An XFL game day preview between the St. Louis BattleHawks and Houston Roughnecks.
St. Louis BattleHawks vs. Houston Roughnecks – Odds & Trends
When: 6:00 p.m. EST, Sunday, February 16, 2020
Where: TDECU Stadium, Houston, TX
Point Spread: Houston Roughnecks -8.5
OVER / UNDER Game Total: 50.5
St. Louis BattleHawks
Championship Odds: +700
Championship Odds: +500
St. Louis BattleHawks vs. Houston Roughnecks
Game Day Preview
The XFL season continues in its second week with an exciting matchup between two unbeaten teams as they both look to continue their undefeated seasons, the St. Louis BattleHawks and the Houston Roughnecks.
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St. Louis BattleHawks
In week one, the St. Louis BattleHawks held the Dallas Renegades to only 9 points. They proved to enjoy relying on the run game after rushing for 191 yards last Sunday. By utilizing the read option, the Renegades struggled to stop St. Louis QB Jordan Ta’amu in the open field, by gaining 77 rushing yards. The threat of Ta’amu running the football also made it easier for RB Matt Jones to gain yardage. With Ta’amu’s dual threat ability, Jones could be this week’s biggest producer. He accumulated a league-high 85 rushing yards on 21 carries last Sunday, and the offense didn’t even hit a stride until the second half.
By holding Dallas to only 9 points, the BattleHawks proved their ability defensively. Safety, Will Hill, emerged as a leader for the BattleHawks secondary by posted 5 tackles, 1 TFL, and 1 interception. Terence Garvin also offered a strong presence in the middle of the Battlehawks defense with 8 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 TFL. With the aid of linebacker Dexter McCoil, they only allowed 58 rushing yards to the Renegades. Hill will surely have his hands full on Sunday however, by attempting to continue his strong pass coverage in order to contain Houston QB, PJ Walker.
The pace of the game will key in this matchup. While Houston will attempt to open the game up like they did against LA, the BattleHawks will want to slow things down and rely on their defense and run game. It will be critical for Ta’amu to be effective on the ground once again to keep up with the Roughnecks high-powered pass offense.
Houston QB PJ Walker and the Roughnecks made an offensive statement in their week one victory over the LA Wildcats. Walker finished the game with 4 touchdowns and the Roughnecks scored a league-high 37 points. Walker was named Offensive Player of the Week by posting the best performance of any XFL player in week one. He will have to continue this level of competitiveness to conquer the strong BattleHawks defense but will be looking to run up the score once again.
Despite Houston’s success through the air however, they did not run the ball as effectively against the Wild Cats. RB James Butler proved to be the team’s lead back, yet only posted 9 carries for 30 yards. If Butler is able to steps up this weekend, Walker’s job should become much easier. The Roughneck defense will need to be prepared to stop the read option this Sunday. DE Kony Ealy had a strong start to the season with 2 TFL and 0.5 sacks. Ealy and the rest of Houston’s defensive performance will need to continue to be just as disruptive once again to slow down the BattleHawks offense.
St. Louis BattleHawks vs. Houston Roughnecks Picks
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Game Pick – Houston Roughnecks 27 St. Louis BattleHawks 16
10 PT Pick = St. Louis Battlehawks UNDER 21.5 PTS
9 PT Pick = P.J. Walker OVER 23.5 Completions
8 PT Pick = James Butler OVER 55.5 Rushing Yards