What is the XFL?

What is the XFL?

Published Date · July 12, 2023 · Last Updated · Jan. 16, 2024 ·Read Time · 3 mins

An Introduction to XFL

XFL, which stands for Extreme Football League, is a minor football league that is separate from and has no affiliation with the NFL. Although there are similarities between the XFL and NFL, such as the field size and positions, it is disparate in other areas, including the scoring system.


That aside, XFL throws up plenty of betting opportunities. In this guide, we will trace the origins of the XFL, highlight some reputable operators for you to check out, and explain some of the most popular betting markets.

History of the XFL

Under the microscope, the XFL has had a bit of a chequered history since it surfaced. Let’s take a closer look at how it came into being.

XFL Founded in 2001

After plenty of media speculation and hype, the XFL sprung up in 2001. Vince McMahon, who is the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) Executive Chairman, decided to take a punt on a new sport, and the American businessman founded a brand new football league.

vince mcmahon xfl

Unfortunately, after one season, the XFL ceased to exist. A combination of poor viewership, lower playing quality when compared to the NFL, general negative publicity and financial instability meant that the the initial iteration of the XFL was doomed from the get go.

One thing Vincent Kennedy McMahon isn't is a quitter. After initially failing, McMahon wasn’t going to throw the towel in, and a rebranding exercise was undertaken.

2020 XFL Reboot and Present Day

After years in the wilderness, XFL had to wait two decades before McMahon brought it back to life. The first season kicked off on February 8 2020, and while TV ratings were strong in the first few weeks, interest quickly dimmed. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic meant also meant crowds were unable to attend matches in the league's infancy.

Then, the XFL filed for bankruptcy before it relaunched in February 2023. In the first Championship final, the Arlington Renegades upset the D.C. Defenders in a 35-26 win.

xfl 2020

XFL Betting Markets

Although considered a niche sport, the XFL is still widely available at many leading US sportsbooks. The likes of FanDuel and DraftKings offer robust odds for pre-match markets as well as for outrights, and with the latter, there is an array of fantasy football markets to keep fans entertained.

Common XFL Bets You Can Place

During the regular season or offseason, fans will find various odds and lines to keep their betting slips busy. We have explored the main markets below.

  • Moneyline - This is the simplest type of bet and you just need to predict the match winner. So, if the Houston Roughnecks were facing the Orlando Guardians in a South division encounter, and you backed the Roughnecks, they would need to win for your wager to be successful.
  • Props - These can be split into team and individual performances. However, you can find lines for total rushing yards or how many touchdown passes a quarterback will make in a game.
  • Futures - This involves taking a longer-term view with betting. So, for the 2024 season, you can predict who will win the XFL Championship title.

2024 XFL Season

There are plenty of exciting plans in place as far as the XFL is concerned. The first-ever rookie draft took place in June 2023, with roster sizes for the eight XFL teams (four in the North and South divisions) expanding to 91. It is also expected that there will be a full XFL draft once NFL cuts have been made later this year, but no formal date has been announced.

xfl teams

Meanwhile, WWE legend and Hollywood actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who is an XFL co-owner is working on ways to make the XFL a more viable and appetizing product from a TV perspective. Johnson recognizes that the XFL is a long-term project and he wants to make a success out of it.

There will be a new season, and the 2024 campaign is earmarked to take place in February, running for roughly 10 weeks.

Will the New XFL Survive?

What is evident, is that the XFL has been purposefully designed to be an extreme alternative to the NFL at least from a marketing perspective. While a minor league, it wants to be bigger, bolder, and brasher than the NFL.

The NFL and XFL are, on the face of it, very different. Perhaps the XFL can break more into the mainstream, and with the likes of McMahon and Johnson throwing their weight behind it, there is no reason why the XFL can’t endear itself to more fans across the world in the months and years to come.


Nosa Omoigui

Content Editor