XFL Week 4 Preview: Defenders at Vipers
Tampa Bay will attempt to win their first game of the season
- The Tampa Bay Vipers (0-3) are the only team in search of their first victory and will host the D.C. Defenders (2-1) in Week 4 XFL action. Despite their embarrassing road loss last week, the Defenders opened as one-point visiting favorites in this contest and the total opened at 46.5, the second-highest mark on the slate.
- The Vipers enter this matchup with the following records: 0-3 overall, 0-3 ATS.
- The Defenders enter this matchup with the following records: 2-1 overall, 2-1 ATS.
- Continue reading our Defenders Vipers prediction to find out which team is the best bet against the spread, on the moneyline and if the over or the under is the preferred option.
The good news: Tampa Bay was able to move the ball through the air for the first time this season in last week’s 34-27 loss to the Roughnecks. The bad news: their quarterbacks now have one touchdown pass and six interceptions combined this season. Ouch. It’ll be worth monitoring Aaron Murray’s status (he missed the last two weeks), but if he sits again, expect Taylor Cornelius and Quinton Flowers to split snaps at QB once again. Cornelius is more of a traditional passer and threw the ball 31 times last game, completing 16 of them for 193 yards and a touchdown and interception and Flowers is more of a threat on the ground. However, both quarterbacks took six carries and had a rushing touchdown against the Roughnecks. Wideout Jalen Tolliver attracted a team-high 13 targets last time out and caught eight of them for 104 yards. However, as noted above, Tampa’s passing offense has been a bit of a dumpster fire so far and should continue to be even when Murray returns. After surrendering the fewest yards over the first two weeks of the season, the Vipers defense got gashed on the ground and through the air against P.J. Walker and company, but it’s worth noting that they’re arguably the best offense in the entire XFL. Therefore, they have more of a positive outlook against the Defenders, especially after D.C.’s horrendous offensive output last week.
After two strong home victories, the Defenders fell apart on the road and allowed 39 points to the previously-winless Wildcats in LA. Quarterback Josh Johnson carved them up for 272 yards and three touchdowns through the air while they added three rushing scores as well. Meanwhile, Cardale Jones devolved from an XFL MVP candidate to getting benched mid-game for Tyree Jackson. Jones went 13-for-26 for 103 yards, no touchdowns and a ridiculous four interceptions, essentially destroying his team’s ability to put up points. Heading into that game, he had four touchdowns and just one interception on 63 pass attempts, for comparison. Therefore, since turnovers are not a predictive statistic, expect Jones to turn things around this week. The former Ohio State standout consistently put his defense to work last time out and created some positive field positions for the opposition. Therefore, it’s easy to look past the fact that the Defenders allowed just 19 points in their Week 1 win and shut out the Guardians in Week 2. But, this defense clearly has upside when they’re clicking. A matchup against this Vipers offense might be just what the doctor ordered in terms of getting back on track.
After reading our Defenders Vipers prediction, you should feel confident in the following bets: Defenders against the spread and on the moneyline and UNDER the total. More-so than their offenses, both of these defenses have proven to be the strengths of their team, and due to the lack of offensive playmakers on Tampa Bay’s side, there’s a solid chance that this outcome is one of the lower-scoring ones of the week.