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Houston Roughnecks vs Tampa Bay Vipers Odds, Picks, and Predictions

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in XFL

Updated May 14, 2020 · 5:03 PM PDT

Sportsbooks list the 2-0 Houston Roughnecks as seven-point road favorites against the 0-2 Tampa Bay Vipers in Week 3 XFL action. Bob Duff breaks down the best bet for the game against the spread.
  • The Houston Roughnecks are seven-point favorites at the Tampa Bay Vipers in Week 3 (Sat., Feb. 22)
  • Will the 2-0 Roughnecks maintain their perfect record against the 0-2 Vipers? 
  • See the updated moneyline, spread, and total, plus ATS betting advice below

Through two weeks of the XFL season, the Houston Roughnecks and Tampa Bay Vipers find themselves at opposite ends of the league’s spectrum.

The Roughnecks are 2-0 and have scored 65 points. The Vipers are 0-2 and are still in search of their first offensive touchdown of the season. Tampa Bay’s only TD so far came as a result of a pick six.

Houston has found the end zone an XFL-leading nine times.

The Roughnecks come to Tampa Bay as seven-point road chalk over the Vipers on Saturday, Feb. 22nd (2:00 PM ET) in the Week 3 XFL odds.

Houston Roughnecks vs Tampa Bay Vipers Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total Odds
Houston -7 (-115) -280 O 45.5 (-105)
Tampa Bay +7 (-105) +200 U 45.5 (-115)

Odds taken Feb. 20th.

It’s the first time in three games this season that Tampa Bay is a betting underdog.

QB vs No QB

This tale of two teams begins with the vast difference in fortunes under center.

PJ Walker was a surprise starter for the Roughnecks when he beat out former Oakland Raiders quarterback Connor Cook for the job. He’s been a pleasant surprise ever since.

The former Temple Owls star is third in the XFL with 442 passing yards. He’s thrown for a league-best seven TDs. Waker is considered the early leader in terms of the league MVP award.

At the other end of the spectrum, Tampa Bay has employed more QBs (three) than the Vipers have had games (two).

Aaron Murray started the season-opening loss at New York but left with an injury. Quinton Flowers finished up. In last week’s home loss to Seattle, Vipers coach Marc Trestman opted to bypass Flowers and start Taylor Cornelius.

Cornelius was 16-of-27 for 154 yards, two interceptions and a passer rating of 44.4. Murray is expected back this week but his numbers aren’t any more inspiring.

In the loss to the Guardians, Murray went 16-of-34 through the air for 231 yards. He was picked off twice and finished with a QB rating at 45.1.

Tampa Bay is among three XFL teams completing less than 50% of its passes.

Roughnecks Getting It Done On Defense

Another reason to like Houston is that the Roughnecks also are a menacing presence when the other team has the ball. The Houston defense has sacked the quarterback eight times through two games. Linebacker LaTroy Lewis shares the league lead with two sacks.

Houston has pressured opposing quarterbacks on 41% of dropbacks, an XFL-leading number. That doesn’t bode well for Tampa Bay. Vipers QBs have been sacked nine times.

Houston LB Beniquez Brown (15), safety Cody Brown (13), LB DeMarquis Gates (12) and cornerback Ajene Harris (12) are all among the XFL leaders in tackles.

Vipers safety Marcelis Branch is second in the league with 17 tackles. However, he’s the only Tampa Bay player among the leaders.

Vipers Can Run The Ball

If there’s something that Tampa Bay can build upon, it’s the run game. The Vipers have shown that they can run the football.

De’Veon Smith (125 yards) is second in the league. Along with Jacques Patrick (105 yards), Tampa Bay is just one of two XFL teams with two backs over the century mark.

In his brief time at QB, Flowers carried 10 times for 49 yards.

Bet The Over

So far, there’s been eight XFL games played. The league is 2-6 on the over/under. Both games that have gone over featured the Roughnecks.

Houston whipped the Los Angeles Wildcats 37-17 in Week 1. The Roughnecks outlasted the St. Louis BattleHawks 28-24 in Week 2.

Roughnecks Should Roll Over Vipers

There’s no way to assess this game that doesn’t come up with a Houston victory. The only question is whether the Roughnecks will cover the seven-point spread.

Roughnecks vs Vipers Stats

Houston Roughnecks
Tampa Bay Vipers
2-0 Straight Up 0-2
1-1 Against the Spread 0-2
2-0 Over/Under 0-2
276.5 Total Offense 341.5
114 Rushing Offense 145.5
212.5 Passing Offense 196
340.5 Total Defense 212.5
110.5 Rushing Defense 80.5
230 Passing Defense 132
+2 Takeaways -3

The Vipers are 0-2 against the spread this season. Until Tampa Bay’s offense shows some life, it’s best to bet against the Vipers.

Pick: Houston Roughnecks -7 (-115)

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