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    XFL Week 5 Picks: Best Bets for Brahmas vs. Renegades Includes Kalen Ballage, Sal Cannella, and Kyle Sloter

    What can we expect in Sunday's XFL battle between the San Antonio Brahmas and Arlington Renegades? Here are the odds, picks, and predictions.

    If you’re looking for Week 5 XFL San Antonio Brahmas vs. Arlington Renegades odds, picks, and predictions for this thrilling Saturday 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.

    Brahmas vs. Renegades Week 5 Odds and Betting Lines

    The following odds and betting lines for the Brahmas vs. Renegades are as of the evening of Thursday, March 16, 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: Brahmas (-2)
    • Moneyline: Brahmas (-135), Renegades (+115)
    • Over/Under: 35.5 (-110)

    Brahmas vs. Renegades Picks and Predictions

    The XFL knew what they were doing when they scheduled this game for 10 p.m. ET. Many sports fans are consumed with college basketball this weekend. But after the second round of the NCAA tournament wraps up, the XFL will have the hungry sports world largely to themselves.

    If you’re a fan of offense, this might not be your cup of tea. The 1-3 Brahmas are averaging the third-fewest points per game, while the 2-2 Renegades are averaging the second-fewest.

    But if you love defensive battles, this matchup might scratch your itch. The point spread for every other Week 5 game was 41.5 or higher. This one is 35.5, and an examination of each squad’s strengths and weaknesses shows why.

    The Brahmas are a “good” 1-3 team, largely because of an exceptional defense that has kept the three highest-powered offenses in check. The St. Louis Blackhawks hung only 18 points on the Brahmas in Week 1, while the higher-flying Houston Roughnecks scored just 22 in Week 3. Then, last weekend, the Seattle Sea Dragons merely racked up 15 points.

    Those are three of the XFL’s four highest-scoring squads, collectively averaging 24.4 per game. But against San Antonio, they’ve averaged only 18.3. When considering how effectively those teams have pummeled most of their other opponents, it’s undoubtedly impressive.

    The Brahmas’ offense, however, remains a sore spot. This preseason, and each week since, I’ve shared the same sentiments: Jack Coan has a capped ceiling, Kalen Ballage isn’t the answer at running back, and Jacques Patrick isn’t much better in the backfield. Essentially, if this team had Ben DiNucci, Morgan Ellison, and a top-10 WR, they’d probably be 4-0.

    MORE: 2023 XFL Standings | XFL TV Schedule

    Of course, that’s not how this works. The Brahmas invested heavily in a defense that’s largely done its job. But as long as Coan continues to be little more than a glorified game manager, and as long as Ballage and Patrick combine for barely 3.0 yards per carry, then they won’t earn many wins this season.

    Fortunately for them, they’re facing an Arlington team that isn’t much better, if at all. Yes, they’re yielding only 3.0 yards per carry while just as impressively forcing 10 turnovers. However, their offense is averaging only 2.6 yards per carry while also committing 10 turnovers.

    The Renegades were preseason favorites to win the championship, in that they had the best odds. These days, it’s hard to see why. As with San Antonio, Arlington’s sturdy defense can keep them competitive. But also with San Antonio, Arlington’s troublesome offense isn’t reliable enough to bank on, even in favorable matchups.

    For example, they netted only 10 points against the league’s worst team, the Orlando Guardians. Orlando’s Paxton Lynch and Kelvin Taylor largely outplayed Arizona’s Kyle Sloter and De’Veon Smith. That shouldn’t happen.

    Since the preseason, I’ve remained fixated on Sal Cannella as the Renegades’ offensive centerpiece. The problem is that they’re not getting reliable help elsewhere. The recent signing of Caleb Vander Esch has helped deepen a shallow WR corps that’s been led by Tyler Vaughns and Brandon Arconado. Still, I don’t think it’ll be enough to break through the Brahmas’ defense.

    As much as Ballage and Patrick have struggled, San Antonio has little choice but to run them 20-30 combined times and hope for magic. I’m not expecting magic. But if they win, I expect the Brahmas to sign another running back. Through a tiebreaker, they’d be sitting in second place in the South division.

    In other words, if they win and the season ended Sunday night, the Brahmas would qualify for the playoffs. San Antonio must know that Ballage and Patrick won’t get them much farther. So I’m fascinated to see whether one of them can somehow step up. If they don’t, but still win, I’ll be fascinated to see how this reinvigorated franchise retools with an all-important rematch versus Arlington only a week away.

    • Recommended Point-Spread Bet: Brahmas (-2)
    • Recommended Moneyline Bet: Brahmas (-135)
    • Over/Under: Under 35.5 (-110)

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