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Week 5: Saturday Betting Guide for odds & picks

Roughnecks WR Nick Holley (33, receiving a hug) celebrates his Week 4 touchdown catch.

The Action Network's staff previews Saturday’s games, complete with their projected spread and a pick.

Seattle Dragons at Houston Roughnecks Odds

  • Spread: Roughnecks -12.5
  • Total: 46
  • Kickoff: 2 p.m. ET on Saturday
  • TV: ABC

Odds as of Saturday and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.


 

Dragons at Roughnecks Injury Report

The Dragons are about as healthy as they've been at any point this season. They will be without starting wide receiver Kasen Williams (quad) and starting defensive tackle Anthony Moten (ankle), but Williams has yet to suit up this year, and Moten hasn't played since Week 1.

Backup cornerback Johnathan Alston (knee) is technically questionable, but he also seems likely to miss his fourth straight game.

The Roughnecks, however, are dealing with some significant injuries. Starting wide receiver Sammie Coates (hamstring) is out, and starting slot receiver Kahlil Lewis (groin) is questionable. With Coates out and Lewis limited at best, wide receivers Cam Phillips and Nick Holley could have massive target volume.

Starting left defensive end Kony Ealy (shoulder) is also out. With his 74.5 pass-rushing grade (per Pro Football Focus), Ealy is one of the team's top defenders, and his presence will be missed.

Additionally, the Roughnecks will be without No. 3 running back De’Angelo Henderson (shoulder) for this fourth straight game and backup tackle Marquez Tucker (knee) for his third straight. Matthew Freedman

Key Mismatch

Roughnecks Pass Offense vs. Dragons Pass Defense

The Roughnecks passing game should be able to move the ball with relative ease against the Dragons.

The Roughnecks are No. 3 with a 70.0 PFF passing grade, thanks in large part to a second-best pass-blocking grade of 85.8. Meanwhile, the Dragons rank No. 7 with a 52.9 PFF coverage grade.

Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker is an MVP frontrunner with a 63.0% completion rate to go along with his league-best 987 yards passing and 12 touchdowns passing to just two interceptions.

The loss of wide receiver Sammie Coates (hamstring) might be addition by subtraction, as rotational receiver Sam Mobley has been the superior player (4-92-1 receiving on nine targets vs. 6-61-0 on 19 targets).

And starting wide receivers Cam Phillips, Kahlil Lewis and Nick Holley might be the best pass-catching trio in the league.

The Roughnecks have a league-high 69.3% pass-play rate, and as if they need any more motivation to throw, the Dragons have something of a funnel defense, given that they are No. 1 with a 74.3 PFF run-defense grade.

We should see the Roughnecks pass the ball often and with success this week. Ben Rolfe

Our Projected Odds

You’ll find our experts’ consensus spread as well as Sean Koerner’s total below. Find their projections for every Week 5 game here.

  • Our Experts' Consensus Spread: Roughnecks -12.8
  • Koerner's Projected Total: 49.6

Picks

Matthew Freedman: Dragons-Roughnecks Over 45.5

The Roughnecks are No. 1 in the league with 31.5 points scored per game. With their aggressive passing attack -- they have league-high marks with a 69.3% pass-play rate and 8.2% passing touchdown rate -- the Roughnecks have the type of offense that on its own can drive a total to the over.

And their defense more than chips in. Despite having a league-high eight interceptions and 11 sacks, the Roughnecks have allowed an XFL-worst 22.0 points per game.

As for the Dragons, they seem primed to do their part. They just barely trail the Roughnecks in points allowed per game with 21.8, and on defense, they are especially exploitable in the secondary. They have the second-worst PFF coverage grade with a mark of 52.9, and slot corner Steve Williams (41.2 PFF coverage grade, 17 receptions allowed on 18 targets) will be especially vulnerable against slot receivers Kahlil Lewis and Nick Holley, who just combined last week for 14-150-1 receiving on 23 targets.

The Dragons are yet to score even 20 points in a game, but quarterback B.J. Daniels is expected to start in place of benched starter Brandon Silvers, and in one half of action last week, Daniels passed for 100 yards and a touchdown and added 84 yards rushing. With a change at quarterback, the Dragons might finally be able to move the ball with more consistency.

The Roughnecks are 3-1 to the over, and they would likely be 4-0 if Dallas Renegades backup quarterback Philip Nelson hadn’t fumbled the ball at the 3-yard line last week right as his team was moving in for the score.

I’ve bet the over to 48.

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John Ferguson: Dragons +12.5

Betting against the spread has been one of the tougher tasks so far in the XFL, with six of the eight teams currently holding a record of 2-2 ATS. Having said that, one of my favorite bets for this week is taking the Seattle Dragons at +13.5 at BetMGM. Most books have this line available at +12.5.

The Houston Roughnecks are obvious favorites coming into this game and are commonly atop most power rankings. While I won’t argue with that notion, I do think that the public and sportsbooks alike are more bullish on this team than they should be. The Roughnecks' only blowout came in Week 1 in a 37-17 bashing of the Wildcats in which L.A. had to start a backup quarterback. Since then, Houston hasn’t won a game by more than 7 points.

The Dragons have underwhelmed this season, but they have kept from getting completely blown out of the water. They figure to go forward with B.J Daniels over Brandon Silvers at quarterback, which should be an upgrade on offense.

The Dragons haven’t lost by more than 12 points this season and carry a -5.8 average point differential per game, and Houston is at +9.5. Those numbers point towards Seattle possessing the capability to cover any spread in the double digits, but I'm most comfortable betting this line at +12 or better.

[Bet now at DraftKings. NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

Read the full Wildcats-Guardians breakdown on The Action Network.


The Renegades run game -- anchored by Lance Dunbar (25, above) and Cameron Artis-Payne -- will need to step up with Landry Jones (knee) out.

New York Guardians at Dallas Renegades Odds

  • Spread: Renegades -7.5
  • Total: 37.5
  • Kickoff: 5 p.m. ET on Saturday
  • TV: FOX

Odds as of Friday afternoon and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


Our staff previews Saturday's game, complete with their projected spread and two picks.

Guardians vs. Renegades Injury Report

The Guardians are amazingly healthy. Every single player on their injury report for Thursday practiced in full. The only questionable player is free safety Andrew Soroh (head, knee), but he seems likely to suit up.

The player to monitor most is quarterback Matt McGloin (thorax), who missed Week 4. In his absence, the Guardians managed a 17-14 win over the Los Angeles Wildcats, but they averaged just 2.7 yards per play.

This week, McGloin reportedly split first-team reps with backup Luis Perez, who had a 69.3% completion rate in Week 4, so it's not a given that McGloin will reclaim his starting job.

We might not have any clarity on the Guardians quarterback situation until a couple of hours before kickoff.

As for the Renegades, they will be without starting quarterback Landry Jones (knee) and starting left guard Salesi Uhatafe, who last played in Week 3. Otherwise, they are healthy -- but it's tremendously less than ideal for them to have a backup quarterback starting behind a compromised offensive line. Matthew Freedman

Key Mismatch

Dallas Running Backs vs. Guardians Run Defense

With starting quarterback Landry Jones (knee) out, the Renegades will likely need to lean on their running backs.

The Guardians have given up 113.5 rushing yards per game this season (the third-highest average in the league), and in Week 3 they struggled to stop St. Louis BattleHawks running backs Matt Jones and Christine Michael, who combined for 139 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

As big home favorites, the Renegades could have a run-heavy game script, which would benefit the backfield duo of Cameron Artis-Payne and Lance Dunbar, and the team is No. 1 with an 81.0 running grade (per Pro Football Focus).

Artis-Payne especially seems positioned for a big game. He leads the league with a 51.3% rushing market share and 88.7 PFF running grade. And he's No. 1 among all starting backs with 5.3 yards per carry.

But Dunbar is not to be ignored. He has 5.0 yards per carry on the year and 3.14 yards after contact per carry, which is impressive for a smaller, change-of-pace back.

And if the running game stalls, both backs are strong receivers. Artis-Payne leads all backs with 86 routes, and Dunbar is first at the position with 25 targets, more than any wide receiver on his team has.

One way or another, Artis-Payne and Dunbar are likely to produce, probably be through the running game. John Ferguson

Our Projected Odds

You’ll find our experts’ consensus spread as well as Sean Koerner’s total below. Find their projections for every Week 5 game here.

  • Our Experts' Consensus Spread: Renegades -7.8
  • Koerner's Projected Total: 35.4

Picks

Chris Raybon: Renegades-Guardians Under 37.5

You generally need to be able to throw the ball to get over the total, and all three of New York's quarterbacks are below the league average of 6.5 yards per pass attempt: Luis Perez "leads" the way at 6.2, followed by Marquise Williams at 5.9 and Matt McGloin at 5.3.

Dallas may be joining New York in the league's passing basement with starting quarterback Landry Jones (knee) out. Jones averaged a respectable 6.6 yards per attempt, but backup Phillip Nelson is averaging only 5.0 on 21 attempts, last in the XFL among 11 quarterbacks with 20-plus attempts.

Guardians games are averaging an XFL-low 30.0 combined points, and Renegades games are averaging 37.5 combined points, tied for third-lowest.

The league-wide median for all games so far is 38.5, and this total comes way too close to that for two teams who each have quarterback issues, and whose combined point totals have been below average.

I would bet the under down to 36.

[Bet now at DraftKings. NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

Bill Monighetti: Renegades-Guardians Under 37.5

With Jones expected to miss multiple games, Dallas is forced to turn to Nelson. Jones had essentially become the Jameis Winston of the XFL with his high-yardage, high-interception profile, but he kept the offense moving.

I do not expect quite as much from Nelson, who dinked-and-dunked his way to 209 passing yards on 169 air yards in Week 1 in a 15-9 loss to St. Louis. The BattleHawks' defense is in a different class than the Guardians', but New York held Tampa Bay to just 3 points in Week 1 and Los Angeles to 14 points in Week 4.

Meanwhile, the Guardians have struggled on offense all year. They are ranked last in the league at 12.3 points per game. They have been even worse on the road, scoring only 9 total points in two games away from MetLife Stadium. Quarterback play has been an issue, and that doesn't figure to change in Week 5 even with Matt McGloin (thorax) trending towards a return.

I expect this to be an ugly, low-scoring game and would bet the under down to 36.

[Bet now at DraftKings. NJ, PA, IN and WV only.] Read the full Dragons-BattleHawks breakdown on The Action Network.

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