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Brahmas, Battlehawks Meet for Top Spot in XFL Conference


Brahmas
© Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Brahmas (7-2) and St. Louis Battlehawks (6-3) have clinched spots in the UFL playoffs and will also meet in the XFL Conference Championship Game next weekend. But first, the two teams will have to determine who will have home-field advantage in the conference championship game in the UFL's final week of regular season play.



The Brahmas have won their last three games, while the Battlehawks are 1-2 in that same stretch. The winner of Saturday's game will secure home-field advantage when they face each other for the second time this season.


How important is playing at home for each team? Will St. Louis quarterback AJ McCarron play? Let's review the key players for each team and make a prediction for the Week 10 game.


What Is at Stake?

The winner of this game will clinch the No. 1 seed in the XFL Conference and secure home-field advantage for their rematch on June 9. For the Battlehawks, home-field advantage is critical, as they are undefeated at home (4-0) but have a losing record on the road (2-3). The Brahmas are strong both at home (4-1) and on the road (3-1), making home-field advantage less crucial for them.



Key Players for the Brahmas

  • Chase Garbers, QB: In his first game back since suffering a wrist injury against the Battlehawks on April 14, Garbers was forced into action against the Birmingham Stallions (8-1) after starting quarterback Quinten Dormady was injured. Garbers shook off the rust, completing 16-of-23 passes for 139 yards, and helped the Brahmas hand the Stallions their first loss of the season. Garbers was arguably the leading MVP candidate after the first two games (443 passing yards, 74 percent completion percentage and 5 touchdowns), and this game presents another opportunity for him to return to that form.

  • Tavante Beckett, LB: Beckett is a tackling machine with 70 tackles, including 8 tackles for a loss, placing him second in the league overall. He has recorded six or more tackles in the last five games. Despite recent offensive struggles, the Battlehawks remain the top-scoring team in the league. Beckett will play a significant role in helping the Brahmas maintain their status as the top-scoring defense.



Key Players for the Battlehawks

  • Manny Wilkins, QB: Wilkins was forced into action due to an ankle injury suffered by McCarron in their May 11 game against the Stallions. From a risk/reward perspective, the Battlehawks will likely give McCarron another week to rest his ankle, aiming to bring him back for next week's playoff game against the Brahmas. St. Louis will need Wilkins to manage the game effectively, get the ball quickly to his playmakers, and limit turnovers, unlike last week’s loss to the Arlington Renegades when he threw 3 interceptions.

  • Hakeem Butler, WR: The UFL's leading receiver, with 43 catches for 618 yards (14.4 yards per reception) and 5 touchdowns, will be relied upon to support Wilkins and make big plays in the passing game for St. Louis to score against a tough Brahmas defense. Since McCarron's departure, Butler has struggled, recording only 5 receptions for 51 yards in the past two games.



Prediction

The Brahmas defense will stifle the Battlehawks offense with Wilkins at quarterback, generating multiple turnovers. Garbers will continue to regain his early-season MVP form, leading the Brahmas to an easier victory than expected by most experts and fans.


Final score: San Antonio Brahmas 27, St. Louis Battlehawks 15.


Broadcast Information

  • Time/Date: 4 p.m. EST, Saturday, June 1

  • Location: The Dome at America's Center, St. Louis, Missouri

  • TV: Fox

  • Radio: Fox Sports on SiriusXM


Betting Information

  • Betting Spread: Brahmas +2.5, -105

  • Betting Money Line: Brahmas +124, Battlehawks -148

  • Over/Under: 42.5


Note: Betting information is provided per DraftKings.



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