The Houston Roughnecks were the class of the XFL in 2020, winning all five of their games before the league was shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Houston attempts to pick up right where it left off when it hosts the Orlando Guardians in the 2023 season opener for both teams on Saturday. The Roughnecks were offensive juggernauts in 2020 as they led the XFL with 158 points and a plus-47 point differential. The Guardians begin their first season in the Sunshine State after spending 2020 in New York, where they posted a 3-2 record.
Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET at TDECU Stadium. Houston is a 3.5-point favorite in the latest Roughnecks vs. Guardians odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is 35. Before making any Guardians vs. Roughnecks picks or XFL predictions of your own, you need to see what pro football expert R.J. White has to say.
White, a Fantasy and gambling editor for CBS Sports, consistently crushes against-the-spread picks and went 535-450-30 on his ATS picks from 2017-22, which returned more than $3,500 to $100 players. He also closed the NFL season on an incredible 107-80-6 on his last 193 against-the-spread and total NFL picks during the 2022 NFL season, returning more than $1,800 for $100 bettors.
White has crushed not only the NFL but also the XFL during its abbreviated 2020 season, going 16-4 on XFL ATS picks before the league suspended operations. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, he has locked in on Roughnecks vs. Guardians and released a confident against-the-spread pick that is available only at SportsLine. Here are the XFL lines and trends for Guardians vs. Roughnecks:
Roughnecks vs. Guardians spread: Houston -3.5
Roughnecks vs. Guardians over/under: 35 points
Roughnecks vs. Guardians money line: Houston -178, Orlando +150
HOU: S Sean Davis made five interceptions and 2.5 sacks in 70 NFL games from 2016-21
ORL: DE Stansly Maponga played in the NFL, XFL and CFL before signing with the Guardians
Roughnecks vs. Guardians picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why the Roughnecks can cover
Head coach Wade Phillips and defensive coordinator Brian Stewart have a lot with which to work in Houston. The secondary includes safety Sean Davis, who recorded five interceptions and 259 tackles over six NFL seasons with four teams. Also in the defensive backfield is cornerback William Likely, who set a number of records at the University of Maryland and was named to the 2022 All-USFL Team after finishing third in the league with four interceptions for the Houston Gamblers.
The Roughnecks also should have a strong defensive line with tackles C.J. Brewer and Glen Logan terrorizing opposing quarterbacks. The 25-year-old Brewer starred at Coastal Carolina for five seasons and appeared in two games for the Buffalo Bills this past campaign. Logan, who is 24 years old, was a five-year letter-winner at LSU and helped the Tigers to the national championship in 2019.
Why the Guardians can cover
Orlando is coached by former NFL cornerback Terrell Buckley, who was a member of the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl XXXVI championship team. Buckley has a solid staff under him that includes defensive line coach Ty Warren (two-time Super Bowl champion defensive end) and offensive coordinator Robert Ford, who won three Super Bowls while serving as tight ends coach for the Dallas Cowboys. Former NFL signal-caller Shane Matthews also is on hand as quarterbacks coach and will be tasked with trying to get the most out of a group that includes Paxton Lynch.
Lynch is expected to be under center against the Roughnecks on Saturday. The 29-year-old was selected 26th overall by the Denver Broncos in the 2016 NFL Draft after forgoing his senior year at the University of Memphis. Lynch appeared in five games — four starts — with the Broncos from 2016-17, throwing for 792 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions, and had five TD passes and four interceptions for the Michigan Panthers of the USFL last year.
How to make Guardians vs. Roughnecks picks
White has analyzed this matchup and while we can tell you he’s leaning Under the total, he has discovered a crucial x-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. He’s sharing it only at SportsLine.