Are the Houston Roughnecks hands-down the best team in the XFL? Well, their record indicates that they are at the top of the heap at the moment. But will that continue, with a defense that might not rank among the league’s best units?
And will that unit be tested against the Seattle Dragons? Well, maybe, if coach Jim Zorn goes ahead and makes the quarterback change everybody expects he’ll make.
So it’s Dragons and Roughnecks squaring off on Saturday afternoon, at Houston’s TDECU Stadium, which is where the XFL title game will ultimately be played.
Kickoff is at 2 PM ET, and while BetAnySports customers are watching the game on ABC, they can place wagers in real time as they access what is available through the facilities of Sports Betting Ultra.
Seattle’s offense has been very limited with Brandon Silvers at the helm. But after a first half that was extremely unproductive against St. Louis last week, he turned to BJ Daniels, the 30-year-old backup who was once in the employ of the Seahawks. And Daniels, who was a dual threat quarterback when he was playing at the University of South Florida, added some spark, as he had 184 yards of total offense after he was inserted in the second half.
But even though Seattle made a comeback, they fell short to the tune of 23-16. There has been some discussion about whether St. Louis might be a better team than Houston. And who knows – that might ultimately be the case. After some posturing by Zorn about the quarterback situation being “open,” we’ll get to see what Daniels can do from the outset.
In the XFL betting odds posted on this game at BetAnySports, the Roughnecks are big favorites:
Houston Roughnecks -12.5
Seattle Dragons +12.5
Over 46 points -110
Under 46 points -110
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So if the Dragons can get a little more imagination on offense, they will be dangerous – maybe. This was not a good situation at the start of the season, as Mike Riley had to leave the team because of “family issues.” Silvers had a little success in the AAF (Alliance of American Football), but is not the kind of guy who scares defensive coordinators. You really have to wonder how he beat out Daniels for the starting job, though that thought requires retrospect. Now they move forward, likely with Daniels and without Riley – the former head coach for Nebraska, Oregon State and the San Diego Chargers – who probably won’t come back to the team.
Houston, at 4-0, is feeling no pain under June Jones, the Run ‘N Shoot guru, as well as quarterback and MVP candidate Phillip “PJ” Walker, who has a 63% completion rate and leads the league on passing yards. It would be overly dramatic to say that there is trouble on the horizon. But there are a few indicators that this team may be a bit overvalued.
For one thing, because they run the ball less than 32% of the time, that may not be there as a reliable outlet, despite Walker’s mobility. Wide receiver Cam Phillips, who had won the XFL “Star of the Week” for two consecutive weeks, became the guy Dallas dedicated to stopping, and they did, holding him to one catch for nine yards. That contributed to Walker’s 5.8 yards per attempt, which is substandard. The defense is still a concern, and the Roughnecks have surrendered eleven touchdowns in four games. And despite being the beneficiary of five turnovers, Houston only beat the Renegades 27-20.
If Daniels gets the start, this Seattle offense can stay “woke” enough to cover the very hefty number.
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