Tampa Bay Vipers Vs. LA Wildcats Betting Odds & Picks | XFL Week 5
The Sunday night XFL game this week has Tampa Bay fresh off of a home shutout victory traveling to Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California to take on the Wildcats. With partly sunny skies, mild winds, and a beautiful 64 degrees Fahrenheit forecasted, the weather shouldn’t impact this game.
XFL Week 5 Betting Odds: Vipers Vs. Wildcats
The opening lines were all over the place for this game but given their close proximity to zero this isn’t too surprising.
|TB Vipers||+2.5 (-110)||+125||O 40 (-110)|
|LA Wildcats||-2.5 (-110)||-145||U 40 (-110)|
|Vipers Vs. Wildcats Game Odds & Lines At|
Currently, the Wildcats are 2-point favorites but a few places even had the Vipers favored by 1 and there are still some +1’s and +1.5’s out there. As always, shop around for the best line available for the side you prefer. The total opened at 41 at most books and has moved down a point to 40 almost everywhere.
Injuries On Both Teams
The injury report for this game is extensive for both sides and includes many key players. As always, keep an eye on these situations closer to game time.
For the Wildcats the following did not participate in practice Wednesday: K Nick Novak, WR Nelson Spruce, DL Devin Taylor, and, LB Tre Williams. Spruce was the XFL’s top receiver through the first three weeks but missed last week with a knee injury. It’s still unclear whether he will be playing or not but given the must-win situation for the Wildcats, you should expect him to suit up.
The Vipers are also banged up. The following did not participate in practice Wednesday: backup center John Yarbrough, DT Ricky Walker, RB De’Veon Smith, LB Terrance Plummer, and WR S.J. Green. Starting center Jordan McCray is an important situation to monitor given the underrated importance of the center position.
LA Defense Against The TB Offense
After a poor weak one showing against the Roughnecks, the XFL’s top offense, the Wildcats fired their defensive coordinator Pepper Johnson and released defensive captain, linebacker Anthony Johnson. While it initially appeared to be an overreaction of a move, it hasn’t really ended up changing many expectations.
The Wildcats are allowing 324.8 yards per game, good for 5th in the league, but rank dead last against the run where they have allowed 131.5 yards per game to the easiest schedule of opposing rushing attacks in the league (4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th).
The Vipers put up an impressive 477 yards of offense against a Defenders defense that had been solid so far this season, especially in the secondary. Backup quarterback Taylor Cornelius completed 24 of 31 attempts at 6.8 yards per attempt for 211 total yards, a touchdown and an interception. While WR Dan Williams was the primary beneficiary, hauling in 7 out of 11 targets for 72 yards, Cornelius spread the ball around hitting 8 different receivers.
Over the course of the season, the Vipers have been excellent moving the ball on offense even through a number of injuries to their offensive line and quarterback changes. Offensive guru Marc Trestman’s offense has been a great success at everything besides actually scoring points.
Through the first few weeks, turnovers were momentum killers so a lot of people thought this offense was much worse than it was. At 381.2 yards per game, the Vipers lead the league in yardage despite tying for second to last in points per game. I believe that will continue to even out. This offense is one of the best in the league. Don’t let the points per game fool you.
This is a very poor matchup for the Wildcats who are about to face the top rushing offense with the worst rushing defense.
Strong edge Vipers
TB Defense Against The LA Offense
I’ve been saying it all season, Jerry Glanville’s defense is one of the best in the league and they showed it last week by shutting out the Defenders. The Vipers held the entire Defenders offense to 107 total yards and only 6 first downs in the most dominant performance by any defense to date in the XFL. Cardale Jones is considered one of the better quarterbacks in the league and while the Defenders offense might not be elite, it had been solid putting up 319 yards per game going into this contest.
With such a good secondary, the Tampa Bay defense can blitz very aggressively and against XFL caliber quarterbacks that has proven to be extremely effective. The Vipers will occasionally get burned deep because of their attack first mindset but have been lights out otherwise all season long. This is the best defense in the league.
Last week, the Wildcats were missing league-leading receiver Nelson Spruce but still managed to put up 345 total yards in a road loss albeit to one of the league’s worst defenses, the Guardians. The Wildcats possess the XFL’s top passing offense at 244.5 yards per game, slightly edging out the Renegades and Roughnecks. They’ve struggled running the ball with a league-worst 62 yards per game on the ground but at least part of that is due to the fact that their passing attack has been so successful.
Whether or not Nelson Spruce plays is going to play a huge role in how lopsided the matchup between these units could be. Assuming he plays, I still give the edge to the Vipers defense but if Spruce is out I’m questioning how effective the Wildcats offense will be.
Slight edge Vipers
Vipers Vs. Wildcats Top Game Picks
I’m taking the Vipers with half my stake on +2.5, half on the moneyline +125.
There is a lot of injury questions in this game for both sides but I think the Nelson Spruce injury could be the most impactful. If we learn that Spruce is out again, this line could switch places and I’d rather be on the side benefitting from that. Obviously, keep an eye on injury news closer to game time.
The Vipers are also the better team overall. Ignore the records and watch the film. If it weren’t for some poorly timed turnovers, this Vipers squad would be 3 – 1. They have a strong edge on the offensive side of the ball and a slight edge on defense that could turn into a larger edge if Spruce is ruled out.
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