Week 7 threw the XFL world for a loop with some very unexpected outcomes (1-3 here at XFL Fan Zone). What does week 8 have in store? Read on to find out!
Vegas Vipers (2-5) vs. St. Louis Battlehawks (5-2)
Time/TV: Saturday, April 8, 1pm, ESPN/ESPN+
Line: STL -5
With the addition of new players and new injury concerns, it is getting more and more difficult to determine who will win these matchups. Teams like Vegas, who have played multiple quarterbacks are getting harder and harder to pin down as to what kind of team will show up week to week. That is why this pick comes down to consistency. St. Louis has been one of the most consistent teams all season and the Battlehawks have quarterback AJ McCarron to thank for that. McCarron is 157-for-228 for 1544 yards on the season so far. Even more impressive is McCarron’s 17 TD passes against just four interceptions. That kind of consistency gets teams into the playoffs, and St. Louis takes another step towards that this weekend.
The Pick: St. Louis 26, Vegas 19
Arlington Renegades (3-4) vs. Orlando Guardians (1-6)
Time/TV: Saturday, April 8, 4pm, ESPN/ESPN+
Line: Orlando -1.5
Orlando’s game last weekend was one for the ages. Quarterback Quinten Dormady accounted for six of the team’s touchdowns. Tight End Cody Latimer continues to make his case for a spot on an NFL roster as well. Latimer leads the XFL in receiving yards with 488. Arlington, on the other hand, continues to struggle to score points and will be using a third quarterback on the season, as Luis Perez should be ready to go. The most interesting thing about this game is that now Orlando has an outside chance to make the playoffs by winning out and getting a little help along the way. Because of this, expect Orlando to bring home a victory in week 8.
The Pick: Orlando 26, Arlington 22
Houston Roughnecks (4-3) vs. San Antonio Brahmas (2-5)
Time/TV: Sunday, April 9, 3pm, ABC/ESPN+
Line: Houston -5
Since Houston began losing, the XFL South has become more interesting. The Roughnecks will seal up a playoff spot with a win against the Brahmas this weekend, so expect better focus from Houston. The Brahmas are back to quarterback Jack Coan this week, as San Antonio has been injury prone all year at that position. Quarterback Paxton Lynch, formerly of the Orlando Guardians, was acquired by the Brahmas earlier in the week . San Antonio simply can’t put enough points on the board lately, so expect Houston to clinch a playoff spot this weekend.
The Pick: Houston 21, San Antonio 15
DC Defenders (6-1) vs. Seattle Sea Dragons (5-2)
Time/TV: Sunday, April 9, 7pm, ESPN 2/ESPN+
Line: DC -1.5
The game of the weekend! A week one rematch has huge playoff implications for the XFL North. With a win, DC locks up a playoff spot and puts pressure on Seattle to have to basically win out. A Sea Dragon victory makes things much more interesting, with a potential three-way tie for first place if all teams finish 7-3. DC would take one of those spots, due to the division record tiebreaker, and the winner of the Seattle-St. Louis game in week 9 would likely get the other. Seattle is on the outside of all the tiebreakers at the moment, but back to back wins against DC and St. Louis puts the Sea Dragons into the playoffs. If the Defenders pull off this road victory, it will have to come from an improved defensive effort. The DC defense is opportunistic, but has surrendered 37, 26, and 20 points over the last three games, which is concerning.
The Pick: Seattle 25, DC 24
David Taylor can be found on Twitter @DavidTaylorXFL