The XFL successful 2023 season culminates in Saturday’s XFL Championship Game between the Arlington Renegades and DC Defenders.
The two clubs took different routes to the big game, with Arlington often looking to be on the verge of being shut out of the postseason before sliding into the playoffs with the help of a razor-thin San Antonio Brahmas loss in Week 10.
Arlington then convincingly dispatched the Houston Roughnecks in the South Division Championship to earn the right to face a Defenders team it narrowly lost to in Week 9.
Meanwhile, the Defenders made those close victories a trademark on their way to a 9-1 regular-season record and then turned away the Seattle Sea Dragons by a 37-21 score in the North Division Championship to earn their rematch with the Renegades.
Without further ado, let’s dive into our XFL Championship predictions and Renegades vs Defenders best bets!
XFL Championship Game Odds
XFL odds for the Championship Game are current as of Tuesday, May 9, at noon ET.
- Moneyline: Defenders (-255) • Renegades (+215)
- Spread: Defenders -6.5 (-110) • Renegades +6.5 (-110)
- Total Points: Over 46.5 points (-110) • Under 46.5 points (-110)
Renegades vs Defenders Prediction
Defenders 23, Renegades 20
As alluded to earlier, these two teams played a close game in Week 9 that ultimately saw the Defenders escape with a 28-26 victory in overtime. Making only his second start for the Renegades, Luis Perez tore through a secondary that was generous most of the season for 335 yards and a touchdown.
Even the two-headed ground attack of De’Veon Smith and Leddie Brown found some modest success against a defense that allowed an XFL-low 75.3 rushing yards per game during the regular season. The duo combined for 74 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns — both by Smith — while Brown added an impressive 6-catch, 69-yard line through the air.
Perez had two additional starts after that narrow loss, facing the Roughnecks in both Week 10 and the South Division Championship. Displaying an increasing comfort level in the offense after his mid-season trade from the Vipers, Perez went a combined 41-for-63 with three touchdowns (all in the playoff win) and just one interception over that span.
Arlington not only has the running game to at least keep Gregg Williams‘ defense honest, but a diverse array of pass catchers that includes star tight end Sal Cannella (7-for-92 against the Defenders in Week 9), sure-handed Tyler Vaughns, and speedy JaVonta Payton capable of exploiting DC’s weaknesses in the secondary.
Given the Renegades’ defense finished the regular season also ranked in the top half of the league in both rushing yards (84.3) and total yards (277.6) allowed per game, I like the chances of Arlington leveraging its two weeks of preparation for this game into a strong all-around performance.
However, it will be one that falls just short of victory thanks to the Defenders’ nearly unstoppable Jordan Ta’amu-helmed offensive arsenal that also includes league-leading rusher Abram Smith and the dangerous receiver trio of Lucky Jackson, Chris Blair, and Josh Hammond.
XFL Championship Game Best Bets
Renegades +6.5 (-110) • DraftKings Sportsbook
The Renegades appear to have enough on both sides of the ball to give the Defenders another close battle. Despite its 9-1 regular-season record, DC finished the campaign with just a +58-point differential after recording six wins by a combined 22-point margin of victory.
In fact, the Defenders’ last three triumphs, including the Week 9 win over the Renegades, came by a combined four points. Arlington looks more confident after achieving some recent success against their opponent via a capable passing game under Perez.
I’m in the camp of them keeping a loss closer than 6.5 points to make this XFL pick of the day.
Under 46.5 points (-110) • DraftKings Sportsbook
While the Defenders did allow plenty of yardage through the air, I’m banking on the two-week preparation time and the fact each squad has recent experience against the other to lead to some effective defensive adjustments.
The final 23-20 score prediction listed above still accounts for both teams enjoying some offensive success but things being played a bit tighter and closer to the vest given the stakes at play.
The combined scoring averages allowed by each defense during the regular season add up to only 43.4 points and both units looked impressive during their playoff wins, putting me in the direction of the Under.
Renegades 1st Half Moneyline (+180) • DraftKings Sportsbook
The Defenders’ penchant for playing close games in the latter portion of the season and the Renegades’ solid defense lead me to recommend this prop at a nice price.
While it carries the least certainty of the three wagers listed, Arlington has the players on either side of the ball to hang close and even potentially pull ahead during the first half.
A 9-7-type of score at halftime wouldn’t be out of the question by any stretch, and a key play or two could certainly leave Arlington on the right side of the ledger.