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Six of the eight teams in the XFL were either unbeaten or unbeaten last weekend, and two crucial meetings in Week 3 determined who would move up or down the standings. The DC Defenders’ 34-28 win over St. Louis propelled them to the top of the North Division and joined Houston as the league’s only undefeated team. In Vegas, Josh Gordon’s 65-yard touchdown in fourth and second in the dying minutes gave Seattle its first win of the season. The heartbreaking 30-26 loss dropped Vegas to 3-0, putting them in unflattering company with the Orlando Guardians as the league’s only winless teams.
If something above caught your attention, it should score. Offense showed as team rating increased from 17 to 22 points per game and yards per game increased from 4.1 to 5.2. The favorites went 2-1-1, and the totals shared at 2-2, moving them to 6-5-1 to finish the season. Betting trends have yet to emerge as home and away teams, favorites and underdogs all start Week 3 5-5-2 ATS.
My best bets article was shared last week after weathering Saturday’s total and rallied by clinching two out of three in Sunday’s triple header. After seeing such a big jump on offense, I’m going to be pumping breaks on bet totals and shooting in on both sides. We have two revenge games where the teams face each other for the second time this season. Let’s get to the picks and see if we can get a sweep in week 4.
Houston Roughnecks (-8.5) with the Orlando Guardians
We saw this matchup in Week 1 when Wade Phillips’ defense sacked the Orlando quarterbacks seven times and forced four turnovers in a 33-12 win. The Roughnecks are the most reliable team in the XFL, winning by at least nine points in all three weeks. In Week 3, Houston beat San Antonio 374-162 while holding Brahma’s QB Jack Coan for 64 yards on 20 tries. Phillips’ roughneck defense leads the XFL in sacks and has conceded just 3.4 and 2.3 yards per game in consecutive weeks. The Guardians signed QB Quinton Flowers in a desperate bid to fuel their offense, but Flowers is best known for requesting a trade after being benched for the Tampa Bay Vipers in 2020. I’ll keep betting on Houston until it stops paying out. Houston (-8.5)
San Antonio Brahmas (+4.5) with the Seattle Sea Dragons
The Seattle Sea Dragons are a problem for bettors. Seattle put up over 500 yards of offense against Vegas but still couldn’t cover with a push as a 4-point favorite. It consistently outperforms its opponents by a massive margin (1.7 yards per game) but has a minus 7 turnover margin this season. I’m convinced turnovers are part of its DNA, but it can be good enough offensively where it doesn’t matter. At 0-2-1 ATS, however, it’s not there yet. San Antonio has the pass rush to force Ben DiNucci into errors and the running game to gain possession time and keep the Sea Dragons offense off the field. The points are valuable with the Brahmas. San Antonio (+4.5)
Arlington Renegades (+3.5) at St Louis BattleHawks
We’re fading out Bob Stoops here. The Renegades impressed last week with a 10-9 win over Orlando. QB Kyle Sloter didn’t improve on offense as the Guardians passed Arlington by 93 yards, 0-3. The fact that Arlington sits at 2-1 despite having the worst net yards-per-play difference in the league (-1.2) allows us to take advantage of the Renegades, which are still overvalued in the market. The Renegades’ disruptive defense could expose the BattleHawks’ weak offensive line, so I’ll refrain from scoring that many points with St. Louis, who scored their two wins by a field goal or less. The atmosphere is going to be crazy in the BattleHawks’ first game in St. Louis, and I see no way they won’t come out with the dub. Money Line St. Louis (-175)
Vegas Vipers (+6) at DC Defenders
Defenders proved me wrong on both sides of the ball last week. They turned around St. Louis four times and QB Jordan Ta’amu made several explosive passes in critical situations, something he hadn’t shown us in a long time. DC ran 18-6 in torrential rains across Vegas in Week 2, but I liked what I saw of Vegas’ offense in QB Brett Hundley’s first dry-weather action. Hundley passed for 224 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 66 yards. Vegas averaged 5.8 yards per game, the third-highest mark of the season and better than any team outside of Seattle. Six points is a lot to lie with DC who likes to take wins on the floor. Vegas should move the ball enough to keep this competitive. With the Vipers, this number is valuable. Vegas (+6)
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