Saturday, February 24, 2024

Vipers vs. Sea Dragons XFL Week 3 Odds, Picks, and Predictions: Morgan Ellison, Josh Gordon, Luis Perez, Brett Hundley Players To Watch

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If you’re looking for Week 3 XFL Vegas Vipers vs. Seattle Sea Dragons odds, picks, and predictions, 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.

Vipers vs. Sea Dragons Week 3 Odds and Betting Lines

The following odds and betting lines for the Vipers vs. Sea Dragons are as of Thursday, March 2, and come from DraftKings Sportsbook. Clearly, they’re subject to change. That said, barring an unforeseen injury to a significant starter, we should assume that these lines will remain largely intact.

  • Point Spread: Vipers (+3)
  • Moneyline: Vipers (+130), Sea Dragons (-150)
  • Over/Under: 38.5 (-110)

Vipers vs. Sea Dragons Picks and Predictions

There are three winless teams in the early going of this XFL season. The Orlando Guardians are in a class by themselves — preseason title long shots that have performed as expected.

But the other 0-2 teams aren’t necessarily as bad as their record suggests. And they’ll face off on Saturday to determine which one still has a legitimate shot at the postseason.

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Of the two, the Sea Dragons have had it toughest, struggling through two narrow losses by a combined six points. Admittedly, they were one of my two preseason picks to win the title (the 2-0 St. Louis Battlehawks were my other pick).

So what can we expect from Seattle in game 3? Well, let’s look briefly at their first two contests. The DC Defenders have yielded the fewest points in the league, while the Battlehawks have won twice on the road, including against the underrated San Antonio Brahmas.

Seattle isn’t “bad.” But they’ve failed to execute when it’s mattered most. In particular, Ben DiNucci’s Week 1 fumble cost them a victory over St. Louis. Unfortunate for them? Absolutely. Correctible? Absolutely.

Because the Sea Dragons arguably have the XFL’s top aerial attack. Despite his occasional (and ill-timed) struggles, DiNucci helms the most pass-friendly system, leading the league with 54 completions on 83 throws (a very respectable 65% rate) for 478 yards. Wideouts Josh Gordon, Jahcour Pearson, and Blake Jackson might be the most productive WR trio in XFL history.

MORE: 2023 XFL Standings | XFL TV Schedule

On the ground, while we wait and see if Brenden Knox can deliver on the promise he showed at Marshall University, backfield complement Morgan Ellison’s versatility might make this one of the top backfield duos. And with Knox ailing, we might see a lot of Ellison in this one.

I’m not convinced the opposing Vipers have the firepower to keep pace on offense, or even the defensive prowess to slow Seattle. Vegas has fallen to two squads with subpar passing attacks and, most recently, surrendered an astonishing 229 rushing yards to DC — even though the Defenders have the league’s most anemic passing attack.

In other words, the Vipers knew what was coming, and still weren’t able to slow the Defenders’ ground game.

Speaking of Vegas, they’re notably a work in progress on offense. Last weekend, starting QB Luis Perez completed one pass on five attempts for zero yards before the team mercifully replaced him with NFL veteran Brett Hundley. While Hundley’s experience could be key for this franchise in the short term, I don’t see him as “the answer” at quarterback.

And it’s not entirely his fault (or Perez’s). The Vipers must have been pumped to land wideouts Martavis Bryant and Geronimo Allison in the draft. Paired with Jeff Badet, on paper, they had a very strong unit.

But Bryant is (respectfully) a 32-year-old NFL washout who was most recently suspended by the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts, and then signed and promptly cut by the CFL’s Edmonton Elks. As for Allison, before joining the XFL this season, his last professional catch came in 2019.

Vegas’ backfield is enigmatic at best, with Rod Smith, John Lovett, and DeAndre Torrey carrying the load. Among this group, Smith is most notable for earning nearly as many carries in the NFL (101) as in college (107). The 31-year-old is primed for a larger role if he can handle it. However, that shouldn’t inspire confidence in someone who’s begun his XFL career averaging only 3.5 yards per rush.

Whether Perez or Hundley earns more snaps on Saturday might be moot. Vegas just gave up 18 points to a DC team that does nearly all their damage on the ground. Before that, they yielded 22 points to an Arlington squad with a subpar XFL QB and a backfield duo averaging only 2.8 yards per carry on 37 attempts.

I believe that as much as Seattle has underperformed in the win column, Vegas has performed as expected. Despite playing at home, the Vipers are underdogs for many compelling reasons. They’ll need to play their best football of the season — and Seattle will need to play their worst — to have a shot. I don’t see it happening.

  • Recommended Point-Spread Bet: Sea Dragons (-3)
  • Recommended Moneyline Bet: Renegades (-150)
  • Over/Under: Over 38.5 (-110)

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