Los Angeles Wildcats vs. New York Guardians XFL Odds, Pick & Prediction: No Issues Without McGloin
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images. Pictured: Martez Carter #28
- The Los Angeles Wildcats are an 8-point favorite over the New York Guardians in the latest XFL odds on Saturday afternoon (2 p.m. ET), with the total set at 38.5.
- The Guardians will be without quarterback Matt McGloin, but that might be addition by subtraction.
- Our staff gives their XFL picks for Guardians vs. Wildcats.
Wildcats at Guardians Odds
- Spread: Wildcats -8
- Total: 39
- Kickoff: 2 p.m. ET on Saturday
- TV: ABC
Our staff previews Saturday’s game, complete with their projected spread and a pick.
Wildcats vs. Guardians Injury Report
The Wildcats are not currently the paragon of health. No. 1 wide receiver Nelson Spruce (knee) is out and Week 3 breakout running back Martez Carter (hip) is doubtful. You know what probably doesn’t help your hip? Doing needless backflips after scoring short touchdowns in a blowout win. Just something to consider.
Last week, the Wildcats were without starting cornerbacks Jaylen Dunlap (ankle) and Harlan Miller (thigh). Dunlap is probable to play after practicing fully on Thursday, but Miller has been limited this week. He is technically questionable, but I doubt he’ll play after leaving Week 1 early, playing just 13 snaps in Week 2 and missing Week 3 entirely.
On top of that, slot corner Mike Stevens (thigh) missed practice on Thursday and seems to be on the wrong side of his questionable designation.
Starting defensive end Latarius Brady (knee) exited Week 3 early and has practiced on only a limited basis this week. He is truly questionable.
As for the Guardians, they are amazingly healthy. Everyone except for one player on their Week 4 injury report is listed as probable.
Of course, that one player is starting quarterback Matt McGloin (thorax), who is out.
McGloin’s absence might ultimately be a case of addition by subtraction, but at a minimum, it’s easy to see that the Guardians have an unsettled quarterback situation. — Matthew Freedman
Wildcats Pass Defense vs. Guardians Pass Offense
New York has suffered from just awful quarterback play to this point. The situation is so dire that all three quarterbacks — starter Matt McGloin, backup Marquise Williams and third-stringer Luis Perez — appeared in Week 3.
McGloin is out, so Williams and Perez could form a quarterback tandem similar to the one we saw in Tampa Bay with Taylor Cornelius and Quinton Flowers in Weeks 2-3.
But no matter who is under center, he will likely be challenged by the Wildcats, who have a ball-hawking defense that leads the league with seven interceptions and a 79.9 coverage grade (per Pro Football Focus).
Since firing defensive coordinator Pepper Johnson in Week 2, the Wildcats have held opponents to 17 points per game, and in Week 3, they limited Defenders quarterback Cardale Jones — who entered the game looking like a potential MVP candidate — to just 103 yards passing and a 50% completion rate while picking him off four times.
Against this defense, the Guardians passing attack will likely be outmatched. — 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 4 game here.
- Our Experts’ Consensus Spread: Wildcats -4.2
- Koerner’s Projected Total: 40.7
Sean Koerner: Guardians +8
The Los Angeles Wildcats were 0-2 heading into Week 3 and considered to be one of the worst teams in the league. They closed as a 10-point home underdog to the DC Defenders, who at the time were 2/1 favorites to be the 2020 champion. It’s why the Wildcats’ 39-9 blowout victory was so shocking. While we certainly need to adjust our perception of the Wildcats up several points, the market appears to be overreacting to the one-game sample.
Los Angeles had a +5 turnover margin over DC thanks to an abysmal game by quarterback Cardale Jones, who threw four interceptions. A turnover margin that high is typically random and can drive the market to overreact. The Wildcats just wrapped up a two-game homestand and now have to travel east to face the Guardians. The Wildcats will without No. 1 WR Nelson Spruce (knee) and probably Week 3 starting running back Martez Carter (hip).
Last week, my top play was the Guardians-BattleHawks in-game under. The Guardians were shutout in Week 2, and I was unable to find anything in their underlying data to give me any hope for a bounceback in Week 3. Sure enough, they failed to put up much of a fight and suffered a 29-9 loss.
But the underlying Week 3 data indicate that the offense has made tremendous progress, and the final score is a bit misleading. Seven of the Guardians’ 10 drives crossed midfield. They had two second-half drives result in turnovers on downs. One ended on the BattleHawks’ 13-yard line. The other, on the two-yard line.
We’d probably view them differently this week if they had converted even one of those fourth downs and scored a touchdown. Because they didn’t convert those drives into points, they offer some hidden value this week.
Quarterback Matt McGloin (thorax) is out, but the Guardians have three XFL-caliber starting quarterbacks on their roster, so I am not worried about McGloin.
I would expect at least 80% of the action to come in on the Wildcats, but see value on the Guardians at +8.0. This is my favorite bet of the week, and I would bet it down to +5.