XFL Championship Odds, Picks, and Predictions: Jordan Ta’amu, Abram Smith, and Luis Perez Are Players To Watch

The XFL Championship Game between the DC Defenders and Arlington Renegades is here! Here are the XFL odds, picks, and predictions for bettors.

If you’re looking for postseason XFL odds, picks, and predictions, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve analyzed the upcoming XFL Championship Game’s highest-probability scripts to assess the most likely outcome, including which DC Defenders and Arlington Renegades players are in line to thrive more than anticipated or fall short of expectations. The following betting odds and predictions for the upcoming regular season are based on DraftKings Sportsbook from May 12, 2023.

Defenders vs. Renegades Playoff Odds, Picks, and Predictions

Believe it or not, Arlington was the consensus preseason favorite to win the title. I didn’t buy into it, based partly on the fact that I didn’t trust their lukewarm QB duo of Drew Plitt and Kyle Sloter.

Then the Renegades made perhaps the most significant trade in XFL history, securing Luis Perez to solidify their QB situation for the stretch run.

The San Antonio Brahmas desperately needed a QB, too. They were competing with Arlington for the second playoff spot in the South division. At the time, I wrote that this Arlington trade was a win-win; not only did they upgrade at quarterback, but they prevented their divisional rivals from upgrading.

To be clear, Perez is no Jordan Ta’amu, A.J. McCarron, or Ben DiNucci. But in the XFL universe, he’s good enough. And in fairness, unlike Ta’amu, McCarron, and DiNucci, Perez doesn’t have much to work with.

But give credit to this franchise, which received plenty of grief from football fans who believed the North division’s 7-3 Battlehawks were more deserving of a playoff berth than the 4-6 Renegades. Because Arlington saved its best game of the season for last weekend, crushing Houston on the road.

Little-used WR JaVonta Payton went off for 121 yards and two touchdowns, reeling in all five of his targets. WR Caleb Vander Esch tacked on a 5-60 line. Both were in-season acquisitions. And both stepped up when it mattered most.

MORE: PFN’s FREE NFL Mock Draft Simulator (With Trades)

Candidly, I never saw it coming. On a team with a starting running back who averaged below 3.2 yards per carry during the regular season, with a receiving corps led by TE Sal Cannella, and with Tyler Vaughns leading the WR corps with a meek 31-302-1 receiving line . . . well, you can see the issue.

The Renegades made it to the postseason not because of their aching offense, but because of their stout defense. That’s their calling card. That’s largely why they were preseason favorites to win it all.

If what we saw last week is a sign of things to come — if this offense is ready to take off against DC’s good-not-exceptional defense — then Arlington might earn one of the most improbable professional championships in ages.

OK, now let’s get to the favorites. As you’ll see below, I’m more than just bullish about DC’s chances. The Defenders are the class of the league. Their Achilles heel is that they’ve surrendered the third-most points in the league, compared to Arlington’s third-fewest. The Defenders have also given up the third-most yards per game. You get the idea.

But we need some context. DC is 10-1 this year, including their postseason victory over Seattle. They’re 3-0 versus Seattle and 2-0 versus St. Louis. It’s safe to say that Seattle and St. Louis were better than every other team, but they couldn’t beat the Defenders in five combined tries.

So DC’s defensive statistics might not tell the whole story; 45% of their games have come against Seattle and St. Louis. Of course, they gave up a lot of points to these two offensive juggernauts.

The bigger story is that DC led the league during the regular season with 298 points scored — or 4.9 points more per game than the next-best scorer. The Defenders’ quarterback, running back, and No. 1 wideout are elite. And their secondary receiving options have ascended during the season.

DC is arguably better now than they were in Week 1.

I believe the surprisingly narrow point spread is due in large part to DC’s Week 9 matchup with Arlington, when the Defenders needed overtime to prevail 28-26. Again, credit the Renegades for almost defeating the best team.

But there’s more to that story. DC had the game well in hand entering the fourth quarter, when they led 26-9. It was then 26-15 with less than two minutes left, and then, in the span of 75 seconds, Arlington scored a touchdown and followed it up with a field goal.

The Defenders had only three possessions in the second half. The first ended in a punt. The second went 10 plays, resulting in an interception at Arlington’s 14-yard line. And the third went 13 plays, resulting in an interception at Arlington’s 29-yard line.

MORE: What Is the XFL Playoff Format in 2023?

Credit Arlington’s defense. Also, DC uncharacteristically nearly threw the game away. They were marching downfield at will against one of the XFL’s best defenses. The Defenders easily could have won by 30 points, but turnovers nearly doomed them.

I expect better decision-making in the XFL Championship Game for the fearsome Defenders. They should win comfortably.

  • Recommended Point-Spread Bet: Defenders (-6.5)
  • Recommended Moneyline Bet: Defenders (-265)
  • Over/Under: Under 48 Points (-110)
  • Halftime Point-Spread Bet: Defenders (-3.5)
  • Halftime Moneyline Bet: Defenders (-210)

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