Dragons vs. Roughnecks XFL Betting Odds, Pick & Analysis: Will P.J. Walker’s Arm Carry Houston?

Dragons vs. Roughnecks XFL Betting Odds, Pick & Analysis: Will P.J. Walker’s Arm Carry Houston? article feature image
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Credit: Cooper Neill/XFL via Getty Images. Pictured: P.J. Walker

  • The updated betting odds for Saturday's XFL matchup between the Houston Roughnecks and Seattle Dragons make the Roughnecks double-digit favorites (spread: -12.5) with the over/under at 46.
  • Houston enters the game undefeated and faces a team in a three-way tie for the worst record in the league through four weeks.
  • See the full betting breakdown below, including mismatches, projected odds and picks below.

Seattle Dragons at Houston Roughnecks Odds

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

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

Dragons vs. 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 is 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 three-yard line last week right as his team was moving in for the score.

I’ve bet the over to 48.

[Bet now at BetMGM. NJ only.]

John Ferguson: Dragons +13.5 

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 BetMGM. NJ only.]

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