Tampa Bay Vipers Vs. Seattle Dragons Betting Odds & Pick | XFL Week 2
The evening game on Saturday has the Tampa Bay Vipers fresh off of a disappointing 23-3 loss to the New York Guardians traveling west all the way across the country to Seattle to battle the Dragons who played a much closer game than the final score would suggest against the DC Defenders. The line is currently Tampa Bay favored by 3 points, and the total is at 45, the lowest of the four games this weekend.
A glance at the weather report suggests steady rain throughout the day and a temperature around 46 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Vipers have starting quarterback Aaron Murray listed as day to day with a lower leg injury sustained in this weekends’ game. Seattle will be without starting guard Cyril Richardson who was placed on injured reserve. Still, several injured players did not participate in practice to those situations that will need to be monitored closer to kickoff.
Vipers Vs. Dragons XFL Week 2 Betting Odds
|XFL Matchup||Moneyline||Spread||Totals||Bet At|
|TB Vipers||-147||-3 (-105)||Ov 44.5 (-110)||Seattle Dragons||+127||+3 (-115)||Un 44.5 (-110)|
|TB Vipers||-165||-3 (-110)||Ov 44 (-110)|
|Seattle Dragons||+120||+3 (-110)||Un 44 (-110)|
Vipers Vs. Dragons Game Preview & Analysis
Seattle entered the season projected to be one of the worst teams in the league. There wasn’t a lot of faith in their roster or coaching staff in the pre-season futures markets for the XFL. Still, they went on the road, all the way across the country, into a rowdy DC Defenders stadium and put up a respectable performance as 7.5 point underdogs in a 31-19 loss. Don’t let the score fool you; this game was much closer than it looked.
Impressive Dragons Defense & Solid Offense
The Dragons’ defense impressed me. Going into the season, I liked the Defenders roster, specifically their offensive weapons and play-callers, quite a bit so to go on the road into a loud stadium and keep the Defenders to only two field goals on offense in the first half was impressive. If not for a blocked punt that was recovered for a touchdown, the Dragons likely would have led by more than one at the half.
The defensive line was outstanding throughout the first half getting penetration on most plays limiting the Defenders to only 134 yards of total offense on five drives and six offensive points. However, there was a missed field goal attempt. Whether it was adjustments at halftime or just fatigue, the second half was significantly worse as they allowed 166 yards on four offensive drives, excluding the kneel-downs to end the game.
Offensively, the Dragons were fairly solid. Dragons’ Quarterback, Brandon Silvers went 21 of 40 for 217 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. The first interception was a poor decision as Silvers didn’t see the floating zone defender who broke on the ball for an easy pick. In contrast, the second interception was returned for a touchdown, but his receiver tripped while running the route as he threw the ball, so he’s not entirely to blame.
The Dragons’ plentiful collection of wide receivers were running excellent routes and getting open but frequently dropped passes. Alonzo Moore even dropped a perfect deep sideline pass from Silvers that would have been a touchdown in the first half. With fewer drops, we’re probably talking about an excellent day from Silvers and more than likely a Dragons victory.
Vipers Offense Was Disappointing
While Seattle impressed in their debut, most would feel the opposite about Tampa Bay, who put up a paltry 3 points in a loss to the New York Guardians. Historically, Marc Trestman has been an offensive guru wherever he’s gone, be it the NFL with the Chicago Bears or the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes.
Going into the season, many, myself included, expected the Vipers to be an elite offensive unit. With a formidable arsenal of weapons with American Alliance of Football standout and former George quarterback Aaron Murray at the helm, the Vipers offense could be deadly. The final score suggests that that was far from the truth, but watching the game itself was a bit of a different story.
The Vipers racked up an impressive 394 yards of total offense, the most by any team in week one. Still, two first-half interceptions, as well as a lost fumble on a catch by tight end Nick Truesdell that turned into a Guardians touchdown early in the fourth quarter, killed any momentum the Vipers offense could get into. They also kicked a field goal from the 5-yard line “just to get on the board,” a mentality that I typically can’t stand in play-calling but can understand from the human emotional side of things in a football game where you’re scoreless.
Jerry Glanville’s Vipers defense managed to hold the Guardians to just 226 yards of total offense, including holding the running game, which had a lead for most of the game, to only 44 yards. Other than a pretty 45-yard bomb to Mekale McKay, the Vipers defense was outstanding. They were creating pressure with their front four, their secondary was breaking on passes, and considering the lead that the Guardians had for the majority of this game – Glanville was able to come up with some unique blitzes to keep the offense guessing. The defense was not the problem.
Our Vipers Vs. Dragons Game & Betting Pick
Whether or not you trust the pre-season betting markets valuations of these XFL teams or not, I think there is a clear case of overreaction to this Vipers performance.
I am all over the Vipers laying -3 in this spot.
While the Dragons impressed me and do have the home-field advantage here, both teams have to travel across the country, so there shouldn’t be any extra edge gained. When is the last time you saw an offense put up 394 total yards and only 3 points? Not often. What you do see fairly often in football is turnovers that halt any momentum or spot the opposition a lead. While losing the turnover battle correlates to losing football games, the turnovers themselves are often more random than not unless there are specific things that cause them.
An example that sticks out to me is the 2018 San Francisco 49ers, who had an abysmal turnover differential but were still a highly efficient offense and look at what happened to them the next year.
This offense was expected to be dynamic, and if you ignore the turnovers, it was. The Vipers were on to something with dual-threat quarterback Quinton Flowers read-option, tempo offense in the second half, and I’m confident we’ll see more of that. Still, I also think that Aaron Murray had a game that will end up on the lower end of his range of expected outcomes. If you feel the opposite about Murray, then feel free to go the other way, but I’ll be backing the Vipers as road favorites for a second week in a row.
Betting On The Game Totals As Well
I’m also taking the UNDER 45.5. It’s the lowest total on the board, but both defenses impressed me. While I expect the Vipers offense to be successful, I’m less confident about the Dragons against Glanville’s defense that looked outstanding in week one. I also think both teams want to run the ball and utilize short passing more than downfield passing, which should create longer drives even with the shorter 25-second play clock.
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