After a wild week in the XFL, the Week 8 schedule looks to build up the drama before Sunday’s finale highlights the slate. That is when the 5-2 Sea Dragons host the 6-1 Defenders, who are coming off their first loss of the season after Orlando won its first game in a 37-36 thriller.
We included our top picks for each game, and you can find XFL betting markets at many of the top-rated sportsbooks.
- Vipers vs. Battlehawks: Over 46.5 (-110)
- Renegades vs. Guardians: Guardians -1 (-110)
- Roughnecks vs. Brahmas: Roughnecks -4 (-110)
- Defenders vs. Sea Dragons: Over 48 (-110)
Saturday, April 08, 2023 – 01:00 PM EDT at The Dome at America’s Center
This Saturday afternoon, the Battlehawks are a 6.5-point home favorite with a total of 46.5 points.
The Battlehawks (5-2) looked very good in dropping Houston to a third-straight loss last week. AJ McCarron easily won the quarterback duel by throwing for 222 yards and 3 touchdowns without a pick against Houston’s defense. St. Louis was 8-of-13 on third down in the 24-15 win.
Meanwhile, the Vipers made noise last week after trading quarterback Luis Perez to the Renegades.
Many thought Brett Hundley, a former backup to Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, would take over the starting job after having played a fair number of snaps this year. Instead, Jalan McClendon stepped up in the start and completed 21-of-31 passes for 264 yards and 2 touchdowns in the 26-12 win over the Brahmas.
The Vipers average 7.1 yards per pass, which ranks No. 2 in the XFL. With McClendon looking good and the Battlehawks having McCarron against a Vegas defense that has allowed the second-most points in the league, we like the over as the best value in this matchup for your XFL picks.
XFL Pick: Over 46.5 (-110) at Bet365
Saturday, April 08, 2023 – 04:00 PM EDT at Camping World Stadium
A win can go a long way. The Orlando Guardians (1-6) are now a 1-point home favorite after getting their first victory of the season in the upset of the year against previously undefeated DC. Can they make it two in a row?
The Upset of the Season
The DC Defenders were a 10-point favorite last week, but Orlando shocked everyone by being able to score 37 points in a 37-36 win. Quarterback Quinten Dormady threw a 44-yard touchdown pass that put Orlando ahead for good in the fourth quarter. The defense forced a late fumble, then held on for dear life as the Defenders missed a 63-yard field goal that would have won the game.
But quarterback play remains the key at any major level of football. After struggling for weeks with Paxton Lynch, the move to Dormady as a starter is paying off. He completed 27-of-34 passes for 328 yards and 3 touchdowns against what has been one of the best defenses in the league.
Dormady is averaging 8.0 yards per pass, the highest for any XFL quarterback with at least 40 passes this season. He has also completed 70.2% of his 121 passes, which is the highest completion percentage among qualified passers.
Arlington fell 24-15 to Seattle last week. Luis Perez was not able to play yet after being acquired in a trade last week. He has been one of the better quarterbacks this season, but he was benched for throwing two picks in his last game with Vegas.
With Orlando finally getting a big win and getting the offense on track with Dormady, let’s go with the Guardians to make it two wins in a row by taking this one at home.
XFL Pick: Guardians -1 (-110) at BetMGM
Sunday, April 09, 2023 – 03:00 PM EDT at Alamodome
While the Roughnecks have lost three in a row since a 4-0 start, they are still a 4-point road favorite against the struggling Brahmas (2-5).
Houston’s gaudy defense struggled with AJ McCarron and the Battlehawks in last week’s 24-15 loss. But the worst part was the offense, which has fallen apart as of late. Quarterback Cole McDonald was 15-of-32 for 106 yards in an abysmal performance with 3.3 yards per attempt.
But for as much as the Houston offense has struggled, it still exceeds what San Antonio has been doing this season:
- The Brahmas average 4.4 yards per pass – every other team is 5.3 or higher.
- The Brahmas gain a first down on 23.3% of passes – every other team is 27.9% or higher.
- The Brahmas average 3.3 yards per rush, which ranks next to last.
- The Brahmas have a league-low 23 third-down conversions.
- The Brahmas are next to last in scoring (101 points)
The Roughnecks are not looking like a championship-caliber team right now, but trust Wade Phillips to feast on a terrible defense and get this team back on a winning track in this matchup.
XFL Pick: Roughnecks -4 (-110) at Bet365
Sunday, April 09, 2023 – 07:00 PM EDT at Lumen Field
They saved the best for last again in the XFL this week. The DC Defenders (6-1) will come off their first shocking loss of the season to take on the Seattle Sea Dragons, who are doing a fine job with a 5-game winning streak.
The Sea Dragons are a 1-point favorite, with some sportsbooks even showing a pick’em. The total is 48 points, making it as high as any game this season.
DC’s First Loss
While the Defenders lost last week, it was not like the offense was shut down in the 37-36 loss. Jordan Ta’amu was 21-of-29 for 285 yards and 3 touchdowns, the type of stat line for a quarterback that usually results in a win. But there was a late fumble by the offense, and there was just not enough time to get closer than a 63-yard field goal, which failed on the final play.
DC’s vaunted rushing attack was also great with 30 carries for 195 yards. It just comes down to late-game execution on this side of the ball. The defense was the main culprit in the loss, with struggles of defending the pass.
Seattle has the next highest average in yards per carry (4.5) behind DC’s 4.8 average that leads the XFL. This Sea Dragons offense is also still the leading passing offense in attempts, and Ben DiNucci has been leading the team in rushing in recent weeks. They continue to make it work with five straight wins.
This absolutely has the chance to be the shootout of the week. Both teams can score at least 24 points in this game. We like the over to hit in Week 8’s best game.
XFL Pick: Over 48 (-110) at Bet365