If you are here, then you are familiar with the XFL. Perhaps you don’t remember the highly-lauded season that was supposed to make a huge splash in 2001 … but instead hit the water from the high dive only to create a small ripple. A ripple that was forgotten by the time it hit the proverbial pool wall by 2002.
Well, the XFL is back, baby! And the main reason that it slipped away into obscurity for nearly 20 years has been remedied: awareness and access.
The XFL recently signed a huge network deal that will land them airplay on ESPN, Fox Sports, FS1, and ABC. Last time around, it was a joint between NBC and the WWE. Well, now there is a multi-season deal on multiple network channels to fix that problem. All 43 games this season will be televised. ABC and Fox will pick up 24 games, and the remaining 19 are going to get aired on ESPN, ESPN2, and FS1. So what does this mean for Las Vegas and international online sportsbetting sites?
It’s tough to say how much of an impact the XFL will have on the current sports betting markets right out of the gate, but one is for sure, a most of the teams are located in significant geographical sports betting market – New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Washington DC, Seattle, and Dallas– so people will be looking to bet on the games.
The XFL wisely chose to start their season on February 8th, of 2020. This is one week after the Super Bowl so they won’t be competing against the NFL or NCAAF for views. Likewise, sportsbooks won’t have NFL lines, so it will give their lines-makers a little bit extra to do, they only have the final stretches of the NBA and NHL seasons to contend with. Especially during those weeks when there doesn’t seem to be any valuable lines available in the NBA or NHL.
This is how Vince McMahon wants every play to end in the XFLpic.twitter.com/ZgtRK1VoU9— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) September 14, 2019
There are a lot of sports bettors who stick to what they know, and what they know is football. NHL and NBA are the smallest markets in the United States’ Big 4. The handle in Las Vegas alone for the NFL is 165 billion dollars. Once football season ends, the betting handle in Vegas and offshore drops dramatically. But with XFL, football season won’t end until April 26th. Giving football fans another three months of football betting fun.
Because XFL is new, the handle isn’t likely to be huge. But it should be more than the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest and augment sportsbooks weekly handle to some degree. The question becomes how loose the lines will be – how much time and attention the sportsbooks will invest in setting the lines– and if we have a better chance at profiting on betting certain matchups. It’s no secret, that betting small-school college football is more profitable than betting Power 5 games. So, the books may offer lose lines, at least initially, while they keep their focus on the NBA, NHL, and Getting ready for the start of MLB.
This is something we should keep an eye on during the first few weeks of XFL football. Never squander an opportunity to make some cold, hard, cash!