XFL Week 5 Picks: Best Bets for Vipers vs. Guardians Includes Jeff Badet, Charleston Rambo, and Paxton Lynch

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

If you’re looking for Week 5 XFL Vegas Vipers vs. Orlando Guardians 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.

Vipers vs. Guardians Week 5 Odds and Betting Lines

The following odds and betting lines for the Vipers vs. Guardians 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: Vipers (-7.5)
  • Moneyline: Vipers (-330), Guardians (+275)
  • Over/Under: 42 (-110)

Vipers vs. Guardians Picks and Predictions

Making predictions about any two teams requires some degree of research and analysis. Making predictions about a matchup featuring two winless teams requires something more. And when these winless teams play in a newly recreated league that had been defunct for three years . . . well, you can imagine the challenge of differentiating reality from myth.

The myth is that both of these teams are “bad.” The Vipers nearly knocked off the Arlington Renegades in Week 1, led the currently undefeated DC Defenders entering the fourth quarter in Week 2, and fell to the Sea Dragons on a 65-yard TD pass on fourth down with a minute left in the game.

Yes, they’re 0-4. Yes, they deserve to be. And yet, in an alternate universe, they might be 2-2 or even 3-1.

And while every other team’s QB situation seems pretty firm at the moment, the Vipers’ situation remains in flux. Luis Perez was the Week 1 starter. Brett Hundley took over and looked good as a dual-threat option. A thigh injury entering Week 4 made Hundley questionable. Whether he was pulled because of the ailment or because of poor play might not matter. Perez took over and looked better.

In hockey, goalie competition can be a win-win. In football, teams generally need to know who’s going to be under center from week to week. Vegas hasn’t had that luxury, and I believe it’s contributed to some of the ill-timed poor execution that’s left them 0-4.

MORE: 2023 XFL Standings | XFL TV Schedule

Meanwhile, Orlando probably should have a QB battle. I’ve been writing this for weeks. Unlike Vegas, Orlando is winless not merely because of poor execution, but because they simply don’t have the talent (yet) to be competitive.

The Guardians are last in the league in scoring, and they’ve surrendered the most points. There’s no way to sugarcoat that. On defense, they’ve secured nine sacks and only two turnovers. Essentially, there’s little room for error, and their defense isn’t making things any easier.

On offense, Paxton Lynch enjoyed his best performance of the season last weekend. Huzzah! But he was a non-factor until the Roughnecks took a 26-3 lead, at which point one could argue Houston took their foot off the brakes just a bit, while still winning 44-16.

I highlighted Charleston Rambo last week as a player who could break out in Week 4. Basically, Orlando needed more offensive firepower, and their prized draft pick hadn’t yet gelled with Lynch. It was nice to see them connect on a deep TD in the third quarter. Again, it probably didn’t faze Houston much in a blowout. But if Rambo is now on the weekly radar, then it should benefit this team a lot.

Let’s keep in mind that the Guardians’ running game is perhaps the league’s most underrated. We don’t hear about them much because of negative game scripts. In a perfect world, Jah-Maine Martin and Kelvin Taylor can bring four quarters of productivity to this offense. They’ve combined for 200 rushing yards on 49 carries — a hair over 4.0 yards per carry. While that might not seem like much, in the XFL, that’s actually above average.

I’m expecting Vegas to be led by elite receiver Jeff Badet, whose 30-260-3 receiving line would put him in MVP conversations if this team were significantly better. And I mean that sincerely, because given his Week 5 opponent, Badet could light up the stat sheet to the tune of 8-130-1.

Cinque Sweeting and Mathew Sexton also should find room to make plays against Orlando’s soft secondary, creating some space for Rod Smith and John Lovett out of the backfield.

In the end, I like Vegas winning this one. They simply bring more to the table, just as they have all season (even if their win total doesn’t show it).

However, I also like Orlando covering what appears to be an excessive point spread. Their RBs should be able to establish the run more easily in a fairly competitive matchup, and the combination of Rambo and Cody Latimer should give Lynch a shot at proving that his solid Week 4 rebound wasn’t a fluke.

  • Recommended Point-Spread Bet: Guardians (+7.5)
  • Recommended Moneyline Bet: Vipers (-330)
  • Over/Under: Over 42 (-110)

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