The NFL may have come to an end on Sunday, but football betting doesn’t have to end. WWE impresario Vince MacMahon’s reworked XFL kicks off this weekend.
The new eight-team league is taking a pro-betting and fantasy approach with opportunities for booking those wagers.
DraftKings Sportsbook recently partnered with the league and has already released betting lines.
— XFL (@xfl2020) February 5, 2020
The operator has also announced that DFS markets will be released soon for the new league.
What to expect from the XFL
When the league kicks off this weekend, Commissioner Oliver Luck and MacMahon have promised fans a faster game and “real football.” The wrestling icon has budgeted hundreds of millions of dollars to make the league a success.
The XFL promotes itself as “more ball, less stall” but with some differences from the NFL. Some of those include:
- A 25-second play clock.
- More focus on bringing back kickoff returns and emphasizing the return game in general. That includes bringing the ball out to the 35 on punts out of bounds and out of the end zone.
- Kickoffs will look different, with a return almost guaranteed.
- No kicks of extra points. Teams can go for 1 point from the 2-yard line, 2 points from the 5, and 3 points from the 10.
The scoring changes and focused on special teams should bring some different thinking to betting on the XFL. WV sports betting customers will have some less traditional scoring scenarios to consider. The league hopes to create a quicker, high-scoring version of the game.
League officials have also worked to bring in quarterbacks with NFL experience, such former OU Sooner and Pittsburgh Steeler Landry Jones. Plenty of time for training camp and mini-camps was also provided in hopes of a crisp start to the season.
Dallas Renegades head coach and general manager Bobs Stoops spoke to TheLines.com about the talent.
“I’m elated at the talent level – how physically mature and gifted so many of these guys are. People can expect to see exciting, fast, fun football.”
Easily accessible games on TV
If anyone understands sports and entertainment and the importance of television, it’s MacMahon. The XFL has deals in place with:
The league features a 10-week season with franchises in:
- Los Angeles
- St. Louis
- Tampa Bay
- New York
- Washington D.C.
The regular season is followed by one round of playoffs and then a championship game.
All games will be broadcast at regular times with two games each on Saturdays and Sunday (and a couple of Thursdays late in the season. That should please bettors looking to follow the action on TV.
McMahon is also spending on marketing. The league has been active on social media including ads and television spots have appeared in some markets.
Network partners have also been promoting the upcoming season and FOX even aired a commercial during the Super Bowl.
West Virginia players to watch
When the season gets underway, WVU football fans may recognize a few players on XFL rosters. Six Mountaineers made the cut when 52-man rosters were announced on Monday.
Most of those are on the defensive side of the ball.
Here’s a look at some of those players.
- Kenny Bigelo (DC Defenders), defensive tackle (6-3, 308 pounds) – Played for the Mountaineers in 2018, recording 21 tackles and 1 sack.
- Dravon Askew-Henry (New York Guardians), safety (5-11, 188 pounds) – A four-year player at WVU with 6 interceptions (including one touchdown) and 215 tackles. Played in four preseason games for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2019.
- Kenny Robinson (St. Louis BattleHawks), safety (6-2, 198) – Racked up 7 interceptions (2 TDs), 7 pass deflections, and 123 tackles in two seasons at at West Virginia.
- Terence Garvin (St. Louis BattleHawks), linebacker (6-3, 242) – Played four years for WVU (2009-12) before playing six years in the NFL, three with the Steelers.
- Will Clarke (St. Louis BattleHawks), defensive lineman (6-6, 271) – Notched 110 tackles and 9.5 sacks from 2011-13 with the Mountaineers. He then spent five years with the Bengals and Buccaneers.
- Marquis Lucas (Tampa Bay Vipers), offensive tackle (6-4, 315) – He spent time on several NFL teams as well as the AAF from 2016-19 after leaving WVU.
- Chase Litton (Tampa Bay Vipers), quarterback (6-5, 230) – The lone former Marshall player in the league threw for 3,115 yards and 25 touchdowns his senior season before going into the NFL Draft. He spent time on the practice squad for the Chiefs and Jaguars.
XFL Betting options at WV Sportsbooks
Joining DraftKings in offering XFL odds is FanDuel Sportsbook. BetMGM has yet to post XFL betting options on its board.
XFL Week 1 schedule
Saturday, Feb. 2
- Seattle at DC, 2 p.m. ET – ABC
- LA at Houston, 5 p.m. ET – FOX
Sunday, Feb. 3
- Tampa Bay at NY, 2 p.m. ET – FOX
- St. Louis at Dallas, 5 p.m. ET – ESPN
Current XFL futures betting odds
|Team||DraftKings Sportsbook||FanDuel Sportsbook|
|Tampa Bay Vipers||+450||+400|
|New York Guardians||+400||+430|
|Los Angeles Wildcats||+650||+650|
|St. Louis BattleHawks||+1000||+1000|