Cameron Arts-Payne really got cooking for the Dallas Renegades last week, and this might be the beginning of some genuine balance in this offense. There is also some hope that Landry Jones will look better on his second game at the helm, after additional practice time. The Renegades will pay a visit to the Seattle Dragons in XFL betting action that is to take place at 5 PM ET on Saturday at CenturyLink Field, which of course is also the home of the Seattle Seahawks.
It’s a game that will be televised on FOX, and BetAnySports customers will have the opportunity to place wagers in real time as they avail themselves of what is at Sports Betting Ultra.
After a rather unimpressive display against the St. Louis BattleHawks in the season’s opening week, behind quarterback Phillip Nelson, the Renegades were able to insert Jones into the lineup. He had been dealing with a knee injury that had kept him out of team activities since the first day of training camp, and even as head coach Bob Stoops planned on him being the starter for Week 2, he still had a limited practice slate. Things should be a little different here.
There were some anxious moments last week for Dallas, which could not get itself untracked offensively against a Los Angeles Wildcats team that has playing without fired defensive coordinator Pepper Johnson and traded defensive captain Anthony Johnson. Los Angeles led 9-6 early in the fourth quarter, but Artis-Payne and the Renegades’ ground game began to take control. The Auburn alum scored two fourth quarter touchdowns in the 25-18 win. He had 99 yards on fourteen carries, and filled in some of the blanks for Jones, who had 305 passing yards but sustained two interceptions.
It has to be something of a concern that the Renegades went the first seven periods without an offensive touchdown. But with 444 yards and 6.7 yards per play last weekend, the outlook has to be encouraging.
In the odds at BetAnySports that we’ll use to make our XFL picks on this game, Dallas is the road favorite:
Dallas Renegades -4
Seattle Dragons +4
Over 42.5 points -110
Under 42.5 points -110
Seattle actually had only 199 yards of total offense last week. But they pounded out a 17-9 win over Tampa Bay last week by forcing three turnovers and scuttling three red zone chances for the Vipers. There are possibilities for the three-headed backfield that includes Kenneth Farrow and Ja’Quan Gardner, but it may be a while before Brandon Silvers is ready for prime time. Against a secondary that is generally considered to be permissive, he went just 7-of-18 for 91 yards. And 67 of those yards came on one play – a TD hookup with former Naval Academy quarterback Keenan Reynolds.
In terms of support, the Dragons may emerge as the biggest success story in the re-booted XFL. They drew a crowd of just under 30,000 for last week’s game, and have sold over 10,000 season tickets. So the crowd will make some noise.
But can it drown out the problems on the offensive side of the ball?
As it stands now, Seattle will have to use a third-string option at the all-important left tackle position, with Isaiah Battle and Michael Dunn likely unavailable. And continuity has probably been damaged by the fact that offensive coordinator Mike Riley, who has more coaching experience than even the head man, Jim Zorn, will be missing his third straight game as he deals with “personal issues.”
We don’t see the Dragons sustaining too many drives, and we’re willing to bank on the proposition that Jones, the one-time Steeler backup who was the first player signed with the XFL, can look sharper this time around.
If Artis-Payne can continue to add a ground “distraction,” well, that’s all the better. And it’s why we like the Renegades. At the same time, we wouldn’t go much farther than where this number sits right now.
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