New York Guardians Vs. DC Defenders Betting Odds & Pick | XFL Week 2
Isn’t it great to have Spring football back? From F-bombs on live television to He Hate Me trending on Twitter, to 78-year-old Jerry Glanville coaching on the sideline again. The XFL had an entertaining opening week.
It wouldn’t be honest, or intelligent for that matter, to begin claiming victory or defeat about our pre-season prognostications after week one in any sport. With one game on the books, we have our first puzzle pieces to construct the big picture of the new XFL. Let’s get into XFL week two games and bets!
Guardians Vs. Defenders XFL Week 2 Odds
|XFL Matchup||Spread at
|NY Guardians||+6.5 (-110)||+6.5 (-108)|
|DC Defenders||-6.5 (-110)||-6.5 (-112)|
Guardians Vs. Defenders Game Preview & Analysis
Our first matchup in week two pits the New York Guardians who will travel down Interstate-95 to square off against the DC Defenders. Both teams claimed victory in their week one contests, which were also both at home. DC enter the game as 6.5 point favorites with a total of 48. The weather looks to be a surprisingly pleasant 38 degrees Fahrenheit with light winds between 5 and 10 mph and no projected precipitation.
Guardians offensive linemen center Ian Silberman and right guard Garrett Brumfield have not participated in practice yet this week. Defenders tight end Khari Lee and linebacker A.J. Tarpley also have not participated in practice this week.
What Is Going On With The Defenders
A noticeably raucous crowd, the loudest of the weekend by my judgment, showed up in support of the DC Defenders on Saturday for the debut of the XFL and quickly forced a three and out from Seattle and quarterback Brandon Silvers. Other than a blown coverage on a pass to Seattle wide receiver Austin Proehl, the Defenders defense, specifically the secondary, was quite stout. If you eliminate that 57-yard touchdown, they only allowed 160 yards through the air and scored two interceptions, although the second was somewhat lucky as the receiver slipped and fell on his route, and the pass went right into Brandon Sylve’s hands for a touchdown.
The front seven was the weakness, at least in this game as they were unable to stop Seattle’s running attack, who gashed them for 97 yards on the ground even without starting left tackle Isaiah Battle, who was out with an injury.
On the offensive side of the ball, Cardale Jones was a very efficient passing going 16 for 26 for 235 yards in the air for a 116.7 rating even though it looked as if Seattle’s defense had maybe figured out his cadence by the end of the first half. DC’s receivers were also excellent in this game. Eli Rogers caught all six targets for 73 yards, including a beautiful sideline catch off of play-action that was set up earlier in the drive a few couple run-pass option plays. American Alliance of Football receiving touchdown leader Rashad Ross only has two catches but went for 52 yards. It’s only a matter of time before he gets his in this offense.
What Is Going On With The Guardians
The New York Guardians opened the season with a decisive 23-3 home victory against the Tampa Bay Vipers. With success in the NFL as well as the Canadian Football League, Marc Trestman and the Tampa Bay offense was an entity to be feared coming into the season. Still, they repeatedly got in their way en route to an embarrassing first-half performance that left the score 17-0. Some credit must be given to the Guardians defense who were opportunistic and capitalized with turnovers, but giving up 394 yards of total offense on 5.5 yards per play, even with an early 14-0 lead, isn’t something to celebrate. Their front seven was roasted in the second half once the Vipers began utilizing dual-threat QB Quinton Flowers more frequently.
For the Guardians offense, there wasn’t too much work to do with a few short fields and turnovers by the defense. They just had to get into the endzone. Former Raiders draft pick and Penn State QB Matt McGloin was 15 for 29 for 182 yards for a modest 82.8 rating. McGloin looked poised and made a couple of very nice throws, particularly deep early in the game, to help the Guardians get out to a lead. The Guardians running game, which you’d think would pile up a lot more yards with a lead, was surprisingly quiet totaling only 44 yards on 16 attempts.
So we have a New York team that took advantage of a severe underperformance by their opponent (Tampa Bay) but didn’t show much else to be optimistic about besides that facing a team that somewhat disappointed but still took care of business against a team that most people pegged as poor.
The questions here are:
- How much should we really trust the futures markets for a league that’s brand new and packing so many unknowns?
- Is Seattle poor, or is the market just incorrect?
- Was New York priced much too high before the season?
Our Guardians Vs. Defenders Game & Betting Pick
It should be noted that handicapping a league with literally a one-game sample size for each team requires that we lean quite a bit more on our previous knowledge of the players, pre-season roster and coaching staff evaluations, and tying together what expectations were met against those that weren’t. We don’t have the data yet so, for the time being, a film review is our main tool to look at as a means to determine who is delivering versus who is not.
I’m going with the Defenders laying -6.5 at home for several reasons:
First of all, this number opened at -6.5 at a lot of sportsbooks. I assume this is happening because merely looking at the score alone, New York had a more impressive game last week, so public money could be coming in on the Guardians. Keep in mind this team was a 2.5 to 3 point home underdog last week, and they’re now only 6.5 on the road? It feels like a bit of an overreaction to me.
Second, New York’s defense was terrible outside of the turnovers in their game, and turnovers like the ones made by Tampa Bay in this game weren’t a result of pressure or scheme. They were just straight-up mistakes by Tampa. In so many words, I’m saying New York got quite lucky in their opener.
Third, DC had to battle through some turnovers themselves in a close, dogfight of a game against a fired-up road underdog, but they still managed to come out on top and even cover the spread, albeit on a pick-six at the end of the game.
Fourth, interior offensive line injuries tend to go severely underrated in football, especially injuries to the center. The Guardians could potentially be without both their starting center and right guard. Center is a uniquely challenging position, and while all of the skill position players have a live feed to the sideline in their helmet, the offensive line is still playing good old fashioned wireless football and must rely on communication to pick up blitzes and how to block on each play. The center is the main communicator in these types of spots, so missing the starter could be a huge problem for the Guardians if they don’t play.
Fifth, I preferred the Defenders before the season started, and that hasn’t changed. With a one-game sample size, I still put a lot of weight on my pre-season evaluation. I liked the coaching staff and roster for DC, enough so to take a strong position on them in some outrights to win the inaugural season along with Tampa and Houston, and that hasn’t changed.
I see a superior coaching staff, superior roster, a slight edge in quarterback play, better skill position players, and a stronger defense on the side of the Defenders, and I think this number should be more than a touchdown, especially at home. This is, to me, a classic overrated vs. underrated intersection, and those usually present opportunities when betting sports.
Bet on DC Defenders -6.5 (-110).
Our XFL Week 2 Pick:
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