XFL Week 2 Picks and Analysis: Will the Vipers Play Better This Week?

Vegas Vipers vs Arlington Renegades XFL
The Vegas Vipers and the Arlington Renegades play during the first half at Choctaw Stadium on February 18, 2023. Sam Hodde/Getty Images/AFP

Pick Summary

  • Defenders vs. Vipers: Over 37 (-110) at bet365
  • Brahmas vs. Guardians: Brahmas -3 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
  • Renegades vs. Roughnecks: Over 39.5 (-110) at BetMGM
  • Battlehawks vs. Dragons: Battlehawks +2.5 (-110) at FanDuel

After three very close finishes in Week 1 of the XFL’s 2023 season, we are looking for more separation from the teams in Week 2. It starts this Thursday with a good game between the St. Louis Battlehawks and Seattle Sea Dragons. Sunday night’s game between the Arlington Renegades and Houston Roughnecks is the only game between 1-0 teams this week.

You can find XFL betting odds at many of the top-rated sportsbooks. Thanks to a miracle comeback (and cover) by St. Louis, we managed to go 4-0 on our Week 1 XFL picks. Let’s aim for greatness again as we learn more about these teams after a good debut week for the new season.

DC Defenders vs. Vegas Vipers

Saturday, February 25, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Cashman Field

The Vegas Vipers are a 3-point home favorite with a total of 37 points.

In Week 1, both teams played exciting games that ended with scores of 22-20 and 22-18, so both went over 37 points.

Vegas really gave that game away to Arlington with a pair of pick-sixes and another miscue on a botched punt deep in its own end. The Vipers also were sacked on the game-tying two-point conversion and could not hold onto the fourth-and-15 conversion on the onside recovery to seal the game.

The Pick

Look for favored Vegas to play better at home and clean up the mistakes to score at least 20 points again here.

As for the Defenders, they came back late to beat the Sea Dragons, but quarterback Jordan Ta’amu did not have his best game. He was 8-of-19 for 86 yards with an interception, though he did rush for a touchdown.

Ta’amu has had much better numbers than that in his past work with the XFL in 2020 and the USFL in 2022. Look for him to have a better game and also push the ball down the field more after not throwing for 100 yards last week.

With both teams scoring around 20 points again, we like the over to hit here.

XFL Pick: Over 37 (-110) at Bet365

San Antonio Brahmas vs. Orlando Guardians

Sunday, February 26, 2023 – 04:00 PM EST at Camping World Stadium

The San Antonio Brahmas are the only road favorite this week at 3 points with a total of 38.5 points. Remember, the Guardians were blown out 33-12 in Week 1, the only blowout of the week, and they were the biggest longshot to win the XFL Championship, according to most sportsbooks before Week 1.

The narrative here is simple. Both teams are looking for redemption after Week 1 losses, though Hines Ward’s Brahmas were way closer to a win than the Guardians were. Paxton Lynch was awful at quarterback and was benched in the third quarter. It is unclear if he will start this week, but if he does, that just strengthens taking the Brahmas to cover.

But the Brahmas were playing great defense and getting after the offensive line of favored St. Louis for over 3.5 quarters until a putrid finish.

The Pick

If the Roughnecks can get 7 sacks and 3 interceptions from this Orlando offense, then we feel good about the San Antonio defense being a real threat in this game.

Let’s trust the Brahmas to finish the job this week and hand Orlando another big loss. This would also be Ward’s first head coaching win.

XFL Pick: Brahmas -3 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

Arlington Renegades vs. Houston Roughnecks

Sunday, February 26, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at TDECU Stadium

To finish off Week 2 this Sunday night, the Houston Roughnecks host the Arlington Renegades in a battle of 1-0 teams. The Roughnecks are a 3.5-point home favorite with a total of 39.5 points.

Both defenses took over in Week 1 with big sacks and interceptions. The Arlington Renegades had to snag a pair of interception return touchdowns to win their first game of the season. That does not bode well for this matchup against a defense that was even more impressive with 7 sacks and 3 interceptions.

We give Wade Phillips the coaching edge over Bob Stoops, and his defense can absolutely cause more havoc as the offensive line play left something to be desired for some of these XFL teams in Week 1 as they try to gel with each other after not having a preseason.

The Pick

But we think the defensive capabilities of both teams here can lead to a lot of splash plays, which can drive up the score with short fields and maybe even another return touchdown.

With Houston looking further ahead on the offensive side, we could see this game ending 28-17 or so to hit the over for your XFL picks.

XFL Pick: Over 39.5 (-110) at BetMGM

St. Louis Battlehawks vs. Seattle Sea Dragons

Thursday, February 23, 2023 – 09:00 PM EST at Lumen Field

In the first Thursday night game of this XFL season, the Seattle Sea Dragons are a 2.5-point home favorite over the St. Louis Battlehawks with a total of 36.5 points.

With both teams making a difficult transition from playing on Sunday to Thursday night, this could be a sluggish game to watch. However, you have to like how the Battlehawks caught fire in the fourth quarter with AJ McCarron shaking off a handful of sacks to lead the offense to two touchdown drives in the final minutes to pull off a shocking 15-3 comeback for a 18-15 win.

Seattle was not overly impressive in its debut, and the Sea Dragons blew an 18-16 lead and were unable to get the late score behind Ben DiNucci and the offense.

The Pick

The Sea Dragons are a home favorite, but let’s trust the sluggish Week 1 start and dramatic comeback will serve as a wake-up call for a St. Louis team that was the odds-on favorite at many sportsbooks to win it all in the XFL this year. We will take the Battlehawks to cover on the road.

XFL Pick: Battlehawks +2.5 (-110) at FanDuel

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