SPORTS

XFL 2023 Week 4 preview: Game schedule, teams, players, stats

The DC Defenders and Houston Roughnecks are both 3-0 and the only undefeated teams in the XFL entering Week 4.

Last week, led by three touchdown passes from quarterback Brandon Silver, the Roughnecks beat the San Antonio Brahmas 22-13, while the defenders were able to reach quarterback AJ McCarron — which resulted in four sacks and two interceptions — to defeat St. Louis. BattleHawks 34-28.

The Roughnecks play against the Orlando Guardians on Saturday in week four, and the Defenders take on the Vegas Vipers on Sunday night.

Week 3 was no different from the opening weeks in the entertainment department, with the most exciting matchup being the battle between the two winning teams.

With 3:34 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Seattle Sea Dragons were trailing the Vegas Vipers 26–18 following a comeback by quarterback Ben DiNucci. DiNucci threw two touchdowns—one of which was a 65-yard game-winner to former NFL All-Pro wide receiver Josh Gordon with 59 seconds left.

DiNucci finished with 377 passing yards and four touchdown passes.

Here’s what to expect in Week 4, with picks from ESPN sports betting insider Doug Kejirian. Betting Lines are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.

Houston Roughnecks (3-0) Orlando Guardians (0-3)

Saturday, 7PM ET | FX, ESPN+
Spread: HOU -8.5 (37.5)

This is a week 1 rematch as the Roughnecks beat the Guardians 33-12. The Roughnecks lead the league in points per game (26) and fewest allowed (13). On the offensive side, Silver is second in passing yards (723) and first in touchdown passes (7). Defensively, linebackers Trent Harris and Tim Ward have combined for 7.5 sacks. The Roughnecks continue to lead the league in sacks (13) and interceptions (5), while the Guardians have struggled offensively through three weeks averaging a league-low 11 points.

Players to watch: The beneficiary of Silver’s explosive passing attack is wide receiver Jontrey Kirklin, who ranks third in the league in receiving yards (204) and first in touchdown receptions (3). For the Guardians, former Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch ranks fifth in passing yards (423), and his former Denver teammate, wide receiver Cody Latimer, remains effective amid a struggling offense. Latimer is sixth in receiving yards (155) and has caught two touchdowns.

Kezirian: Orlando showed signs of life last week and got his first cover in a one-point loss to Arlington. However, the Guardians are still the worst team in the league, with issues at most positions, and Houston (-8.5) Has the potential to be the top team in the league.


San Antonio Brahmas (1-2) at Seattle Sea Dragons (1-2)

Saturday, 10 p.m. ET | FX, ESPN+
Spread:
sea ​​-4.5 (40.5)

This matchup provides an opportunity for both teams to return to .500. The Sea Dragons have one of the best air attacks in the XFL. DiNucci, a former Dallas Cowboy, leads the league in passing yards (855), completed passes (83), throws resulting in first downs (37) and is tied for the lead in touchdown passes (7). On the other hand, Brahmas quarterback Jack Cone has also found success, throwing five touchdown passes, but Cone struggled last week against the Roughnecks, totaling 64 yards.

Players to watch: Two of DiNucci’s beneficiaries are wide receiver Jahour Pearson, who ranks first in receiving yards (272), and Gordon, who is second (225). In addition to their dynamic passing attack, they also have the XFL’s leading rusher in Morgan Ellison (170). Brahma ranks second in rushing (297) and is led by running backs Kalen Balague and Jax Patrick, who combined for 235 yards.

Kezirian: Seattle QB Ben Dinucci is built for high-scoring games with a penchant for turnovers along with the ability to make plays. San Antonio QB Jack Coan has shown some flashes, and the Seattle defense is a bit questionable. Taking over 40.5.


Arlington Renegades (2-1) at St. Louis Battlehawks (2-1)

Sunday, 4 p.m. ET | ESPN2, ESPN+
Spread:
STL-4 (36.5)

Both teams have shown a flair for theatrics with late game-winning drives. A last-second victory for the Battlehawks has eluded McCarron. The Renegades have relied on keeping their defense strong in the final seconds, including a goal-line stand against the Vipers in Week 1. The Battlehawks are looking to bounce back from their first loss, despite McCarron’s four touchdown passes and the Renegades. String together back-to-back wins after going 10-9 against the Guardians.

Players to watch: McCarron’s NFL pedigree has proven valuable, as he ranks third in passing yards (636) and first in touchdown passes (7). Wide receiver Hakeem Butler’s three touchdowns also tied for a league high. Renegades running back De’Veon Smith has been consistent and ranks sixth in the XFL in rushing yards (107).

Kezirian: Arlington is limited on offense but has a huge coaching edge with Bob Stoops. I’m not sold on the BattleHawks given the offensive line issues, so I think we see a low-scoring affair in St. Louis. Under 36.5.


Vegas Vipers (0-3) at DC Defenders (3-0)

Sunday, 7 p.m. ET| ESPN 2, ESPN+
Spread: DC-6 (42)

This rematch of the second week resulted in an 18–6 win for the Defenders, who came back from a 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Although the Vipers failed to execute in the fourth quarter, quarterback Brett Hundley threw for 224 yards with two touchdown passes and ran for 66 yards and a score. The defense has the most rushing offense in the XFL averaging 149 yards. At the same time, his defense is second in interceptions (4) and sacks (10).

Players to watch: The defenders’ ground game is funneled through the running back duo of Abram Smith and Riquel Armstead, who have combined for 294 yards rushing. To contain the fast-moving attack is the job of Vipers defensive end Maximilian Roberts, who has three sacks, tied for second most in the league.

Kezirian: QB Brett Hundley makes the Vipers a more capable offense, and they can definitely put up some points, which is why they are 3-0 ATS in the first half. However, Rod Woodson has shown his coaching inexperience – one of the reasons they are 0-3. The defenders are using the two-quarterback system quite effectively. is over 42.5 plays.

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