LA Wildcats

Dallas Renegades vs. Los Angeles Wildcats XFL Odds, Pick, & Analysis

Dallas Renegades at Los Angeles Wildcats Odds

  • Spread: -4.5 Renegades
  • Total: 47.5
  • Kickoff: 3 p.m. ET on Sunday
  • TV: ABC

Odds as of Saturday and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.

Despite losing their Week 1 matchup at home, the Renegades head to Los Angeles as road favorites against the Wildcats.

Our staff previews Sunday’s game, complete with their projected spread and a pick.

Renegades vs. Wildcats Injury Report

For the Renegades, starting quarterback Landry Jones (knee) missed Week 1, but he participated fully in Friday practice and will make his season debut this week. They will likely be without two starters on defense, as defensive end Winston Craig (thigh) and cornerback Treston Decoud (illness) both missed practice on Friday, but they are otherwise healthy.

The Wildcats also expect to see their starting quarterback return this week: Josh Johnson (thigh) was a limited practice participant on Friday, but he reportedly will suit up this week, which is a positive development, because backup quarterback Chad Kanoff (shoulder/head) is out. They will also be without a few offensive second-stringers in running back Dujuan Harris (ankle), wide receiver Saeed Blacknall (thigh) and center Kahlil McKenzie (ankle).

On defense, they seem likely to be without starting cornerbacks Jaylen Dunlap (thigh) and Harlan Miller (ankle). Ben Rolfe

Depth Chart Analysis

Dallas Renegades

No player more highlights the absurdity of the Week 1 depth charts than running back Lance Dunbar, who was missing from the Renegades depth chart in Week 1 but then had a team-high five carries and six targets on 23 snaps. Starter Cameron Artis-Payne led the Renegades with 32 snaps but had only two carries to go along with four targets. Change-of-pace backs Austin Walter and Marquis Young muddied the waters with a combined 29 snaps. As of now, CAP looks nothing like a true lead back.

At wide receiver, Jeff Badet (38), Flynn Nagel (35), Jerrod Heard (26), Jazz Ferguson (25) and Freddie Martino (23) all played 20-plus snaps. It’s hard to say that any of them stood out. Backup tight end Donald Parham saw more snaps (37-29) and targets (6-4) than starter Sean Price. — Tony Marquis

Los Angeles Wildcats

After their 37-17 defeat to the Houston Roughnecks, the Wildcats — head coach Winston Moss, to be specific — fired defensive coordinator Pepper Johnson and released defensive captain and starting edge defender Anthony Johnson. Moss will assume playcalling duties for a unit that in disarray, and he might be challenged to get the defense in order before Week 2, when the Renegades are expected to get back starting quarterback Landry Jones (knee).

On the offensive side of the ball, quarterbacks Josh Johnson (thigh) and Chad Kanoff (shoulder/head) are both uncertain. While Johnson seems likely to play, there’s a chance the Wildcats will need to use third-stringer Jalan McClendon this weekend.

At least we have clarity at running back and wide receiver: Elijah Hood (55 snaps, 12 carries) and Nelson Spruce (56 snaps, 15 targets) dominated the market share at their positions. — Marquis

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Key Matchup

Renegades Pass Offense vs. Wildcats Pass Defense

After a strange offensive showing in Week 1, the Renegades desperately need to get right, and the Wildcats might help with that. In Week 1, the Renegades struggled to turn yards into points.

The problem was that backup quarterback Philip Nelson refused to push the ball downfield. He completed 78.6% of his passes but had a miserable 4.7 yards per attempt. With Jones now at quarterback, the Renegades will likely be more aggressive, and we should see the Air Raid offense unleashed.

And the matchup couldn’t be much better.

The Wildcats were blown out last week by the Houston Roughnecks and quarterback P.J. Walker, who completed 60.5% of his 38 attempts for 272 yards and four touchdowns to one interception, and now the Wildcats are likely to be without the two cornerbacks at the top of the depth chart.

If the Renegades can pass at will against the Wildcats, they should be able to come out on top. — Rolfe

Our Projected Renegades-Wildcats Odds

You’ll find our experts’ consensus spread as well as Sean Koerner’s total below. Find their projections for every Week 2 game here.

  • Our Experts’ Consensus Spread: Renegades -3.1
  • Koerner’s Projected Total: 47

Pick

Matthew Freedman: Renegades -4.5

Even though they were 10-point favorites in the middle of last week, the Renegades massively disappointed with a 15-9 loss to the St. Louis BattleHawks in their season-opening home debut. They were without Jones, but his absence wasn’t their only problem: Their play-calling was far too conservative. On multiple fourth-and-shorts, they settled for field goals and field position via the punting game when they instead should have kept their offense on the field and gone for the first down.

But the Wildcats were even worse last week, suffering a brutal 37-17 defeat to the Roughnecks. Without Johnson, they started Kanoff but eventually rotated him and third-stringer Jalan McClendon in the second half. Johnson is tentatively expected to play in Week 2, but he’s not 100%, and Kanoff is out. If Johnson starts but isn’t quite right, there’s a chance the Renegades could face McClendon for much of the game.

On top of that, Jones will start in Week 2, and the Renegades are in disarray on defense: Not only did they allow a league-high 37 points in Week 1, but within 24 hours of their loss, they fired defensive coordinator Pepper Johnson, and they have traded away defensive captain and starting edge defender Anthony Johnson.

And based on the injury report, it looks like they will be without their two starting cornerbacks.

Until we see Josh Johnson playing and head coach Winston Moss getting his team under control, I’ll be inclined to bet against the Wildcats.

I bet this at -3.5 but still like it at -4.5 and would take it to -5.

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