In the second game of the opening day of the new XFL season, the Los Angeles Wildcats travel to Houston to take on the Roughnecks at TDECU stadium on the campus of the University of Houston. So here we preview the game for with XFL pick and prediction. This game will begin at 5pm ET and will be televised by the FOX network.
In early odds, the Wildcats have the 3rd best number at a +500 to win the XFL Championship. For Houston, they are listed as the 5th most favorable odds of the eight teams with a +750 number. Given the fact that nobody has seen either team play, a lot will be learned after the first weekend of the new XFL schedule.
Los Angeles has former NFL linebacker Winston Moss as their head coach. He has added former college coach Norm Chow as his offensive coordinator. The Wildcats have a former NFL quarterback in Josh Johnson on their roster. Johnson spent some time with the Detroit Lions earlier this season. They will count on former UNC running back Elijah Hood to carry the ball.
Houston has two coaches with long NFL careers including head coach June Jones and defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell. They will rely on former Oakland Raider quarterback Connor Cook under center. Cook was the 2nd overall selection in the XFL draft. Defensively, the Roughnecks feel they have one of the better players in the league in Kony Ealy, a former NFL 2nd round pick.
What are some of the new rules to be aware of?
There are a variety of changes, many to promote a faster pace and more excitement. Those include a 25 second play clock compared to the 40 second NFL clock, as well as a running game clock to create an urgency to run plays quicker. In addition, teams will choose between 3 extra point options; a 1-point play from the 2-yard line, a 2-point play from the 3-yard line or a 3-point play from the 10-yard line. There is no option to kick an extra point.
Also, players will need just one foot inbounds rather than two to count, and overtime periods will allow both teams five chances to score from the 5-yard line with the team scoring the most is the winner, similar to a hockey shootout.
Los Angeles Wildcats vs. Houston Roughnecks XFL Pick and Prediction
Since there is not a true line on this game, we’ll need to take XFL pick at this week with kind of a pick-em approach. Both teams appear to have a variety of players with some NFL and other professional backgrounds, so the hope is we will see some decent football. Most prognosticators will lean towards the offenses being a bit ahead of the defenses in the early going. Both of these teams feature teams with former NFL signal callers so I expect a tight game here. But I’ll give Connor Cook and the Roughnecks the edge in this one by anywhere from 3 to 5 points.
Los Angeles Wildcats vs. Houston Roughnecks
Saturday February 8th, 2020
2:00pm ET @ TDECU Stadium
Betting Spread: N/A | Total N/A
Pick & Prediction: Houston Roughnecks -3