Seattle Dragons vs. St. Louis BattleHawks XFL Betting Odds, Pick & Analysis: Will the BattleHawks Cover for the Fourth Straight Game?
Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Jones #24
- The Battlehawks (-12.5) have been an absolute covering machine so far this season, and they square off with a struggling Dragons team on Saturday.
- Should you consider St. Louis on such a large spread or is regression on its way?
- See our experts full betting analysis below.
Dragons at BattleHawks Odds
- Spread: BattleHawks -12.5
- Total: 38
- Kickoff: 5 p.m. ET on Saturday
- TV: FOX
Our staff previews Saturday’s game, complete with their projected spread and a pick.
Dragons vs. BattleHawks Injury Report
Last week the Dragons were without starting left tackle Isaiah Battle (ankle) for the third straight game, but he practiced on a limited basis this week and is probable to make his XFL debut.
But offensive lineman William Campbell (knee), who started at left guard in Weeks 1-2 and right tackle in Week 3, is questionable. He is trending in the right direction after getting in a limited session on Thursday, but his status is uncertain.
Wide receiver Kasen Williams (quad) will be out for his fourth straigh game, and on defense, the Dragons will be without starting defensive tackle Anthony Moten (ankle), who hasn’t played since Week 1.
As for the BattleHawks, they are in full-blown Patriots territory with their injury report. On Thursday, four previously injured players practiced in full, one player had a limited session and two players did not practice.
All seven of them are listed as questionable.
This is the third straight week in which starting running back Matt Jones (knee) has been technically questionable after a string of limited practices, but the BattleHawks are just managing his workload. He’s fully expected to play.
Starting center Brian Folkerts (illness) and starting edge defender Will Clarke (knee) both missed practice on Thursday. Of the two, Folkerts seems the likelier to play. Clarke missed Weeks 1-2 and played just 38 snaps in Week 3. — Matthew Freedman
BattleHawks Pass Offense vs. Dragons Pass Defense
With all the excitement for the Houston Roughnecks passing game, but BattleHawks passing offense has been somewhat overlooked.
But the BattleHawks are No. 1 with a 74.6 passing grade, ranking 6.1 points higher than the Roughnecks at No. 2, thanks primarily to their No. 1 receiving grade (72.5) and No. 1 pass blocking grade (89.7, per Pro Football Focus).
The BattleHawks don’t have passing stats that jump off the page because they have a league-high 57.8% rush rate: They are committed to the run.
But they are No. 1 with 7.4 passing yards per attempt, and rookie quarterback Jordan Ta’amu leads all starters with a 75.6% completion rate.
If not for their decision to dial back the offense last week in the second half of a 29-9 home win over the New York Guardians, the BattleHawks could have more passing production.
Meanwhile, the Dragons defense has allowed 6.0 yards per passing play, which ranks third worst in the league, and that’s especially not good considering that the Dragons have played two games against teams ranked in the bottom half of the league in PFF offensive grades.
Slot wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El could have an especially big game. For the season, he has a 16-139-1 receiving line on 18 targets, and he’ll be facing slot cornerback Steve Williams, who has a subpar 41.2 PFF coverage grade and has allowed 17-127-0 receiving on 18 targets. — 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 4 game here.
- Our Experts’ Consensus Spread: -9.6
- Koerner’s Projected Total: 41.2
Matthew Freedman: BattleHawks -12.5
The BattleHawks are 3-0 against the spread, and in my rankings for Week 4, I have them rated as the No. 2 team in the league. They are No. 1 with a 57.8% rush rate and No. 2 with 70.3 plays per game. With their running attack, they take pressure off of rookie quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, who leads the league with a 75.6% completion rate, and with their fast pace of play, they increase their opportunities to score.
Despite playing against the high-flying Roughnecks in Week 2, the BattleHawks on defense are No. 2 with eight sacks and just 15.3 points allowed per game. And they have a home-field advantage that might be the league’s best.
I have the Dragons rated as a bottom-three team. They too have a strong home-field advantage, and since they’ve played at home for two of their three games, they might not be as good as their numbers suggest — and their numbers aren’t even good.
Quarterback Brandon Silvers doesn’t seem at all equipped to execute the offense. Among all starters, he is last with a 45.5 PFF passing grade, and he’s second-to-last with a 53.8% completion rate. In the XFL, a team without a quarterback doesn’t have much of a chance to cover, and Silvers right now doesn’t look like much of a quarterback.
The Dragons are yet to score even 20 points in a game.
I know I’m deviating from our expert consensus line, but I’d bet the BattleHawks to -13.5.