By most metrics, no competition beats the NFL in the United States, but the XFL is making a strong case for being the more exciting version of American Football to bet on.
Don’t get us wrong, the NFL is still by far the most wagered on sport in America, but XFL betting numbers are going up all the time as the new-ish league continues to find its feet in the American spring sporting market.
The NFL still gets most of the American Football betting love, as evidenced by the plethora of betting commercials during NFL games, but US sportsbooks are beginning to cast some attention towards the XFL. There are now a few betting offers targeted towards the XFL season, although they are significantly dwarfed by the vast array of NFL betting promotions that run during the main football season.
But for a league that’s less than five years into its re-incarnation, it’s got off to a decent start.
XFL betting and NFL betting retain similar core betting concepts and markets, with moneyline, over/under totals, spreads and prop bets available for both leagues, but the innovative rule changes in the XFL have added an extra layer of excitement to football betting in the United States.
The most significant difference between the NFL and the XFL from a betting perspective is the speed of the game.
XFL organizers have made a conscious effort to speed up the game. The play clock for the younger competition has been shortened to 35 seconds, as against 40 seconds for an NFL game, while the half time break lasts 10 minutes. Mid-game breaks in the NFL run for 12 minutes. Also, the clock is not stopped for incomplete passes and out of bound plays before the 2-minute warning, allowing the action to run for as long as possible.
The average duration of NFL games has been estimated at 3 hours and 12 minutes, while a typical XFL game runs for under three hours.
The fact that an XFL game finishes quicker than its NFL counterparts is a natural pull for moneyline bettors. Punters are quintessentially restless and impatient beings, and want their bets settled as quickly as possible. The XFL ticks this box.
And since there are fewer stoppages in XFL games, it gives room for more plays and creates more betting opportunities.This is particularly significant in live betting, with XFL games generally having more in-play options, resulting in a more immersive and exciting betting experience.
While the more free-flowing nature of XFL games is generally great for live betting, it is not without its disadvantages. With the XFL, bettors have to think quicker and be more decisive with their in-play wagers else the market would expire.
XFL betting also has an advantage over NFL betting because there are no out-and-out favorites in the league. In terms of team strength and abilities, XFL teams are more closely bunched together. As a result, XFL odds are generally higher across board than NFL odds.
There is usually more value in backing any of the competing teams, as against the NFL, where pre-game favorites do not return much value.
Another major difference between the XFL and the NFL is in what happens after a touchdown is scored. When a touchdown is scored in the NFL, the attacking team has the option of scoring up to two extra points. Many teams opt for the relative safety of one-point conversion, achieved by simply kicking the ball between the goal posts.
In the XFL, a team can’t score a conversion by kicking the ball. They must attempt to return to the end zone, with up to three points available depending on where they choose to begin the PAT attempt.
A successful PAT attempt from the 2-yard line is worth one point, an attempt from the 5-yard line fetches two points, while a try from the 10-yard line returns 3 points. It’s totally up to the teams to choose where they make their PAT attempt from.
Also worth noting is the overtime scoring system in the XFL, which adopts a touchdown shoot-out format as against regular game play used by the NFL.
Perhaps it’s novelty bias, these new rules have seemed to resonate with American bettors, who have enjoyed the chance to bet on new football markets.
It’s a bit of a stretch to conclude that XFL betting is more exciting than NFL betting, but one thing is for sure, American bettors have been thrilled by the differences provided by the XFL, and as the league continues to grow, this affection is only going to get stronger.
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