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Week 3: Saturday Betting Guide for odds & picks

Houston Roughnecks wide receivers, including Cam Phillips (four touchdowns this season), should give the Tampa Bay Vipers trouble in the secondary.

The Action Network offers weekly tips on betting lines, point spreads, odds and picks.

Here's an excerpt from their articles previewing Week 3's Saturday XFL games. The Houston Roughnecks (2-0) are the guests for the Tampa Bay Vipers' (0-2) home opener at Raymond James Stadium. The day of action ends with the Dallas Renegades (1-1) visiting the Seattle Dragons (1-1).

(Odds courtesy of FanDuel as of Friday; they may update in their SportsBook.)

Houston Roughnecks at Tampa Bay Vipers Odds

  • Spread: Roughnecks -6.5
  • Total: 45

Key Matchup

Renegades pass offense vs. Vipers pass defense

So far, the Houston passing game has been nothing short of spectacular. Quarterback P.J. Walker looks like the MVP frontrunner, and he has the league’s best pass-catching quartet in wide receivers Cam Phillips, Sammie Coates, Kahlil Lewis and Nick Holley.

On Saturday, they get an exploitable Vipers secondary that likely won’t be able to hang with them.

As noted in Matthew Freedman’s Week 3 WR/CB matchup piece, the Vipers secondary is beatable. Perimeter cornerbacks Anthony Kelly and Tarvarus McFadden have above-average respective coverage grades of 71.5 and 72.8 (per Pro Football Focus), but they had an easy schedule with matchups against Guardians quarterback Matt McGloin (47.9% completion rate) and Dragons quarterback Brandon Silvers (47.1%).

On top of that, the Vipers are somewhat unsettled at slot corner, and they’ll need to use two slot defenders against the Renegades’ four-wide base formation.

Houston is a pass-first offense with its 68.6% pass play rate: The Renegades will continue to throw throughout the game, and the Vipers will probably struggle to stop them. -- Mike Vitanza


Ben Rolfe: Roughnecks -6.5

The Roughnecks have been ruthless through the first two weeks, averaging a league-high 32.5 points per game, and they’ve been incredibly efficient as the only team to need fewer than 10 yards per point. By contrast, the Vipers have been one of the most wasteful teams, averaging more than 50 yards per point.

The turnover count tells the story: The Roughnecks have committed one turnover to the Vipers’ eight. On the defensive side of the ball, the Roughnecks have forced five turnovers. The Vipers, just one turnover.

Otherwise, the teams aren’t too far apart, but the Roughnecks have figured out both sides of the ball -- while the Vipers have struggled to find any rhythm on offense, especially without starting quarterback Aaron Murray.

This line has already moved in favor of the Roughnecks and could go further, but this play should be good up to -8, even on the road.

Read the full Roughnecks-Vipers breakdown on The Action Network.

Dallas Renegades HC Bob Stoops and OC Hal Mumme roll into Seattle to face the Dragons in Week 3.

Dallas Renegades at Seattle Dragons Odds

  • Spread: Renegades -4
  • Total: 43

Key Matchup

Renegades rush offense vs. Dragons rush defense

After looking like a team that had little interest in running through the first six quarters, the Renegades relied on the ground game in the second half of Week 2 and found success. Running back Cameron Artis-Payne was able to get yards at will against the Los Angeles Wildcats.

Meanwhile, the Seattle defense allowed over 6.5 yards per carry to the Tampa Bay Vipers in Week 2. Overall, the Seattle run defense has been mediocre with a grade of 62.4 (per Pro Football Focus).

If Seattle cannot step up against the Dallas running game, then Artis-Payne should be able to accrue chunk yardage, which might take the home crowd out of the game. Additionally, if Seattle has to commit more men to stopping the run, that will open up more options for offensive coordinator Hal Mumme’s Air Raid offense downfield.

If Seattle cannot make key stops against the Renegades early, then this game could get out of hand quickly, especially with all the injuries and question marks Seattle has on offense. — Rolfe


Matthew Freedman: Under 43

The Dragons have yet to score 20 points in a game, and the Renegades failed to find the end zone for the first seven quarters of the season.

In my takeaways piece for Week 3, I note that totals were inflated in Weeks 1 and 2 -- the under has gone 6-2 so far -- and I still think most of the totals are too high for Week 3.

I’d bet the under down to 41.5.

Read the full Renegades-Dragons breakdown on The Action Network.