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Houston Roughnecks vs New York Guardians; Odds, Picks, and Predictions

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in XFL

Updated Apr 1, 2020 · 3:02 PM PDT

MetLife Stadium - home to the New York Guardians
The New York Guardians are 2-0 on home turf at MetLife Stadium, while the visiting Houston Roughnecks are a perfect 5-0 on the season. Photo by Ajay Suresh (Flickr).
  • The unbeaten Roughnecks are 6.5-point road favorites in New York against the Guardians on Saturday, Mar. 14th, at 2:00 PM ET
  • The Guardians are 2-0 at home. Which of these teams will be maintaining their perfect records?
  • All the odds, picks and predictions are analyzed below

The Houston Roughnecks and New York Guardians are currently the hottest teams in the XFL.

The 5-0 Roughnecks are the league’s last unbeaten team. The Guardians have won two in a row. On top of that, New York is a perfect 2-0 at MetLife Stadium, where the Guardians will play host to the Roughnecks this Saturday (March 14th) at 2:00 PM ET.

Which of these teams will stay hot? Oddsmakers are leaning heavily toward the Roughnecks, establishing the road team as a 6.5-point favorite.

Houston Roughnecks vs New York Guardians Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Houston -6.5 (-110) -280 O 46.5 (-110)
New York +6.5 (-110) +225 U 46.5 (-110)

Odds taken Mar. 12th.

The line on this game opened at Roughnecks -6.5 and hasn’t moved a lick. Note that there is significant potential for the game to be postponed due to coronavirus, but at the time of publication, the league was still planning to proceed.

Guardians Thrive On Home Cooking

The East Division are truly the homers of the XFL. The four teams are a combined 8-1 at home. But together, they’re a dismal 2-9 on the road.

New York is also 2-0 against the spread on home turf at MetLife Stadium. However, those two wins have come against two of the weaker teams in the XFL.

The Guardians were 23-3 winners in Week 1 against the 1-4 Tampa Bay Vipers. They edged the 2-3 Los Angeles Wildcats 17-14 in Week 4.

Interestingly, New York won both games outright as home underdogs.

Irresistible Force vs Immovable Object

Houston’s offense grades out as #1 in the XFL team stats. The Roughnecks lead the league in overall scoring (158 points) and points per game (31.6). Houston is also tops in the XFL in passing yardage (259.8 yards pg).

Individually, quarterback PJ Walker is the XFL’s best in passing yardage (1,338) and touchdown passes (15). Wide receiver Cam Phillips is out front in receptions (31), receiving yards (455) and receiving touchdowns (nine).

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New York’s defense is allowing the second-fewest points (85) and points per game (17) in the league. In two home victories, the Guardians checked the opposition on 8.9 points per game.

They’re are also second overall with 13 QB sacks.

Perez Stepping Up For Guardians

Quarterback play has proven to be an issue for the Guardians since the opening of the XFL season. Luis Perez appears to have at least stoppped the bleeding.

Opening the season at #3 on New York’s depth chart, Perez has started the last two games and won both. He passed for 229 yards last week as New York won 30-12 at Dallas.

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Perez graded out as the XFL’s top QB during Week 5. His passer rating was 89.7. In the win at Dallas, Perez connected with Colby Pearson for an 80-yard TD. That’s the second-longest play in the XFL this season.

He’ll be facing his biggest challenge of the season this week. According to Pro Football Focus, last week the Roughnecks defense registered a QB hurry on 29% of dropbacks. That was the second-best mark in the XFL.

Roughnecks Will Rough Up Guardians

All season long, the Guardians have proven to be a bend but don’t break defense. New York’s been allowing 329.2 yards per game. That rates sixth in the eight-team XFL.

Houston’s high-tempo offense is devouring defenses. The Roughnecks have scored at least 30 points in three of five games, and never fewer than 27 points in a game. New York has allowed nine TDs and scored just eight. That formula won’t work against the league’s most potent attack.

Roughnecks vs Guardians Stats

Houston Roughnecks
New York Guardians
5-0 Straight Up 3-2
3-2 Against the Spread 3-2
4-1 Over/Under 1-4
343.4 (3) Total Offense 258.6 (7)
83.6 (7) Rushing Offense 98.6 (5)
259.8 (1) Passing Offense 160.0 (6)
307.2 (3) Total Defense 329.2 (6)
107.4 (3) Rushing Defense 102.0 (2)
200.2 (4) Passing Defense 230.6 (7)
-3 (T6) Turnover Ratio +1 (T3)
31.6 (1) Points Per Game 15.8 (8)
22.2 (5) Points Per Game Allowed 17.0 (2)

On top of that, what’s being overlooked is that the Roughnecks are quite solid when they don’t have the football. They’re the league’s #3 defense, allowing 307.2 yards per game. Houston leads the XFL in QB sacks (15) and takeaways (12). Roughnecks cornerback Deatrick Nichols (three) and safety Cody Brown (two) are 1-2 in the XFL in interceptions.

Last week, Houston turned the ball over four times and still beat the Seattle Dragons 32-23. The Roughnecks won’t play that poorly two weeks in a row.

Pick: Houston Roughnecks -6.5 (-110)

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