Week 10 is the end of the XFL’s 2023 regular season. For one last time, we have a four-game slate with two playoff spots still up for grabs.
Incredibly enough, the schedule has worked out to where each game has one of the four teams still fighting for the playoffs, so each game will mean something to someone. Here are our top picks for each game, with betting odds courtesy of the best sportsbooks.
- Battlehawks -8.5 (-110)
- Defenders -3 (-110)
- Roughnecks vs. Renegades Under 42 (-110)
- Vipers vs. Sea Dragons Over 47 (-110)
Saturday, April 22, 2023 – 12:00 PM EDT at The Dome at America’s Center
The Battlehawks are an 8.5-point favorite with a total of 47.5 points, as this score could get high if St. Louis is to make the postseason.
The Battlehawks were a preseason favorite to win the XFL championship behind quarterback AJ McCarron, but they may not even make the playoffs after losing to Seattle last week. McCarron threw two picks in that 30-12 loss, his worst game of the season.
Can St. Louis Make It?
Now, the Battlehawks and Sea Dragons are both 6-3, but St. Louis will need a Seattle loss, or a big blowout win over Orlando to get the tiebreaker.
It is a little complicated, but basically, the Battlehawks need to score 19 more points in this game than the Sea Dragons score against Vegas on Sunday. This is because the No. 4 tiebreaker for the playoffs is to have the best combined ranking in points scored and allowed among your division teams.
Without getting too complicated, St. Louis just needs to focus on winning after a rough one last week. The Guardians also lost a close one to San Antonio and are 1-8.
You have to go back to Week 7 to find the last time St. Louis covered 8.5, but the motivation at home should be there to run up the score on one of the worst XFL teams this year. The Battlehawks may still miss the playoffs, but we like them to cover in Week 10.
XFL Pick: Battlehawks -8.5 (-110) at BetMGM
Saturday, April 22, 2023 – 03:00 PM EDT at Alamodome
The Defenders (8-1) can wrap up the best regular season with another win over the Brahmas, who are a 3-point home underdog despite DC having little to play for.
Are we really in resting the starters mode in the XFL? The Defenders are locked into a home playoff game next week, so it is possible.
There is no bye week in the XFL playoffs. But even without that, this is the best offense in the league after winning 28-26 last week over the Renegades.
DC’s Defense Needs to Step It Up
DC quarterback Jordan Ta’amu continued to shine, completing 14-of-20 passes for 188 yards and 2 touchdowns. But there is some serious concern about the lack of defense and running game that we are suddenly seeing with DC.
The Defenders rushed for just 50 yards against Arlington. Also, the defense blew an 11-point lead late in the game by allowing:
- A touchdown
- A fourth-and-15 conversion (XFL’s onside kick alternative)
- A field goal
In overtime, the defense fortunately stepped up by stopping Arlington on all three 2-point conversion attempts, while the Defenders converted one to win the game 28-26.
Brahmas Are No Match for Defenders
These close calls are concerning, but the Brahmas are still an inept offense that averages 4.9 yards per pass and 3.6 yards per run. Every team in the XFL scored at least 23 touchdowns, except the Brahmas and Renegades, who each have 12.
We will take the Defenders to cover and improve to 9-1 going into the playoffs next week.
XFL Pick: Defenders -3 (110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Sunday, April 23, 2023 – 03:00 PM EDT at Choctaw Stadium
The Renegades (4-5) are a 1-point home favorite over the Roughnecks (6-3) with a total of 42 points.
This is an interesting situation because the Renegades are already locked into hosting a playoff game as the winner of the South Division. The Renegades (4-5) are battling with the Brahmas (3-6) for the right to play in that playoff game next week in Houston.
But if the Defenders beat San Antonio on Saturday, both teams will go into this game knowing the outcome is meaningless since they will meet next week in Houston in the playoffs.
This is likely why the spread favors the weaker team in Arlington because it may be a moot game, or the Renegades may have to go all out to win to make the playoffs over San Antonio.
Bet on the Total
Either way, the under just feels like a great pick given the low caliber of offenses on display, and the fact that the game may be two teams going through the motions. Wade Phillips is the coach of Houston, and he understands the late-game strategy that goes on in games like this.
In fact, he could benefit from Arlington having to play to win this game by showing their good stuff while the Roughnecks use a fake game plan and rest key players for next week’s game.
Give up a game to draw a weak opponent next week, though in this case, the Renegades, with Luis Perez at quarterback, are a tougher draw than San Antonio and the worst offense on a per-play basis.
A potentially fascinating situation here, but the under is still the best bet in this game.
XFL Pick: Under 42 (-110) at Bet365
Sunday, April 23, 2023 – 07:00 PM EDT at Lumen Field
Is it another week where the XFL saved the best game for last? Maybe, because it should involve deciding the final playoff spot with St. Louis watching what the Sea Dragons are going to do as an 8.5-point home favorite with a total of 47 points.
If Seattle and St. Louis both lose this weekend to finish 6-4, then St. Louis makes the playoffs on tiebreakers. Seattle’s best playoff path is to win this game and win it convincingly, because the Battlehawks will have to really blow out Orlando to get in over Seattle if both have 7-3 records.
Who Deserves the Win?
The Sea Dragons stepped up and took care of St. Louis last week with a big fourth quarter as Ben DiNucci outplayed AJ McCarron by throwing for 260 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also rushed for 38 yards and a touchdown in the 30-12 win.
Statistically, Seattle is the second or third-best team in the XFL, so it would be more than deserving of this last playoff spot. The Vipers are a team with surprisingly good passing metrics, but they allow the second-most points and just never seem to pull out the close ones, going 2-7 this year.
We will bypass the spread and go with the total to hit the over as Seattle could be in that position to have to score a lot of points to put itself ahead of St. Louis in the tiebreakers.
We know the Sea Dragons have been prolific at times on offense this year, with DiNucci leading the XFL by 602 passing yards over McCarron and the field. The Sea Dragons can score 30 again, and we like the over 47 to hit in the final game of the regular season.
XFL Pick: Over 47 (-110) at BetMGM