DC Defenders vs. Los Angeles Wildcats XFL Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Will D.C. Move to 3-0?

DC Defenders vs. Los Angeles Wildcats XFL Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Will D.C. Move to 3-0? article feature image
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Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Tracy Sprinkle, Tavaris Barnes

  • The D.C. Defenders (-8) have looked like the XFL's best team over the first two weeks of the season. Will they cover a big spread against L.A. on Sunday?
  • Our experts break down the game's top matchups in their full betting analysis of Sunday's marquee matchup.

Defenders at Wildcats Odds

  • Spread: Defenders -8
  • Total: 44
  • Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET on Sunday
  • TV: FS1

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


Our staff previews Sunday’s game, complete with their projected spread and a pick.

Defenders-Wildcats Injury Report

For the Defenders, wide receiver Malachi Dupre (shoulder) practiced on a limited basis on Friday and is tentatively expected to play through his questionable tag. Rotational defensive end Tavaris Barnes (thigh) missed practice on Friday and looks to be on the doubtful side of questionable.

For the Wildcats, starting quarterback Josh Johnson (thigh) was limited in practice this week, but he’s expected to play through his questionable status after making his season debut last week. Backup quarterback Chad Kanoff (shoulder/head) will miss his second straight week.

The Wildcats will also be without starting edge defender Willie Mays (neck), starting cornerback Harlan Miller (thigh) and backup center Kahlil McKenzie (ankle).

Starting wide receiver Saeed Blacknall (thigh) and starting cornerback Jaylen Dunlap (thigh) are expected to return to action after missing Week 2. Tony Marquis


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Key Matchup

Defenders QB Cardale Jones vs. Wildcats Pass Defense

It helps the Wildcats that quarterback Josh Johnson got on the field in Week 2, but they have allowed a league-high 62 points this year and are ranked last with their 54.6 defensive grade (per Pro Football Focus). They are likely to have their hands full with Defenders quarterback Cardale Jones.

Jones leads the XFL with 511 yards passing and is the only player with an overall offensive PFF grade over 90. Head coach Pep Hamilton has proven to be an inventive and aggressive play caller, and Jones has probably the league’s best trio of pass-catching options in wide receivers DeAndre Thompkins, Rashad Ross and Eli Rogers.

The Wildcats, meanwhile, will be without cornerback Harlan Miller (thigh), and although cornerback Jaylen Dunlap (thigh) will probably play, he will almost certainly be physically limited.

This could get ugly, and if the Wildcats aren’t able to slow down Jones, they have little chance of winning. — Marquis

Our Projected Odds

You’ll find our experts’ consensus spread as well as Sean Koerner’s total below. Find their projections for every Week 3 game here.

  • Our Experts’ Consensus Spread: Defenders -6.7
  • Koerner’s Projected Total: 43.7

Picks

John Ferguson: Wildcats +8.5

DC has been one of the hottest teams through two weeks, led by what has looked like one of the more dominant defenses in the league. But we should also consider the fact that the Defenders have faced only Seattle and New York, both of which are easily in the bottom-third of the league when it comes to offensive capabilities.

Josh Johnson just made his debut for L.A. last week, and while he definitely had some rust to shake off, he looked sharp otherwise. One could even go as far as to say that if fully healthy, Johnson is in the same tier as Cardale Jones when it comes to quarterback performance.

I anticipate this game being much closer than DC’s past two — Seattle finished within 12 points of DC in Week 1, and we should see a stronger offensive performance from the Wildcats, making them a solid play at +8.5.

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