XFL Week 2 Best Bets: Are the Roughnecks the Best Team?

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Max Borghi #22 of Houston Roughnecks avoids a tackle attempt by Marcus Murphy Jr. #38 of Orlando Guardians. Bob Levey/Getty Images/AFP.

Picks Summary

  • Battlehawks vs. Sea Dragons: Battlehawks +3 (-110) at Bovada
  • Defenders vs. Vipers: Over 36.5 (-110) at Bovada
  • Brahmas vs. Guardians: Vipers First Half -1.5 (-110) at Bovada
  • Renegades vs. Roughnecks: Roughnecks -4 (-110) at Bovada

XFL Top Pick of the Week

Renegades vs. Roughnecks: Roughnecks -4 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Roughnecks -4 (-110)
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With so much uncertainty in how the XFL would look to start the 2023 season, Week 1 was a success in producing three very close finishes, including one unbelievable 12-point comeback by St. Louis in the final minutes.

In the 2020 XFL season, only two of the 20 games were decided by fewer than 6 points. In Week 1, 3-of-4 games were decided by no more than 4 points.

In football, offenses are usually ahead of the defenses at the start of the season since the offense is designed to attack with a plan and the defense is more reactionary. But defenses were absolutely ahead of the offenses in Week 1. Maybe that says something about the lack of preseason or time working together, but the offensive lines could not gel much to get the run games going.

The best team may very well prove to be the one that finds its offensive footing the fastest. Still, favorites were 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS, and the over was 3-1 in Week 1 with three games reaching 40 points. With four more games in Week 2, we have our best XFL bets that you can find at many U.S. betting sites.

Arlington Renegades vs. Houston Roughnecks

Sunday, February 26, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at TDECU Stadium

To close this Week 2 slate Sunday night, the Houston Roughnecks are a 4-point favorite, the largest spread yet in the XFL this season.

Teams Analysis

Houston Roughnecks

That is what happens when Houston won 33-12 against Orlando last week behind a dominant defensive performance. It was a dominant defensive performance with 7 sacks and 3 interceptions as Wade Phillips’ defense chased starting quarterback Paxton Lynch to the bench.

Houston also was content with passing a lot in the blowout win, throwing 42 times with 26 completions for Brandon Silvers at quarterback. Running back Max Borghi was tied for third in Week 1 with 42 rushing yards for the Roughnecks.

Arlington Renegades

Drew Plitt was somewhat efficient at quarterback for Arlington with 19-of-25 passing for 172 yards, but very few points came out of that passing game. The running game was also stuffed at the goal line early in the fourth quarter, which led to the go-ahead pick-six, the second in the half.

The Pick

This is the only game between 1-0 teams this week, but it is hard to get too enamored with the way the Renegades played offensively against Vegas. They needed two pick-sixes and a botched punt (among other things) to make that 22-20 comeback win.

Houston got a favorable draw to start this season with lowly Orlando first and now a second home game against Arlington. This is a great opportunity for Phillips to start 2-0, and we like him to do so with another cover here.

XFL Pick: Roughnecks -4 (-110) at Bovada

San Antonio Brahmas vs. Orlando Guardians

Sunday, February 26, 2023 – 04:00 PM EST at Camping World Stadium

Teams Analysis

San Antonio Brahmas

Oh my, Hines Ward’s head coaching debut went so well for 57 minutes for San Antonio against favored St. Louis last Sunday. But then the new XFL rules kicked in and the Brahmas could not close. St. Louis scored a touchdown and went for a 3-point conversion from the 10-yard line to make it 15-12.

Then instead of an onside kick, which has become the toughest play in football to convert, the XFL rules allow for a fourth-and-15 conversion to regain another possession. The Battlehawks converted that too and went on to score the game-winning touchdown with 16 seconds left.

Just one stop on the first two-point conversion and we might have seen overtime. Just one stop on fourth-and-15 and San Antonio wins that game.

Orlando Guardians

The reason above is why you should expect to see San Antonio come out strong after that tough loss and take care of business early against an Orlando team that was blown out 33-12 in Week 1, the only XFL blowout so far.

The Pick

We like the first-half spread in this one, and hopefully, for San Antonio fans, they finish the game this week too.

XFL Pick: Vipers First Half -1.5 (-110) at Bovada

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St. Louis Battlehawks vs. Seattle Sea Dragons

Thursday, February 23, 2023 – 09:00 PM EST at Lumen Field

The first Thursday night game of the XFL season sees the Seattle Sea Dragons as a 3-point favorite at the XFL odds in hosting the St. Louis Battlehawks.

Teams Analysis

St. Louis Battlehawks

If this was an NFL game, we would likely just back the team with the better quarterback, so that might still be the case here. AJ McCarron used his experience to overcome five sacks and rally for two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to lead an unbelievable comeback win over San Antonio.

Seattle Sea Dragons

Later that night, Ben DiNucci saw his team blow an 18-16 fourth-quarter lead, and while he threw the ball a league-high 54 times, he only gained 5.2 yards per attempt and was unable to lead the go-ahead touchdown drive in Seattle’s 22-18 loss.

The Pick

McCarron averaged 7.3 yards per pass, the highest of any starter in Week 1 and the only starter to top 7. Backup Quinten Dormady averaged 7.9 yards per attempt off the bench for the Guardians but also threw two picks.

St. Louis was the favored team for the championship going into Week 1, and the offensive line performance was very shaky for this opener. But McCarron found a way to deliver, and we cannot ignore how great the St. Louis defense was for much of that game too.

This is a quick turnaround to Thursday night, but we will back the better quarterback to get the cover and keep it close with the Sea Dragons.

XFL Pick: Battlehawks +3 (-110) at Bovada

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Battlehawks +3 (-110)
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DC Defenders vs. Vegas Vipers

Saturday, February 25, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Cashman Field

The Vipers are a 3-point favorite with a total of 36.5 points.

Teams Analysis

Vegas Vipers

For all intents and purposes, the Vipers threw away their Week 1 game to Arlington. A pair of pick-sixes doomed them in the second half as Luis Perez spoiled an otherwise solid day as the only quarterback to throw three touchdowns in Week 1.

This could lead to Brett Hundley, the former Packers quarterback and backup to Aaron Rodgers, getting the Week 2 start now that he is healthier. The team already paid $200,000 for his services, so that big contract (in XFL terms) is likely going to dictate a change at quarterback. The pick-sixes just make it easier.

But Vegas showed a good feel for moving the ball. They just have to clean up the mistakes.

DC Defenders

The Defenders also scored 22 points in their first game, a 22-18 win over Seattle. Jordan Ta’amu did not light it up in Week 1 with 86 yards and an interception, but he is an experienced starter in XFL and USFL circles.

The Pick

This feels like a good game for the Over to hit as it is tied for the lowest of Week 2. But both teams are more than capable of scoring 20 points again this week.

XFL Pick: Over 36.5 (-110) at Bovada

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Over 36.5 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.