XFL Predictions & Best Bets Week 1

Last Updated: Feb 17, 2023

The XFL emerges from a nearly three-year hiatus beginning Saturday, giving pigskin-starved fans an immediate football fix following Sunday’s thrilling Super Bowl.

Prognosticating the opening week of what can once again be considered a new league certainly has a significant amount of inherent uncertainty.

However, with rosters throughout the league littered with some recognizable names at the skill positions, we at least have some past body of work to lean on when trying to evaluate lines and projected totals.

Without further ado, let’s dive into our Week 1 XFL predictions and best bets.

Note: XFL lines are current as of Thursday, Feb. 16, at 1 p.m. ET at Caesars Sportsbook unless otherwise noted.

XFL Week 1 Best Bet

Read more about this XFL betting pick below.

Vipers vs Renegades Odds & Best Bet

  • Moneyline: Renegades (-140)/Vipers (+118)
  • Spread: Renegades -2.5 (-110)/Vipers +2.5 (-110)
  • Over/Under: Over 37.5 (-110)/Under 37.5 (-110)

Vipers +2.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

WAGER: 1 Unit

This matchup may prove fortuitous for the XFL in terms of making a dynamic first impression, as it pits two teams that may be the most capable of producing competent offensive play right out of the gate.

With Brett Hundley, who was just plying his trade with the Ravens practice squad a little over a month ago, under center and former Packers teammate Geronimo Allison and Martavis Bryant serving as the two top targets, the Vipers could be ready to hit the ground running. (Friday, 2/17 update: Late-week reports indicate Hundley may only play a few series after his late training camp arrival while Luis Perez gets the majority of the work, but the latter is still a capable and experienced hand who most recently enjoyed success in the USFL last spring).

On the defensive side of the ball, Falcons 2015 first-round pick Vic Beasley could be among those that help wreak havoc against what should also be an efficient Renegades offense likely helmed by Kyle Sloter to open the season. (Friday, 2/17 update: Late-week reports indicate Drew Plitt is slated to get the starting nod over Sloter, but the latter could still make an appearance).

Given the talent on both sides of the ball, I like the Vipers to at least keep matters close in this season-opening clash for my XFL pick of the week.

Over 37.5 points (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

WAGER: 1 Unit

With Plitt and Sloter, running back De’Veon Smith, receiver Jordan Smallwood and Sloter’s USFL tight end Sal Cannella, the Renegades bring plenty of firepower on offense, as well. Consequently, a side wager on the Over isn’t a bad way to go as these two potential championship contenders duke it out.

Guardians vs Roughnecks Odds & Best Bet

  • Moneyline: Guardians (+110)/Roughnecks (-130)
  • Spread: Guardians +2.5 (-110)/Roughnecks -2.5 (-110)
  • Over/Under: Over 36.5 (-110)/Under 36.5 (-110)

Over 36.5 points (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

WAGER: 1 Unit

Preseason prognosticators are frequently tagging these two clubs as contenders for worst record by season’s end. However, it’s possible both teams are being underestimated to an extent, especially because neither is devoid of talent and experience on offense.

One-time Broncos first-round pick Paxton Lynch, who had his moments with the USFL’s Michigan Panthers last spring, will open the season as the starter for the Guardians and have the likes of former Denver teammate Cody Latimer, Oklahoma Sooners standout Charleston Rambo, and spring league vet Dontez Byrd to throw to.

❌ Keep tabs on how the betting leaderboard for XFL Champion odds evolves throughout the 2023 season.

The Roughnecks have some recognizable names in their own right. Quarterback Brandon Silvers, who spent time in the AAF, NFL (offseason), XFL 2.0, and The Spring League, will be under center.

Deontay Burnett, who has 15 career NFL receptions, and speedy Travell Harris are expected to serve as his top receiver duo. The versatile Nick Holley, who was an excellent pass-catching option out of the backfield for the 2020 Roughnecks, is back in the fold, as well.

I look for both these teams to surprise with some offensive fireworks to open the season, hence my bet on the Over.

Battlehawks vs Brahmas Odds & Best Bet

  • Moneyline: Battlehawks (-130)/Brahmas (+110)
  • Spread: Battlehawks -2 (-110)/Brahmas +2 (-110)
  • Over/Under: Over 36.5 (-110)/Under 36.5 (-110)

Over 36.5 points (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

WAGER: 1 Unit

These are two more teams that should be capable of putting up solid offensive Week 1 performances, and this game notably features the only home underdog of the week.

The visiting Battlehawks are being afforded some respect by oddsmakers partly because of the presence of former Bengals fifth-round quarterback A.J. McCarron, whose 18 total games of NFL experience should certainly give him a leg up. He’ll have no shortage of talented skill-position assets, including running back Brian Hill and receivers Marcell Ateman and Hakeem Butler.

The Brahmas could very well keep up, considering quarterback Jack Coan, who had an impressive senior season at Notre Dame back in 2021, will be supported by what could be one of the league’s best backfield 1-2 punches in Kalen Ballage and Jacques Patrick.

Receiver Jalen Tolliver and tight end Deon Yelder are others with some pro football seasoning that could help the offense produce right from the jump.

Brahmas +2.5 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook

WAGER: 1 Unit

Given San Antonio should have a supportive crowd at the Alamodome and has some viable offensive talent to work with, taking a flier on a cover is a nice side bet to ponder.

Sea Dragons vs Defenders Odds & Best Bet

  • Moneyline: Sea Dragons (+110)/Defenders (-110)
  • Spread: Pick ‘Em (-110)
  • Over/Under: Over 36.5 (-110)/Under 36.5 (-110)

Over 36.5 points (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

WAGER: 1 Unit

The Sea Dragons figure to make fans of pass-centric football very happy during the inaugural season of this latest XFL iteration.

Not only will quarterback Ben DiNucci, who has plenty of NFL preseason experience and 43 regular-season pass attempts with the Dallas Cowboys on his resume, be under center, but he’ll have one-time 1,600-yard receiver Josh Gordon as a primary target.

And, the duo and the rest of the offense will be getting their play calls from respected mind June Jones, who did wonders for the likes of P.J. Walker and Cam Phillips as head coach of the Roughnecks back in 2020.

The Defenders counter with a talented quarterback room that includes 2020 XFL standout Jordan Ta’amu, as well as the versatile D’Eriq King and Eric Dungey.

Whoever is helming the offense will have a solid three-headed backfield consisting of Abram Smith, Ryquell Armstead, and Artavis Pierce. The latter two have a combined 24 games of NFL experience and the former put together a 1,606-yard, 12-touchdown season in his final college season at Baylor.

This is yet another Week 1 game where the scoreboard could be kept busy to a certain degree, hence me being in the camp of the Over.


Juan Carlos Blanco

Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports since 1997 and actively writing about the fantasy sports and sports betting industries since 2015 for multiple websites. He has covered a wide variety of professional sports leagues, including the NFL, MLB, NBA, CFL, Arena Football League, Alliance of American Football, XFL, NPB and KBO. He was the recipient of the FSWA's 2016 Newcomer of the Year award for his work with RotoWire.

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