After nearly pulling off one of the biggest upsets of the season just a week ago, the Orlando Guardians look to finish the job when they take on the D.C. Defenders this Saturday.
Doing so will be no easy task seeing as D.C. is undoubtedly the strongest team in the league. The Reggie Barlow-coached squad sits a perfect 6-0, winning all games by an average of 9.1 points. Orlando, on the other hand, is the lone squad that has yet to win a game six weeks in.
Despite the two teams being polar opposites record-wise, the Guardians have shown great improvement in their last two games and could put up a better fight than everyone may expect.
Orlando Guardians (0-6) vs D.C. Defenders (6-0)
Time: Saturday, April 1st, 6:00 PM EST
Location: Camping World Stadium – Orlando, Florida
Television Broadcast: ESPN
Weather Forecast: 88F with partly cloudy skies expected, winds up to 14 mph
Betting Odds (per DraftKings Sportsbook):
Moneyline: ORL +390/SEA -490
Spread: ORL +10/SEA -10
Over/Under (points): 45.5
Guardians Week 7 Injury Report
Orlando’s injury luck remains strong, however, starting right guard, David Moore, has already been ruled out for Saturday’s contest. To make matters worse, Moore’s backup, Fred Lauina, also made the list and is questionable to go against the Defenders.
Head coach Terrell Buckley could be forced to play some guys out of position to account for the losses upfront. With D.C. currently sitting at #2 in the league with 19.0 sacks to date, this of course is not ideal. Additionally, it is important to note that in his three appearances this season, Quinten Dormady has been sacked seven times.
Orlando has looked stronger than ever over its last two contests. Despite coming in two losing efforts, Dormady has the offense playing at a much higher level than it was with Paxton Lynch and Deondre Francios under center.
Last week, Dormady and the Guardians’ offense dominated the red-hot Seattle Sea Dragons. Orlando finished with 391 yards of total offense with both scores coming on the ground. Week 6 marked the second straight game that Orlando has amassed over 360 yards on offense making it the first time it’s happened all season.
In fact, the Guardians’ offense has only managed to eclipse 300 yards four times this season, but has done so in all three games that Dormady has played.
To complement the offense’s newfound success, Orlando’s defense played much better after allowing 35 points a week prior. They kept the league’s leader in yards this season, Ben DiNucci, at bay for much of the game while also forcing a takeaway on the former Dallas Cowboy. Another solid outing by the defense – paired with more offensive greatness – could be the recipe for the biggest upset in the league’s history.
However, that will be much easier said than done against the powerhouse that has dominated the league all season. D.C. travels to Orlando after scoring a season-high 37 points against one of the league’s top teams the Houston Roughnecks just last week.
Buckley’s squad will have their hands full despite looking much improved recently. For that reason, it is hard to predict anything other than an Orlando loss on Saturday.
Prediction: Orlando Guardians 28, D.C. Defenders 37
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