XFL Picks: Our Favorite Week 1 Bets, Including How to Play BattleHawks vs. Renegades
Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Aaron Murray
- Looking for betting picks for Sunday's XFL games? You've come to the right place.
- Our betting experts analyze the whole XFL slate, including a pick for the St. Louis BattleHawks vs. Dallas Renegades game on Sunday evening (5 p.m. ET).
- The BattleHawks are double-digit underdogs, but is that too high of a line for a Week 1 game?
Just a short week after the Super Bowl, football is back thanks to the XFL.
Its 10-week regular season kicks off with four games between Saturday and Sunday. And if you’re looking for action on the league, our crew is here to guide you through the brave new world of XFL betting.
You’ll find their Week 1 betting picks and favorite championship bets below.
Week 1 XFL Picks & Futures Bets
Odds as of Friday and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Week 1 XFL Picks
Sean Koerner: BattleHawks +10 at Renegades
5 p.m. ET on Sunday
Week 1 of a league featuring eight brand new teams is way too early to have any team a double-digit favorite.
The market isn’t necessarily wrong that the Renegades could be one of the top teams this season — they are led by head coach Bob Stoops and have one of the most complete rosters in the league. QB Landry Jones could very well be the top quarterback in the league this year. However, Jones has been out with a knee injury for the last month and is questionable for Game 1, so it seems like they may have him sit Week 1 in place of Philip Nelson.
Jones to Nelson figures to be a bit of a drop-off for Dallas that the market is ignoring. In the face of uncertainty, getting +10 seems like a no-brainer bet for me. It’s important to tread lightly in Week 1 and let at least each team play a game before we can take harder stances.
Ben Rolfe: Roughnecks -5.5 vs. Wildcats
5 p.m. ET on Saturday
The Roughnecks are one of the two teams that have stood out in terms of roster construction and talent. They have the biggest potential difference-maker on defense in the league in Kony Ealy, and now they look likely to be facing a backup quarterback in Week 1.
They have enough talent on their roster to win this one by at least a touchdown against the Wildcats, who are significantly downgraded if Johnson is absent or limited.
Matthew Freedman: Vipers -2 at Guardians
2 p.m. ET on Saturday
Until we see the teams play, everything is just a projection, but the Vipers might be the best team in the league. They have an inventive, offense-focused head coach in Marc Trestman, who won multiple championships in the CFL, which I think has a style of play comparable to what we will see in the XFL.
The Vipers also might have the best quarterback in the league in Aaron Murray.
The Guardians, meanwhile, are coached by Kevin Gilbride, who was once a strong coordinator for the Giants, but his scheme grew stale, and he hasn’t coached since 2013. Quarterback Matt McGloin has NFL experience, but he’s rather mediocre, even by XFL standards, and two of his starting wide receivers are on injured reserve.
Early in the season, Trestman should have a significant coaching edge over the antiquated and rusty Gilbride. I’d bet the Vipers to -3.
2020 XFL Championship Bets
Mike Vitanza: Houston Roughnecks +900
While they do play in the West, which is likely to be the tougher division, the Roughnecks have the talent to make a run this season. Caesars released win totals for the XFL a couple of weeks ago, giving the Roughnecks a total of 6.0, which tied them for No. 2 with the Dallas Renegades. But in the futures market, most sportsbooks have the Renegades at +400 odds to win the championship, which suggests that the Roughnecks are discounted.
At these odds, there should also be plenty of room to hedge (if you choose) and lock in a profit if they win a playoff spot. There is simply way too much value here to pass up taking them at +900.
Note: The lines for this bet swing wildly from book-to-book (anywhere from +600 to +900), so make sure to take it on FanDuel before the lines adjust.
I like this all the way down to +650.
Chris Raybon: Houston Roughnecks +900
I totally agree with Mike here.
The Roughnecks have two solid quarterbacks with fringe NFL talent in Phillip Walker and Conner Cook, which affords them robustness at the game’s most important position. They also have a legit NFL-caliber wide receiver in Sammie Coates, and strong depth at running back with De’Angelo Henderson, Andre Williams and James Butler. They’re coached by June Jones, father of the run-N-shoot and one of the top offensive minds in the league this side of Mike Trestman.
And on defense, Kony Ealy gives him NFL-level talent in the trenches.
Houston’s odds are generous, and I think it’s partly because sportsbooks are having trouble attracting money on the Roughnecks over flashier, big-market squads in Dallas and New York.
In an eight-team league wrought with uncertainty, I love getting 9-1 odds on a solid team to take home the c’hip.