Houston Roughnecks Vs. Tampa Bay Vipers Odds & Pick | XFL Week 3
The first game of the week three XFL slate has the undefeated Houston Roughnecks traveling to the legendary Raymond James Stadium, home of the NFL’s Buccaneers, to take on the winless Tampa Bay Vipers.
The weather forecast looks outstanding with warm temperatures in the 60’s Fahrenheit, no projected precipitation, and mild winds.
There are a few key injury situations for both teams to keep an eye on over the course of the week.
Let’s start betting on the Roughnecks At Vipers game by checking out the odds:
Houston Roughnecks At Tampa Bay Vipers Betting Odds
|-7 (-110)||Spread||+7 (-110)|
|O 45 (-110)||Total||U 45 (-110)|
|Bet On Roughnecks Vs. Vipers XFL Game At MyBookie.ag|
XFL Week Two Player of the Week, WR Cam Phillips, did not participate in practice with Houston citing an ankle injury.
Houston was also missing fellow dynamic pass catcher WR Sammie Coates and starters C Demetrius Rhaney.
Tampa Bay starting QB Aaron Murray still hasn’t returned to the practice field while still nursing a foot injury.
New to the list for the Vipers was TE Nick Truesdell, considered by many to be the top tight end in the league before the season started.
Tampa Bay Vipers Vs. Houston Roughnecks Offense
While the Dragons aren’t exactly looking like one of the leagues’ strongest offenses, the Vipers defense was stifling.
They kept scoreless in the first half with only one play over 10 yards (a 13-yard crosser to Keenan Reynolds).
Other than a 68-yard touchdown bomb to Reynolds in the second half the Vipers defense limited Seattle to 131 yards of total offense, 117 of that was on the ground.
Take out that touchdown pass and the Dragons were held to 14 passing yards for the game.
The Vipers Defense
The Vipers defense is aggressive and will get burned at points, but I reiterate: the defense is not the problem in Tampa.
Considering the strength of competition Tampa Bay has faced so far it’s safe to say this will be their most difficult challenge to date.
Houston’s dynamic cast of weapons along with the excellent play of QB P.J. Walker has led them to a league-best 65 points for over two weeks.
While I’m a huge fan of Jerry Glanville’s defense so far for the Vipers I’m not sure how much they’ll be able to limit the Roughnecks offense.
Slight edge to Houston.
Houston Roughnecks Vs. Tampa Bay Vipers Offense
The Roughnecks defense has actually struggled to defend both the run and the pass season, allowing an average of 340.5 yards per game to opposing offenses.
That was against two teams that I wouldn’t rate as high powered offenses in St. Louis and Dallas, who were missing their starting QB, Landry Jones.
For comparison, the New York Guardians have allowed 389 yards per game and the Tampa Bay Vipers 212.5.
Houston reminds us a lot of the Kansas City Chiefs
In what way? They’re a powerhouse offense with a mediocre defense from what we’ve seen so far.
Tampa Bay was able to move the ball effectively in both games for 394 yards in week one and 289 yards in week two against a stout Seattle defense with a backup quarterback.
Tampa Bay’s play-calling has been excellent but turnovers have absolutely killed them in both contests so far.
Without even a couple of the turnovers, we’d probably be talking about them as one of the premier offenses in the league.
I still am but the extent to which this is an advantage depends on whether or not starting QB Aaron Murray’s health.
Slight edge to Tampa Bay (without Murray)
Large edge to Tampa Bay (with Murray)
Our Roughnecks Vs. Vipers Game & Betting Pick
Typically when you see a total shrink AND a line move further apart you look towards the underdog getting the points but I’m seeing this game from a bit of a different angle.
Unders are 6 – 2 so far in the XFL but the opening numbers, especially in week one, were very high (50.5, 51, 52, 52.5) under the assumption that the rule changes would facilitate more scoring.
We’re taking the OVER 44.5 for a few reasons.
First, the books have correctly adjusted these lines downward after seeing how much the offenses in this league are struggling with the talent available relative to the NFL. You’re getting a lot of value in unders after this adjustment.
These Are The Two Best Offenses In The League
Along with the DC Defender, and putting aside turnovers, these are the two best offenses in the league.
The Vipers defense has been excellent but they also haven’t been tested by a good offense like Houston’s. Houston’s defense also hasn’t been tested by any of the elite offenses but has still surrendered a ton of yards.
Third, this is Tampa Bay’s first home game. After a rough start, they’ll be fired up and throwing every trick in the book out there to get a win while it could possibly be a bit of a let-down spot for Houston.
Public perception is that Tampa Bay is a train wreck and everyone is sprinting to the window to fade them while getting a taste of one of the best looking teams in the league so far in Houston.
Tampa Bay is not as bad as they’ve looked. Are they what I thought they’d be before the season started? Not yet but the signs are there.
DISCLAIMER: This OVER 44.5 is dependent on Aaron Murray’s injury status. If he’s healthy and playing this remains the selection; if not, jump on the Houston spread before it jumps out of control.
Our XFL Pick For Houston Roughnecks Vs. Tampa Bay Vipers:
Houston Roughnecks At Tampa Bay Vipers XFL Game At MyBookie Sportsbook
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