XFL Week 8 Odds and Picks: St. Louis Battlehawks vs. Vegas Vipers Targets Include Brian Hill, Darrius Shepherd, and Jalan McClendon

    What can we expect in Saturday's XFL battle between the St. Louis Battlehawks and Vegas Vipers? Here are the odds, picks, and predictions.

    If you’re looking for Week 8 XFL St. Louis Battlehawks vs. Vegas Vipers odds, picks, and predictions for this exciting Saturday 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.

    Battlehawks vs. Vipers Week 8 Odds and Betting Lines

    The following odds and betting lines for the Battlehawks vs. Vipers are as of the evening of Thursday, April 6, 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: Battlehawks (-7)
    • Moneyline: Battlehawks (-305), Vipers (+255)
    • Over/Under: 46 (-110)

    Battlehawks vs. Vipers Picks and Predictions

    Full disclosure as always: I had my worst performance of the season last weekend, going 1-3 on point spreads and moneylines, as well as 2-2 on over/unders. I had been 23-9 on combined point spreads and moneylines since Week 3. No excuses. Week 7 upended my thinking on a lot of these teams, forcing me to challenge long-held assumptions as we near the end of the regular season.

    Also full disclosure: I acknowledged last week having no clear sense of how the Roughnecks vs. Battlehawks game would play out. St. Louis was one of my two preseason picks to win the title. Assuredly, I should have remained loyal to them.

    Instead, I leaned into a crumbling Houston infrastructure, made worse by sudden doubts about their starting QB and the season-ending injury to their No. 1 WR, Jontre Kirklin. Still, I believed this proud and talented franchise would rise to the occasion at home.

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    Instead, we must acknowledge what seemed evident to me and others back in February — the Battlehawks are for real. They’re an incredible 4-1 on the road, including a 29-6 obliteration of the Vipers in Week 6, when they limited Vegas to 230 total yards. AJ McCarron, Brian Hill, and Darrius Shepherd dominated.

    This is St. Louis in a nutshell. Their worst offensive output was in Week 1 when they scored “only” 18 points. But 15 of those points came in the final 90 seconds. As I’ve shared before, it took them nearly an entire game for their offense to gel. Once it did, no one’s been able to stop them.

    Vegas has the misfortune of playing in the Battlehawks’ division, staring at a 2-5 record with three games to play. They’re the first team to be mathematically eliminated from postseason contention.

    Looking ahead to 2024, the Vipers opted to trade starting QB Luis Perez and (admittedly surprisingly, to me) bench Brett Hundley, electing to move forward instead with Jalan McClendon last weekend.

    Amazingly, McClendon led his offense to 26 points. For context, no other team has hung that many points on San Antonio. Not Houston (22). Not St. Louis (18). Not Seattle (15).

    McClendon was simply brilliant, throwing for 264 yards and two scores on 8.5 yards per pass attempt. Customary No. 1 WR Jeff Badet took a backseat to frequent tertiary options like Mathew Sexton, Sean Price, and Geronimo Allison.

    This is why the point spread for this coming contest is merely seven points. The market believes McClendon is the real deal — or at least, real enough to put up a strong fight against the vaunted Battlehawks.

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    But I’m taking a different approach. While the Brahmas enjoy an outstanding defense (usually), their offense is arguably the worst in the XFL. Vegas had the ball for 10 minutes more than San Antonio did. They were able to work the clock and keep the Brahmas’ defense on the field.

    The Battlehawks will be a far tougher assignment, and McClendon will have less room for error. A Vipers backfield averaging only 3.5 yards per carry must step up. That’s asking a lot of a 2-5 squad with a defense that’s yielded 29+ points in four of their last five outings.

    Essentially, Vegas must play even better than they did last week to keep pace. I don’t see that happening.

    • Recommended Point-Spread Bet: Battlehawks (-7)
    • Recommended Moneyline Bet: Battlehawks (-305)
    • Over/Under: Under 46 (-110)

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