- Sportsbooks have set the win total bar for each of the XFL’s eight teams
- The Tampa Bay Vipers are given the highest number at 7.5
- Both the Seattle Dragons and the St. Louis BattleHawks are at low end with 3.5
Will the XFL prove to be a win this time for Vince McMahon? That answer is yet to be determined but at least this is for certain – sportsbooks are out with win totals for each of the league’s eight franchises.
In this second coming of the XFL, the Tampa Bay Vipers are viewed as the team to beat. Or should that be the team that does the most beating?
Books peg the win total for the Vipers at 7.5 games in the 10-game regular season. At the other end of the spectrum, the Seattle Dragons and St. Louis BattleHawks are forecast to be the XFL’s bottom feeders. The win total for each team is set at 3.5 games.
2020 XFL Team Win Totals
|Team||Win Total||Over Odds||Under Odds|
|Los Angeles Wildcats||4.0||-125||-105|
|New York Guardians||4.0||-120||-110|
|St. Louis BattleHawks||3.5||-120||-110|
|Tampa Bay Vipers||7.5||+100||-130|
All odds as of Feb. 4.
The original edition of the XFL lasted just one season in 2001. The new and improved version kicks off its inaugural regular season on Saturday, Feb. 8th.
In Trestman They Trust
Marc Trestman is the head coach of the Vipers. Trestman’s two-year stint as head coach of the NFL’s Chicago Bears wound up with a forgettable 13-19 record. However, he’s been a resounding success in other football leagues.
Trestman coached three Grey Cup winners in the CFL. His teams made the postseason in six of seven seasons and averaged 10. 28 wins per campaign (in 18-game seasons).
— Tampa Bay Vipers (@XFLVipers) January 31, 2020
On the other hand, he hasn’t coached a pro team to a winning season since 2012. Already, there are issues in Tampa Bay. Wide receiver and former Cleveland Browns problem child Antonio Callaway is lost for the season with a lower leg injury.
The Vipers are going to rely heavily on quarterback Aaron Murray, who played for Atlanta in the ill-fated Alliance of American Football, and running back-slash-quarterback Quinton Flowers. Minus Callaway, one of the few elite skill players in the league, it will be tough to reach eight wins in a ten-game slate.
Pick: Under 7.5 wins (-130)
Will BattleHawks Be Sunk?
St. Louis has twice lost its NFL team – first the Cardinals and then the Rams left town – and already there is speculation that the BattleHawks will prove to be a lost cause.
They do have some interesting pieces in place, though. Running back Matt Jones started seven games for the Washington Redskins in 2016 and averaged 4.6 yards per carry. Safety Will Hill played 50 NFL games for the New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens. Among his four career interceptions were a pair of pick sixes.
"Being able to get the starting job, it's a blessing …"
— St. Louis BattleHawks (@XFLBattleHawks) January 30, 2020
Ex-Mississippi Rebel Jordan Ta’amu beat out Taylor Heinicke for the starting QB position. Heinicke started a game for the Carolina Panthers in 2018.
The BattleHawks might be more battle-hardened than the oddsmakers think.
Pick: Over 3.5 wins (-120)
You Can’t Go Home Again
When it comes to former greats coming back to coach in the same town, the title of that famous Thomas Wolfe tome generally holds true.
You can’t go home again. Whether it was Bart Starr in Green Bay, Pete Rose with the Cincinnati Reds, or Magic Johnson with the Los Angeles Lakers, this formula is generally a recipe for disaster.
12-personnel dig out springs a big hole for Kenneth Farrow. O’Leary the big block, Walford the dig out. pic.twitter.com/ORHynEV2Jq
— Travis Wingfield (@WingfieldNFL) August 17, 2019
That brings us to Seattle Dragons head coach Jim Zorn. True, Zorn didn’t play for the Dragons. He was a Seattle Seahawk, the team’s first big-name star.
With the Dragons, Zorn simply doesn’t have the horses. Brandon Silvers was an average QB with Memphis in the AAF. Kenneth Farrow, the AAF’s third-leading rusher with San Antonio, is a nice piece, but the talent pool quickly thins out beyond that.
Pick: Under 3.5 wins (-115)
Defenders Will Win Over DC
Let’s start under center, where Defenders QB Cardale Jones is being tabbed as one of the contenders for XFL MVP. He came off the bench as a freshman to lead Ohio State to the 2014-15 National Championship. Jones was Big Ten Championship Game MVP that year.
Number 12 for our #DCDefenders is 12 GAUGE, or better known as, Cardale Jones. He is a quarterback out of THE Ohio State University. He won a collegiate National Championship at OSU and played for 3 NFL teams! LET'S WELCOME 12 GAUGE TO THE DC DEFENDERS! #DCDefenders #DefendTheDMV pic.twitter.com/JJw47tjvRk
— ?DC Defenders 2020 Season? (@DCDefenders2020) February 4, 2020
DC is deep on both sides of the ball. Wideout Eli Rogers caught 48 passes for 549 yards and three touchdowns with the 2016 Pittsburgh Steelers.
Safety Rahim Moore started 54 NFL games for Denver and Houston, picking off nine passes. Safeties Matt Elam (26 starts with Baltimore) and Shamarko Thomas (66 games with Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Denver) also bring NFL experience to the defensive backfield.
DC moved from +750 to +350 in the 2020 XFL championship odds. The Defenders should be legitimate contenders for the XFL title.
Pick: Over 5.5 wins (-130)