Are you a football fan who can’t wait six months for the start of the NFL preseason? Need something in between to scratch that gridiron itch? Then the XFL is your ticket to pigskin paradise. And for bettors, this means chances to bet all season long, up through the title game in May.
What are the XFL Championship odds for each team, and which team is the best bet to win this summer? The following are based on FanDuel Sportsbook.
2023 XFL Season Predictions
In larger recurring leagues, odds generally are much more disparate than what you’ll find below. But with only eight teams competing in the league after a three-year hiatus, there are many unknowns — and with it, a more condensed pack of contenders.
The following is a breakdown of odds, and our prediction for which team has the best shot at winning the XFL Championship.
Arlington Renegades (+430)
The odds-on favorites to win the XFL title, Arlington is backed by the only head coach returning from 2020 (Bob Stoops) and a three-headed QB corps that — well, to be honest — could get messy. Kyle Sloter has the early edge. But Kevin Anderson and Drew Plitt have drawn praise from Stoop.
Interestingly, the Renegades selected a tight end with their first pick in the “Offensive Skills” portion of last November’s draft. Sal Cannella shined in the USFL. If he’s as good as advertised, he could be the Travis Kelce of the XFL — or perhaps, the modern version of the 1970s Bob Tucker.
There are many reasons to trust the oddsmakers regarding the Renegades. However, they’re not my top pick to win it all.
D.C. Defenders (+650)
Another possible QB cluster that needs to be sorted out, and a potentially run-minded offense that could slow down games and put added weight on maximizing the impact of each possession.
The reality is, the Defenders’ odds hinge significantly on the productivity of a three-headed backfield led by Abram Smith and supplemented by Ryquell Armstead and Artavis Pierce. All three have been NFL signees, though only Armstead has seen game action. Still, for a league trying to get back on firm footing, that’s not a bad starting point.
Houston Roughnecks (+700)
I’m a broken record here, but it’s because the record is broken. Once again, we have a team with three QBs competing for the starting job: Cole McDonald, Kaleb Eleby, and Brandon Silvers. Silvers appears to be in the driver’s seat for now. However, a slow start could change all that.
Keep tabs on the pride of Duquesne University, former running back Garrett Owens. He’ll operate as the lead TE in Houston’s questionable passing attack, and frankly might be used all over the field.
MORE: XFL Championship Odds 2023
Still, this squad screams “middling at best” at many key offensive and defensive positions. Do they have the firepower to keep pace with the rest of the league? The oddsmakers doubt it. So do I.
Orlando Guardians (+900)
Orlando signed former NFL first-round pick Paxton Lynch a couple weeks ago. This might be construed as a bad sign because if the team were confident with Deondre Francois and/or Quinten Dormady at the helm, they wouldn’t have lunged for someone like Lynch, who wasn’t eyed as even a third-string-caliber QB by the rest of the league.
The Broncos’ former “franchise” QB brings experience. He flailed in the big leagues and didn’t do much better last season in the USFL.
For the Guardians to win more than 3-4 games, they’ll need to find their starting QB in a hurry — someone who can feed No. 1 wideout Charleston Rambo, who served as Jalen Hurts’ No. 2 target at Oklahoma in 2019 while playing alongside CeeDee Lamb and Rhamondre Stevenson.
San Antonio Brahmas (+650)
San Antonio might have the same challenges as Orlando: a questionable QB situation that might not work itself out until next season. Is Jack Coan the answer? Much hinges on the enigmatic Wisconsin and Notre Dame product, who profiled fairly well out of college. But the QB-bereft Colts — despite signing him last spring — cut him loose before the season started.
The NFL certainly is not immune to overlooking talent. Just ask recent seventh-rounders Brock Purdy or Isiah Pacheco, or 2017 undrafted free agent Austin Ekeler, or any number of impact performers who simply needed a shot.
If Coan is the real deal (based on XFL standards), then he could be one of the league’s top quarterbacks. Teamed with a fascinating backfield led by Jacques Patrick and former NFL’er Kalen Ballage, the Brahmas could finish 7-3 as easily as they could finish 3-7.
Seattle Sea Dragons (+470)
Seattle’s one of my two favorites to win the championship. They might have the No. 1 passing attack with QB Ben DiNucci (or Steven Montez if DiNucci flops), boom-bust WR Josh Gordon, and a strong supporting cast. A reportedly sturdy offensive line and aerial-friendly scheme should make this team fun to watch, at minimum.
Gordon truly is the X-factor here. His Pro Bowl season (a blistering 87-1,646-9 receiving line in only 14 games) was 10 years ago. Yes, he averaged more yards per contest that year than Cooper Kupp did in 2021. But in six active campaigns since, Gordon has caught a combined 115 passes for 1,853 yards and seven scores.
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Is he a shell of his former self? Or can he be an alpha in a league aching for big-play talent? If it’s the latter, then the 31-year-old could help lift this franchise into the playoffs.
St. Louis BattleHawks (+500)
My other preseason favorite to win the title. St. Louis might be the most balanced XFL team, with a seemingly stout defense and a high-upside offense anchored by former NFL spot starter A.J. McCarron and a receiving corps comprised of former Raider Marcell Ateman, Austin Proehl, and former fourth-round draftees Hakeem Butler and Gary Jennings.
At their best, the BattleHawks might be the league’s most polished and, consequently, most consistent execution.
Vegas Vipers (+650)
I’m torn on the Vipers’ chances this season, with Luis Perez and Brett Hundley competing for season-long quarterbacking duties. Wideouts Jeff Badet and former Packer Geronimo Allison form a nice nucleus on their own. But with the addition of Martavis Bryant, anything is possible in what could be a vastly overperforming or underperforming unit.
Like Gordon in Seattle, Bryant is that make-or-break commodity who could shake things up in a good way, or in a painful way.
If Vegas can establish the running game via John Lovett and Rod Smith, and if Vic Beasley (former No. 8 overall NFL draft pick) can help lead an effective pass rush, then the Vipers might be better than their odds suggest.
But again, in a league this small, we cannot understate the importance of strong QB play. Perez looked solid three years ago for the XFL’s New York Guardians. Hundley has completed only four passes in the last five seasons. There are several unknowns for this QB tandem.