HOU) is second with 104. Should the Dragons decide to go with him, Daniels’ skill set will be greatly welcomed to an offense that certainly needs a spark.
No one has been able to slow down this Houston offense just yet. It’s highly unlikely that Seattle will be the team to do it. The Dragons secondary ranks near the bottom of the XFL early on and a particular area of the field the Roughnecks can expose is over the middle. While Houston doesn’t have a tight end on its roster, it does have a number of talented WRs that mimic that position.
Houston Betting Form
QB PJ Walker leads the XFL in both passing yards (987) and touchdown passes (12). He is also third in the league with a 104.0 passer rating – Josh Johnson (LA) is No. 1 at 106.6, and he missed the season opener. WR Cam Phillips was held in check last week but it didn’t matter; Walker was able to find a number of different targets and keep the chains moving. Against a very tough Dallas secondary last week, Houston receivers did not have a dropped pass on 36 attempts.
Not only do the Roughnecks boast a high-flying offense, but their defense is pretty damn good as well. No other team has allowed fewer rushing yards this season; that’s a trend that will certainly need to continue against Daniels and all of the flashiness he brings to the table. Of course, that’s assuming it’s Daniels that gets the start for Seattle.
XFL Pick Week 5: Houston -12.5 (-110)
Until we see a team stop Houston with our own eyes, we’re not going to believe it can happen. Walker has put a stamp down as the early frontrunner for the league’s MVP award, and he’ll look to get his pal Phillips involved in the game plan once again – you’re not going to hold that guy down for too long. Some might say that Houston is due for a letdown game soon, but Saturday will not be the day.
New York Guardians at Dallas Renegades (-7.5/ML: -335) – Total: 37
Saturday, March 7, 2020 | 5:00 p.m. EST
Globe Life Park – Arlington, TX
These two cities have a big rivalry in the NFL, so now it’s time to see if the New York Guardians and Dallas Renegades can live up to the billing. With one team missing a starting QB and the other unsure of who will get the start, we shouldn’t expect too much offense in this one. The second of our week 5 XFL picks is for the total to go under 37 points.
XFL Betting Line: New York at Dallas
It’s somewhat intriguing to see Dallas as more than a touchdown favorite, considering they’ll be playing with their backup QB. Nonetheless, this team can run the ball effectively and play solid defense. New York has struggled quite a bit on the road, losing those two games by a combined score of 56-9. The oddsmakers are indicating that we could see the Guardians wind up on the wrong side of things once again.
New York Betting Form
Head coach Kevin Gilbride had QBs Luis Perez and Matt McGloin split first-team reps at practice on Wednesday. The starter for Saturday’s game has yet to be decided but you have to imagine Perez gets the nod after leading New York to a win last week.
Passing the ball will be incredibly difficult against the Dallas secondary. However, New York’s strength is running the football, and that will be put to the test. The Renegades are only allowing an average of 1.5 yards before contact per rush attempt, which is the second-fewest in the XFL.
Dallas Betting Form
QB Landry Jones suffered a scary knee injury last week. It appeared like he would miss the rest of the season but the more likely synopsis could have him back just before the playoffs. Philip Nelson will now lead the team down the stretch. He has looked decent at times but it’s a given that this team will lean more on the running game. Since that aspect of the game has been working, TE Donald Parham has been doing work in the middle of the field. Parham in No. 2 in the XFL in receptions (20), receiving yards (273) and receiving touchdowns (4).
The tandem of RBs Cameron Artis-Payne and Lance Dunbar are hitting at least five yards per carry. Not to mention, both players have combined for a whopping 44 catches on 48 targets. For reference, the next closest RB (Donnell Pumphrey of DC) to those two has nine catches on 14 targets. This means that Dallas just isn’t capable of moving the ball down the field, limiting the number of big plays they’ll have.
Dallas has some of the best secondary players in the league. CBs Josh Hawkins and Donatello Brown will certainly make it difficult for New York’s WRs to make any kind of an impact in this game. With the injury Jones, this Renegades defense knows they’ll have to be the anchor for this team going down the stretch.
XFL Pick Week 5: Under 37 (-110)
Until New York proves it can play well on the road, we’re not going to have any confidence in them. Nine points in two road games won’t get it done. On the other side, the injury to Jones will have this Dallas offense turning more to the run. A lot of teams in the XFL haven’t been breaking off too many long runs, so we do feel very confident that the scoring will be kept to a minimum.
St. Louis BattleHawks at DC Defenders (+4/ML: +150) – Total: 39
Sunday, March 8, 2020 | 3:00 p.m. EST
Audi Field – Washington, DC
This should be a fantastic game between the St. Louis BattleHawks and DC Defenders. Both of these teams have shown there’s no place like home, and that could very well be the determining factor in this game. The third of our XFL betting picks is for DC to cover the four-point spread.
XFL Betting Line: St. Louis at DC
It wouldn’t be a total surprise to see St. Louis as the most-heavily bet team by the public this weekend. After all, they have won two straight games while DC has lost two straight by a margin of 64-9. However, it’s important to note St. Louis beat two of the league’s worst teams in New York and Seattle. DC has played very well at home, against those same two teams, and we believe they’ll be able to cover the four-point spread. After all, a lot of these teams are playing much better at home, and DC has a distinctive home-field advantage playing in the league’s smallest stadium.
St. Louis Betting Form
QB Jordan Ta’amu was named the XFL’s Star of the Week for his role in last week’s win against Seattle. He went 20-for-27 with a touchdown and added 63 yards on the ground. Ta’amu still has the best completion percentage (75.2%) to go along with the second-most passing yards (876) and second-best passer rating (105.9). In addition, no other player has a higher yards per carry (7.4) and no other QB has more rushing yards than Ta’amu (186).
Speaking of rushing the football, that might be an issue this week. RB Matt Jones is leading the league’s best ground attack with 216 yards. He also has the most rushing attempts in the XFL through four weeks. However, Jones did not practice on Wednesday because of a knee injury and his backup Christine Michael, did not practice either because of an illness. We’ll see how those injuries shake out through the week.
DC Betting Form
The Defenders will desperately welcome the return trip home after two embarrassing road losses. This is a team that was on top of the world after Week 2, heading out West with a 2-0 record. Then a bad Week 3 loss to LA was compounded by a Week 4 shutout loss in Tampa Bay.
So what has gone wrong for DC? Well, maybe they’re just not that good. Sure, there is a great wealth of skill players on this roster, but the offensive line has certainly been a glaring weakness in these road games.
QB Cardale Jones now has the second-most interceptions (6) in the league, with four of them coming in the loss to LA. Defenders head coach Pep Hamilton needs to just keep things simple and let Jones get the ball to WRs Rashaad Ross and Eli Rogers in open spaces.
DC surprisingly waived S Matt Elam during the week. Although it may not hurt them a ton this week, his absence will certainly hurt the Defenders sooner than later. Stopping the run is the most important part of DC’s game plan on Sunday,
XFL Pick Week 5: DC Defenders +4
As we mentioned, the home-field advantage is certainly a nice boost for these teams early on. We do like St. Louis as a team, but they’re not the type of offense that is going to score tons of points. This could very well end up being a low-scoring game that goes right down to the end. In that instance, we’ll certainly welcome getting points with the home team.
Tampa Bay Vipers at Los Angeles Wildcats (-2/ML: -130) – Total: 40
Sunday, March 8, 2020 | 9:00 p.m. EST
Dignity Health Sports Park – Carson, CA
A pair of 1-3 teams will look to get a win and keep their seasons alive, as the Tampa Bay Vipers travel across the country to face the Los Angeles Wildcats. Once again, we believe the home team will have a distinct advantage. The last of our week 5 XFL picks is for Los Angeles to cover the two-point spread.
XFL Betting Line: Tampa Bay at Los Angeles
We feel like this is an absolute steal, getting Los Angeles as a slight underdog. After all, Los Angeles played the first game of Week 4 and get tons of extra rest heading into this home game. Not to mention, Tampa Bay played the last game of Week 4 and now has to travel across the country for this one. The public may look at LA’s loss to New York last week and view them as a bad team. That’s not the case; LA had to travel across the country on a very short week and was just simply not prepared.
Tampa Bay Betting Form
The drama down in Tampa Bay subsided for a week, but this is still a poorly-coached football team. Granted, the move to Taylor Cornelius as starting QB may actually be finally paying dividends but that hope can only last for so long. The Vipers haven’t looked good in either of their two road games, and this will be an even more dubious task playing on the West Coast.
Tampa Bay does have the league’s leading rusher in RB De’Veon Smith, who has 295 yards at 4.5 yards per carry. He’ll be the primary focus of the offense once again, considering the Vipers will likely do everything they can to not let Cornelius turn the ball over on the road. Eventually, Tampa Bay will turn to the passing game. WRs Dan Williams (31) and Jalen Tolliver (29) rank third and fourth, respectively, in pass targets this season.
The Vipers defense did pitch a shutout last week against the Defenders – how fitting. While that was a stellar performance, they are facing one of the top QBs in the league this time around.
Los Angeles Betting Form
Speaking of that top QB, Josh Johnson is the analytical darling of the league so far. His 106.6 passer rating ranks tops among all players at the position. Not to mention, Johnson is second in passing touchdowns (7) and third in passing yards (788) – all of this, despite missing the first game of the season!
Johnson could still be without his best WR Nelson Spruce, who still isn’t practicing because of a knee injury. WR Tre McBride has stepped up in his absence while TE Jordan Smallwood is a massive target that should see more looks.
After firing their defensive coordinator for one bad performance in Week 1, the Wildcats have responded with some good performances in the last three games. Their best performances came at home, so it’ll be interesting to see if the LA faithful can get the crowd going in that small stadium for an XFL game once again.
XFL Pick Week 5: Los Angeles -2 (-110)
It’s a big shocker, we know, going with the home team again. However, there are just too many positives attached to LA in this matchup that we’ll take and run with. Johnson is clearly a better QB than Cornelius. Not to mention, Tampa Bay being less prepared is what really takes the cake. LA is a talented team that just had a brutal travel situation last week. Look for them to get back on the good foot and finally make something of this season.