Freedman: How I’m Betting Week 6 XFL Games Based on Potential Coronavirus Impacts
Rod Mar/XFL via Getty Images. Pictured: Seattle Dragons WR Alonzo Moore
Editor’s note: The XFL has cancelled the rest of the 2020 season as of Thursday evening.
As of 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, many sports events have been canceled, but the XFL still intends to play its Week 6 slate.
The league has issued a statement on the Los Angeles Wildcats-Seattle Dragons game, saying that it will be played as scheduled but without fans at the venue — a decision in accordance with Washington governor Jay Inslee’s emergency proclamation, which prohibits events with more than 250 people in King County.
Given this news, here’s how I’m betting Week 6 XFL games.
Los Angeles Wildcats vs. Seattle Dragons Pick
- Spread: Wildcats -2.5
- Total: 45.5
- Kickoff: 9 p.m. ET on Sunday
- TV: ESPN
In the Markets Tool within our Labs Terminal, you can see that this line has moved to -3 at every book except for FanDuel.
In other words, bet now at FanDuel. (NJ, PA, IN and WV only.)
The Dragons have perhaps the league’s best home-field advantage — Seattle sports fans are truly fanatical about their teams — but with no crowd at the stadium, what becomes of home-field advantage?
I don’t think the spread is currently taking into account the diminished home-field advantage the Dragons will have.
On top of that, I like the Wildcats anyway. Since returning from injury in Week 2, quarterback Josh Johnson (thigh) has progressively improved, and he now leads the league with 7.9 yards per attempt.
The Dragons, meanwhile, are last in the league with a 53.2 coverage grade (per Pro Football Focus).
With no crowd noise to slow Johnson’s passing roll, the Dragons look extraordinarily disadvantaged.
My Pick: Wildcats -2.5
Week 6 XFL Betting Strategy & Picks
This is just a gut hunch, but I think the XFL will play all of its Week 6 games with no crowds in attendance.
Hearing a rumor that the #XFL leadership is currently meeting to decide the next steps, as we speak. We could see a decision publicized sometime this afternoon. Maybe even as early as 2 PM.
— Konnor Fulk (@KonnorFulk_XFL) March 12, 2020
It’s what NASCAR and the PGA Tour are doing, so it’s not as if the XFL would be acting in an unthinkable manner.
If that happens, the lines will all likely move toward the visiting teams.
- Houston Roughnecks at New York Guardians: Roughnecks -6.5
- Dallas Renegades at DC Defenders: Renegades +4.5
- St. Louis BattleHawks at Tampa Bay Vipers: BattleHawks -3
FanDuel is in line with the market on the Roughnecks, but the Renegades are +4 and the BattleHawks are -3 at every other legal book, so there’s value in grabbing those lines right now.
And if those lines move toward the visitors, there will be even more value.
As it happens, regardless of any potential coronavirus-related crowd-limiting precautions, I lean toward the road teams in these games anyway.
My Picks: Roughnecks -6.5; Renegades +4.5; BattleHawks -3