We’re at the halfway point of the XFL’s 2023 season, and the overall outlook for each team unsurprisingly seems to come more into focus with each passing week.
There’s plenty of stability in the XFL winner odds at the moment, so let’s dive further into why clubs are slotted where they are ahead of Week 6.
XFL Champion Odds 2023
XFL odds are provided courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook and are current as of Thursday, March 23, at 10:30 a.m. ET.
- D.C. Defenders (+125)
- Houston Roughnecks (+205)
- St. Louis Battlehawks (+600)
- Arlington Renegades (+750)
- Seattle Sea Dragons (+750)
- San Antonio Brahmas (+2500)
- Vegas Vipers (+5000)
- Orlando Guardians (+15000)
The XFL championship odds remain essentially static in terms of the pecking order since our pre-Week 4 update.
The Defenders naturally still set the pace since they are now the league’s lone undefeated team. Meanwhile, the Roughnecks, who were already slotting in as second-favorites prior to losing their first game, still remain comfortably in the No. 2 spot.
The two biggest surprises sit fourth and fifth in the odds. The Renegades, who have shown next to nothing on offense but have clawed their way to a 3-2 record largely on the strength of their defense, sport relatively short odds despite the fact they don’t seem to have anywhere near the firepower to keep up with the three teams above them.
Meanwhile, one of the league’s hottest teams, the Sea Dragons, see their odds unchanged despite a three-game winning streak and arguably the most balanced squad in the league outside of the Roughnecks. As such, Seattle remains a very intriguing value play at +750.
XFL Champion Best Bet
Seattle Sea Dragons (+750)
That serves as the perfect segue to once again recommend the Sea Dragons for our XFL pick of the day.
While Seattle’s offense is still not at the point where it’s maximizing its talent every week, it has a deep roster on that side of the ball that seems to produce a new playmaker virtually every game. In Week 5, that was wideout Damion Willis, who flashed with a 5-61-1 line in the win over the Roughnecks.
He joins the likes of Josh Gordon, Blake Jackson, Jahcour Pearson, and Juwan Green to give quarterback Ben DiNucci an embarrassment of riches at the position.
The Sea Dragons defense has also stepped up its play considerably as the season has unfolded and is now allowing just 17.6 points and 248 total yards per contest, the third- and second-lowest figures in the league, respectively.
Given the talent and extremely experienced coaching staff led by Jim Haslett and June Jones, Seattle’s chances of eventually hoisting the championship trophy arguably remain stronger than its current odds imply.
XFL Champion Odds Favorite
D.C. Defenders (+125)
The Defenders continue to find different ways to win each week, and with a point differential of +44, D.C. isn’t just squeaking by opponents.
The defense continues to be the most consistent week-to-week asset in head coach Reggie Barlow’s arsenal. The Defenders are allowing a stingy 18 points per contest while also having recorded 17 sacks, six interceptions, and six fumble recoveries.
The offense’s run-centric approach is also working well, although sometimes it’s QB Jordan Ta’amu that serves as the team’s top runner. However, that wasn’t in the case in Week 5 against a talented Battlehawks defense as lead back Abram Smith went off for 218 and three touchdowns on 23 carries.
There are still questions surrounding Ta’amu as a passer, but thus far, there’s no evidence that his mobility, Smith, and the defense can’t make up for any shortcomings.
XFL Champion Odds Contenders
Houston Roughnecks (+205)
The Roughnecks’ loss to the Sea Dragons in Week 5 was not only the first in franchise history, it also included the costly loss of speedy wideout Jontre Kirklin, who went down with a season-ending shoulder injury.
Houston does have some nice receiver depth in the form of Deontay Burnett, Cedric Byrd, and Travell Harris. However, Kirklin’s absence undoubtedly impacts an offense that looked pedestrian without him for most of the game versus Seattle.
Nevertheless, there’s plenty to like about Houston’s roster, especially considering the defense is still yielding an XFL-low 15.2 points and 247.2 total yards per game while also boasting a league-high 19 sacks and eight interceptions.
Week 5 setbacks notwithstanding, Wade Phillips’ crew rightfully holds the No. 2 spot on the odds board at the moment.
St. Louis Battlehawks (+600)
The Battlehawks hit a bump in the road in the form of the unbeaten Defenders in Week 5. Yet, St. Louis, especially with its three straight home games to close out the season, remains a very viable threat to win it all.
A.J. McCarron, Brian Hill, and Hakeem Butler, a trio that boasts plenty of collective NFL experience, has turned into quite the Big Three on offense. The defense also remains a force to be reckoned with against the pass, allowing just 174.8 yards per game through the air.
There has to be concern about the run defense after the Defenders’ Smith produced a 200-yard effort, but the Battlehawks have to be considered strong contenders thanks to some of the best quarterback play in the league.
XFL Champion Sleeper
Las Vegas Vipers (+5000)
We have to slot a team into the sleeper category and there really isn’t any other realistic option other than Vipers, longshots as they rightfully are.
However, the case for taking a flier on Vegas isn’t completely indefensible. The Vipers actually have some impressive talent on offense in particular and a highly experienced and accomplished hand in Ray Sherman now calling the plays.
That seemed to pay nice dividends in Week 5 against the Guardians, with the Vipers racking up a season-high 35 points. Luis Perez looks like the answer under center over Brett Hundley after throwing for a combined 552 yards and five touchdowns in Weeks 4 and 5.
Rod Smith, John Lovett, and DeAndre Torrey are also as diverse and talented a running back trio as there is in the league. The receiver group is also intriguing – Jeff Badet looks like an MVP candidate after producing a 24-340-5 line through five games, while Geronimo Allison finally reemerged in Week 5 with a 3-40 tally.
The defense still has a boatload of concerns attached and is allowing XFL-high figures in both rushing yards (142.8) and total yards (366.2) per game. That and Vegas’ 1-4 mark help explain the +5000 odds, but there at least appears to be enough talent to make a late-season run if the defense can step up its play.