XFL Betting Guide

Futures Odds, Strategy And More

The XFL is arguably the first major sports league to make a full-fledged return after being dormant for multiple years. The league is unveiling its second act a full 19 years after its only prior season, which took place back in spring 2001.

The new XFL consists of eight teams playing a 10-week regular-season schedule. A one-week playoff will feature the top two teams from each conference battling it out for the right to participate in the league’s championship game. There will be various rule changes as compared to NFL; these will be covered in detail shortly.


XFL betting odds 2020 (February 18, 2020)

The Dallas Renegades opened the year as the betting favorites to win the 2020 XFL title, followed by the New York Guardians and Tampa Bay Vipers. Below you’ll find the most recent futures odds for this season, updated weekly.

XFL Winner

(Eastern Time)
DC Defenders
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Houston Roughnecks
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Dallas Renegades
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NY Guardians
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St. Louis BattleHawks
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Tampa Bay Vipers
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Seattle Dragons
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LA Wildcats
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XFL futures report: Week 3

DC Defenders +200 (Last week: +300)

Two games, two victories for the Defenders, which have had the luxury of not yet having to travel. However, the caliber of play they exhibited Saturday in a 27-0 drubbing of the New York Guardians would have gotten the job done in any setting. DC has enjoyed stellar play at a position where it’s mostly been at a premium over the league’s first two weeks – quarterback.

Cardale Jones put on another clinic in efficiency, completing 62.0 percent of his throws and notching a pair of scoring tosses. Even more encouraging for what appears to be the most complete team in the league is the boost in the rushing attack they saw in Week 2 – after Defenders backs gained just 36 yards in Week 1, they compiled 89 against New York. Then, the DC defense tightened things up even further, generating three sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble.

Houston Roughnecks +250 (Last week: +500) 

While the Defenders are clearly the class of the East Division, there’s little doubt as to which team sits atop the heap in the West. It wasn’t easy against a resilient BattleHawks squad, but Houston squeaked out a 28-24 victory in Week 2 as quarterback P.J. Walker continued to run coach June Jones’ Run and Shoot offense with impressive efficacy. The running game hasn’t been needed much over the first two weeks, but lead back James Butler has already found the end zone thrice.

And Cam Phillips, he of the four scores through the first two games, has the look of a bona fide No. 1 wideout. It might be a challenge for Houston’s defense to keep from getting gassed each week with the number of plays its offense runs, but the Roughnecks do have the look of a squad with the ammunition to outscore the opposition.

Dallas Renegades +600 (Last week: +700)       

The XFL’s preseason favorite still has some work to do claw its way back to the top of the mountain, but quarterback Landry Jones season debut certainly moved the needle for the Renegades. After a ragged start, Jones ultimately became the league’s first 300-yard passer on the way to leading Dallas to three second-half touchdown drives and a 25-18 victory over the Wildcats.

What made Jones’ performance all the more impressive was the fact he played short-handed at receiver with Jazz Ferguson (undisclosed) inactive. Naturally, the veteran signal-caller’s rapport with his pass catchers in coordinator Hal Mumme’s Air Raid attack should only grow by the week going forward. Meanwhile, Dallas’ defense, which nabbed two interceptions, two sacks and forced a fumble versus Los Angeles, has been encouragingly solid through two games as well.

NY Guardians +950 (Last week: +400)

The Guardians became the talk of the league for several hours Saturday afternoon for all the wrong reasons. Quarterback Matt McGloin expressed considerable frustration with the team’s offensive gameplan in a live interview heading into halftime. He then promptly went out and threw a pick-six on New York’s first series of the second half. That earned the NFL vet a benching, but the bad news for the Guardians was backup Marquise Williams wasn’t much more effective.

New York also saw running back Darius Victor suffer an injury on a first-quarter carry that led to a fumble. The way the team’s offense constantly sputtered, it hardly mattered. The Guardians defense also prompted reason for concern. After giving up plenty of yards but limiting Tampa Bay to three points in the opener, they couldn’t repeat the feat against the Defenders, which racked up 384 net yards and 27 points.

St. Louis BattleHawks +950 (Last week: +700)

The BattleHawks took a tumble back down in the futures standings with their 28-24 loss to the Roughnecks. However, even in defeat, it appears St. Louis is well-equipped to give plenty of teams trouble. The BattleHawks hung tough against arguably the most potent offense in the league Sunday and displayed plenty of firepower in their own right. Jordan Ta’amu is a legitimate top-end quarterback by XFL standards through two weeks. Receivers De’Mornay Pierson-El and La’Damian Washington head up a pass-catching corps that can consistently move the chains.

The BattleHawks offense is even more of a threat due to the balance it brings with the help of running backs Matt Jones and Christine Michael. The pair of NFL vets scuffled for ground yardage against a tough Roughnecks front Sunday. Yet, Jones still found his way into the end zone on a 25-yard reception despite struggling with a knee issue. The combination of St. Louis’ current futures price and talent make them a prudent wager to consider at this juncture. If they retain good health, the wins have a good chance of piling up while the odds shrink in response.

Tampa Bay Vipers +1000 (Last week: +700)

With a second consecutive loss – the latest by a 17-9 score to the Seattle Dragons– the Vipers’ futures continued their descent. However, it bears noting Tampa Bay put on a gutsy performance while playing in a tough road environment in front of what was the largest crowd in the XFL yet. And, they did so without starting quarterback Aaron Murray (foot). The duo of Taylor Cornelius and Quinton Flowers did their best to fill in, but their combined three interceptions, including a pick-six, were back-breakers.

Tampa Bay has talent on both sides of the ball, so a return by Murray in Week 3 could certainly help spark the team. The Vipers’ pass defense was especially impressive against Seattle. They limited quarterback Brandon Silvers to 91 passing yards. However, with just a 10-game regular-season schedule, there’s no shortage of urgency for an 0-2 squad. A Week 3 matchup versus the high-octane Roughnecks looks like a tall order with respect to Tampa Bay notching its first win.

L.A. Wildcats +1400 (Last week: +1000)

The Wildcats are the league’s other 0-2 squad, although they looked appreciably better in their latest defeat than in Week 1. Los Angeles dropped a tight 25-18 decision to the Dallas Renegades that wasn’t decided until the closing minute-plus of the contest. The Wildcats offense showed more synergy the more veteran Josh Johnson, who was making his XFL debut, played. Johnson’s 44-yard touchdown strike to Nelson Spruce in the fourth quarter offered a glimpse of what could be one of the league’s most potent combinations as the season unfolds.

The Wildcats’ defense was the subject of much scrutiny following the firing of coordinator Pepper Johnson following a lopsided Week 1 loss to the Roughnecks. They displayed some improvement while picking off Renegades quarterback Landry Jones twice and getting to him for a pair of sacks. L.A. does have some solid names on either side of the ball, and increased reps for Johnson could lead to a much more consistent offense in coming games.

Seattle Dragons +1400 (Last week: +1400)

Apparently, the Dragons are going to have to string together some wins to impress the oddsmakers. Despite a gritty 17-9 victory over the Tampa Bay Vipers on Saturday, Seattle is still bringing up the rear in terms of futures odds as the week begins. A big part of the reason might have to do with the way their went about getting that first win. Quarterback Brandon Silvers was undeniably abysmal for significant portions of the game. He completed just 39.0 percent of his throws on his way to 91 passing yards overall.

The good news for the Seattle offense is that it has three legitimate backs in Trey Williams, Kenneth Farrow and Ja’Quan Gardner, and a coach in Jim Zorn who will not hesitate to lean on them as long as game script allows. That much was evident Saturday, when the trio combined for 31 totes. A defense that tallied 2.5 sacks and three interceptions, including a pick-six, also offered reason for optimism. However, it’s important to factor in the Dragons faced two backup quarterbacks in Taylor Cornelius and Quinton Flowers and had looked much less effective when trying to slow down the Defenders’ Cardale Jones in Week 1.

Best XFL betting apps

In contrast to how the betting market unfolded for the short-lived Alliance of American Football (AAF) last spring, several major sportsbooks made their intentions to offer wagering opportunities for the XFL well in advance.

DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook and BetMGM Sportsbook have already rolled out XFL 2020 Championship futures and are offering lines for every regular- and post-season game. However, only six states have approved XFL betting markets thus far ahead of the league’s kickoff on Feb. 8. These will be covered further below.

Of note is the fact the XFL launched a “comprehensive integrity” program in conjunction with Genius Sports, which collects/distributes statistics, content and data related to betting and already works with NCAA, NBA and the PGA Tour stateside.

What XFL bets can I make?

In addition to futures bets,  sportsbooks are offering moneyline, point spread and projected totals bets for the league’s games each week. Specialty bets such as player and game props are to be determined.

How to bet on XFL in the US

The following states have authorized XFL betting markets ahead of the inaugural season:

That still leaves eight states with active betting markets pending. These are:

Whether sportsbooks in these states authorize sports betting on the league’s games at some point during the inaugural season remains to be seen and could be based on a variety of factors, including the league’s popularity and customer demand. Notably, some sportsbooks didn’t begin offering lines on last spring’s Alliance of American Football (AAF) season until after Week 1.

XFL coaches, teams and rosters

Eastern Conference

DC Defenders

  • Home stadium: Audi Field
  • Head coach/General manager: Pep Hamilton
  • Key players: QB Cardale Jones, RB Donnel Pumphrey, RB Jhurell Pressley, WR Rashad Ross, WR Eli Rogers

New York Guardians

  • Home stadium: MetLife Stadium
  • Head coach/General manager: Kevin Gilbride
  • Key players: QB Matt McGloin, RB Tim Cook, RB Justin Stockton, WR MeKale McKay

St. Louis Battlehawks

  • Home stadium: The Dome at America’s Center
  • Head coach/General manager: Jonathan Hayes
  • Key players: QB Jordan Ta’amu, RB Matt Jones, RB Christine Michael, WR De’Mornay Pierson-El

Tampa Bay Vipers

  • Home stadium: Raymond James Stadium
  • Head coach/General manager: Marc Trestman
  • Key players: QB Aaron Murray, RB De’Veon Smith, WR Antonio Callaway (injured), WR Reece Horn, WR Donteea Dye

Western Conference

 Dallas Renegades

  • Home stadium: Globe Life Park at Arlington
  • Head coach/general manager: Bob Stoops
  • Key players: QB Landry Jones, RB Cameron Artis-Payne, RB Lance Dunbar, WR Jeff Badet, WR Freddie Martino

Houston Roughnecks

  • Home stadium: TDECU Stadium
  • Head coach/general manager: June Jones
  • Key players: QB Connor Cook, RB De’Angelo Henderson, RB Andre Williams,  WR Sammie Coates

Los Angeles Wildcats

  • Home stadium: Dignity Health Sports Park
  • Head coach/general manager: Winston Moss
  • Key players: QB Josh Johnson, RB Elijah Hood, RB Larry Rose, WR Tre McBride, WR Nelson Spruce   

Seattle Dragons

  • Home stadium: CenturyLink Field
  • Head coach/general manager: Jim Zorn
  • Key players: QB Brandon Silvers, RB Kenneth Farrow, RB Ja’Quan Gardner, WR Kasen Williams

Are XFL rules different from NFL rules?

The XFL rulebook features a number of notable differences from that of the NFL’s. The majority of the changes implemented are designed to either speed up the overall pace of play, enhance the excitement of the game, or support player safety on special teams. A full list of all of the rule differences between the XFL and NFL, along with the XFL’s rationale for each, can be found on the league’s official website.

The following are highlights directly from the XFL’s website of some of the more prominent changes in each area of game play:

Special Teams/Returns

  • Out of bounds kicks and kicks that fall short of the 20-yard line will result in an illegal procedure penalty, taking the ball all the way out to the kicking team’s 45 yard line.
  • Players can move when the ball is touched by the returner or 3 seconds after the ball touches the ground (when the official waves his hand down).
  • If the ball is kicked into the end zone and is downed it is a “Major” touchback and the ball is placed at the return side 35-yard line.
  • If the ball bounces in bounds and then out of the end zone or is downed in the end zone, the ball is placed at the return side 15-yard line.
  • If a team wishes to run an onside kick, it must indicate this to the official before the play and the two teams will be permitted to line up using traditional NFL rules (i.e. 10 yards apart from the kicking team). There will be no surprise onside kicks.

Special Teams/ Extra Points

  • After a touchdown, the team has the option of running a play from the 2, 5, or 10-yard line, worth 1, 2, or 3 points respectively. The team must run an offensive play and no kicking plays are allowed.
  • If the defense is able to cause a turnover and return the ball to the opponent’s end zone, the resulting score is equal to the number of points the offense was attempting to score on its PAT.

Special Teams/ Punts

  • Punting team cannot release past the line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked.
  • If the ball goes out of bounds inside the 35-yard line, it is a “Major” touchback and the ball goes to the 35-yard line.
  • If a punted ball lands in the opponent’s end zone or goes out of the end zone the result is a “Major” touchback, and the ball goes out to the 35-yard line.
  • Fair catches are permitted.

Offense/ Double Forward Pass

  • If a team completes a forward pass behind the line of scrimmage, that team may throw a second forward pass, as long as the ball has at no time crossed the line of scrimmage.
  • Once the ball has passed the line of scrimmage, no forward passes are permitted. 


  • Overtime shall consist of 5 “Rounds”, staged in alternating single-play possessions as is customary in NHL shootouts or MLS penalty kicks. A “Round” will consist of one offensive play per team. Each possession starts at the opponent’s 5-yard line and the offensive team has one play to score. The team with more points after 5 rounds is the winner.
  • If a team has been mathematically eliminated before all 5 rounds have been completed, the game ends immediately (e.g. If Team A scores on its first 3 attempts and Team B is stopped on its first 3 attempts, then no subsequent plays are necessary).
  • If teams are tied after 5 rounds, then rounds continue until one team is leading at the conclusion of a round, and that team will be the winner.
  • For scoring purposes, each successful overtime score is worth 2 points.
  • The defensive team cannot score. If the offensive team commits a turnover, the play is over immediately.
  • If the defensive team commits a penalty, the offensive team will be allowed to re-attempt from the 1-yard line.
  • Any subsequent penalty committed by the defensive team on any subsequent play, including in future rounds, will result in a score awarded to the offensive team.

Play clocks

  • There will be a 25-second play clock that begins after the ball is spotted for the next play.
  • It takes 7 seconds on average to spot the ball (average 32 second play clock)
  • Outside the last 2 minutes of each half, when a play ends out of bounds, or on an incompletion the game clock will be stopped until the ball is spotted.
  • Aside from incompletions and out of bounds plays, game clock rules outside the last 2 minutes of each half are the same as the NFL.

Comeback period

  • Occurs after the 2-Minute Warning in each half.
  • On plays that end in the field of play, the game clock will be stopped until the ball has been spotted and 5 seconds have run off of the play clock.
  • On incomplete passes and out of bounds plays, the game clock will stop completely until the ball is snapped. 


  • Each team will have 2 one-minute timeouts per half.

Instant replay

  • The XFL will have no coaches’ challenges and all plays will be subject to review from the Replay Official, who will be stationed in a booth above the field.
  • Reviewable plays are limited to: (a) Plays involving possession. (b) Plays involving touching of either the ball or the ground. (c) Plays governed by the goal line. (d) Plays governed by the boundary lines. (e) Plays governed by the line of scrimmage. (f) Plays governed by the line to gain. (g) Number of players on the field at the snap. (h) Game administration. (1) Penalty enforcement. (2) Proper down. (3) Spot of a foul. (4) Status of the game clock. (i) Disqualification of a player. This list of reviewable plays is identical to those in the NFL prior to 2019.
  • Exception: The Replay Official may correct obvious errors involving player safety at any point throughout the game.
  • Exception: The Replay Official may correct any egregious obvious error that may have a significant impact on the outcome of the game in the last five minutes of the 4th quarter or during overtime.

 Additional rules that differ from NFL

  • Only one foot inbounds required for a catch.
  • One official dedicated specifically to spotting the ball after each play.
  • 10-minute halftime period.

How do I watch/stream the XFL?

Fans will be able to watch the XFL through multiple platforms:

Traditional Broadcast/Cable Channels:

Regular season:

  • ABC (one game per week)
  • FOX (one game per week, except Week 6)
  • ESPN or ESPN 2 (one game per week)
  • FS1 or FS 2 (at least one game per week)

Playoff Round:

  • FOX (Eastern Conference final)
  • ESPN (Western Conference final)

Championship Game:

  • ESPN

Streaming Options (degree of availability of games depends on what channel package subscriber has):

  • ESPN +
  • Hulu TV
  • YouTube TV
  • Sling
  • FubuTV
  • AT & T Now

When was the XFL draft?

The XFL Draft ahead of the 2020 season was held Oct. 15-16 via conference call, with representatives of all eight teams participating. The draft was first and foremost divided by position groups, making it markedly different from the player allocation process for every other major professional sports league. The draft order was determined before each phase via lottery and each round in each phase followed a “snake” format in terms of order.

Prior to the draft, each of the eight teams was allowed to submit a list of preferred quarterbacks from a pool of available players. The league then assigned one quarterback from the list to each of the eight teams and designated those players as “Tier 1 quarterbacks”.

The aforementioned five phases of the draft were divided as follows:

  • Phase 1: Offensive skill positions (QB, RB, WR, TE) — 10 rounds
  • Phase 2: Offensive linemen (tackles, guards and centers) — 10 rounds
  • Phase 3: Defensive front seven players (defensive linemen, linebackers) — 10 rounds
  • Phase 4: Defensive backs (cornerbacks and safeties) — 10 rounds
  • Phase 5: Open draft (any position eligible, including all punters, placekickers and long snappers) — 30 rounds

There was also a supplemental draft held Nov. 22 in which another 66 players were selected.

The “Tier 1” quarterback phase included several players with some form of NFL experience, including Landry Jones, Cardale Jones and Matt McGloin. The supplemental draft also yielded another pair of NFL veterans in Josh Johnson and Taylor Heinicke.

Other names of note taken in the main draft included:

  • QB Connor Cook
  • RBs Christine Michael, Kenneth Farrow and Cameron Artis-Payne
  • WRs Tommylee Lewis, Rashad Ross and Sammie Coates
  • TE Nick Truesdell


Who owns the XFL?

The XFL is owned by Vince McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment. All eight of the league’s franchises are owned and operated by the league, giving commissioner Oliver Luck the ability to fire any coach or general manager.

What does XFL stand for?

Officially, the “X” in XFL does not stand for anything, despite popular belief during the league’s initial run that it implied “Xtreme”.

How long did the original XFL last?

The original XFL lasted the entirety of its 2001 season, folding in May 2001 after losing television partners NBC and UPN. The Los Angeles Xtreme won the league’s inaugural championship.

What is an XFL player’s salary?

XFL players will play on a standard form contract that pays them $2,725 per week, with $1,040 of that amount guaranteed. Players on winning teams each week will receive a $2,222 bonus. Each contract will be one year in length, offering players an annual opt-out period during which they can sign with another league if the opportunity arises. If a player remains on an active roster for the entirety of the XFL season, various reports have pegged their full salary to be approximately $55,000 for that season.

How long is the XFL season?

The XFL season will consist of 10 regular-season games for each team. There will be no bye weeks. There will then be two-week postseason in which the top two teams in each conference will face off in a single-elimination bracket during the first week, followed by the league’s championship game the following week.

How is XFL different from AAF?

Although, the XFL has a number of similarities to the AAF in aspects such as its single-entity model, its number of teams and its length of season, it also has some differences. These primarily lie in the some of the new rules of play that were previously outlined. Additionally, the XFL enjoys much more stable funding, with McMahon himself having reportedly invested a significant amount of his own funds into the league. Moreover, while the AAF did have some solid TV deals in place with CBS and CBS Sports Network, the XFL will enjoy an exponentially more comprehensive and elevated coverage map that includes ABC, FOX, ESPN and FS1.

Who is the XFL Commissioner/President?

The XFL’s commissioner is Oliver Luck, a former NFL quarterback whose son Andrew had a fair share of success in the league in his own right. Subsequent to his playing career, Luck has enjoyed a distinguished career as an administrator, including stints as the president of NFL Europe, the CEO of the Houston Sports Authority and the NCAA’s Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs. Luck also served as the head coach/general manager for two NFL Europe teams in the 1990s.