A battle between first-place teams concludes Week 6 of the 2023 XFL season on Monday as the South Division-leading Houston Roughnecks visit the undefeated D.C. Defenders, who sit atop the North Division. Houston (4-1) is coming off its first loss of the campaign, a 21-14 setback at Seattle on March 16. D.C. (5-0) kept its perfect record intact two days later with a 28-20 triumph at St. Louis.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET at Audi Field. D.C. is a 2.5-point favorite in the latest Defenders vs. Roughnecks odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is 42. Before you make any Roughnecks vs. Defenders picks of XFL predictions of your own, you need to see what NFL 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, returning more than $3,500 to $100 players. He also closed with an incredible 107-80-6 run on his last 193 ATS 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 Defenders vs. Roughnecks and released a confident against-the-spread pick that is available only at SportsLine. Here are the XFL lines and trends for Roughnecks vs. Defenders:
- Defenders vs. Roughnecks spread: D.C. -2.5
- Defenders vs. Roughnecks over/under: 42 points
- Defenders vs. Roughnecks money line: D.C. -150, Houston +126
- DC: The Defenders are averaging a league-best 174 rushing yards
- HOU: The Roughnecks were kept off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter last week
- Defenders vs. Roughnecks picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why the Defenders can cover
D.C.’s ground game is the best in the XFL as the team entered Week 6 as the leader in rushing yards (870), yards per carry (4.6) and touchdown runs (11). The attack is spearheaded by Abram Smith, who topped all players after five games with 432 yards and ranked second with four TDs — one behind teammate D’Eriq King. The 24-year-old Smith, who ran for 1,601 yards at Baylor in 2021, gained 218 on 23 carries against the BattleHawks last week.
The Defenders are last in the league in passing, but quarterback Jordan Ta’amu and backup King have combined to throw just one interception and have been sacked only five times. Defensively, D.C. ranked second in the XFL after five games with 17 sacks, with defensive end Davin Bellamy and linebacker Andre Mintze recording 3.5 apiece and DE Jarrell Owens notching three. Cornerback Michael Joseph shared the league lead through five weeks with four interceptions and returned two of them for touchdowns.
Why the Roughnecks can cover
Houston was first in the XFL after five weeks with 18 offensive touchdowns, including 12 through the air. Quarterback Brandon Silvers entered Week 6 tied for second with 11 scoring tosses and ranked third with 1,189 passing yards. The Roughnecks are last in the league in rushing (408 yards) but were tied for second with six TD runs through five games.
On the other side of the ball, Houston has allowed a league-low 76 points (only 24 in the second half) and ranked first after five weeks with 19 sacks and eight interceptions. Despite missing one game, linebacker Trent Harris tops the XFL with six sacks while defensive lineman Tim Ward is right behind him with five. Cornerback Ajene Harris is tied with D.C.’s Joseph for league lead with four interceptions while former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Sean Davis has made three.
How to make Defenders 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.
Who wins Defenders vs. Roughnecks? And what critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Roughnecks vs. Defenders spread you should jump on — all from the top pro football expert who brought in more than $1,800 last season in the NFL — and find out.