Josh Katzenstein for Bookies.com

By Josh Katzenstein | | 4 mins

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SLIPS: Playing The Under On XFL Has Become A Top-Tier Bet

SLIPS: Playing The Under On XFL Has Become A Top-Tier Bet
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The betting public typically favors betting the over on the point total in most sports because it’s more exciting to cheer for high-scoring games. But anyone paying attention to XFL betting should know by now the new league is offering amazing value on the under.

In Week 4 of the new league, three of the four games went under the total, and the fourth might have hit under depending on when or where people placed their bets. The under has hit in about 70% of the games (again, depending on when bettors made their wagers).

“Any time there’s a startup like that usually the defense is ahead of the offense. It just always is,” said Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill.

Sadly, bettors have yet to adjust to this trend at least at PointsBet, which had more of the handle on the over in all four games.

The only team for which the over has been a good bet is the Houston Roughnecks, who are 4-0 and went over the total in their first three games. On Sunday, however, Houston and Dallas failed to hit the highest total of the week, which opened at 49 at PointsBet and closed at 52, as the game finished with 47 points. In this game, 89% of the handle was on the over, but the shrewd under bettors came out ahead.

The Tampa Bay-D.C. game opened at 46.5 and went down to 44, but still had 52% of the handle and 67% of bets on the over. The game finished with just 25 points.

On Saturday, the Los Angeles-New York game (open 40.5, moved down to 38.5) was an easy under with just 31 total points, but 62% of the handle was on the over. The other game, Seattle-St. Louis finished with 39 points, which was right around the total as PointsBet opened at 39.5 before moving down to 38. This game saw 91% of the money on the over.

It seems bettors are hoping for these XFL offenses to find a rhythm, but that just hasn’t been the case so far. Aside from Houston, which has scored at least 27 points per game and average 31.5 points per game. St. Louis is averaging 22.3 points per game, Los Angeles is averaging 22 points per game, Dallas is averaging 19.5 points per game, D.C. is averaging 16.8 points per game, Tampa Bay and Seattle are averaging 16 points per game and New York is averaging just 12.3 points per game. All four of New York’s game have gone under the total.

“There’s no question under was the way to look, and I’m sure there were some sharp bettors out there who capitalized,” Bogdanovich said.

Bogdanovich also said he’s been pleasantly surprised with the amount of bets William Hill is taking on XFL games. The handle hasn’t changed much from week to week, but he said it’s still drawing more action than he expected.

The XFL is near the halfway point of the 10-week regular season, so both bettors and sportsbooks have more data to try to find value. Expect the totals to continue dropping, but until the offenses improve, there should still be opportunities for bettors to pounce on the under.

College Basketball Tournament Time

Bogdanovich said it was a busy weekend again for William Hill despite there not being any marquee events, and some college basketball upsets helped the book earn some good decisions.

Michigan State’s win over Maryland, Providence beating Villanova, TCU upsetting Baylor and St. John’s beating Creighton were among the notable upsets.

“The dogs are live,” Bogdanovich said.

William Hill also took a huge handle on the Kentucky-Auburn game, with Bogdanovich comparing the action to a conference tournament game.

With conference tournaments starting this week, the books should continue writing a lot of action, and then the NCAA Tournament should produce some incredible handles.

“Betting is just up so far across the board in every single sport the last 12 to 16 months,” Bogdanovich said. “It’s just going to be more of the same. It’s just going to be wild.”

Notable Bets

  • One DraftKings bettor wisely cashed out after hitting the first seven legs of an eight-leg parlay. The $500 bet on Sunday included college basketball and NBA — Nuggets -3.5, Illinois moneyline, Ohio State moneyline, Stanford -2, Louisville moneyline, Wisconsin moneyline and UTEP moneyline. The last leg was Pelicans moneyline, but the bettor cashed out for $8,966.77 before that game in which the Lakers beat New Orleans.
  • Another DraftKings bettor on Tuesday put $17,000 on Kentucky -3.5 in the first half against Texas A&M. The Wildcats led 36-27 at halftime to pay the bet $33,100.
  • A William Hill mobile bettor in New Jersey hit on a $5, 11-leg parlay bet on Sunday that paid $2,030.28.