The 2023 XFL season is officially upon us, and we are finally getting XFL and USFL action together for our viewing pleasure this Spring football season. Sportsbooks are now available on that device in your pocket all over the world, and so this is going to be a Spring Football season like no other. I’ll be here every week providing sports betting advice for XFL action, so join me here and let’s get Xtreme. Be sure to also read all our other weekly XFL fantasy football articles.
Also, don’t fret…I’ll be back, right here, to talk about gambling on the USFL in April; and if we ever start expanding into the realms of the European League of Football, Indoor Football League, Fan Controlled Football, and/or (I can only hope) the CPBL of Taiwan come baseball season–I’ll be right here to discuss the full happenings across the board.
They might not be the #1…or #2 leagues…but damn it, we’ve congregated here because we love sports. So, when the powers to be in professional sports decide to supply our hungry demand for more year-round action, it would be fundamentally and morally wrong of us to not take a head-first dive into Spring Football education so that we can continue to enter DFS contests and place anxiety-inducing bets on games that most of our friends and family probably won’t even know are being played–and if you’re still reading this paragraph, I am fully confident that you share my sentiment on that point. Anyway, let’s get to talking about the Spring Football league that could’ve only been originally brought to us by the minds behind the WWE. XFL 2023: let’s rock.
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The Sea Dragons are finally translating their lead-leading offense into winning results while the Defenders have cruised to the top of the North Division with an undefeated record through four weeks. However, Seattle and D.C. both face their toughest tests of the season in the first two matchups of week 5, while the final two contests of the weekend should go a long way towards establishing who the worst team in the league is and how the teams within the clearly-defined bottom tier shuffle out amongst each other. My picks on the spread went 3-1 last week (Seattle comes through for me, but by just a few too many points) and we hit on the Brahmas-Sea Dragons Under 40.5 “Wager of the Week”, so with our vastly improved confidence, let’s do one better this week.
Week 5 Power Rankings
- D.C. Defenders
- Houston Roughnecks
- St. Louis Battlehawks
- Seattle Sea Dragons
- San Antonio Brahmas
- Las Vegas Vipers
- Arlington Renegades
- Orlando Guardians
Week 5 MVP Ladder
- Brandon Silvers (QB, Roughnecks)
- A.J. McCarron (QB, Battlehawks)
- Brian Hill (RB, Battlehawks)
- Max Borghi (RB, Roughnecks)
- Josh Gordon (WR, Sea Dragons)
- Jontre Kirklin (WR, Roughnecks)
- Ben DiNucci (QB, Sea Dragons)
- Abram Smith (RB, Defenders)
- Jahcour Pearson (WR, Sea Dragons)
- Hakeem Butler (WR, Battlehawks)
- *Honorable Mentions (and Some Love for the Playmakers on Defense)*: Morgan Ellison (RB, Sea Dragons), Jordan Ta’amu (QB, Defenders), Jeff Badet (WR, Vipers), Emmanuel Ellerbee (LB, Roughnecks), Willie Harvey (LB, Battlehawks), Trent Harris (LB, Roughnecks), Tim Ward (DL, Roughnecks), Jarrell Owens (DL, Defenders), Tuzar Skipper (LB, Sea Dragons), Michael Joseph (DB, Defenders), Sean Davis (DB, Roughnecks), Ajene Harris (DB, Roughnecks), Nate Meadors (DB, Battlehawks), and the two best tight ends in the league: Cody Latimer (TE, Guardians) & Sal Cannella (TE, Renegades).
Houston Roughnecks at Seattle Sea Dragons (Thursday, March 16th, 10:30 PM)
Best Bet: Roughnecks (-3)
The Sea Dragons have now won two straight and are back to .500 with their league-leading offense finally translating to positive results. Morgan Ellison has proven capable of breaking out for huge plays, at least against a couple of the softer defenses in the XFL, and the WR duo of Josh Gordon and Jahcour Pearson gives Ben DiNucci an array of appealing options with every down; not to mention the fact that they have featured a surprising amount of defensive play-makers. Even still, the Houston Roughnecks have looked phenomenal on both ends from the start of the season, and while Seattle was struggling out of the gate, the Roughnecks were running up high scores and cruising to easy victories. Granted, Houston has played most of their games at home thus far against a weak slate of opponents, but the on-field product makes me more confident in Houston as a complete football team. Sea Dragon fans will have to get up for this one if they want to pick up an early signature win, but while Seattle still seems to be figuring things out and Max Borghi likely being back in action, I’ll still opt for Houston up to 3.5 points.
D.C. Defenders at St. Louis Battlehawks (Saturday, March 18th, 7 PM)
Best Bet: Battlehawks (+2)
The Defenders have ridden their ground attack to an undefeated record to include a win at home in the Beersnake Garden against the Battlehawks. The Battlehawks are probably the second-most complete team in the league behind Houston with A.J. McCarron performing well, Brian Hill revving up, and a slew of difference-makers on defense. But while St. Louis fell on the road in front of the strong D.C. crowd, it has become clear since then that the Battlehawks have one of, if not, the best home home environments in the XFL, and if Jordan Ta’amu continues to only be a threat on his feet, then I think the St. Louis defense holds up against the Defenders rushing game, while St. Louis will have enough options on offense to stretch D.C. out and ultimately end up with more points on the board for a fanbase hungry for a revenge-spot win over an undefeated rival(?). I think the wrong team is favored in this one–St. Louis covers and comes through on the ML.
Orlando Guardians at Vegas Vipers (Saturday, March 18th, 10 PM)
Best Bet: Guardians (+7.5)
Just when Brett Hundley was starting to look alright, he reverts to sub-par last week, and a hamstring injury leads to Luis Perez entering the game and immediately looking like the alternative professional football legend that he is. To further confuse things in this battle of the two winless organizations, they both are coming off of matchups against the remaining undefeated groups, and Paxton Lynch had easily his best game of the season at home against in week 4 against the Roughnecks, with Orlando ultimately putting up 16 points–which was about 10-16 more than I expected. The Vipers definitely have play-makers like Jeff Badet that could do serious damage to this Orlando secondary, especially if Luis Perez gets the start due to the hamstring injury of Hundley and/or logical decision-making from HC Rod Woodson. Vegas might be the team with greater sex appeal, but their flashes of competence are still only good for an 0-4 record, same as the Guardians, and Paxton Lynch’s burgeoning connection with converted TE Cody Latimer leads me to believe they might be able to reach their mark of 16 from last week, if not surpass it. If Luis Perez is starting, I still like Orlando to cover this even in a solid victory for Vegas, say, 22-16, but even with Perez I think Orlando has a 33-45% chance of winning this. If Hundley gets the start, hammer +7.5 and emphatically throw down on the ML.
Arlington Renegades at San Antonio Brahmas (Sunday, March 19th, 10 PM)
Best Bet: Brahmas (-2)
If I told you that after week 3 of this season that Jordan Ta’amu and Kyle Sloter were starting at QB for two teams with a combined 5-1 record and are both simultaneously performing at the bottom among XFL QBs, you’d assume that something insane or horrible had happened–but that is not the case, it’s just Spring Football. Kyle led a “Sloter Saturday” in reverse last week in a 24-11 loss in St. Louis by committing four turnovers (three INT, one fumble), and while he is still the probable starter, Bob Stoops has acknowledged the uncertainty for Arlington at QB and the possibility that Drew Plitt takes the reigns back (and it is hard to blame him). Even still, the Renegades are 2-0 at home with lackluster wins in their two games against bad teams and 0-2 on the road to two of the best teams in the XFL, so it is difficult to pinpoint exactly where they are while Kyle Sloter at least seems to be gaining comfort and (maybe too much) confidence with his connection to old All-USFL TE buddy Sal Cannella. On the road again against the best of the worst XFL teams in San Antonio, the Brahmas defense should be the most prominent element of this game and will cause nightmares for Sloter if the Renegades O-line continues to leave him a sitting duck. Low-ceiling of Jack Coan (get this man one of those aforementioned tight ends) and inefficiency of Kalen Ballage aside, I think even their highly conservative offense will prove at least 3 points better than Arlington’s defense can tolerate in a low-scoring affair–approximately 13 or 14 to 10. So with the added home advantage, I love the Brahmas to cover here, and definitely go with under 35.5.
Wager of the Week
Roughnecks at Sea Dragons Over 41.5
Against the bottom half of the XFL, Houston has already proven capable of going this high on their own, so even if Ben DiNucci reverts to committing multiple frustrating turnovers, this Sea Dragons offense now appears to be at a place where they can reach their offensive potential against the league’s upper-echelon. The Houston Defense is strong, and the defensive play-making of Seattle actually now seems a bit underrated, but offense will be the hallmark of this matchup–so even if the defenses are able to hold the other side in greater check than other teams have been able to, it’s most probable that the minimum final score of this game is somewhere around 22 to 20 with the possibility that both teams either reach 30+ or closely flirt with it, so over 41.5 seems like a no-brainer.
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