XFL betting, odds: With playoff picture beginning to shape up, here's how to bet each game this weekend

XFL betting, odds: With playoff picture beginning to shape up, here's how to bet each game this weekend

Playoffs? Are we talking about playoffs? As the XFL heads full speed into Week 7, motivation will slowly become a more prominent part of our handicapping process. Last week's results created a larger separation between the haves and have-nots of the league.

In addition, this week's transaction wire paints a picture of how certain teams feel about their chances. Houston, Arlington and San Antonio have all aggressively brought in new players to bolster their rosters as they position themselves for a playoff push. As a result, projecting how teams approach these final four weeks will be just as important as what we've seen on the field thus far.

Week 7 starts Friday night with a matchup between Arlington and Seattle, two teams jousting for playoff position. I gave out my best bet for that one earlier this week, so let's dive into the rest of the remaining slate and circle a few more winners.

San Antonio Brahmas (+3) at Vegas Vipers (O/U 39.5)

With both of these teams in flux, this is the most difficult game of the weekend to handicap.

San Antonio (2-4) is one game out of a playoff spot in the South Division and is desperately trying to fix its offense with hopes of staying in contention. The Brahmas have only one offensive touchdown in the last three weeks and have been held to 15 points or less in five of six games. San Antonio has demoted its offensive coordinator Jaime Elizondo, benched QB Jack Coan, and nothing has improved. They signed QB Kurt Benkert, who went 1-of-6 for 2 yards and an interception in limited action last week. It helps that the Brahmas are facing the worst defense in the league (allowing 5.9 yards per play), but I am concerned they don't have the horses to take advantage.

Meanwhile, the Vipers have all but packed it in at 1-5. They traded their best QB Luis Perez, to Arlington for a linebacker who has yet to earn a single snap this season. The Vipers were on the wrong end of a shakedown that would make Al Capone blush. Vegas now turns the offense over to Jalan McClendon, who was sacked twice and completed only one pass in four snaps as a member of the New York Guardians in 2020. It feels like a cardinal sin to lay points with the Vipers right now, but getting only three with a team struggling to score 10 doesn't excite me either. The Bet: Under 39.5

DC Defenders (-10) at Orlando Guardians (O/U 45.5)

The undefeated Defenders are on their way to becoming the XFL's first team to close as a double-digit favorite. And it's definitely warranted. The 0-6 Guardians' solid showing against Seattle last week was more about the Sea Dragons' declining offense than Orlando's improvement. The Guardians have covered in three of its last four games, but DC is a perfect 6-0 ATS, coming off beating Houston by double-digits (37-26). That's the same Houston team that ran Orlando off the field, 44-16, just three weeks ago.

DC should dominate in the trenches in a game that pits the XFL's best sack differential (+11) against the league's worst (-13). Orlando is also the league's sloppiest team, with 61 penalties on the season (36 in the last three games). That's an area that will be highly exploited by DC, who is the most disciplined team in the XFL with only 27 flags thrown against them. That's too much ground for Orlando to cover. I will play the favorite. The Bet: DC -10

St. Louis Battlehawks (+3) at Houston Roughnecks (O/U 44.5)

Houston signed WR Michael Bandy to help replace the massive void left by Jontre Kirklin's season-ending injury. The Roughnecks' offense turned to QB Cole McDonald, who brought the explosive plays back to Houston's air raid attack. McDonald averaged 17.6 yards per attempt while gashing DC's defense for 7.3 yards for play. Rush defense has been St. Louis' weakest link, so I suspect we see even more of McDonald putting the Battlehawks defenders in constant conflict with a hefty dose of RPO's.

Offensively, the Battlehawks will struggle to keep A.J. McCarron upright against Wade Phillips' formidable front that leads the XFL in sacks with 20. That's going to be the difference in the game. Houston will score early and often, and the scoreboard pressure will result in St. Louis having to throw its way back into the game, playing right into the hands of the pass rush. Houston bounces back in a big way. The Bet: Houston -3