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How to Bet the XFL

Scott Morris | March 2, 2023
XFL football betting strategy

After the Super Bowl, football addicts didn’t have to wait long to get their fill. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s ambition to revive the XFL is off and running. The third incarnation of the league debuted less than a week after the Chiefs hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. 

A number of other football leagues have come and gone, but over its first two weeks the XFL has shown some promise. It also gives football bettors a way to scratch that offseason itch. With money on the line, XFL games become a lot more exciting. So, how can you bet on the XFL? 

First, let’s take a look at the league.


XFL Structure

There are eight teams in the XFL. This is the same number of teams in each of the league’s previous two seasons – 2001 and 2020. In 2020, all the teams practiced and played in one location – Birmingham, Alabama.

This time around, teams will spend the week practicing in Arlington, Tex., where the XFL headquarters are located. The teams then fly out to the home team’s city for the games. 

The teams are divided into two divisions. The North Division is made up of the St. Louis BattleHawks, DC Defenders, Vegas Vipers, and Seattle Sea Dragons. The South Division consists of the Arlington Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, San Antonio Brahmas, and Orlando Guardians. 


Well-Known Players

Part of the reason for the league’s early success is a number of players with NFL backgrounds. AJ McCarron, who won two National Championships with Alabama before playing seven seasons as a backup quarterback in the NFL, is the quarterback for St. Louis.

Possibly the best-known name in the league is Josh Gordon, a former 1,600-yard receiver for the Browns. Former NFL first-round picks Vic Beasley (Falcons) and Matt Elam (Ravens) are also in the league with a number of other former NFL draft picks. 


XFL Rules

If you’re going to bet on XFL games, you need to familiarize yourself with the league’s rule book. There are some huge differences between NFL and XFL rules. Many of the league’s unconventional rules from year’s past were maintained.

For example, instead of attempting an onside kick, a team has one play from its own 25-yard line to gain 15 yards. If they are successful, they maintain possession. This can only be done in the fourth quarter of XFL games.

It’s not the only unique XFL rule. The most significant rules differences are in relation to scoring. This is where bettors need to be aware. After a touchdown, there are no kicked extra points. 

Teams can attempt a one-point try from the two-yard line, a two-point try from the five-yard line, and a three-point attempt from the 10. This makes things interesting as a team down by nine late in a game can actually tie the score. 

Overtime has been altered to reflect the college concept. Each team gets three chances to score from the opponent’s five-yard line. The team with the most points wins. If they remain tied, they continue alternating tries until a winner is determined. 

One of the other rules that will affect XFL betting is the game clock. It runs at all times except in the last two minutes of each half. The play clock is set at 35 seconds. Speeding up the game


XFL Betting

Most sportsbooks are only offering odds and lines on XFL point spreads, moneylines, and game totals. After two weeks of play, some trends are beginning to emerge. Bettors should take note.

No lead is safe. Take McCarron’s St. Louis team. They trailed 15-3 with less than two minutes to play. The Battlehawks scored a touchdown, converted a three-point conversion to get within three points, and then McCarron completed a pass on the 4th-and-15 onside kick try. He led St. Louis down the field for the winning score. The Battlehawks won 18-15.

XFL totals are probably going to be bet into the 30s this week. The Under went 2-1-1 last week as three teams netted less than 200 yards of offense. Bettors should keep an eye on extra points too. Coaches are opting for the one-point try most often but only converting it 35 percent of the time. XFL teams are averaging 0.70 points after touchdowns.


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