Can the XFL Make it Through the 2020 Season? Odds of League Ceasing Operations Listed at +700

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A revived XFL is making a comeback, but can it survive? Books have released +700 odds the league will fold in 2020.
  • The XFL lasted one season in 2001 before ceasing operations
  • Founder Vince McMahon vows the new XFL will be nothing like the original
  • Rule changes, including OT shootout format, make the new XFL unique

Almost 20 years after ceasing operations, the XFL is making a comeback.

The original XFL launched its inaugural season in 2001, led by then World Wrestling Federation CEO Vince McMahon. The league only lasted one season before shutting down, deemed as a “colossal failure” by McMahon himself.

Can the new XFL stand the test of time after a failed first attempt? Books have released future odds on whether the XFL will cease operations during the 2020 campaign, with “No” coming in as the heavy -2000 favorite.

Is there any value in betting Yes at +700?

Odds XFL Will Cease Operations During 2020 Season

Projection Odds
No -2000
Yes +700

Odds taken on Feb. 4

The original XFL wasn’t the only fledgling football league to cease operations after a short period. In 2019, the Alliance of American Football (AAF) ceased operations after filing for bankruptcy just a year after being founded by Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian.

McMahon has vowed that the revival of the XFL wouldn’t be anything like the original league. In 2018 McMahon stated, “We aren’t going to have much of what the original XFL had.”

XFL Set For Debut Season

The XFL is far from star-studded, but there are some familiar faces that will take the field when the league kicks off the 2020 season in four days. Former Steelers quarterback Landry Jones is the starting pivot for the Dallas Renegades. The Houston Roughnecks will have former Michigan State standout Connor Cook as their starting QB.

There’s enough talent in the new XFL to make the games competitive and entertaining to watch.

Another advantage the new XFL has compared to the original league is having social media. Nearly 20 years ago, it was tougher to promote a football league not known as the NFL.

Like the Canadian football League using a bigger ball or having just three downs, it was important for the XFL to set itself apart with its own set of unique rules.

Rule Changes Make XFL Unique

Among the rule changes from the first XFL, the most notable may be the removal of the extra point. The XFL will replace it with a scrimmage play of the scoring-team’s choice of scoring one, two or three points.

How about a double-forward pass? That is correct, teams will be allowed to attempt two forward passes on the same play as long as the ball doesn’t cross the line of scrimmage.

If a game goes to overtime, the XFL has implemented a five-round shootout of two-point conversions — similar to you would see in soccer or in hockey.

As far as broadcasting goes, the XFL will have much higher exposure in markets across North America. All of the games will be televised on ESPN and Fox networks, which means fans can expect to see XFL action on ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2, Fox, FS1 and FS2.

The XFL has set itself up to success on the short-term at the very least. If the league can gain some traction over the next couple years, it could rival the NFL at some point.

Pick: No (-2000)

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