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The Return of the XFL Means More Opportunity for Football Bettors


In case you missed it, there were a few football games last weekend. Yes, after a short-lived run in 2001, the XFL returned to provide football fans (and bettors) something to do for the next three months. Here’s an excellent breakdown of pretty much everything you need to know about the XFL, specifically the rules which do differ some from college and the NFL. Player-wise, there are some names you’ll probably remember, but the league is mostly made up of fringe, practice squad-type NFL talent.

According to reports, ticket sales and TV ratings for Week 1 were strong — though, they were for last year’s AAF which, in case you forgot, was a total disaster. But unlike the AAF, XFL 2.0, in theory, has a much stronger financial infrastructure meaning it’s likely we’ll get to witness at least an entire season.

In terms of betting, yes, there were point spreads and totals on all four games. FanDuel claims it saw a sizable amount of action while Las Vegas did not. A few bettors said they saw limits as high as $1,000 on sides and $500 on totals but most shops were in the $300 range.

As for the results, three of the four home teams won and covered while three of the four games went under the total including both Sunday games by a combined 55 points. Below are the opening and closing lines at CRIS. The fact that there was little to no movement on the totals suggests bettors were taking a wait-and-see approach to how the pace of these games would look. The average NFL game has around 120-130 plays. Week 1 of the XFL averaged 124 plays. Note that Circa opened all of Week 1’s totals 40.5; perhaps using the low scores of AAF’s Week 1 (46, 26, 60, and 21) as a benchmark.

Seattle Dragons at DC Defenders
CRIS Opener: DC -7.5 O/U 51
CRIS Closer: DC -9.5 O/U 51
Result: DC 31, Seattle 19

Los Angeles Wildcats at Houston Roughnecks
CRIS Opener: Houston -5.5 O/U 51
CRIS Closer: Houston -7.5 O/U 51
Result: Houston 37, LA 17

Tampa Bay Vipers at New York Guardians
CRIS Opener: Tampa Bay -2 O/U 52.5
CRIS Closer: Tampa Bay -3.5 O/U 53
Result: NY 23, Tampa Bay 3

St. Louis BattleHawks at Dallas Renegades
CRIS Opener: Dallas -10 O/U 52.5
CRIS Closer: Dallas -9.5 O/U 52.5
Result: St. Louis 15, Dallas 9