XFL Futures: Are the Renegades a Worthwhile Bet to Win the Championship?

xfl championship

  • Dallas, Tampa Bay, DC have the best odds to win the inaugural title (+350)
  • Seattle (+900) has the worst odds
  • 2 games on Saturday, 2 games on Sunday for XFL opening week

All 8 of the XFL’s new franchises will be in action this weekend when the season officially gets underway. While we obviously can’t necessarily expect a carbon copy the high-quality football we saw on Sunday night in Miami, at least this will give us some football to watch until the NFL returns in a few months.

Obviously, any betting odds and prognostications should be taken with a grain of salt at this point. We haven’t seen how any of these teams will look in a real game setting. Just because a team looks better than another on paper doesn’t necessarily mean things will pan out. The NFL has plenty of parity. We can safely expect the same given all of the unknowns with the XFL this early on.

Of course, that also means you can get good value on any of the league’s 8 teams to win the inaugural league title. 3 different teams are listed as +350 co-favorites, and no team has odds of +1000 or longer. So, you can get pretty good bang for your buck at most XFL betting sites.

Let’s take a look at all 8 teams and try to figure out which team will finish the season on top.

Betting Odds

Teams Odds to Win XFL Championship
Dallas Renegades +350
DC Defenders +350
Tampa Bay Vipers +350
Houston Roughnecks +700
LA Wildcats +700
St. Louis BattleHawks +700
New York Guardians +750
Seattle Dragons +900

You can find XFL betting odds such as game lines, prop bets or futures at each of the following highly-rated football betting sites:

Dallas Renegades (+350)

Dallas has the unique advantage of having a head coach-quarterback tandem with experience working together. Bob Stoops and Landry Jones enjoyed a fruitful partnership together at the University of Oklahoma a few years back. Jones didn’t go on to enjoy much success in the NFL during his time as Ben Roethlisberger’s backup with the Steelers, but he’ll have a chance to prove himself as the starter for the team many believe will be the XFL’s best.

Having Lance Dunbar and Cameron Artis-Payne, a pair of former NFL running backs, sharing the load in the backfield won’t hurt the Renegades’ chances, either. Dunbar is more of a pass-catching scat back, while Artis-Payne could do more of the heavy lifting. The Renegades also have another prominent former Sooner in Ryan Broyles running routes for Jones. Broyles is one of the more prolific pass-catchers in OU history.

The defense is more of an unknown, but I’d offense to matter more in the XFL. The continuity with the Dallas roster and coaching staff is an advantage none of the other 7 teams have. That alone makes the Renegades a very strong betting option at the current +350 odds.

Tampa Bay Vipers (+350)

There are a few teams in the league with former NFL head coaches on the staff, and the Vipers are one of them. Marc Trestman, the noted quarterback-friendly coach that enjoyed a solid career in the CFL before taking charge of the Chicago Bears, figures to have one of the XFL’s best offenses at his disposal.

The Vipers will be led by former Georgia standout Aaron Murray. Murray struggled during his time in the Alliance of American Football last season, but he didn’t have a whole lot of help. Having Trestman as his head coach should do wonders for his confidence. Marcus Murphy figures to carry the load in the backfield. Scouts are high on Murphy’s ability despite having been cut by a Buffalo Bills team with plenty of other options at the position last year.

This team appears to have the best roster of any team in the East, and Trestman’s presence alone has me thinking they’re a strong contender to represent the conference in the title game.

DC Defenders (+350)

Cardale Jones, who won a national title at Ohio State just a few years ago, will be an MVP candidate this season. Jones never really got a real opportunity to prove his worth in the NFL, but he’s still only 27. He’ll be running an offense led by Pep Hamilton, who you may remember as Andrew Luck’s first offensive coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts.

DC may sneak up on some people because the roster beyond Jones is hardly full of household names. However, 5 of the Defenders’ receivers ran sub-4.4 40-yard-dashes, so there is plenty of speed at Jones’ disposal. The Defenders do have Max McCaffrey, the brother of Panthers standout, Christian McCaffrey. There’s a fun fact for ya.

There is talent in the defensive backfield with Rahim Moore and Matt Elam, a pair of ex-NFL players, occupying both safety spots. The Defenders will likely turn out to be the biggest challenger to the Vipers in the Eastern Conference. Whether all of that speed translates into a workable offense remains to be seen.

At this point, I’d rather bet on Tampa Bay than DC at the same +350 odds.

Los Angeles Wildcats (+700)

Winston Moss, an ex-NFL linebacker, is the relatively unknown of the Los Angeles Wildcats. One name you’ll recognize from his coaching staff is offensive coordinator Norm Chow, who held the same position at USC during the Trojans’ heyday about 15 years ago. Unlike most other teams, the Wildcats built a roster with more of a defense-first focus with Moss at the helm.

Josh Johnson is the favorite to be Chow’s starting QB, with former AAFer Luis Perez and Jalan McLendon also on the roster. Johnson is one of the older QBs in the XFL (33), but he’s also the one with the most NFL experience.

There just isn’t a ton of talent here at first glance. That’s part of why the Wildcats have seen their early title odds dip from +400 to +700 over the past few days. The lack of name recognition on the roster and on the coaching staff is scaring away prospective bettors.

Houston Roughnecks (+700)

If you want scoring, the Roughnecks should be a team to watch. Houston has former Hawaii head coach June Jones running the show. He was the architect of the Hawaii offense that broke all sorts of college football records several years back. Jones figures to bring that air-it-out type of philosophy to the XFL. Ted Cottrell, who bounced around the NFL for several years as a defensive coordinator, will work Houston’s defense.

The Roughnecks drafted former Michigan State standout Connor Cook with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, but he didn’t even win the starting job out of training camp. Instead, Jones will run his high-octane offense through PJ Walker. The 24-year-old played his college ball at Temple, and he brings more versatility to the offense than the slow-footed Cook. Andre Williams, who is one of college football’s all-time leading rushers, will operate as the Roughnecks’ bell cow back.

Kony Ealy, a former second-round pick of the Panthers, will look to lead the Roughnecks’ pass rush. Ealy never found his groove at the NFL level as he bounced from team to team, but he enters the XFL with one of the best pedigrees of any defensive player.

Houston is at least a little interesting as a relative long shot at +700 to win the title this season. The Western Conference looks a bit weaker on paper than the East, so I like Houston’s chances of sneaking into the playoffs behind Dallas, who appears to be an obvious frontrunner.

St. Louis BattleHawks (+700)

The BattleHawks have the lone distinction of being the XFL’s only team that doesn’t share a city with an NFL franchise. STL has been without football since the Rams bolted for Los Angeles a few years ago, so here’s hoping the BattleHawks can recapture the imagination of St. Louis’ football fans. The BattleHawks are also the only team in the league whose head coach, Jonathan Hayes, doesn’t have any head coaching experience on his resume.

St. Louis’ starting QB, Jordan Ta’amu, also doesn’t have any starting experience at the professional level. I just don’t see a ton of high-end talent on this roster anywhere. Christine Michael and Matt Jones gives the BattleHawks a pair of running backs with some NFL experience, but I have a hard time imagining a team dominating the XFL with a ground game.

I’ll pass on the BattleHawks at +700 to win it all. Frankly, I wouldn’t be shocked if this team missed the playoffs entirely.

New York Guardians (+750)

The Guardians were among the odds-on favorites to win the championship when odds were initially posted, but the odds have slowly been dipping ever since. Former Penn State standout Matt McGloin will take the snaps for the Guardians, and he has a tall group of receivers. 3 of McGloin’s receivers are at least 6’2″, and his top tight end, Keith Towbridge, is built like a truck at 6’5″ and 270 pounds.

The running back tandem of Tim Cook and Justin Stockton teamed up in the AAF last year as members of the Arizona Hotshots. Having a pair of backs that are familiar with one another gives the offense a little continuity, if nothing else. The offensive line will also feature the Kouandijo brothers, who you may remember from their days together at Alabama a few years back.

There isn’t a lot else that stands out. I think New York has more upside than St. Louis despite their slightly worse odds, but they don’t appear to be a legitimate championship challenger, either.

Seattle Dragons (+900)

Jim Zorn and Mike Riley give the Seattle coaching staff plenty of experience, but they’re going to need it to make up for the roster. Zorn was quoted a few days ago as saying that he isn’t sure his team’s roster has enough size or speed to keep up with some of the other teams in the league. That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of the Dragons’ chances.

Brandon Silvers was one of the few quarterbacks that became something of a star in the AAF, so at least Seattle seems to have a decent commodity under center. The running game is lacking, though. There is more talent in the receiving corps with names like Jalen Rowell and Malachi Jones, but Seattle runs the risk of being fairly one-dimensional on offense.

If you want to take a flier on the Dragons I don’t hate it at +700. If they were in the East I’d have a little more faith, though.

Conclusion

Considering we haven’t seen any of these teams actually play yet, it’s tough to get a grip on which will wind up competing for the championship. If I were to take a flier on anyone, though, I’d have a very hard time staying away from Dallas. The Renegades have a proven championship-level coach, and a QB in Landry Jones that figures to be easily among the best at the position in the league.

I have the Renegades getting past the Vipers in the title game. My best bets to win the 2020 XFL championship are as follows:

1. Dallas Renegades (+350)

2. Tampa Bay Vipers (+350)

3. Houston Roughnecks (+700)

4. DC Defenders (+350)

5. Seattle Dragons (+900)

Taylor Smith / Author

Taylor is a sports writer based in Southern California. While he primarily specializes in basketball, baseball and football, he will also dabble in things like soccer and politics from time to time. He has lived in just about every corner of the United States at one point or another, and he has been covering sports and sports betting for the better part of a decade. Taylor currently lives in Long Beach with his fiancé and their two cats.