Super Bowl signals the end of the NFL season but not the end of football betting – not this year. The XFL returns to the gridiron this weekend and is a shell of the gimmick league people remember surviving only one season back in 2001.
This incarnation of the XFL is looking to shake things up with interesting rule changes and a stable of familiar coaches, leading groups of NFL, CFL, and AAF castoffs. It may not be on the same plane as the National Football League, but the XFL is bridging the gap for those looking to bet on football odds each week.
Here are some handicapping tips and angles to keep in mind when betting on XFL odds:
Remember the rules
There are a number of different rules in the XFL that vary when measured against the NFL. Football bettors who find themselves betting on CFL odds in the summer months will feel right at home, as the XFL has adopted much of its format from the Canadian game.
The biggest rule change exclusive to the XFL comes on extra points, where teams will no longer kick or try for a 2-point conversion. Instead, XFL offenses will have the option to go for one, two or three points with tries from the two, five, and 10-yard line respectively. This could be a boost for scoring, especially if you have teams going for three points repetitively.
Catch up on coaches
In a brand-new league, perhaps the only consistency XFL bettors can bank on is the style of the coaches calling the plays. The XFL landed some notable names on the sidelines, with guys like Bob Stoops, Jim Zorn, Marc Trestman, and June Jones holding the clipboard.
Bettors looking to find an edge in the opening weeks of XFL odds should study the schemes the coaches used in the past and see which ones fit the format of the league best. Trestman, for example, is a Grey Cup-winning coach from his CFL days and may give his team – the Tampa Bay Vipers – a head start.
Cap the QBs
Along with the coaches, XFL bettors may recall some of the players under center in the first season of XFL action. Quarterbacks like Cardale Jones (DC Defenders), Aaron Murray (Tampa Bay Vipers), Matt McGloin (NY Guardians), and Landry Jones (Dallas Renegades) all had standout college careers and brief stints in the NFL.
Jones stands out due to his reunion with former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops in Dallas this season. Stoops’ offense may have a advantage in the opening weeks of the schedule due to Jones’ comprehension and experience in Stoops’ playbook.
Take your time
If you’ve been paying attention to the XFL odds you know sportsbooks are treading lightly when it comes to week-to-week lines. Pointspreads trickled out with low limits earlier in the week and totals have been off the board at most books, as oddsmakers try to figure out how the new teams and new rules impact offensive production.
Those betting the XFL odds should also play it cool when it comes to weekly action until they get a better grasp on the league. Watch the games, study the growth, and know that normally the defense gels quicker than the offense, so Unders could hold more value in the first few weeks – if your book decides to post them. A safe approach is keeping your betting limits low until you have more info to go on.