Super Bowl LIV was on Groundhog Day, and while Punxsutawney Phil predicted no more weeks of winter, there will be 12 more weeks of football!
As the new XFL gears up for its very first weekend, football lovers can allay their typical offseason blues with three more months of professional gridiron action. And don’t worry – just like Phil didn’t see his shadow, fans and bettors won’t be treated to a mere shadow of the NFL.
On the contrary, the XFL is a bona fide top-tier league with big names on both the field and the sidelines.
Though the first XFL failed after just one season in 2001, the 2020 iteration should prove the old adage about perfect hindsight, with Vince McMahon’s resurrected pro football experiment aiming to fix many of the problems that plagued the league the first time around.
2020 XFL Odds Week 1
Seattle Dragons at DC Defenders – Sat. 2/8, 2:00 p.m. EST, ABC
- Seattle Dragons: +7.5 (-110)
- DC Defenders: -7.5 ( -110)
Los Angeles Wildcats at Houston Roughnecks – Sat. 2/8, 5:00 p.m. EST, FOX
- Los Angeles Wildcats +5.5 (-110)
- Houston Roughnecks -5.5 (-110)
Tampa Bay Vipers at New York Guardians – Sun. 2/9, 2:00 p.m. EST, FOX
- Tampa Bay Vipers -2.5 (-110)
- New York Guardians +2.5 (-110)
St. Louis BattleHawks at Dallas Renegades – Sun. 2/9, 5:00 p.m. EST, ESPN
- St. Louis BattleHawks +10.0 (-110)
- Dallas Renegades -10.0 (-110)
2020 XFL Championship Futures Odds
- Dallas Renegades +350
- Tampa Bay Vipers +400
- DC Defenders +450
- Houston Roughnecks +550
- St. Louis BattleHawks +650
- Los Angeles Wildcats +800
- New York Guardians +800
- Seattle Dragons +1000
How To Bet On The XFL – The Coaches Make The Call
Most reputable USA sportsbook sites already have XFL odds posted. Of course, with little background information to draw from, bettors might be wondering exactly what XFL betting strategy to employ.
Right now, there’s really only one tenable tack.
Given the odds above, it’s clear that bettors are giving the most credence – at this initial stage – to XFL coaches rather than XFL players.
Because these coaches each have long-established pedigrees across multiple major football leagues, it makes sense that the consensus best coaches would earn the best betting odds for their teams.
Nowhere is this more evident than on the Dallas Renegades odds boards.
Bob Stoops, the longtime head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners and winner of the 2000 BCS National Championship, is the most recognizable face in the XFL, and bettors are high on the Renegades’ horse.
Dallas’ XFL Championship futures have been tops in the league since books first stared offering XFL lines, and their Week 1 tilt against the St. Louis BattleHawks opened at -6.5 odds but have since lengthened to -10. This makes sense, as BattleHawks coach Jonathan Hayes – who worked under Stoops from 1999-2002 – is considerably less experienced than his former mentor.
The XFL team with the second-best odds to win the 2020 title are the Tampa Bay Vipers, who are favored in their Week 1 matchup against the NY Guardians. Again, this seems to be predicated on the man at the helm, former NFL head coach and three-time CFL champion Marc Trestman.
The DC Defenders are in the hunt for the title, too, as head coach Pep Hamilton – while in his first ever stint as chief play caller – has been coaching since 1997 and has served on the staffs of the NFL’s New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, and Cleveland Browns. The Defenders are favored in Week 1 over their Seattle Dragons rivals.
Finally, Houston Roughnecks head coach June Jones worked with several NFL teams in the 1980s and 1990s, and his college record leading Hawaii and SMU show him to be a formidable offensive mind. Per the established trend, the Roughnecks are favored against the LA Wildcats in the first week of XFL action.
As the season wears on, bettor reliance on head coach pedigree will give way to the talent on the field. But for now, football gamblers are keen to give the inaugural edges to the most accomplished head coaches.
And that’s likely how you should bet, too.