XFL Seattle Sea Dragons vs DC Defenders predictions, odds, spreads & betting lines: Sea Dragons can make waves
The final teams to make their first appearances of the 2023 XFL season will be the Seattle Sea Dragons and the DC Defenders, who will aim to secure their first XFL win on Sunday night at Audi Field in Washington (8:00 pm ET, ESPN). The Sea Dragons are expected to be a contender in their first season and are road favorites for this opening contest. Our XFL expert has picks, predictions and best bets for the concluding Week 1 matchup between the Sea Dragons and the Defenders, let’s dive in.
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Seattle Sea Dragons vs DC Defenders prediction
Football fans have been starved of XFL action since before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and a lot of people will be hoping it can provide some solid entertainment while the NFL takes a break. The Sea Dragons are expected to make a run at the title this season under former Saints head coach Jim Haslett, and quarterback Ben DiNucci will be familiar to NFL fans having started a game for the Cowboys in the 2020 season. The Defenders are expected to be a run-first team under head coach Reggie Barlow.
Seattle Sea Dragons vs DC Defenders spread, odds & betting lines
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook at time of publishing.
Point spread: Sea Dragons -1.5, Defenders +1.5
Total points over/under: 35.5 points
Money line odds: Sea Dragons -130, Defenders +105
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Seattle Sea Dragons vs DC Defenders expert picks
We’ve got 2 standout XFL picks for this weekend’s game between the Seattle Sea Dragons and DC Defenders.
Sea Dragons vs Defenders point spread pick: Sea Dragons -1.5 (-110)
The first weekend of the 2023 XFL season will wrap up with a nightcap on Sunday between the DC Defenders and Seattle Sea Dragons. Oddsmakers have Seattle as -1.5 favorites, and I like the Sea Dragons at that price for a few reasons. The Defenders are going to start former Ole Miss quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, and when the XFL was around in 2020 he struggled down the stretch after a good first couple of games. He threw only 1 touchdown pass across his final 3 contests as defenses appeared to have figured him out. Seattle will start Ben DiNucci at quarterback, who has NFL regular-season starting experience, which is more than most guys in this league can say.
It wasn’t that long ago that DiNucci was starting a primetime NFL game for the Dallas Cowboys, so I don’t think the moment will be too big for him. He’s also got some exciting talent at the skill positions at his disposal, including one of the biggest names in the league in Josh Gordon. I don’t think too many other former NFL All-Pros are going to be suiting up in the XFL, and the dynamic former Browns and Patriots receiver is still only 31. He has the potential to dominate at this level, and will easily be the most talented wideout in this game. Seattle also has some notable names on defense — including linebacker Jordan Evans, who is the captain. From 2017 through 2021, Evans was a big part of the Cincinnati Bengals’ defense and only fell out because of an injury.
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Sea Dragons vs Defenders over/under totals pick: Over 35.5 (-115)
I’m playing the over because I think this is arguably the best quarterback matchup of the weekend. Ben DiNucci has NFL starting experience, whereas Jordan Ta’amu has been a starter in the XFL before and knows what to expect. Ta’amu played in the USFL last year, and he ended up leading the league in both passing yards and touchdowns. He was the only quarterback to play all 10 games, so he’s probably got more experience at this level of pro football than just about anybody else.
Sea Dragons receiver Josh Gordon is probably the most talented player in the league, and a former first-team All-Pro in the NFL should dominate. Gordon is still only 31, and he was playing in the NFL as recently as this past season. It wasn’t too long ago that he was catching passes from Patrick Mahomes at the Chiefs.
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