Dallas Renegades quarterback Philip Nelson

XFL Week 5 Betting Preview: New York Guardians at Dallas Renegades

  • Gambling
  • XFL
By Jereme Jones March 5, 2020 0 Comment
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It’s the XFL, not the NFC East, but it’s always a big game when Dallas and New York meet on the gridiron.

New York at Dallas (-8.5)

Saturday, March 7, 5 pm, Fox

Last week the Dallas Renegades hosted the #TexasThrowdown. This week, it’s the XFL Back-Up Bowl, as Luis Perez leads the 2-2 New York Guardians into Globe Life Park to take on Phillip Nelson and the 2-2 Renegades in what might be considered an early must-win for both teams.

Nelson takes the reigns for the Renegades for the second time this season after Landry Jones re-injured his knee last week against Houston. Nelson performed well in his week one start, despite the loss. He threw 33 for 42 for 209 yards and one interception. With Hal Mumme calling the offense, and the triumvirate of Donald Parham, Cameron Artis-Payne and Lance Dunbar at his disposal, all Nelson has to do is make good decisions and not turn the ball over, and Dallas should be able to score.

The Guardians have dealt with their quarterback problems. Starter Matt McGloin was benched week two, missed time due to injury in week three, and was then inactive in week four. New York tried North Carolina product Marquise Williams in relief in weeks two and three, but he was not able to earn the spot permanently.

Last week the Guardians turned to Luis Perez, the former AAF quarterback, and he responded by leading New York to a win over LA. Perez was not flashy, he went 18 of 26 for 150 yards and one touchdown, but he was efficient and, most importantly, he did not turn the ball over.

With New York’s running back duo of Darius Victor and Tim Cook, Perez doesn’t need to be great; he needs to make good decisions, take care of the ball, and move the sticks. The Guardians will also benefit if Perez can find a way to get the ball more often to wide receiver Mekale McKay. McKay has only been targeted 16 times this season despite being the most talented receiver on the roster.

With backups running both offenses, this game will come down to which defense plays the best. The Renegades defense is third in the XFL in yards per game (308) and second in points per game (18). The Renegades have been good at stopping the run, only giving up an average of 106 yards. That is a significant factor against this New York offense. Dallas features a solid linebacking corps with Tegray Scales and Greer Martini and a great secondary led by cornerback Josh Hawkins and safety Derron Smith.

New York is third in the XFL in points allowed per game (18.2). They also rank dead last in yards allowed per game (347.2). The Guardians win when their defense causes havoc; in their two wins, they have forced four turnovers and had eight sacks. In their two losses, they’ve only managed one turnover and two sacks.

They are led on defense by defensive end Bunmi Rotimi and cornerback Jamar Summers, possibly the best defensive back in the XFL. Defensive end Jarrell Owens flashed last week as well, getting two sacks and blocking a field goal against LA.

There are a lot of unknowns in this game due to the quarterback situations for each team. Looking at trends offers us little help either. New York is 0-2 on the road, losing by an average of 23.5 points. Dallas is 0-2 at home. When you look at individual match-ups, every category is close, with Dallas having a slight edge in most areas. It all comes down to which quarterback can avoid making a big mistake.

Nelson showed in his first start that he is willing to hit his check-downs and play it safe. On the other side, the Dallas defense should be able to slow down the New York run game. It will force Luis Perez to take some chances down the field. In a match-up of Perez vs. Josh Hawkins and Derron Smith, the Dallas defense should be able to force a turnover or two.

Based on that, and the game is in Dallas, expect the Renegades to get the win on Saturday. However, eight points are a lot in this game. Given the unknowns, it’s best to take the Guardians to cover.

Our Pick: New York (+8.5)

XFLOutsider’s 2020 Season Record:

Straight Up: 10-2

Against the Spread: 9-3

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