DraftKings Releases XFL Betting Odds; Fantasy Contests Coming Soon

Posted By Danny Cross on February 3, 2020 - Last Updated on February 19, 2020

The relaunched XFL is set to kick off on Saturday, Feb. 8, and betting odds are now posted at DraftKings Sportsbook for the eventual champion. Week 1 lines are expected to follow in the coming days.

The Dallas Renegades, coached by Bob Stoops (who spoke with us in January), opened as the betting favorites at +300 to finish atop the eight-team league. The Seattle Dragons are the biggest longshots at +1100.

Vince McMahon’s reincarnation of the XFL was created with betting and fantasy games in mind. During a short hype video released along with the league’s announcement in January of 2018, a voiceover states: “This is gaming and fantasy. This is padded roulette. Make a trade, make a team, make a move, make a bet.”

XFL fantasy games are expected to hit the DraftKings lobby sometime before the season starts, according to a DraftKings representative.

XFL futures odds 2020

XFL Winner

Game
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Houston Roughnecks
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+160
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+170
St. Louis BattleHawks
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+375
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+380
Dallas Renegades
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+600
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+470
DC Defenders
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+650
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+750
NY Guardians
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+750
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+750
LA Wildcats
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+750
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+750
Seattle Dragons
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+2600
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+2600
Tampa Bay Vipers
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+2900
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+2600

A more accessible XFL?

There’s reason to believe the 2020 XFL season will go better than its inaugural year in 2001, which folded after one season.

First, the XFL is no longer attempting to compete directly with the NFL. The 2001 iteration began in the fall, overlapping the end of the NFL season. By kicking off Feb. 8 — six days after Super Bowl LIV — the new XFL will have the entire football world to itself.

The league will also be easier to catch on TV, as it announced a major deal in May with ABC, ESPN, FOX and FOX Sports 1. The weekly Saturday slate will be especially accessible, with games at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. EST on ABC and FOX. Sunday games will kick off at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. EST and rotate among ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, FOX and FS1.

Rule changes to consider before betting

One of the main challenges for bettors will be anticipating teams’ strategies for point-after touchdown plays. The XFL will not allow extra-point kicks. Instead, the scoring team will choose from three options: a two-yard play worth one point (similar to the NFL’s two-point conversion); two points for a successful play from the 5-yard line; and three points for a score from the 10-yard line.

The XFL will tend to move faster than the NFL, both in terms of time clock and, in some ways, action. Kickoff rules have been reimagined to encourage returns — teams will kick off from their own 25-yard line; the NFL recently pushed kickoffs out to the 35 in part to reduce both returns and injuries.

The XFL’s kickoffs have taken some safety precautions as well. The kicker will be the only player on his own side of the field — the kicking coverage team will line up at the receiving team’s 35-yard line. But the coverage unit will not be allowed to move until either the ball is caught or three seconds after it hits the ground.

The return team will be lined up five yards from the coverage team, at its own 30-yard line, prepared to block against players who haven’t sprinted full-speed down the field ahead of the catch.

There are also harsher penalties for kicking the ball out of bounds and two different touchbacks. The ball comes out to the 35 if a kickoff hits the end zone on a fly, but only to the 15-yard line if it bounces in. Similarly, punts that bounce out of bounds deep inside the receiving team’s territory will be brought out to the 35-yard line.

The expectation is that offenses will go for more fourth downs because flipping field position isn’t a viable strategy. On the other side, receiving teams will be that much closer to scoring after botched punts.

In general, the XFL intends to keep the action moving and to reduce the time of games to around two hours and 40 minutes.

Familiar faces and cities

The 2020 XFL Franchises are located in Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa and Washington, D.C. Former Oklahoma Sooners and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Landry Jones was the first player signed by the XFL.

Other former NFL players on current XFL rosters include Cardale Jones, Josh Johnson, Christine Michael, Cameron Artis-Payne and Sammie Coates.

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Written by
Danny Cross

Danny Cross has been writing about DFS and fantasy sports since 2017. He spent a decade at a newsmagazine in Cincinnati called CityBeat as a reporter, editor and columnist. He is currently an adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Cincinnati and a member of the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association. 

View all posts by Danny Cross