Houston Roughnecks XFL Betting Preview: Odds, Picks, Predictions, Depth Chart, More

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Aaron M. Sprecher /Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images. Pictured: June Jones

Houston Roughnecks Odds, Picks, Predictions & Depth Chart

Betting on the XFL? Our crew is here to guide you through what you need to know about all eight teams.

Below you’ll find odds, depth charts and more analysis for the Houston Roughnecks.

Houston Roughnecks XFL Championship Odds

  • Championship Odds: +900

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


Houston Roughnecks Offensive Depth Chart & Analysis

  • QB: P.J. Walker, Connor Cook
  • RB: Andre Williams, De’Angelo Henderson
  • WR: Sammie Coates, Sam Mobley
  • WR: Kahlil Lewis, Raymond Bolden
  • WR: Cam Phillips, Blake Jackson
  • WR: Nick Holley
  • TE: None
  • LT: Terry Poole
  • LG: Sebastian Tretola, Isame Faciane
  • C: Tejan Koroma, Demetrius Rhaney
  • RG: Avery Gennesy, Demetrius Rhaney
  • RT: Kelvin Palmer, Marquez Tucker

Houston isn’t being shown much respect from bookmakers, but this Roughnecks team offers sneaky upside in the West. Walker was recently named the starting quarterback over Cook and gives them a legitimate dual threat at the position. His combination of speed and downfield passing will be hard for defenses to scheme against. He tore up the AAC in college and still is the all-time leader for the Temple Owls in passing yards, passing touchdowns, total yards and total touchdowns. Cook will come in as one of the better backups in the league if Walker struggles.

At running back, the Roughnecks will roll out the duo of Williams and Henderson. Williams rushed for 2,177 yards in his senior season at Boston College and finished as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. Although he struggled in the NFL, he will likely handle early down and goal-line work. While Williams isn’t much of a receiver, he’ll have a strong pass-catching complement in Henderson, who averaged 9.5 yards per reception in college at Coastal Carolina. I expect head coach June Jones to get Henderson involved in what should be a pass-happy attack.

At wide receiver, Coates leads what should be a strong receiving squad. During the 2016 season with the Steelers, Coates emerged as a legitimate big play threat for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. While his NFL prospects have diminished, it’s easy to forget that he’s only 26 years old. Lewis looks likely to play in the WR2 role after the Roughnecks lost Jalen Saunders to the injured reserve. Lewis has already shown he can make big plays in this league, connecting on a 55-yard touchdown with Cook in their last scrimmage. He was a touchdown magnet in college, scoring 21 times on only 168 targets. Given that the Rednecks don’t have a tight end, Henderson, Coates and Saunders will garner the majority of targets.

Houston Roughnecks Defensive Depth Chart & Analysis

  • DE: Gabe Wright, Kony Ealy, Greg Gilmore
  • NG: Walter Palmore, Nick James
  • DE: Cashaud Lyons, Corey Crawford
  • OLB: Edmond Robinson, Carl Bradford
  • LB: DeMarquis Gates, Ty Schwab
  • LB: Beniquez Brown
  • OLB: Kaelin Burnett, LeTroy Lewis
  • CB: Jeremiah Johnson, Deji Olatoye, Charles James III
  • CB: Ajene Harris, Savion Smith
  • SS: Deatrick Nichols, Cody Brown
  • FS: Corrion Ballard, Marqueston Huff

The Roughnecks have arguably the most talented defensive player in the XFL in Ealy, and although he’s listed as just the No. 3 defensive end, he’s likely to see regular action as a pass rusher. After earning an All-Rookie nod in 2014 for the Carolina Panthers, Ealy went on to become a serious playmaker for the team in 2015-16. He has the ability to get after the quarterback and cause nightmares in the backfield and could dominate in the XFL.

At 6-foot-8 and 280 pounds, Crawford could also be a difference maker on the interior for the Roughnecks. He underwhelmed at Clemson, but he has the physical tools to disrupt. This line is the strength of the defense.

The Roughnecks also boast an above-average secondary. Olatoye had a 76.8 coverage rating last season in the AAF (per Pro Football Focus), good for a top-five mark. Huff was known for making big plays at Wyoming and provides upside for this squad. This might be one of the league’s stronger defensive units.

Houston Roughnecks Pick

Pick: +900 to Win the Championship

While they do play in the West, which is likely to be the tougher division, the Roughnecks have the talent to make a run this season. Caesars released win totals for the XFL a couple of weeks ago, giving the Roughnecks a total of 6.0, which tied them for No. 2 with the Dallas Renegades. But in the futures market, most sportsbooks have the Renegades at +400 odds to win the championship, which suggests that the Roughnecks are discounted.

At these odds, there should also be plenty of room to hedge (if you choose) and lock in a profit if they win a playoff spot. There is simply way too much value here to pass up taking them at +900.

Note: the lines for this bet swing wildly from book to book (anywhere from +600 to +900), so make sure to take it on FanDuel before the lines adjust.

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

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