The St. Louis Battlehawks need a win to make the playoffs as they face off against the Orlando Guardians. It is time to continue our XFL odds series with a Guardians-Battlehawks prediction, pick, and how-to watch.
The Guardians are now just 1-8 on the year, following back to back two points losses. They were being blown out in every game earlier in the year, but the Guardians have been playing well, just not finishing the job. The Battlehawks crumbled against the Sea Dragons, falling 30-12 last week. That resulted in this game, where the Battlehawks need a win and a Seattle loss. If both teams win or lose, there will be a tiebreaker scenario that has not been announced by the XFL.
Here are the Guardians-Battlehawks XFL odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NFL Odds: Guardians-Battlehawks Odds
Orlando Guardians: +9 (-110)
St. Louis Battlehawks: -9 (-110)
Over: 47.5 (-110)
Under: 47.5 (-110)
How To Watch Guardians vs. Battlehawks
Stream: ESPN +
Time: 12:00 PM ET/ 9:00 AM PT
*Watch sports LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Guardians Could Cover The Spread
The Guardians have only one win on the season and are heavy underdogs in this one. The Guardians were blown out in three of their first four games, with the only close one being their 10-9 loss to the Renegades in week three. This fueled a change at quarterback, as Quinten Dormandy took over the duties from Paxton Lynch. He brought the team within three of the Vipers in his first game. Then he threw for 328 yards and three touchdowns to give the team their first win of the year. Last week was not his best though, as he threw for just 47 yards on 9/17 passing, for a touchdown and interception. The interception was returned the other way for a score. He only had ten yards rushing on the ground, and Deondre Francois took the game's final drive.
What kept the Guardians in the game was Devin Darrington. He ran 16 times for 133 yards and a touchdown. The long run of the day for him was 59 yards, resulting in that score. Defensively Jack Coan threw on them with ease, and they only had one turnover on the day, a fumble recovered by Stansly Maponga. The defense dug a hole early in the game that the offense almost got them out of. They had a field goal early in the fourth quarter, but then the pick-six put them further behind. They would score again but the tying two-point conversion attempt failed.
Ultimately to win this game, they need to have better quarterback play. They were extremely close in this game but failed in that one major aspect of the game. Consequently, they lost.
Why The Battlehawks Could Cover The Spread
The Battlehawks needed a win last week, and they did not perform. First, on offense, they could not run the ball, nor did they try. Gary Jennings got four carries for 35 yards, while Brian Hill, one of the XFL leaders in rushing, got just five for 11 yards. In total, the team ran the ball just 12 times for a total of 54 yards and no scores. Then they struggled to throw. AJ McCarron, who has been good most of the year, was off. He was 18/32 for just 186 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. McCarron targets 10 different receivers, but only five came away with a catch. Marcell Ateman was the bright spot, coming away with seven catches for 99 yards.
The defense was not good either. Outside of Lukas Denis, the secondary was beaten time and time again by Ben DiNucci. Denis defended two passes and had an interception while leading the team with ten tackles. The rest of the team combined for two passes defended and no interceptions. They did get into the backfield well, with five tackles for a loss and two sacks on the day. The pressure was not perfect though, and oftentimes DiNucci had a clean pocket to throw from. They will not face the same level of quarterback play this time, but Dormandy is a solid QB who can make plays.
Donny Haeman did hit a 54-yard field goal in the game, which was impressive, but if a long field goal is the bright spot of the day, that is a bad day for the team.
Final Guardians-Battlehawks Prediction & Pick
The Guardians need a win and need McCarron to lead them there. First, they need to limit the turnovers. They had two against Seattle and lost the turnover battle. Second, they have to get pressure on the quarterback. While this is spring league, these are still good quarterbacks who will make a team pay if they get time to throw. Finally, the secondary outside of Lukas Denis needs to be better. It is easy to just throw away from one guy. The Guardians have been playing well, but just not winning. They will do so again, and while they may not win, they get the cover.
Final Guardians-Battlehawks Prediction & Pick: Guardians +9 (-110)