New York Guardians Vs. St. Louis Battlehawks Preview, Odds: XFL Week 3 Brings Pro Football Back To St. Louis

Led by breakout quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, who achieved his second passer rating of at least 100 in the first two games of the XFL season last week, the 1-1 Battlehawks bring professional football back to St. Louis for the first time since 2015 on Sunday. The team hosts the New York Guardians, and though both squads sport identical 1-1 records, the home team enters the game as heavy favorites.

In their second of back-to-back games in Texas last week, St. Louis lost a close contest to the still-undefeated Houston Roughnecks, 28-24. But Ta’amu threw for three touchdowns and 284 yards on 37 pass attempts. Although his day was marred by two interceptions, he ended up with a rating of 103.2.

In New York’s disastrous 27-0 defeat to the D.C. Defenders, quarterback Matt McGloin achieved a painful passer rating of just 10.1, throwing 19 times for just eight completions and 42 yards, with two interceptions. McGloin, who played quarterback at Penn State from 2010 to 2012, was eventually pulled in favor of Marquisse Williams, who went on to complete four of eight attempts for 51 yards.

But McGloin blamed the Guardians’ coaching staff for the calamitous showing, as quoted by The New York Post.

“There’s a lot of stuff going on behind closed doors,” McGloin said, in a televised interview during the game. “We need to clean that up. Communication especially is one, and it showed today.”

New York Guardians quarterback Matt McGloin.

Playing in front of a sellout home crowd — and coming off of the sharp, albeit losing performance against Houston — the Battlehawks enter the game as 9 1/2-point favorites, according to odds published by USA Today.

The moneyline odds, as published by USA Today, put the Guardians as the week’s biggest underdogs in the XFL, with a +300 line. Conversely, St. Louis enjoy the distinction of being named the XFL Week 3’s biggest favorites at -400. In other words, a wager on the home team to win would pay just $100 on a $400 bet, if indeed the ‘Hawks come away with the victory.

If there is one reason for the heavy odds in the Battlehawks’ favor, it would be the performance of Ta’amu so far through two difficult games. The former Ole Miss quarterback leads the new XFL with 602 total yards and a pass completion percentage of 78.1. The Hawaii native is also second in the XFL with 493 passing yards and a total passer rating of 106.6.

“It’s been really nice. Everywhere you go, the fans are really excited and supportive,” Ta’amu told The Belleville News Democrat. “They are really excited about this football team and pro football coming back to St. Louis.”

The New York vs. St. Louis XFL Week 3 matchup kicks off at 3 p.m. EST, noon PST, on Sunday. The ESPN network televises the game nationally.

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