Another season of XFL football is in the books.
The latest edition of the XFL, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at the helm, made it through an entire regular season and playoffs without collapsing (that's more than most NFL spinoffs can say).
The Arlington Renegades upset the favored DC Defenders in the 2023 final, with the 4-6 Renegades coming out on top at 35-26. We'll update next year's XFL Championship odds and expert picks page when the 2024 season begins, but here's a look at the odds going into the final 2023 weekend, for now:
2023 XFL Championship Odds
Odds as of May 10, 2023
Why The DC Defenders Will Win
The Defenders were essentially wire-to-wire favorites in the XFL, sitting as the league's top dogs all season long. They won nine of 10 games in the regular season, scoring 50 more points than any other offense, and easily dispatched the Sea Dragons in the semifinals.
The key for the Defenders is the run game. Running back Abram Smith led the XFL in ground yards by over 350 yards this season, averaging 5.0 yards per carry.
The Sea Dragons actually did a decent job of containing him last week, allowing just 48 yards on 23 carries, but the Defenders still managed three rushing touchdowns. Unless the Renegades figure out a way to completely eliminate DC's rushing attack, the Defenders should be able to rush this one to victory.
Why The Arlington Renegades Will Win
C'mon, it's the XFL! Surely things will get extreme in the finals?
The Defenders are rightfully heavy favorites to win the XFL this year, but the Renegades at this kind of value is too good to pass up.
They won only four games in the regular season and backed into the playoffs with two straight losses. But, Arlington shocked the world once already with a dominant semis win over Houston. around against some of the XFL's top teams and could get lucky.
They've also played the Defenders close once before, losing by just two points to DC in Week 9. The Renegades just need a few lucky plays to scrape out another playoff upset, so why not believe!
What’s the XFL’s Schedule?
The XFL is playing a 10-week regular season (five home games, five road) that began the weekend after the NFL’s Super Bowl and ends with a championship game on May 13, 2023.
What’s Different Between the XFL and NFL?
The XFL is expected to function like most other traditional American football leagues, but they also have a few unique rule changes bettors and fans should be aware of:
Teams can choose to go for three different variations on extra points after a touchdown, none of which involve kicking for a single point. Going for it from the two-yard line gives you one point, the five-yard line is two points and the 10-yard line is three points.
Onside Kick Alternative
If teams want to retain possession after a touchdown in the fourth quarter, they can choose to go for a fourth-and-15 from their own 25-yard line. If they convert by picking up the 15 yards, they keep the ball. This replaces the traditional onside kick that teams attempt in the NFL.
The XFL will follow a similar overtime format to the NCAA and CFL, not the NFL. Both teams will have alternating attempts from the opponent’s five-yard line to try to score. Each team is guaranteed three attempts, and whoever converts the most wins. If things are tied after three, they keep going until a winner is determined.