The Houston Roughnecks will have P.J. Walker under center on Saturday when they open the 2020 XFL schedule by hosting the Los Angeles Wildcats. Kickoff from John O’Quinn Field at TDECU Stadium is set for 5 p.m. ET. Houston announced that Walker won the team’s starting quarterback job after a spirited battle with Connor Cook. The 24-year-old Walker is Temple’s all-time leader in numerous categories, including passing yards (10,668), completions (830) and touchdown passes (74).
Los Angeles counters with Josh Johnson, who last played in the NFL in 2018 with the Washington Redskins and also appeared in 29 games with three teams from 2009 to 2013. Houston is a 6.5-point favorite in the latest Roughnecks vs. Wildcats odds, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 51. Before locking in any Wildcats vs. Roughnecks picks or XFL predictions, make sure you see what SportsLine’s R.J. White has to say.
A CBS Sports NFL editor, White twice has cashed huge in the world’s most prestigious handicapping tournament, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest. In 2017, he tied for 18th out of 2,748 contestants with a 52-29-4 mark against the spread. In 2015, he tied for 39th out of 1,727 entries with a 51-32-2 record. White consistently crushes the NFL for SportsLine members. He has returned over $2,300 to $100 players on against-the-spread picks over the last three years. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, White has locked in on this XFL showdown from every angle and released a confident against-the-spread pick that is only available at SportsLine. Go here to see it. Here are the XFL lines and trends for Roughnecks vs. Wildcats:
- Roughnecks vs. Wildcats spread: Houston -6.5
- Roughnecks vs. Wildcats over-under: 51
- HOU: RB Andre Williams was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in 2013
- LA: K Nick Novak recorded 802 points over 10 NFL seasons
Why the Roughnecks can cover
White knows that Houston’s defensive line will be anchored by Kony Ealy, who enjoyed an impressive collegiate career at Missouri before being selected by the Carolina Panthers in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft.
The 28-year-old defensive end had a strong rookie season before making a big impression the following year in Super Bowl 50, as he tied the game record with three sacks while also recording an interception and forcing a fumble. Ealy will receive help on the Roughnecks’ line from tackle Gabe Wright and end Johnny Maxey, who both have seen action in the NFL.
Why the Wildcats can cover
One of two cities to also have hosted a team during the 2001 XFL season, Los Angeles captured the league championship that year as quarterback Tommy Maddox, who played in the NFL before and after his tenure with the club, guided the Xtreme to the title. The city’s hopes of winning again in the re-launched XFL might largely rest on the shoulders of quarterback Josh Johnson, but his debut appears to be at least a week away, as he’s expected to miss Week 1 with an undisclosed injury.
But even with Johnson potentially sitting, the Wildcats still have quality options at quarterback, including expected starter Charles Kanoff, a Princeton product who had NFL stops with the Cardinals, Lions and Buccaneers. Los Angeles is also expected to use dual-threat Jalen McClendon under center at times, giving offensive coordinator Norm Chow several ways to attack the Roughnecks. Regardless of which quarterback is under center, they’ll have receivers Nelson Spruce and Adonis Jennings, both of whom were among the top-five most targeted receivers in the AAF last year.
How to make Roughnecks vs. Wildcats picks
White says a crucial x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back. He’s only sharing what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.
So who wins Roughnecks vs. Wildcats? And what crucial x-factor makes one side of the spread hit hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Wildcats vs. Roughnecks spread to be all over on Saturday, all from the acclaimed football expert who has crushed the world’s most prestigious handicapping tournament, and find out.