If you’re looking for Week 6 XFL DC Defenders vs. Houston Roughnecks odds, picks, and predictions for this thrilling Monday night matchup, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve analyzed each team’s highest-probability game scripts to assess the most likely outcomes, including which players are in line to thrive more than anticipated or fall short of expectations.
Defenders vs. Roughnecks Week 6 Odds and Betting Lines
The following odds and betting lines for the Defenders vs. Roughnecks are as of the evening of Thursday, March 23, and come from DraftKings Sportsbook. Clearly, they’re subject to change prior to kickoff. That said, barring an unforeseen injury to a significant starter, we should assume that these lines will remain largely intact.
- Point Spread: Defenders (-2.5)
- Moneyline: Defenders (-145), Roughnecks (+125)
- Over/Under: 42 (-110)
Defenders vs. Roughnecks Picks and Predictions
Full disclosure as always: After going 13-3 on a combined point spread and moneyline of XFL picks in Weeks 3 and 4, I settled into a middling 2-2 performance in Week 5. Fortunately, my struggles with over/unders reversed course, as I finished 3-1.
This Monday night matchup should be thrilling for all the right reasons. Great offenses. Great defenses. Great coaching. Objectively, this is a prime example of what the XFL can offer.
And if Jontre Kirklin weren’t out for the rest of the season with a chest injury, I would have picked Houston in a minor road upset. Or, if Kirklin had been healthy, perhaps the Roughnecks would have been narrow favorites.
I don’t want to overstate Kirklin’s importance to the Roughnecks’ dynamic offense. But yeah, his loss is potentially devastating for this championship-caliber squad. In just four full games, he was among the league leaders with 253 receiving yards and four receiving scores.
Most teams have a big-play receiver. Kirklin was that guy for Houston. He had five 20+ yard receptions. That’s still only one off from the league lead. That’s how much he meant to this offense.
We cannot speak fully about Brandon Silvers’ impressive QB play without highlighting Kirklin. Silvers connected on only one reception of more than 17 yards last week, when Kirklin was knocked out early. Those are back-breaking plays for defenses. Now that DC doesn’t have to worry about Kirklin, they can focus more on Deontay Burnett and Houston’s secondary options.
No doubt, those options might be good enough to topple the Defenders, which somehow have yielded the third-most passing yards per game. Burnett, Cedric Byrd, Travell Harris, Justin Smith, and Ben Putnam will be among those trying to carve out yards. It’s doable. But it’ll be harder with their top guy out.
Speaking of “top guy,” not long ago, Max Borghi was regarded as the top XFL running back. An injury crushed his momentum, and last week, he struggled on the ground (although, in fairness, Borghi excelled in the air, just like he did in college).
While Brycen Alleyne has stepped up, I believe Borghi is the X-factor for the Roughnecks, who need to establish the run against a defense yielding the second-fewest rushing yards. But one reason so few teams have run successfully on the Defenders is because of game script. DC is 5-0. Opponents frequently have been forced to play catch-up through the air.
DC’s run defense isn’t actually elite by XFL standards. They’ve surrendered 3.8 yards per carry. In the NFL, that would be outstanding. In the XFL, it’s barely middling.
I expect Silvers to operate more conservatively than usual, at least at the start, as his team tries to control the tempo on the ground while wearing down DC’s defense.
Will they be successful? That depends largely on what DC can do on offense. We already know how dominant their run game is. Jordan Ta’amu at QB and Abram Smith at RB are crushingly efficient. Whether or not Ryquell Armstead returns might be moot.
Now, Houston’s yielding a slightly better 3.7 yards per carry. However, aside from Seattle, they’ve faced four subpar backfields: Orlando twice, Arlington, and San Antonio.
So let’s not pick apart the starts too much. Big picture: DC has beaten St. Louis twice and Seattle once. That’s three games versus high-end offenses on the ground and through the air.
The Defenders have weathered every tough storm. They don’t need a capable passing attack — at least, not until/unless a team figures out how to stop their run. And DC doesn’t necessarily need to hold the Roughnecks to less than 20 points, although that would help.
The keys here are Ta’amu and Smith. Collectively, they’re averaging exactly 5.0 yards per carry on 25.6 rushing attempts per game.
The Roughnecks will do everything in their power to slow them down. However, I’m betting on DC to continue breaking through. Houston has won primarily through the air, and now they’re missing their top target. DC, meanwhile, has won primarily on the ground, and they seem to be getting better every week.
- Recommended Point-Spread Bet: Defenders (-2,5)
- Recommended Moneyline Bet: Defenders (-145)
- Over/Under: Under 42 (-110)