XFL Orlando Guardians vs Houston Roughnecks Predictions, Odds, Spreads & Betting Lines: Guardians take it to Roughnecks
The Orlando Guardians and Houston Roughnecks get their respective 2023 XFL seasons started in what promises to be a thrilling game. Although a lot has changed since the 2020 season got curtailed by COVID-19, the Roughnecks looked like being the hottest team in the league and they will no doubt want to continue that this season. As for the Guardians, this will be their first season in Orlando since moving from New York. How will each team fare? Our XFL expert has picks, predictions and best bets for this huge Guardians vs Roughbecks game, so let’s dive in.
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Orlando Guardians vs Houston Roughnecks prediction
This will be the first game these teams have played and as such, we can expect chemistry to be a little off. That could lead to a low-scoring matchup, but also does provide some value with the underdog Guardians since there is a greater likelihood of variance. Orlando will also have ex-Broncos QB Paxton Lynch under center, and his experience could come in handy against Houston.
Orlando Guardians vs Houston Roughnecks spread, odds & betting lines
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing.
Point Spread: Guardians +3.5, Roughnecks -3.5
Total Points Over/Under: 35.5 points
Money Line Odds: Guardians +145, Roughnecks -170
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Orlando Guardians vs Houston Roughnecks expert picks
We’ve got 2 standout XFL picks for this weekend’s game between the Vegas Vipers and Arlington Renegades.
Guardians vs Roughnecks point spread pick: Guardians +3.5 (-110)
The 2023 version of the XFL will get underway on Saturday, and the nightcap of the league’s opening doubleheader will feature the Houston Roughnecks hosting the Orlando Guardians. Oddsmakers have the Roughnecks as a 3.5-point favorite, but I’m not sure that’s at all justified. Houston has Wade Phillips as their head coach, and no disrespect to the legend. but he’s 75 now and hasn’t coached in any capacity since 2019. He hasn’t coached anywhere except the NFL since 1975, so I think there will be a bit of an adjustment period here. Houston has former Troy quarterback Brandon Silvers atop their depth chart, and the last time we saw him play in the XFL was in 2020 when he was averaging just 5.2 yards per attempt.
Orlando is keeping things close to the vest, but they’ve at least got a quarterback who has actually started NFL games in former first round pick Paxton Lynch. Together with fellow quarterback Deondre Francois, they’ve got two signal-callers who are both very mobile, which could prove to be the difference here. With this being the first week of the season, passing games will likely be a bit sloppy early on, meaning teams with dual threat quarterbacks will have an advantage. They will be able to make things happen with their legs once plays break down. I also like some of the skill position talent that the Guardians have, including two receivers who have made significant contributions in the NFL in Cody Latimer and Eli Rogers.
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Guardians vs Roughnecks Over/Under totals pick: Over 35.5 (-110)
While it’s an understandable instinct to want to go under on totals in the first week of a new league with offenses that are still building chemistry, I like the over in this spot. The XFL has some interesting rules, including a heavily hyped three-point conversion that could help inflate scoring, and I expect the coaches to be aggressive here in Week 1 as the league looks to make a splash.
Both teams have wide receivers with legit NFL experience, and both sides have veteran quarterbacks who have been in the pro ranks for at least several years. The Roughnecks’ offensive coordinator is AJ Smith, who comes from an Air Raid background, so expect to see them air it out here. Silvers wasn’t great when he last played in the XFL in 2020, but when he played in the Spring League more recently he led the league in passer rating.
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