Guardians vs. Battlehawks XFL Prediction
For the first time since December 2015, there will professional football again in St. Louis when the XFL Battlehawks host the New York Guardians at 3:00 p.m. ET. What’s the best play for this Week 3 XFL matchup?
421 New York Guardians (+10) at 422 St. Louis Battlehawks (-10); o/u 40.5
3:00 p.m. ET, Sunday, February 23, 2020
The Battlehawks were a 9.5-point favorite on Friday but the line moved over the weekend and now St. Louis, in its XFL home debut, is laying 10 points at the Dome at America’s Center. As for the total, the number currently sits at 40.5, which has been consistent all week. The Battlehawks are also -425 to win on the money line while the Guardians are +345 to pull off the outright upset.
New York Guardians
One week after winning their season opener against the Tampa Bay Vipers, the Guardians were shutout 27-0 by the D.C. Defenders in Week 2. New York netted just 137 yards of offense, which included more rushing yards (71) than passing when accounting for yards lost because of sacks. That said, the defense played fairly well, limiting the Defenders to 5.7 yards per play.
St. Louis Battlehawks
Even though he through two crucial interceptions, it was another solid performance by St. Louis signal-caller Jordan Ta’amu, who threw for 284 yards and three touchdowns in the Battlehawks' 28-24 loss in Houston. He also rushed eight times for 32 yards and had a great connection with receivers La’Damian Washington (6 receptions, 77 yards, 1 TD) and De’Murnay Pierson-EL (9 receptions, 50 yards, 1 TD). Defensively, the Battlehawks played well for a second consecutive week. Despite allowing 28 points and three passing scores, St. Louis held Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker to just 170 yards passing.
I like the Battlehawks but I’m not in love with the number (-10), so I’m going to cut that in half and take St. Louis in the first half. As previously mentioned, this is the first time that the city of St. Louis will have an opportunity to watch professional football since December of 2015, which was the last time the Rams played a home game. The Battlehawks sold out all the allotted tickets, as the XFL has created a buzz in St. Louis. I expect a frenzied crowd inside the Dome and for the Battlehawks, who played well on the road in back-to-back weeks to start the season, to feed off that energy.
Meanwhile, New York shouldn’t be as limited offensively with Marquise Williams under center (Williams took over last week after Matt McGloin was benched at halftime), but I still like St. Louis to hang tough defensively. If Ta’amu didn’t throw two interceptions that Houston returned inside the 5-yard line, the Battlehawks would have held a second straight opponent to under 20 points.
I expect New York to struggle again offensively for at least a half, and for the Battlehawks to build a lead before halftime. I’m also going to avoid a possible backdoor cover by the Guardians (like the one St. Louis was able to produce a week ago in Houston) by taking the Battlehawks in the first half.
XFL Week 3 Prediction: St. Louis Battlehawks -6 (-105) First Half