20 Mar

2023 XFL picks, Week 1 bets by proven expert

The XFL makes its triumphant return this weekend with several intriguing matchups, including one between the Seattle Sea Dragons and the D.C. Defenders from Audi Field in Washington, D.C. The Sea Dragons and Defenders have been picked by many experts to be two of the top three teams in the league. Both have solid quarterbacks in Ben DiNucci for Seattle and Jordan Ta’amu for D.C., and both have top-notch coaches in the Sea Dragons’ Jim Haslett and D.C’s Reggie Barlow. Seattle also has one of the better offensive coordinators in the game in June Jones, a former NFL head coach himself.

Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET. The Defenders beat the Sea Dragons 31-19 during the 2020 Covid-shortened season. Seattle is a 2-point favorite in the latest Defenders vs. Sea Dragons odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is set at 38. Before making any Sea Dragons vs. Defenders picks or XFL predictions of your own, you need to see what pro football expert R.J. White has to say.

White, a Fantasy and gambling editor for CBS Sports, consistently crushes against-the-spread picks and went 535-450-30 on his ATS picks from 2017-22, which returned more than $3,500 to $100 players. He also closed the NFL season on an incredible 107-80-6 on his last 193 against-the-spread and total NFL picks during the 2022 NFL season, returning more than $1,800 for $100 bettors.

White has crushed not only the NFL but also the XFL during its abbreviated 2020 season, going 16-4 on XFL ATS picks before the league suspended operations. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Now, he has locked in on Sea Dragons vs. Defenders and released a confident against-the-spread pick that is available only at SportsLine. Here are the XFL lines and trends for Defenders vs. Sea Dragons:

Defenders vs. Sea Dragons spread: Sea Dragons -2
Defenders vs. Sea Dragons over/under: 38 points
Defenders vs. Sea Dragons money line: Seattle -135, D.C. +115
SEA: The Sea Dragons had a minus-3 touchdown deficit in 2020
DC: The Defenders were 3-0 on their home field in 2020
Defenders vs. Sea Dragons picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why the Sea Dragons can cover
Wide receiver Josh Gordon has NFL talent, but it’s yet to be determined if he is committed to getting back to an elite level following his off-the-field struggles. In parts of eight NFL seasons, he played in 77 games, making 252 catches for 4,284 yards (17.0 average) and 21 touchdowns. He also rushed six times for 89 yards (14.8 average). His best season was in 2013 with the Cleveland Browns, when he caught 87 passes for 1,646 yards (18.9 average) and nine touchdowns.

Another intriguing receiver on the Seattle roster is Juwan Green. A former member of the Tennessee Titans, he played two collegiate seasons at Albany. In 2019, he had a monster season with 83 receptions for 1,386 yards (16.7 average) and 17 touchdowns. His best game that year was in a 38-35 overtime loss at Monmouth, when he caught 15 passes for 245 yards (16.3 average) and three touchdowns.

Why the Defenders can cover
Running back Abram Smith is another weapon for D.C. The former Baylor standout had been with the New Orleans Saints last year, but failed to crack the roster. He was coming off a remarkable senior season in college. At Baylor in 2021, he carried 257 times for 1,601 yards (6.2 average) and 12 touchdowns. He had nine 100-plus-yard rushing games in 2021, including a 27-carry, 188-yard and three-touchdown performance against No. 19 BYU in a 38-24 victory.

Also ready to make his mark in D.C. is wide receiver Josh Hammond, who had been in camp with the New England Patriots. He played collegiately at Florida, compiling 1,138 yards receiving on 87 receptions (13.1 average). His best season was in 2018, when he caught 28 passes for 369 yards (13.2 average) and four touchdowns. In a loss to Missouri that season, he caught five passes for 48 yards (9.6 average) and one touchdown.

How to make Defenders vs. Sea Dragons picks
White has analyzed this matchup and while we can tell you he’s leaning Under the total, he has discovered a crucial x-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. He’s sharing it only at SportsLine.

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