I won’t even delay the inevitable. We went 4-4 again last week, for the third consecutive week in a row. I’m starting to convince myself that it’s incredible and I should be basking in it, knowing there’s a 2-6 weekend on the horizon sometime. The only problem I’m having as someone who likes to partner his spreads with game totals in a parlay, is that I’m going 1-1 in every game.
Basically, if you decided to fade my picks on over/under’s all season long, you’re 24-0 and probably not gambling this weekend because you’re going car shopping. Well let’s see, because the week four lines are mighty interesting and we could very well be in for a “Boom or Bust” type of weekend as far as gambling goes.
Thanks to our friends over at 5 Dimes Sportsbook for the lines again this week. For the first time in the XFL, the lines look calculated based on team scoring and trends. Which is always better for the sportsbook than the bettor. Totals are starting to trend away from that 40-44.5 area that they’ve been in for the first three weeks. This week we have a 50-burger on the board between Dallas and Houston, and two high-30’s in NY vs LA, and ST. Louis vs Seattle. This is an intriguing week of bets for sure. Let’s get into the picks.
LAST WEEKS RECORD: 4-4-0
OVERALL RECORD 12-12-0
New York Guardians +7.5 at home against the Los Angeles Wildcats
The Guardians are trending in the wrong direction. After a convincing week one win over Tampa Bay, their season has gone to shambles. DC blanked them in week two 27-0, and then they went to St. Louis and were ripped to shreds by the BattleHawks and their incredible home field advantage losing by 20 yet again. With that trend in mind, a 7.5 point spread seems like an easy bet to make for LA, but keep in mind our thought process from last week. DC was traveling across the country and playing a day later, now LA is traveling across country and playing a day sooner. To add to the fold, LA will reportedly be without Josh Johnson’s top weapon in WR Nelson Spruce.
For New York, it looks like QB Matt McGloin’s status is in question. He’s listed on the injury report with a Thorax injury, and until I Googled it I didn’t know that was a chest injury, but I knew it sounded like a Dr. Seuss character and that usually means it hurts. If McGloin is out, the QB duties will likely be split between Marquise Williams and Luis Perez, two QBs that combined to go 11 for 20 with 133 yards and 1 TD. That was far more productive than McGloin had been over his last five quarters of play. So it offers some light on the line and the total. But I’m just not sure if it’s enough, especially given how solid the Wildcat’s offense looked in week three.
It feels like a 21-9 final score to me.
My Pick: Wildcats -7.5 and Under 39
St. Louis BattleHawks -12.5 at home against the Seattle Dragons
There’s a lot to be said about St. Louis and their crowd, and the distinct home field advantage the Battle Dome provides that team. They outplayed the Guardians in all three facets of the game last week and had the win all but wrapped up in the first quarter. With that said, the game was pretty much a cupcake for the BattleHawks and Ta’Amu really got into a rhythm of not having to throw the ball and relying on the run game to chew clock and put NY out of their misery.
That could have a negative impact on St. Louis this weekend. On the other hand, Seattle is having problems of their own. Last week Brandon Silvers threw for two touchdowns, but failed on both point after attempts and is struggling to move the ball downfield for four straight quarters. In my head, I marry the home field advantage with Silvers’ erratic play and see another easy BattleHawks win, but I know that spread is really high and don’t feel 100% comfortable with the cover hitting. But that’s gambling, baby.
To me, it looks like a 26-12 final score. Really close to both not cashing, but they do.
My Pick: BattleHawks -12.5 and Under 38.5
Dallas Renegades +2 at home against the Houston Roughnecks
This is my pick for game of the week. Two good teams, two offenses that are clicking, and hopefully a lot of scoring. The sportsbooks agree with me, and they’ve made this the highest total for an XFL game this year. 50.5 points in simple terms calls for seven TDs and a field goal to hit. For some reason, that seems like a lock for this game: Houston is averaging 33 points a game this season, and Dallas is averaging 24.5 points with Landry Jones at quarterback. Based on averages, the over will hit, I also don’t think either defense is particularly great at limiting the opposing team in scoring.
Both teams are clicking, but Houston has been clicking one week longer and it makes sense that they’re favored despite being on the road. My one hope for this game is that it will be a three-hour exhibition that shows football fans that haven’t tuned into the XFL yet what the league is all about. Fast paced play, some name recognition, and loads of good football.
But I like the Roughnecks in this old west shootout, 34-30.
My Pick: Roughnecks -2 and Over 50.5
Tampa Bay Vipers +2.5 at home against the DC Defenders
There’s value in this line for sure. This line seems a bit heavy handed in last week’s showing by each team. DC was embarrassed in LA and lost by 30 to a winless Wildcats team. Tampa put up their best effort of the year and had the league-favorite Roughnecks on the ropes of an upset. However, I’d like to throw away last week. DC will be out for blood after last week, and Tampa could be getting Aaron Murray back this week.
I expect coach Pep Hamilton to have his best game to rebound from last week. Defenders QB Cardale Jones should also want to prove new doubters wrong after and abysmal week three where he threw four interceptions. But not to be outdone, I expect Murray to be back and have an impact on this game, whether it’s positive or negative I don’t know.
This feels like a game with four or five touchdowns between the teams. Clearly the books think these teams are almost even given the line is less than a field goal, but I’m not sure the final score will look that way in the end.
I think the Defenders bounce back and hand the Vipers another L, 28-16.
My Pick: Defenders -2.5 and Under 44.5
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