Roughnecks vs. Vipers XFL Prediction
Through two weeks, the Houston Roughnecks have established themselves as one of the better squads in the reborn XFL. That said, will they pick up not only a win in Tampa today against the Vipers, but also a cover as a road favorite? Kickoff for this matchup is set for 2:00 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon.
417 Houston Roughnecks (-6.5) at 418 Tampa Bay Vipers (+6.5); o/u 45
2:00 p.m. ET, Saturday, February 22, 2020
Raymond James Stadium
The Roughnecks are a 6.5-point road favorites to knock off the Vipers while the total currently sits at 45 points. Houston is also -285 on the money line, while Tampa Bay is a +230 money line home underdog.
Through two weeks of play in the XFL, it looks like it’s the Houston Roughnecks and the D.C. Defenders’ league. The St. Louis Battlehawks gave the Roughnecks a game last week in Houston, but they’re a clear third (again, through two weeks) and then there’s a drop-off. The Roughnecks are averaging a league-high 32.5 points per game and their passing game, led by former Temple quarterback P.J. Walker, is a mismatch versus Tampa Bay’s secondary. Along with Cam Phillips, Kahlil Lewis and Nick Holley, former Steelers wideout Sammie Coates forms one of the best receiver corps in the XFL. They’re going to be a headache for the Vipers’ pass defense.
Speaking of defense, Houston has already forced five turnovers this season, including two a week ago in its 28-24 victory over St. Louis. The Roughnecks forced two critical interceptions, one before half and one in the fourth quarter. One of the reasons why Houston, D.C. and St. Louis have stood out is because they all have mobile quarterbacks. While former Georgia standout Aaron Murray isn’t a statue, he also had trouble moving Tampa Bay’s offense in Week 1 and missed Week 2 due to a foot injury. If he plays, I'm banking on Murray struggling again versus this Houston defense.
XFL Week 3 Prediction: Houston Roughnecks -6.5