Rejoice, degenerates! The professional football betting season doesn’t conclude with the Super Bowl. The new-look XFL will premier this weekend, providing sports gamblers with many opportunities over the next two-and-a-half months to add to their gridiron winnings.
The league, which was originally founded by WWE owner Vince McMahon in 2001, will embrace sports betting from the start. Each game broadcast will feature betting lines and over/under points on the scoreboard, alongside traditional markers like the play clock and down-and-distance. It’s a brilliant idea, and speaks to the XFL’s desire for fan engagement.
Though it may seem daunting to wager hard-earned money on a startup league, the process shouldn’t be difficult — as long as you follow our XFL betting guide. It is below:
How many teams?
First things first: there are eight teams in the XFL. They are the Dallas Renegades, DC Defenders, Houston Roughnecks, Los Angeles Wildcats, New York Guardians, Seattle Dragons, St. Louis Battlehawks and Tampa Bay Vipers.
Are there ex-NFL players?
Plenty of ex-NFL journeymen will play in the XFL, most notably at quarterback. Some of the more recognizable players are: Landry Jones, Josh Johnson, Cardale Jones, Matt McGloin, and Connor Cook.
How to bet?
Per commissioner Oliver Luck, the XFL will cooperate with betting operators. The league has announced an agreement with Genius Sports, which will help it maintain integrity in the betting arena.
Fantasy games will also be part of the mix. DraftKings, for example, has confirmed it will offer XFL betting lines.
Who are the favorites?
The Dallas Renegades are the favorites to capture the XFL Championship, enjoying odds of +250. They are coached by former Oklahoma head coach Boob Stoops and will feature ex-Steelers pass-thrower Landry Jones at QB. The most well-known former NFL player on the squad is probably running back Lance Dunbar, who played for the Cowboys from 2012-16.
Following Dallas, the New York Guardians have the second-best championship odds at +350. They are quarterbacked by former Raiders QB Matt McGloin and led by former NFL offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, who last served as offensive coordinator for the Giants in 2013.
The most intriguing championship picks might be the Los Angeles Wildcats (+450) and Tampa Bay Vipers (+550). The former will feature Josh Johnson as their QB and former Baylor DE Shawn Oakman, who will be playing his first game since winning the Senior Bowl MVP in 2016. (Oakman was arrested on sexual assault charges in 2016, but was ultimately found not guilty.)
The Vipers also have a talent-filled roster, with former Georgia standout Aaron Murray at QB, and ex-Bears head coach Marc Trestman calling plays on the sidelines.
Can you bet on ex-NFL players joining XFL?
Of course! This is a very fun list, and would make for an excellent Madden roster circa 2010. Chad Johnson is the leader at 5/1 odds, followed by Pacman Jones, who’s sitting at 7/1.
Colin Kaepernick is on the list, but after bypassing the CFL and AAF, he’s at 20/1 odds.
While the list is unsurprisingly filled with troubled characters, let’s hope Josh Gordon stays away from the league. Following another NFL suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, he doesn’t need football in his life right now.