Here’s my promised Extra! article on XFL Week 3 from my Tuley’s Takes column in Point Spread Weekly.
I wasn’t happy with my 1-1 mark last week (1-2 ATS overall on the young season, 0-1 on totals), but the main reason I didn’t feel good about it was the lack of information from practices and injury reports that we’ve seen from the new league. It’s tough enough picking winners earlier in the week and it adds to the guesswork when we’re not sure who’s going to be taking the field. I don’t recall feeling this lost early in the weeks last year with the AAF when we hit out last seven best bets (maybe I was just in tune with the teams better; but regardless, I feel better about my decision to wait this week – hopefully it pays off at the betting window – and we’ll see how we feel come next Tuesday and moving forward).
Let’s repeat what I wrote in PSW:
Favorites are 5-3 SU & 4-4 ATS overall with home teams at 6-2 SU & 5-3 ATS. Unders are 6-2, but I wouldn’t assume you should start betting the Unders now. The offenses should start to improve with more practice time (and the coaches hopefully learning to take advantage of the rules that favor offenses, like June Jones has done in Houston as that’s one of the rare offenses that actually tries to stretch the field as opposed to just dinking-and-dunking down the field), but I’m not advocating to start betting Overs blindly. I’m just saying Over/Unders will probably be close to 50/50 moving forward now that the books have adjusted the totals downward.
So, here we are heading into the weekend. I won’t be picking any totals this week (as I think the numbers have been adjusted where they should be) but wanted to repeat that for our regular readers. I also gave my early leans on the home underdogs (Tampa Bay, Seattle & Los Angeles), but as you’ll see in going over the individual games, I’m dropping one but going with three dogs in Week 3.
Houston Roughnecks (-7) at Tampa Bay Vipers (O/U 45)
Tuley’s Take: This is the dog I’m dropping. I’m in the minority, but I didn’t think Aaron Murray was that bad in Week 1 for Tampa Bay and I’m hoping for him to return after missing last week with a foot injury and run what could be a decent offense (though TE Nick Truesdell is also out, so more reason to pass on this game). Best Bet: Pass.
Dallas Renegades (-4.5) at Seattle Dragons (O/U 42.5)
Tuley’s Take: I’m am sticking with this home underdog (they’re 2-1 SU & ATS so far in the XFL, including Seattle winning its home opener last week). I wasn’t all that impressed with Landry Jones’ XFL debut last week and think the Dragons’ defense can contain the Dallas offense. And Brandon Silvers has been serviceable for Seattle and keeps the home dog in the game. Best Bet: Seattle 4.5.
New York Guardians (O/U 40.5) at St. Louis Battlehawks (-10)
Tuley’s Take: This wasn’t on my original list of bets this week (partly due to the Guardians getting routed 27-0 by DC). However, even though St. Louis has exceeded expectations with its upset of Dallas and covering ATS vs. Houston, I can’t buy that the Battlehawks should be 10-point favorites. I know there’s turmoil in New York, but I expect Matt McGloin to bounce back just fine and have the Guardians in position for the upset as long as the defense plays closer to how it performed in the season-opening win. Best Bet: New York 10.
DC Defenders (-8) at Los Angeles Wildcats (O/U 44)
Tuley’s Take: If Houston isn’t being hyped as the best team in the league so far, it’s DC. I agree that’s what we’ve all seen; however, I’d like to point out that both Houston and DC have had the benefit of playing both their games so far at home. Let’s see if they can take their show on the road. L.A. is 0-2, but played much better in its Week 2 loss to Dallas and should improve again in second start by QB Johnson. Across the board, I think these lines are overinflated this week…hopefully I’m right. Best Bet: Los Angeles 8 (though wait for best number).