Tampa Bay Vipers vs. Los Angeles Wildcats XFL Betting Odds, Pick & Analysis: Tre McBride Will Dominate Again

Tampa Bay Vipers vs. Los Angeles Wildcats XFL Betting Odds, Pick & Analysis: Tre McBride Will Dominate Again article feature image

Credit: Sarah Stier/XFL via Getty Images. Pictured: Tre McBride

  • The Vipers travel across the country to take on the Wildcats (-2.5) for a primetime XFL showdown on Sunday in Los Angeles.
  • Our experts are looking at the strong play of Wildcats WR Tre McBride and whether he'll be able to exploit a questionable Vipers secondary.
  • See the full betting analysis below, including picks.

Tampa Bay Vipers at Los Angeles Wildcats Odds

  • Spread: Wildcats -2.5
  • Total: 41
  • Kickoff: 9 p.m. ET on Sunday
  • TV: ESPN

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

Vipers vs. Wildcats Injury Report

The Vipers got their first win of the year last week, and poof! — just like that, their season-long injury/personnel issues seem to have disappeared.

Week 1 starting quarterback Aaron Murray (foot) returned last week but served as the backup and now seems set in that role.

Change-of-pace quarterback/halfback Quinton Flowers (personal) left the team last week and missed Week 4, but he’s now back and reportedly taking snaps only at running back.

Backup-turned-starter Taylor Cornelius is now firmly entrenched as the team’s No. 1 quarterback.

And he should have improved pass-catching options around him this week.

Tight end Nick Truesdell (knee) missed Weeks 3-4, but he practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play. Additionally, former Canadian Football League standout wide receiver S.J. Green (knee) seems ready to make his XFL debut. He had a full practice session on Friday and is listed as probable.

After his 24-carry, two-reception workload in Week 4, running back De’Veon Smith (foot) practiced on a limited basis this week, but he is officially probable and should be active.

The Wildcats have 14 players on the injury report. Most of them seem likely to play. For instance, it would be a significant surprise if quarterback Josh Johnson (thigh), running back Larry Rose (foot) and tight end Brandon Barnes (knee) didn’t play. They all practiced fully on Friday and are listed as probable.

But other players are less certain. Starting edge defender Shawn Oakman (neck) and starting interior defensive lineman Cedric Reed (knee) are questionable after getting in limited practice sessions on Friday. Oakman missed Week 4, and both seem to be game-time decisions.

Running back Martez Carter (hip) is also questionable. After breaking out in Week 3 with 75 yards and three touchdowns, he missed Week 4 and cannot be counted on for Week 5.

And the Wildcats will be without several key players. Slot receiver Nelson Spruce (knee) will miss his second straight week, and his absence is significant: He’s No. 2 in the league with 256 yards receiving.

Kicker Nick Novak (knee) is also out. But given that Novak has made only 40% of his field-goal attempts, his absence might be desirable.

On defense, the Wildcats will be without starting edge defender Devin Taylor (thigh) and starting linebacker Tre’ Williams (thigh).

The paragon of health, they are not. — Matthew Freedman

Key Mismatch

Wildcats WR Tre McBride vs. Vipers CB Anthoula Kelly

The Wildcats will be without No. 1 wide receiver Nelson Spruce (knee), who also missed Week 4, but since returning from injury in Week 3, Tre McBride has stepped up and played like the team’s true top pass-catching option.

Against the Vipers and cornerback Anthoula Kelly in particular, he should produce.

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