Top Betting Trends to Know for Week 4 of the XFL
Credit: Carmen Mandato/XFL via Getty Images. Pictured: DeAndre Goolsby
Now that we have three weeks in the books for the XFL, we can start picking apart some of the data we have to identify trends that can help bettors gain an edge. This will be the start of a weekly piece that will help you identify some of the top trends you should know entering each week.
We will look at trends against the spread, over/under, general play calling and so much more. Averages are still a little thin at this point, but we can look at them where applicable.
The league has underwhelmed a little to those who anticipated an extremely pass-heavy approach to the game. Many analysts expected somewhere in the neighborhood of a 65% pass-to-35% run ratio. So far, the league is averaging a 56.5% pass-to-43.5% run ratio. The run ratio has been trending up in each of the last three weeks as we saw a 60/40 split in Week 1, 56/44 split in Week 2, and a 53/47 split in Week 3.
Total offensive plays have maintained a consistent stance of about 58 pass/rush plays per game. The St. Louis BattleHawks and Tampa Bay Vipers are tied with 203 total offensive plays this season (67.7 per game), which is the most in the league. The BattleHawks have done so by being the most run-heavy offense in the league, carrying the ball 60% of the time this season. Tampa has opted for a balanced attack with a 51% pass-to-49% run ratio.
The New York Guardians have run just 46 offensive plays per game this season, which is the fewest in the league. They have gone with more of a 61/39 pass-run ratio this season, though they have attempted the second-fewest passes in the league this season (85).
Red-zone efficiency has been a significant factor for points, or lack thereof through the first three weeks. The league as a whole struggled in the first two weeks, converting just 40.6% of red-zone drives into a touchdown in Week 1 and 36.4% in Week 2. The teams rebounded in a big way in Week 3, converting 60.5% of the time, bringing the league average on the season to 48.4%. These low-efficiency totals have been a big factor in driving the under to hit in most games.
On the season, the Houston Roughnecks has been the most efficient in the red zone converting nine-of-11 red-zone drives into a score (81.8%). Their 11 drives are tied with the Los Angeles Wildcats for most in the league.
The Vipers have notoriously been the worst in the red zone this season as they entered Week 2 0-7 in converting red-zone drives into a touchdown. They converted two-of-three attempts in Week 3, bringing them up to a 20% conversion rate this season, which is still good for dead last in the league.
This is also an area the D.C. Defenders have struggled in this season as they’re just 2-9 (22.2%) in red-zone conversions this season.
The under has famously hit in eight of the 12 games so far this season in the XFL. The Roughnecks are the only team that has seen the over hit in all three of their games. They barely went over in the first two weeks, crossing the threshold by 2.5 points in Week 1 (over 51.5) and 1.5 points in Week 2 (over 50.5). Overall, their projected total drop to 45.5 points at Tampa in Week 3 and crushed that number by 15.5 points with help from the Vipers. Based on this, Houston is the only team worth betting the over on at this point as long as the total stays around the 50-point range, but it’s been close on average.
The only game to have the over hit that didn’t involve Houston so far was the Wildcats blowout upset against the Defenders in Week 3 by a score of 39-9. The consensus total from that game was 46.5, so the over barely hit by 1.5 points. The Wildcats are the only team to see the over hit twice this season besides the Roughnecks since they faced each other in Week 1. The Wildcats totals have all been extremely close this season as well. None of their three games either covering or missing the total by more than 2.5 points.
The Guardians have missed their projected totals by 49 points so far this season, which is the most in the league. All of their games have been lopsided blowouts with them being on the wrong end in the last two. The totals missed by 26.5 points (under 52.5) in Week 1, 20.5 points (under 47.5) in Week 2, and 2.5 points (under 40.5) in Week 3. Even with the total dropping down to the low-40s, the Guardians haven’t been able to hit the over.
Against the Spread
St. Louis is the only team that has covered the spread in each of its first three games this season. The BattleHawks have done so by a pretty healthy margin in two of their three games. In Week 1, they covered by 15.5 points as they came into the game as 9.5-point underdogs against Dallas and pulled off an upset. In Week 2, they covered by 3.5 points as they kept the game close against Houston despite being 7.5-point underdogs. In Week 3, they demolished New York by 20 points, easily covering the 10.5-point spread as favorites. On average, they’re covering the spread by 9.5 points so far this season, most in the league.
The D.C. Defenders and Dallas Renegades are the only two teams who are 2-1 ATS so far this season. D.C. covered by just 2.5 points in Week 1 as 9.5-point favorites against the Seattle Dragons and blew out New York by 20 points in Week 2, easily covering as 7-point favorites. Week 3 put the Defenders on the other end of a blowout losing 9-39 against Los Angeles despite coming into the game as 8.5-point favorites. The Wildcats covering last week was one of our best bets in Week 3.
None of the teams is 0-3 ATS this season, with all others coming in at 1-2. Outside of a Week 1 blowout win, Houston’s other two games have been decided by just one score. They’ve been 7.5-point favorites in every game this season but have failed to cover twice. Tampa Bay covered the spread as 7.5-point underdogs by just half a point in Week 3, so depending on which books you’re placing your bets at, the Vipers could be 0-3 ATS this season.
That’s all I have for this week, keep checking back each week as we will continue this deep dive into betting trends!