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XFL Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Will Roughnecks Continue Offensive Explosion vs. Vipers?

XFL Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Will Roughnecks Continue Offensive Explosion vs. Vipers? article feature image

Bob Levey/Getty Images. Pictured: Roughnecks QB P.J. Walker

  • The Houston Roughnecks (-6.5), owners of the league's most efficient offense so far, will try to keep things rolling against the Tampa Bay Vipers (2 p.m. ET, ABC).
  • The Roughnecks are quite healthy, but the Vipers have a full injury report, including starting QB Aaron Murray, who will miss today's game.
  • See our experts' favorite spread and over/under bets for today's game, along with our projected odds.

Roughnecks at Vipers Odds

  • Spread: Roughnecks -6.5
  • Total: 45.0
  • Kickoff: 2 p.m. ET on Saturday
  • TV: ABC

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

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

Roughnecks-Vipers Injury Report

The Roughnecks are about as healthy as they can be. For the second straight game, they will be without No. 3 running back De’Angelo Henderson (shoulder), and backup tackle Marques Tucker (knee) is also out, but they are otherwise healthy on both side of the ball.

The Vipers, however, are severely disadvantaged, especially on offense, where they will be without starting quarterback Aaron Murray (foot) and tight end Nick Truesdell (knee), who might be the team’s best all-around player.

On defense, the Vipers are also dealing with injuries along the line. Starting edge rusher Deiontrez Mount (thigh) is technically questionable, but he didn’t practice this week and looks unlikely to play. Rotational defensive tackle Ricky Walker (ankle) also missed practice all week and will probably sit. Matthew Freedman

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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, Khalil 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

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: Roughnecks -5
  • Koerner’s Projected Total: 45.2


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.

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

Vitanza: Roughnecks -6.5

I’m with Ben on this one. Houston’s offense has been spectacular through two weeks, led by P.J. Walker at quarterback and Cam Phillips, Sammie Coates, Khalil Lewis and Nick Holley at wide receiver. Now they line up against a very beatable Tampa Bay secondary that has not yet been tested by an offense of this caliber.

While their PFF coverage rating is middle of the pack at 62.7, the two teams they’ve played — New York and Seattle — did not challenge them through the air very often. The one time they were tested last week, wide receiver Keenan Reynolds beat them for a 68-yard touchdown. Walker will have the time to find the open receiver often against a mediocre pass rush and should have no trouble leading this team down the field.

On the other side, Tampa Bay has also been terrible on offense, so this one could get out of hand in a hurry.

This is one of the biggest mismatches on the board and I like Houston up to -8 even on the road.

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

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