- The Los Angeles Wildcats are 7-point road favorites against the New York Guardians in Week 4 of the XFL
- Is this a telling stat? LA beat the DC Defenders 39-9. New York lost 27-0 to DC
- Read on to find out the best best for Saturday’s game
Los Angeles is suddenly wild about the Wildcats, but someone needs to stand on guard for the New York Guardians.
From New York to LA is definitely a tale of two cities headed in opposite directions in the XFL standings.
The Wildcats crushed the previously unbeaten DC Defenders 39-9 during Week 3 action. That was LA’s first win of the season following two defeats.
The Guardians continued to head south. New York lost 29-9 at the St. Louis BattleHawks. Following a Week 1 win at home over Tampa Bay, they’ve gone 0-2 and have been outscored 56-9.
Online sportsbooks opened with LA as the 7-point favorite in this game, and that’s still the line.
Los Angeles Wildcats vs New York Guardians Odds
|Los Angeles||-7 (-115)||-300||O 39 (-115)|
|New York||+7 (-105)||+250||U 39 (-105)|
Odds taken Feb. 27th.
The Guardians and Wildcats are both 1-2 against the spread. New York is 1-0 ATS at home. LA is 0-1 ATS on the road.
Wildcats Gone Wild
At the outset of the season, the Wildcats were considered one of the contenders to win the XFL championship. Sunday, in a resounding smackdown of the Defenders, LA finally delivered on that promise.
Josh Johnson looked like a quarterback who started NFL games as recently as 2018 for the Washington Redskins. Hampered by a leg injury that kept him out of the season opener, Johnson is finally healthy. That’s bad news for XFL defenses.
He shredded DC. Johnson completed 72% of his passes (18-for-25) and passed for 278 yards and three touchdowns. He completed passes to eight different receivers. Tre McBride (five catches, 109 yards) added a deep threat at receiver to Nelson Spruce’s possession game. McBride caught two TD passes. One went for 40 yards and the other for 28 yards.
The real story for LA was that the defense finally showed up. The Wildcats defense was so bad in Week 1 that defensive coordinator Pepper Johnson was fired after the game. But against DC, they picked off Cardale Jones four times and sent him to the bench. Cornerback Mike Stevens grabbed two interceptions, made two pass deflections and collected one sack.
Guardians Offense is Offensive
Eye test. Analytics. It doesn’t matter. Any manner in which you opt to dissect the Guardians offense, the final analysis is bad news.
They’ve scored one offensive TD in the past 10 quarters, and just two all season long. Their lone TD in the loss to the Battlehawks came in garbage time with St. Louis ahead 26-0.
New York deployed three different QBs in that loss. Starter Matt McGloin, the former Oakland Raider, posted a passer rating of 56.6 before departing with a rib injury. Marquise Williams entered and his QB rating wasn’t much better at 67.1.
Finally, they tried Luis Perez under center. He was 4-for-5 for 39 yards, a TD, and a passer rating of 138.8. New York hasn’t named a starter for this game.
Defensively, the Guardians have given up an XFL-high 350.3 yards per game, but are the fourth-best scoring defense (19.3 points per game) in the XFL team stats. New York has allowed six TDs, second-fewest in the league.
New York’s Season on the Line
Can a midseason game be a must-win situation? In the case of the Guardians, yes it is.
Following this game, New York goes to Dallas and then gets Houston, the XFL’s best team, at home. Lose to LA and 1-5 through Week 6 is a realistic possibility.
Guardians vs Wildcats Stats
|1-2||Against the Spread||1-2|
|147.67 (8)||Total Offense||292.00 (6)|
|75.67 (7)||Rushing Offense||69.33 (8)|
|147.67 (8)||Passing Offense||222.67 (3)|
|350.33 (8)||Total Defense||349.67 (7)|
|75.67 (2)||Rushing Defense||134.67 (7)|
|212.33 (5)||Passing Defense||215.00 (6)|
|-2 (T5)||Takeaways||+6 (1)|
|10.67 (8)||Points Per Game||24.67 (2)|
|19.67 (4)||Points Per Game Allowed||23.67 (7)|
Are the real Wildcats the team that throttled DC last week, or the squad that surrendered 62 points in back-to-back season-opening losses?
Bet on the latter. LA is a completely different team with a healthy Johnson at the helm. He might be the best QB in the XFL.
Still, giving a road team seven points seems like too much. LA wins this game but New York covers.
Pick: New York Guardians +7 (-105).
Let's have fun and keep it civil.