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SLIPS: XFL Sports Betting Interest Strong in Inaugural Week

Josh Katzenstein for Bookies.com

Josh Katzenstein  | 5 mins

SLIPS: XFL Sports Betting Interest Strong in Inaugural Week

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Nobody knows how successful the second iteration of the XFL will be, but the league’s first weekend drew plenty of attention from bettors.

Sportsbooks received an impressive amount of action on the four XFL matchups, which gave football bettors a chance to make more wagers just a week after NFL betting opportunities ended.

Patrick Eichner, director of communication for PointsBet USA, compared the first weekend of XFL betting to a good UFC card and said it was “way better” than the action the book received on the Alliance of American Football, which began the weekend after the Super Bowl last year.

The AAF folded last year before it completed its first season.

RELATED: ABC & ESPN To Display Betting Information on XFL Broadcasts

FanDuel reported that the first XFL game, Seattle Dragons at DC Defenders on Saturday, received 20 times the handle of the first AAF game last year. Then, FanDuel received even more action on the two XFL games Sunday as the handle increased 55% and the bet count increased 31% compared to the two Saturday games.

Kevin Hennessy, director of publicity for FanDuel, said the most popular game for bettors was Sunday’s matchup between the New York Guardians and Tampa Bay Vipers, which was likely related in part to the book’s roots in New Jersey.

The games had enough action for some line movement, most notably the DC Defenders and Dallas Roughnecks ballooning to 9.5-point favorites after both were initially 7-point favorites.

As is often the case in the NFL, the XFL games produced mixed results for bettors. Both favorites, DC -9.5 and Houston -6.5, won and covered on Saturday, but the two underdogs won outright Sunday, New York +3 and St. Louis +9.5.

The XFL season runs for 10 weeks followed by two rounds of playoffs, and bettors will surely look for more action as they learn more about the eight teams. Plus, the league is clearly looking for bettors as the TV scoreboard in the games show the spread and total.

Duke’s Comeback Over North Carolina

Anyone college basketball bettors who took North Carolina +7.5 in Saturday’s rivalry game against Duke likely felt pretty confident throughout the matchup, but the game presented some opportunities for Blue Devils backers to make some money.

Duke was never in line to cover the spread at any point, but the Blue Devils overcame a 10-point deficit in the final 2 minutes of regulation and then won in overtime, 98-96, to pay out moneyline bettors.

Because of the Tar Heels’ big lead, the live moneyline was all over the place. At DraftKings, Duke started the game as a -345 favorite, but the Blue Devils eventually became as much as a +1300 underdog in the second half. North Carolina was at one point a -10000 favorite thanks to the double-digit lead.

Thanks to Tre Jones, Duke pulled off the comeback to pay anyone who grabbed the long odds.

NFL QB Futures

FanDuel shared updated futures on Monday morning for where quarterbacks Tom Brady and Philip Rivers will play in 2020. For Brady, the Patriots remain the favorite at -600, followed by the Raiders at +750 and the Titans at +1300.

The book is less confident in where Rivers will be next season after the Chargers announced on Monday that Rivers would be a free agent entering the 2020 season. The Colts and Buccaneers are tied as the favorite at +210, but no team/retired has the fourth shortest odds at +600.

Notable Bets

  • DraftKings had several big parlays hit last week, including one bettor with an unbelievable win of $142,732.40 thanks to a nine-leg parlay. The $500 wager mixed spreads and moneylines across NHL, NBA, soccer, tennis and college basketball, and the bet included five live wagers.
  • Another massive parlay hit last week at DraftKings with a $750 bet turning into $20,503.47 thanks to 10 college basketball games.
  • Someone turned $10.89 into nearly $19,000 on a two-leg soccer parlay at DraftKings, correctly guessing the score in Serie A matches. The Saturday bet was for Lecce to beat Napoli 3-2 and Sampdoria to beat Torino 3-1. The total payout was $18,970.38.
  • One DraftKings bettor shared on Twitter a $2 12-leg parlay that paid out nearly $500.
  • A bettor at DraftKings put $100 on Ben Simmons scoring the first field goal in Friday’s game between the 76ers and Grizzlies. The bet paid $850.

About the Author

Josh Katzenstein for Bookies.com
Josh Katzenstein
Josh Katzenstein is a former NFL beat writer. He spent the past three years covering the New Orleans Saints for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune. His work can also be found at Bleacher Report.