XFL Football has arrived. We have only one week of intel on the XFL Teams, but we are betting on them anyway.
So far, so good XFL. I like what I see even if it means I have barely an idea how to handicap this league because of the vagaries in the kicking game, point after touchdowns, clock management, the one foot in bounds rule, etc.
However, It feels like this incarnation of the XFL was put together with serious thought and planning and instead of relying on bells and whistles and cheerleaders and WWE-style entrances and fireworks, we have honest to goodness football being played by guys who are fringe talents trying to get back in the league.
An added bonus, or maybe even the most important aspect depending on your point of view, the XFL has fully embraced the gambling side. Point spreads and totals are displayed on the bottom line score graphic. What’s more, according to everything I’ve read about the formation of the league the idea is to enhance scoring, compress the length of a game, and make it friendly for people who watch this stuff recreationally. As opposed to hardcore fans who will pitch a fit when the PAT kick is moved back 15 yards.
It’s pretty awesome that teams now have a chance to go for one, two, or three points after scoring a touchdown.
PAT kicks are just gone. The kickoff starts with the opposing lines of players facing each other on the receiving team’s 25. The play clock is 25 seconds long. It’s pinball football and even better, you can’t just run out the clock in the last two minutes unless the other team is out of timeouts and one-minute left. These are just some of the bigger rule changes out there, but the short version here is that your bet is going to be in play a lot longer because teams will have more chances to score.
That being said, be careful in the first couple weeks since teams are brand new and players will be feeling each other out and developing rhythms and patterns. Five of eight teams were held to less than 20 points in week one. As teams get more comfortable and coaches embrace going for it on fourth I expect point spreads to soar into the mid-to-high 50s. That being said, the totals probably will rise anyway since public bettors will assume there will be lots of points. Consider this an opportunity in the first few weeks to fade Joe Public from Squaresville, Squarestate, in the Nation of Squares and cash some under tickets.
I’ll break down more of the league’s pros and cons as the weeks pass by. In the meantime, let’s make some picks on teams that sound like they belong in a suburban AYSO.
The XFL is a professional football league owned by Vince McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment company. After a one season attempt of launching in 2001, XFL Football is back in 2020.
The eight XFL 2020 Teams are The New York Guardians, DC Defenders, Dallas Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, Los Angeles Wildcats, St Louis BattleHawks, Seattle Dragons and Tampa Bay Vipers. Check out all the XFL logos and XFL Jerseys here.
Dallas Renegades are coached by Bob Stoops. The Houston Roughnecks are coached by June Jones. The LA Wildcats are coached by Winston Moss. Jim Zorn coaches the Seattle Dragons. Pep Hamilton coaches the D.C. Defenders. The NY Guardians have Kevin Gilbride as their head coach. St Lous Battle Hawks head coach is Jonathan Hayes and the Tampa Bay Vipers hired Marc Trestman to be their head coach.
All eight XFL Teams are in action again in this week.
New York Guardians at D.C. Defenders
Spread: New York +6.5
Saturday, 2PM on ABC
Cardale Jones was getting MVP chants during the week one game. That sort of thing is rad if even it’s happening in a new league that no one knows anything about. Spreads are kind of volatile at the moment as Vegas and the public dance about trying to see which team can do what. It’s sort of perplexing that Jones hasn’t gotten a longer look in the NFL where decent QB play is at a premium and he does have a national title on his resume.
Since we don’t have much more to go on, I am fine with riding Jones and his one-week sample against practice squad level talent. He’s the sort of player this league can do wonders for if he shows off his talents and ability. I’m looking for this guy to do what he can to show NFL evaluators he deserves to be on a roster next season. THE PICK: Defenders -6.5. THE OTHER PICK: Over 47.5.
Tampa Bay Vipers at Seattle Dragons
Spread: Tampa Bay -3
Saturday, 5 PM on FOX
The Dragons are apparently seen as one of the worst teams in the league. In an eight-team league I don’t even know what that means, but all things considered, I doubt they’ll enjoy the same sort of homefield advantage their NFL counterparts do.
Without knowing all that much and only having a one-game sample, the conventional wisdom points to Tampa bouncing back a bit. The Vipers failed to score on four trips to the red zone in a league designed to score points. They also outgained the Guardians 5.5 YPP to 5.0 and still lost by 20 points. That’s an anomaly. I’m like Tampa in the bounce back spot and get them at a bargain at -3 when they would probably by four- or five-point favorite. THE PICK: Tampa -3
Dallas Renegades at Los Angeles Wildcats
Spread: Dallas -4
Sunday, 3 PM on ABC
I had money on the Wildcats +7.5 against Houston last week. I couldn’t help myself. Missing football does things to a degenerate. I hit on the over 51, so that was nice, but since I did a parlay it was a loser. Keep in mind that the average total league wide was 38.5 points. Viva gringo del estupido!
The Wildcats were without their starting QB, Josh Johnson, and backup Charles Kanoff got dismantled in the second half. Dallas has been touted as an elite team in the league, so picturing them bouncing back is what everyone will have in mind. Bob Stoops generally likes to throw the ball a lot and the Wildcats got shredded by the pass in the second half. That doesn’t mean a shoot-out will happen, but it does mean the clock will be moving. If Josh Johnson starts the game, then I’d be all over Los Angeles and the points. THE PICK: Under 48.5. THE OTHER PICK: (If Josh Johnson plays) Los Angeles +4.
St. Louis Battlehawks at Houston Roughnecks –
Spread: Houston -8
Sunday, 6 PM on FS1
I watched Houston QB Phillip Walker shred the Wildcats’ defense in the second half. So, it’s pretty apparent he can play in a league like this. I’m expecting more of the same this week. June Jones loves throwing the ball and I expect to see him do his best to light up the scoreboard. I’m a little hesitant to just jump on the Houston bandwagon in week two of league that’s fresh out of the box. But, Houston looks fairly talented and aggressive. St. Louis’ strength is on defense and they like to run, but that just means they’ll grind up their possessions and not be able to keep up when things open up in the second half. THE PICK: Houston -8.
Stay tuned to The Props Network for sports betting news and picks. XFL betting odds can be found at all of the top US online sportsbooks. Find a new sportsbook or the best sports betting site for you here at TPN.
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