XFL Week 4 Betting Preview: Spruce’s Injury & Quarterback-less Guardians

We examine New Jersey sports betting trends, upcoming games and some nuggets gleaned in the field heading into XFL Week 4.

The novelty is over.

As the XFL concludes its first month this weekend, it’s been established as a niche betting component, squelching the post Super Bowl letdown of NFL backers.

NJ sportsbooks consider the betting handle similar to NFL preseason games and a far above the AAF. The AAF operated in this space last winter and was a welcomed new kid on the wagering block, running from February through April.

Unlike the AAF, XFL betting is catching on in New Jersey.

Let’s examine betting trends, upcoming games and some nuggets gleaned in the field.

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XFL Week 4 schedule and betting odds

As in the weeks past, there will be two games on Saturday and two on Sunday. Here is a look at the games and the betting odds at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Saturday’s games kick off with the 1-2 Los Angles Wildcats at -7 against the host New York Guardians, also 1-2, at 2 p.m. The over-under is 39.5

In the second game, 5 p.m., the 2-1 St. Louis BattleHawks give 12 points to the 1-2 Seattle Dragons. The over-under is 38.5.

On Sunday at 4 p.m., the potential game of the year pits the 3-0 Houston Roughnecks against the 2-1 Dallas Renegades. Houston is -1. The over-under is 49.

Then at 7 p.m., the 2-1 DC Defenders are +2 interestingly enough against the 0-3 Tampa Bay Vipers. The over-under is 44.

Keeping the XFL afloat

Some over-riding influences will determine the viability of this league.

Television does a strong job promoting to the NJ sports betting crowd, even listing graphics regarding changing point spreads and prop totals.

Players are unspoiled and need the XFL. 

They have been cooperative with media, allowing all access in environments that would make established NFL stars uncomfortable.

The league has college and NFL coaching cache with names like:

  • Bob Stoops
  • Jim Zorn
  • Jerry Glanville

Going forward, it will need more teams, perhaps even double, to overcome the impact of any bad clubs.

Players are not paid much. This will help the league survive.

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DraftKings and FanDuel help get DFS off to a great start

Daily fantasy sports has been one of the hallmarks in this league via its partnerships with FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings. 

Hot starters include Houston quarterback P.J. Walker and the league’s top playmaker, receiver Cam Phillips, who was named the league’s top star for the second straight week. The Roughnecks wide receiver caught an 84-yard touchdown pass that had over bettors rejoicing last week.

Players coming into their own include Dallas quarterback Landry Jones, who tossed three touchdowns last week. 

On the other hand, Wildcats quarterback Josh Johnson, a rising star, will not have ace wide receiver Nelson Spruce this week, according to injury reports.

Spruce’s knee injury, and absence, may affect Johnson.  Monitor late injury developments closer to kickoff.

DC quarterback Cardale Jones, despite suffering an off game against Los Angeles in Week 3, remains one of the league’s top players.

Tampa Bay received a boost from quarterback Taylor Cornelius, who ran and threw for a score last week, despite his team losing.

DC placekicker Ty Rausa has been consistent for all three games.

St. Louis kicker Taylor Russolino connected from 58 yards last week. He’s a great DFS start, especially when St. Louis is indoors, at home.

In-game betting at NJ Sportsbooks

In-game betting is another significant betting option because regulators limit the number of props sportsbooks can offer.

Many in-game bettors like to watch one series from each team and make a determination about whether the defenses have shown up. They make over-under wagers from there.

I took a low-budget in-game ride via William Hill Sportsbook in the final game of last week when Los Angeles capsized Washington 39-9.

With small wagers, I cashed three times.  Los Angeles opened at +9. I took that and doubled down, taking the Wildcats at +3.5 after their first touchdown occurred.

When it appeared that this wasn’t to be DC’s day, I took Los Angeles at -14.5 early in the second half.

I did get burned, however. Of course, in-game bettors face this. I tried to take the over 47.5 with Los Angeles leading 14-0. Unfortunately, the bet took too long to be processed. Before it became official, a long touchdown occurred, driving the over-under to 52.5 and I had to back off.

The beauty of in-game betting, when it works, is the betting option to be conservative on the opening line and progress according to how one feels the game is going.

For me, the in-game offset a Saturday loss in which the Seattle-Dallas game going under killed a parlay ticket.

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XFL settling in for the long haul

Quarterbacks are improving as they become more comfortable with their offenses and receivers.

Downfield passes are beginning to click. The over hit on two of the four games last week, giving the league and NJ sportsbook apps a scoring balance they’d prefer.

Visiting teams also won two games outright, keeping the moneyline viable.

Houston is not only 3-0 against the moneyline, but 3-0 on the over.

Dallas features a methodically improving offense as Jones becomes more familiar with his team.

Cameron Artis-Payne has been a bulwark in the backfield. All three Dallas games have gone under the total this year, in part because the team has a respectable defense.

Dallas was favored to win the championship when the season started. For those believing in this team, now is the time to bet on them to capture a title. If Dallas beats Houston, its odds will shorten up.

The now 1-2 Wildcats delighted their fans, league backers who want a strong team in a major market, and over bettors last week.

Johnson looked excellent, especially throwing to Spruce. The loss of Spruce could hamper the team’s deep threat, forcing a different style of play this week.

DC, 2-1, is nonetheless a road dog against winless Tampa. The Vipers found their offensive legs last week, scoring 27 points and coming within one yard of hitting the 30’s.

I projected them to break out last week and they did. Cornelius looked strong throwing the ball.

Tampa Bay is playing for its season this week. An 0-4 start would make the Vipers a dire longshot to reach the postseason and dampen future home attendance.

St. Louis is one of the league’s most conservative teams. This is a ball-control, run-first offense and its coach will play the field-position game via punting.

Keep that in mind for over-under purposes.

The Seattle offense has been a mess all year, but the team eked out a win in Week 2 against Tampa Bay. Seattle gave up 18 unanswered points to Dallas, at home, in losing last week, and did not score in the second half.

The worst-looking team is the New York Guardians, who have no quarterback, suffer penalties for undisciplined play and have the look of anarchy in dropping two straight games by a 56-9 margin. And the only TD in the last two weeks came from its third-string quarterback.

Because the team scored a win in Week 1, it can be back to .500 if it could come together and win at home against Los Angeles. This is the week we’ll find out if they have quit on coach Kevin Gilbride.

XFL 2020: Is The Glass Half Empty Or Half Full? NJ Sportsbooks Weigh In

XFL betting in NJ was up, but viewership was down. Play ranged from abysmal to strong, leaving room for both optimists and pessimists going into Week 3.

From Week 1 to Week 2, sports betting in New Jersey on the XFL was up, but viewership was down.

The quality of play ranged from abysmal to quite strong, leaving enough room for both optimists and pessimists of the winter-spring football league before Week 3.

The upcoming Saturday schedule features the undefeated Houston Roughnecks visiting the winless Tampa Bay Vipers as 6.5-point favorites.  In the second game of the day, the Dallas Renegades are -5 against the host Seattle Dragons in a match of 1-1 teams. Both Saturday spreads come from DraftKings Sportsbook.

On Sunday, the 1-1 St. Louis BattleHawks celebrate their home opener against the 1-1 New York Guardians as a 10-point FanDuel Sportsbook favorite. The unbeaten DC Defenders hit the road by giving 8.5 to the winless Los Angeles Wildcats, completing the Sunday schedule.

Three of the four road teams are laying points.

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What NJ Sportsbooks have to say

While the league averaged more than 3 million television viewers per game in the first week. A little more than 2 million viewers returned for the second according to published reports.

The XFL could survive with Week 2 numbers. Most likely, the figured dropped-off because of curiosity driving higher Week 1 television ratings.

If viewership stabilizes near 2 million, networks should be satisfied that this investment won’t hurt them.

By working collaboratively, the networks cross-promote themselves and the league. The XFL may indeed satisfy its low-to-moderate bar for success as a winter sports-betting reprieve.

NJ Gambling Sites spoke exclusively with Johnny Avello, the DraftKings director of sportsbook operations, and Nick Bogdanovich, William Hill Director of Trading, this week. Both believe the league held up well.

Handle was up around 25% from the first week, so we’re happy with the progression,” Avello said. 

“There was more total money (the under was wagered on substantially). We also offered in-game lines which handled about 20% of all action.”

In-game action provided timely wagering opportunities. The over-under lines continually drifted downward, enticing bettors to stab at the lower game totals.  It was a tantalizing proposition.

Avello said the weekend finale, St. Louis and Houston, received the biggest game handle. He believes the positioning of the game, coming on the heels of an exciting finish between Los Angeles and Dallas in the first contest, enhanced the wagering flow.

Another benefit was the 6 p.m. (EST) start for St. Louis-Houston a one-hour difference from the second game of Week 1. That pushed this game into prime-time viewing territory. (The format is similar in Week 3).

XFL 2020 bridges Super Bowl and March Madness action

The league has been considered a nice betting bridge between the Super Bowl and March Madness. But Avello thinks the XFL train does not have to stop there.

“The key factor for this league staying intact is for them to keep doing what they are doing and for us to keep creating new offerings,” he said.

“I don’t believe March Madness threatens the XFL because the opening Thursday and Friday are two of the bigger focused days of tournament betting. It spreads out a little bit more on Saturday and Sunday (when the XFL plays) and then moving forward from that point, spreads out even more.”

Avello believes fantasy betting has been a pleasant addition to the DraftKings package. Stars include quarterbacks Cardale Jones and P.J. Walker of Houston, and Roughnecks wide receiver Cam Phillips, the XFL’ top-ranked star from Week 2.

Keep an eye on Renegades quarterback Landry Jones, who should improve after his rusty first returning from injury, and back Cameron Artis-Payne, who was the real star of the team’s victory against Los Angeles last week.

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William Hill: XFL Performs Well

Bogdanovich believes the XFL has surpassed initial expectations.

“I would give it a B+ or A-,” Bogdanovich said.

“The league has been rock solid. I am shocked that we are doing the numbers we are. The XFL has enjoyed a much better start than previous leagues.”

“I assume it will only get better,” he added. “There are two games each day. It is staggered, no overkill. I think it can hold its own during this time. Hopefully the play gets a little better, I think it will. Many of these guys have been in mothballs for a while and now they are playing.”

Bogdanovich said television coverage and its emphasis on gambling has helped inspire wagering and he believes action could improve once bettors lock in on a favorite team or player.

“We were dead even doing business from Week 1 to Week 2, which is not a bad thing because the XFL had a strong debut,” he said. “I have heard that some other books increased quite a bit in the second week.”

XFL 2020 Week 2 Report Card

Play started shabbily Saturday afternoon when New York Guardians quarterback Matt McGloin was horrific. He was not on the same page as his receivers and said the entire game plan had to be scrapped at halftime. New York lost 27-0 to DC.

The second game suffered a similar dilemma, with Tampa Bay and Seattle notching only one offensive TD in Seattle’s 17-9 win.

Through two games, Tampa has still not scored an offensive touchdown.

Twitter was buzzing about the weak quarterback play sinking the league. Indeed, many signal callers missed wide-open receivers and the only completions were short screens to the backs or small gains to tight ends.

Game 3 looked shaky until the Dallas running game and Los Angeles passing game rescued a game that limped through three quarters with Dallas leading 6-3.

Then came the five quarters that rescued the week. Los Angeles and Dallas scored 34 fourth-quarter points in what became a 25-18 Dallas win and the Houston-St. Louis game totaled 52. That was 86 points in five quarters, giving hope that the offenses will solidify.

The league needs the deep ball.

Houston’s 28-24 win over a resilient St. Louis gave the game a prime-time feel and it passed a test.

The Los Angeles Wildcats secured the first 3-point conversion in league history, a daring maneuver turning a 19-15 deficit into a 19-18 game. It was daring because a miss would have taken a game-tying field goal out of the equation.

Some analysists criticized Washington for trying a 3-pointer when leading the Guardians 27-0. Actually, there was no better time to try that. Somewhere down the line, a team will need a 3-point play. Practice it while there is no pressure.

NJ Gambling Sites XFL Power Rankings

  • DC Defenders
  • Houston Roughnecks
  • St. Louis Battle Hawks
  • Dallas Renegades
  • Seattle Dragons
  • New York Guardians
  • Los Angeles Wildcats
  • Tampa Bay Vipers

Will XFL 2020 Survive? Week 2 Will Help Answer That Question And More

The XFL passed muster in Week 1 with NJ sports betting handle exceedeing some NFL exhibition games. The big questions is will bettors show up for week 2?

The XFL passed muster in Week 1 with DraftKings and FanDuel sportsbooks, which became partners with the re-branded February-April league in the final days before kickoff.

Betting handle exceeded some NFL exhibition games and substantially out-performed the Alliance of American Football league, which occupied this space last year and folded before the season ended.

The Week 2 XFL slate is important for the league and a point of interest for the New Jersey sportsbooks that saw initial promise last week. There are four more games, two apiece on Saturday and Sunday, to test the wagering waters.

Can New Jersey sports betting fans advance beyond curiosity into the heavy-handicapping and betting stage?

That’s an interesting issue for DraftKings and FanDuel, whose officials shared their vantage point with NJGamblingSites.com this week. 

Although they have teamed up with the XFL, the books aren’t on the hook like the league. If the XFL sputters, the books can offer other products to bettors.

But books can ride the wave of old and new business if the league can maintain the 3 million to 4 million television viewers for the DC DefendersSeattle Dragons league opener last Saturday. 

Networks did their part by integrating sports betting into their presentation and by displaying odds and over/unders on the screen. The XFL is being given every chance.

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DraftKings plans to add more XFL betting options

Johnny Avello, director of sportsbook operations for DraftKings Sportsbook, believes the XFL scored in its debut with gamblers.

“Our betting lines and offerings were respectable, and we’ll continue to add more content,” Avello said. 

“The bettors appeared to have initially embraced the XFL. I believe a new football league was intriguing to some and with all the games being on national TV, some NFL bettors dove in.”

Avello maintained that oddsmakers and bettors need to become more comfortable with the product, and the rest will take care of itself. He said that sides (point spreads wagering) were the most popular bet last week, followed by totals and the moneyline.

The game totals indicated the tricky nature of line-setting for a new league.

Books nailed it sharply in the first two games, with the 50.5 and 51 over/under numbers coming into play.

DC’s 31-19 win over Seattle landed right near the number, while Houston’s 37-17 triumph over Los Angeles was close to the total.

On Sunday, New Yorks’ 23-3 triumph over Tampa Bay and St. Louis’ 15-9 win over Dallas was way under the totals, also in the 50 range.

New league rules for points-after-touchdown (one, two or three points) are not easy to handicap into the equation. On the flip side, these rules push many games off the dreaded three and seven “push” numbers, which curtail betting.

The early season mystery of every team’s strength is a break for bettors who have a hunch because books and gamblers still trying to determine true odds.

Neither side knows more, although the advantage will shift to the books over the course of the year.

“I heard the bettors enjoyed it much more than the Alliance American Football League,” Avello noted, regarding betting action that, across all major sportsbooks, dwarfed the AAF.

“They [bettors] liked the new scoring rules but were still trying to figure out the key numbers on the totals.”

Here is the order in which teams generated betting action at DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • New York Guardians
  • Dallas Renegades
  • Tampa Bay Vipers
  • DC Defenders
  • St. Louis BattleHawks
  • Houston Roughnecks
  • Los Angeles Wildcats
  • Seattle Dragons

The totals indicate the largest market receiving the biggest play. The Guardians play in MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Jets and New York Giants of the NFL.

The betting market is aided by a swarm of New York sports betting customers who cross the border into the Garden State to wager. Some arrive on bicycles, make a New Jersey pit stop, place bets and cross back into New York.

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FanDuel XFL betting picked up steam in Week 1

FanDuel Sportsbook reported a market factor emerging throughout the first XFL weekend. As people realized the product existed, they began betting.

FanDuel saw momentum build as the weekend progressed.

Officials told NJGamblingSites.com that they saw a 55% increase in handle from Saturday to Sunday and a bet count increase of 31% over the two days.

The most handle overall came in on the two Sunday games, followed by the early Saturday game involving Seattle at DC and Los Angeles at Houston for the second Saturday event.

St. Louis at Dallas, the final game of the weekend, delivered the most actual bets. Tampa Bay-NY was second, and the Saturday games were third and fourth. This underscores the assessment of momentum building over two days.

XFL 2020 Week 2: The real test

This week, the league sneaks up on fewer people. There is no doubt that major marketing and promotional efforts can drive this league downfield throughout the winter.

The question is: how far?

Will bettors latch on to the fact the league has two matchups of 1-0 teams this week, as New York visits DC and St. Louis invades Houston?

Do they have an angle on the Houston -8 line at DraftKings being the largest spread on the board?

Will they be aware that the preseason champion favorite Dallas Renegades get quarterback Landry Jones into the lineup when they visit the Los Angeles Wildcats?

And will they shake their heads at the Renegades giving 4.5 points on the road? They may have to account for possible disarray in Los Angeles, which fired defensive coordinator Pepper Johnson on Monday.

Will the gamblers rationalize that Tampa Bay versus Seattle showcases two teams who fumbled away sure points in losses last week? That assertion would lead to a bet expecting an offensive game.

For the XFL to thrive, many of those answers must be “yes.” Week 2 will reveal a lot.

The XFL Kicks Off; What Worked, What Didn’t And What It Needs To Do To Stick Around

Social media, gambling integration and New Jersey sports betting apps all played a role in Week 1 of the 2020 XFL season.

Social media. Gambling integration. The magic of New Jersey sports betting apps and a (reasonably) good product.

These are the elements emerging from Week 1 of the 2020 XFL betting season.

The league had a strong start and if the deep-pocketed backers have patience, this winter-spring NFL-ish league can make it.

That’s a significant “if” but this league has some aggressive, powerful ideas.

Here is my perspective.

XFL 2020: What worked

The league understands, acknowledges and embraces gambling, which is a huge plus for the XFL as they fight for viability.

One phrase defined the marriage of football and wagering in the first XFL game.

“The over bettors thought they had cashed the ticket already.”

ABC announcer Steve Levy said it after an imminent touchdown did not materialize during the fourth quarter of the DC Defenders’ 31-19 victory over the Seattle Dragons.

The final score, landing right near the over-under total of 50.5 and the spread of DC -7.5, indicated books like DraftKings Sportsbook were right on the money where they put the line.

Levy’s phrase was oft-repeated in the fourth quarter when Seattle took a field goal off the board because of a penalty and then fumbled near the endzone, losing the “over” and the cover.

Contrast this with the NFL, which bad-mouthed gambling for years even as its owners bet on games. 

Its announcers mentioned betting in code, as when Al Michaels once said a game-ending field goal was “pushed” left, meaning the spread bet was a tie and that it was “under” the crossbar, rewarding the under bettors in the over-under.

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XFL partners with NJ sportsbooks

The league further underscored its gambling allegiance, having partnered with DraftKings and FanDuel sportsbooks just before the first game.

DraftKings announced its partnership with the XFL late in the week. Then came FanDuel just a day before the opening kickoff.

The books are listing the line and the over-under in the game graphics.

A viewer could instantly determine how the game shaped up versus the line and one of the prop bets.

SugarHouse listed the XFL odds, and William Hill notched a Sunday promotion awarding money for one, two or three-point conversion for every $25 bet.

NJ mobile apps have a built-in wagering base. If they market toward the XFL, it will help themselves and the league.

The quality of play was good

The action was brisk. It resembled high-level college football and the Canadian Football League.

The league earned instant credibility with the presence of NFL names, such as:

  • Jerry Glanville
  • June Jones
  • Jim Zorn

Week 1 winning teams:

  • DC Defenders
  • Houston Roughnecks
  • New York Guardians
  • St. Louis BattleHawks

Week 1 losing teams:

  • Seattle Dragons
  • LA Wildcats
  • Tampa Bay Vipers
  • Dallas Renegades

Home teams went 3-1 straight up and against the spread. The under was 3-1. There was an upset with the BattleHawks upending the Renegades.

Perfect timing

The season was launched on the heels of the Super Bowl and during a blasé month for most sports fans.

Baseball hasn’t started yet, and March Madness is a month away. The NHL is a great product, but it’s not heavily bet.  The NBA is popular, but the playoffs don’t start until May.

The XFL found a sweet calendar spot.

The schedule is a six-hour block with two games every weekend day. The games will not be all over the place; however, they are confined to that window, from now through the end of April.

Speaking of time, the 25-second clock was a strong innovation. There was no time to be distracted.

This clock helped teams simplify their offenses, avoiding sophisticated motion schemes and blocking assignments that bog down NFL games with false starts and offensive holding penalties.

Twenty-five seconds means calling the play, getting it off, hustling to the line of scrimmage and calling the next play. The idea is to get the same amount of plays for an NFL game in under three hours.

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Up close and personal

The league brought viewers.

Fans could witness the discussions of the replay officials, who quickly came to decisions.

An interesting non-call came in the Wildcats-Roughnecks game on Saturday, in which a Houston defender had made helmet-to-helmet contact. But the replay booth explained there had been no “launch,” the equivalent of intent, and ruled against pass interference.

Microphones recorded coaches calling the play, announcers interpreting it, and telling viewers where the play was going before the snap.

It remains to be seen whether in-game bettors will try to use this or if they can get the bet registered in time. But it was a win for NJ sports betting fans, who don’t know the players.

Game rules worked. We saw one- and two-point conversion runs, more 4th-down conversion attempts and real chances for punt runbacks because the punt team can’t release until the ball is kicked.

Additionally, fans actually had the benefit of seeing multiple possessions without a break, even after a turnover.

No dreaded TV timeout. The league knew it could not give viewers a reason to flick the channels.

XFL 2020: Limitations

With only eight teams, the stakes of the late-season games could lag if teams fall out of playoff contention.

Even more importantly, not all the major markets are covered.

There is no team in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, even as Pennsylvania has legalized online gambling. There is no team in Chicago either, a major sports market.

Where will be the rivalries? What about bad weather? Fortunately, this has been a mild winter

What will it take to make the XFL successful?

Play up the gambling in each telecast.

Have a personality who discusses the bets, talks about different wagers, and even shares tips on how to bet.

Track how teams have done in certain betting areas. Have some gambling contests on the telecasts, both free to play and some aligned with the sportsbooks in New Jersey.

Go all in, acknowledging what the NFL never has, that without gamblers, you have no league.

Maintain the programming that consists of fewer commercials, especially early in the game. This will be even more crucial when competition for viewers comes from March Madness.

This is a race.

Hang on and build year to year, and it can own a winter-spring niche.

This league should do all it can to partner with the NFL to build its brand throughout the fall. That would provide some momentum for the league. It is worth giving up some piece of the action to the NFL in return.

Utilize the month of February, when it can thrive with less competition. And ultimately, expand.

XFL Betting Comes To NJ Sportsbooks; Will A DraftKings Partnership Create Interest?

The DGE approved XFL sports betting in New Jersey. DraftKings is the official Daily Fantasy Sports partner and authorized gaming operator of the league.

The XFL returns this weekend.

Unlike the original 2001 version (that lasted only one season), New Jersey sports betting is now legal.

More importantly, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement approved XFL wagering last month. Other states accepting XFL bets are:

  • Nevada
  • Pennsylvania
  • Indiana
  • West Virginia
  • Iowa
  • Rhode Island

But besides offering point spreads and futures, DraftKings Sportsbook recently announced a partnership deal. The Boston-based company is now an official daily fantasy sports partner and an authorized gaming operator of the league.

Making sense of DraftKings +XFL deal

With the partnership, DraftKings’ customers in permitted states, such as New Jersey, will be able to bet and create DFS lineups on the eight-team XFL.

Ezra Kucharz, the chief business officer at DraftKings, elaborates on why teaming up with the XFL makes sense:

“The XFL is an innovative, fan-first league and DraftKings shares a mutual commitment to delivering a top-notch gaming experience to sports fans across the board,” said Kucharz.

“We are confident that through this collaborative partnership, our highly engaged customer base will enjoy betting on the XFL and playing in XFL Daily Fantasy Sports contests. We look forward to the start of the season this Saturday.”

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Will the XFL attract NJ sports betting interest?

Being days removed from Super Bowl 54, XFL games may not draw much betting interest. NFL betting is the main attraction; however, this new league offers an off-season alternative.

Though, recent history shows that these smaller professional football leagues struggle to survive.

This time last year, the Alliance of American Football opened for business. NJ sportsbooks took wagers, but the season ended with a cliffhanger.

The championship game never took place as the league suspended operations.

FanDuel Sportsbook  and DraftKings Sportsbook ended up crowning the Orlando Apollos as “honorary champions.”

Last year also marked the end of the Arena Football League.

The last time the XFL was in business, NJ online gambling was still five years away from launching.

And the idea of overturning the  Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) had not made its way to the courts.

XFL rules are different

The Week 1 schedule includes two games each on Saturday and Sunday. All four will be nationally televised on either Fox, ESPN or ABC.

But before wagering on any game, be aware that the XFL has its own set of rules. The idea is to create “a faster pace of play and more action.”

For one, forget about the extra point.

Every time a team scores a touchdown, they have the option of setting up a play from the 2, 5, or 10-yard line. It will result in one, two or three points, respectively.

If the opposing squad causes a turnover and runs it back to the opposite end zone, it will result in the same amount of points.

Here are other XFL rules:

  • Teams are allowed to throw a second forward pass as long as the ball crossed the line of scrimmage (the NFL only allows one).
  • Should a game go into overtime, it will consist of five rounds. Each team gets one offensive play per round.
  • The play clock is 25 seconds.
  • Unlike the NFL, the game clock will keep running following incompletions and when the ball goes out of bounds. It will stop at the last two minutes of each half.

DraftKings sets futures + opening weekend spreads

The road to the April 26 XFL championship begins this weekend. It means the XFL betting markets are officially open.

Here is a look at Week 1 odds:

  • DC Defenders -7 versus the Seattle Dragons
  • Houston Roughnecks -5.5 against the Los Angeles Wildcats
  • Tampa Bay Vipers -2.5 over the New York Guardians
  • Dallas Renegades -7.5 versus the St. Louis BattleHawks

Much like the other pro sports leagues, DraftKings has set 2020 championship futures for all eight teams:

Of course, having odds in play will have no impact on the returning league’s bottom line. At the same time, it brings new excitement to XFL viewing as the brand looks to re-establish itself.

Jeffrey Pollack, president and COO of the XFL, said the partnership with DraftKings “is another great way to broaden our reach and introduce our new league.”

“We want what our fans want, and millions of football fans have made fantasy and legal wagering an essential part of their football experience,” said Pollack.

“DraftKings is a leader in this space and shares our commitment to giving fans more ways to connect to the game we all love.”

It now comes down to see how the next 12 weeks play out. That is if you’re betting.