Betting: Who will win XFL Championship?
Minty Bets is joined by Pamela Maldonado and Mark Drumheller to give their picks for the 2023 XFL Championship game this Saturday in San Antonio, TX.
MINTY BETS: The XFL championship is this Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas between the DC Defenders and the Arlington Renegades. Joining me are two of Yahoo's sharpest XFL cappers, Pam Maldonado and Mark Drumheller. The DC defenders come in as 6 and 1/2 point favorites, and the total is set at 47 and 1/2. Pam, let's go to you first. What is your pick for this championship game?
PAM MALDONADO: I'm pretty sure that Mark and I are going to go head to head on this one. I'm going with the underdog, the Renegades, plus 6 and 1/2. This is the most unlikely matchup that anybody would have expected in the XFL. Arlington, a 4 and 6 team, upset Houston a couple of weeks ago in the semifinals. DC has been the best team all around from start to finish with only one loss.
But the thing in this matchup, the Arlington defense. And defense wins games and they contend in big matchups like this. Held Houston a season-low 11 points just a couple of weeks ago. And the Defenders, they're first in rushing yards, yes, led by a fantastic running back in Abram Smith. Leads in rushing yards, in rushing scores, runs of 10-plus yards.
The Arlington defense, however, is the strength in this matchup. Leads in forced fumbles, forced interceptions. That bodes well against a team who likes to run. If you take away the run game, then you have DC quarterback Jordan Ta'amu. Four thrown interceptions in his last three games.
The Renegades defense, plus now having a quarterback that is highly capable in Luis Perez, now having started since week 7. He has more reps under his belt. He's more comfortable in this matchup. Arlington plus 6 and 1/2 is the play for me. And I'm going to go big because it is the final week. Sprinkle the moneyline, plus 220.
MINTY BETS: I love that big underdog payout. Mark, is Pam right? Are you on the opposite side here?
MARK DRUMHELLER: Well, she is right that I'm on the opposite side. I got to go with DC here. They're 10 and 1 on the season and 8 and 3 against the spread. And 6 and 1/2 points does seem like a lot, especially in these leagues. But I feel like we're getting a discount here with DC. When these two teams played back in week 9, DC was dominating that game, up 26 to 9 through three quarters, before they rested their quarterback Jordan Ta'amu and let Arlington back in the game.
I don't think they let them off the mat this time. The DC offense did have some success in that game, 9.1 yards per play, but turnovers cost them. I think they clean things up in this matchup. And one of the key things I see here is in that game, the Arlington offensive line had a season-worst pass-blocking grade, 33.7 per PFF. And now they're going up against a Gregg Williams defense that likes to attack their quarterback. I think the extra week off of preparation helps DC and the better coaching staff. I'm going to take the favorite here and lay the points.
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