XFL’s Week 1 Games Generate 20 Times the Betting Handle of AAF
Michael Owens/Getty Images. Pictured: Damien Mama of the New York Guardians
Not only did the XFL have a good first week on television, but it also had a solid showing at the counter.
Of course, we are not talking NFL-type numbers, but that isn’t the point. The key takeaway was that a notable chunk of bettors were willing to give the newest upstart football league a shot.
Both DraftKings and FanDuel said that Saturday’s two games did roughly 20 times the handle that the first two AAF games did a year before. Some of that surely has to do with a more mature betting market, but don’t discount the buzz factor here.
“We saw momentum build on the XFL as the weekend progressed,” said FanDuel spokesman Kevin Hennessy. “Handle on XFL games increased 55% from Saturday to Sunday and bet count increased 31% from Saturday to Sunday.”
The most bet game was, not surprisingly, the New York Guardians vs. the Tampa Bay Vipers. FanDuel’s largest sports betting audience is located in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, respectively.
The Guardians were the only home underdog of the week, but dominated the Vipers in front of 17,000 fans at MetLife Stadium, 23-3.
Both DraftKings and FoxBet are authorized partners, which means they are given the live feeds from the league. FoxBet took live bets on moneyline, but did not take live bets on total. DraftKings did not allow for clients to bet the games live in Week 1, but the handle was impressive nonetheless.
“The XFL was as big as some other popular leagues on our sportsbook,” said DraftKings spokesman Stephen Miraglia. “Nearly 25% of bettors, who placed a bet with us this weekend, placed a bet on the XFL.”
“Demand was pretty solid,” said PointsBet spokesman Patrick Eichner said. “I would say the entire weekend’s handle was similar to a good UFC card.”