Orlando enters its final week of the season after a disappointing, 25-23 loss to the San Antonio Bahamas. Week 9’s loss marked the third straight Guardians game that has been decided by two or fewer points. While the playoffs are no longer in contention for Terrell Buckley’s squad, they will have a chance to muck things up with a win on Saturday.
The St. Louis Battlehawks are still in the playoff race, however, an Orlando win nullifies that. Even if the Battlehawks do come away victorious, their path to the playoffs isn’t exactly clear-cut. For a complete breakdown of playoff scenarios, check out Mike Mitchell’s breakdown here.
Orlando Guardians (1-8) vs St. Louis Battlehawks (6-3)
Time: Saturday, April 22nd, 12:00 PM EST
Location: The Dome at America’s Center – St. Louis, MO
Television Broadcast: ESPN, ESPN+
Betting Odds (per DraftKings Sportsbook):
Moneyline: ORL +310/STL -380
Spread: ORL +9/STL -9
Over/Under (points): 48
Guardians Injury Report
Orlando appears to be relatively healthy heading into the season finale. The Guardians will be without backup tight-end, Logan Carter, who is dealing with a quad injury. Carter’s first XFL season comes to an end with the former Oklahoma State walk-on racking up 13 receptions for 100 yards.
Oddsmakers are giving St. Louis a fairly large edge heading into the final game of the season. This may come as a surprise seeing as the Battlehawks will be playing on just six days’ rest after a 30-12 blowout loss to the Seattle Sea Dragons.
However, one factor that could have influenced the lopsided spread is the top-notch home field advantage St. Louis receives from its fans. With the playoffs on the line, there is no doubt that the city will show up in full support.
It will be up to Quinten Dormady and company to try and spoil their fun.
Dormady has been named the starter for the season finale, however, it is not certain that he will play the entirety of the contest. He finished last week’s game just 9 of 17 for 47 yards with one touchdown and one interception. It is highly likely that both Deondre Francois and Quinton Flowers get a shot, especially if things start to get out of hand.
One player whose playing time is already set in stone is Devin Darrington. The Harvard grad has taken the lead back role and ran with it, no pun intended. Darrington finished last week with 16 carries for 133 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort. Orlando should have the advantage on the ground with the Battlehawks allowing the most rushing yards in the league, 131 per game.
If the Guardians can control the tempo of the game by staying consistent on the ground, they surely have a chance to steal the game on the road. However, that will be much easier said than done, especially with the Battlehawks having so much to play for. Orlando should be able to keep things close, but will likely fall just short in this one.
Prediction: Orlando Guardians 26, St. Louis Battlehawks 31
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