LAS VEGAS – As we get more involved in basketball and hockey as the football season progresses, we don't have to leave the cold turkey as the XFL returns this weekend.
Those who read us at VSiN and in the post last year may remember that I made seven consecutive best bets in the Alliance of American Football, and we were very disappointed when the league collapsed after eight weeks. However, we hope that the XFL will achieve similar successes because we love to play off our handicap skills against the odds. Let's face it, they're looking at the same stories and practice reports that the weather reads to determine the relative strength of these teams before their first games.
The consensus seems to be that the Dallas Renegades are the best in the eight-team league. They are 5/2 favorites at the Westgate SuperBook and Caesars hotels, 3/1 favorites at PointsBet USA and William Hill and 3/1 favorites at the Tampa Bay Vipers at MGM.
The opinion of the other teams is very different. The New York Guardians are the 4-1 pick at PointsBet, but were the longest hits on the board at William Hill (10-1) until they jumped 7-1 on Thursday a couple of rounds. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Battlehawks at Westgate are 10/1 long, but only 6/1 at MGM and Caesars and 13/2 at William Hill. This gives us hope that we can find some living outsiders at the start of the games.
But first, let's take a look at some of the rule differences that should have the greatest impact on how we play handicaps:
- Most of the changes serve to increase the number of games, which leads to a higher score, e.g. B. A 25-second music box after detecting the ball and stopping the clock after each game within the two-minute warning in each half until the ball is soiled. So don't expect lower over / unders like we saw in the AAF.
- Offenses are also supported by recipients who only need one meter as in college, and they plan coach-to-player communication in the helmets of skill-position players, not just quarterbacks. In addition, linemen are illegal on the field 3 yards after the scrimmage line, which allows more freedom in run-pass option games. Offenses can also be carried out twice as long as the first forward pass is behind the defense line.
- High returns on kickoffs and punts are encouraged by punishing touchbacks and kicks out of bounds – and should create shorter playing fields for the crimes. The kicker kicks the ball from his own 30-yard line and the rest of his team stands on the 35 of the receiving team, but cannot move until the receiving team player touches the ball. Punt coverage teams cannot exceed the limit until the ball is kicked. The league hopes that more teams will be encouraged to finish fourth as they are less likely to drive teams down.
- Conversion kicks are not available. The teams opt for a 1, 2 or 3-point switch from the 2, 5 or 10 yard line. So don't imagine 3 and 7 as key numbers for betting anymore. A great advantage for teams that can consistently implement such games. It will be interesting to see which teams make the shorter one-point attempt and which ones roll the dice and which three do.
- The halftime is only 10 minutes. So make your mid-term assignments quick.
- Overtime is similar to hockey or soccer shootouts, in which the teams take turns playing five two-point conversion games from the 5-yard line until one team cannot catch up. If they are still undecided after five rounds, they take turns until one team converts and the other doesn't.
As you can see, the focus is on the offense. We also see that in the coaches chosen to lead these teams and what the league hopes are some recognizable names at Quarterback. Steelers' long-time substitute, QB Landry Jones, who sustained a knee injury, is likely to be one of the stars of the league and is an important reason why Dallas is the pre-season favorite with his former Oklahoma coach, Bob Stoops. Even though Jones is unable to start the season, Dallas has former Syracuse double-threatened QB Eric Dungey despite missing a training camp with a thigh injury.
Former Ohio State QB Cardale Jones, who led the Buckeyes to national title in his first season, gets his chance with the DC Defenders under coach Pep Hamilton, who is probably best known for Andrew Luck's offensive coordinator at Stanford and at to be the Colts. Former Georgia QB Aaron Murray is the man in Tampa Bay under former Bears coach Marc Trestman, and former Raiders QB Matt McGloin will lead ex-Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride's offensive in New York.