The NFL is over, but the relaunched XFL commenced on February 8. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement approved legal betting on that league in January, while bookies in Nevada, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Iowa, West Virginia, and Rhode Island are also taking bets on the alternative professional football competition.
DraftKings NJ has odds posted for upcoming games as well as a range of XFL futures bets. The bookmaker also recently announced that it had struck up a partnership deal with the new football league. Now DraftKings is not only the authorized gambling operator of the XFL but also the official fantasy sports partner.
Ezra Kucharz, the DraftKings chief business officer, said of the deal, “The XFL is an innovative, fan-first league and DraftKings shares a mutual commitment to delivering a top-notch gaming experience to sports fans across the board.”
While the NFL is the top dog in US sports betting, history has shown that rival football leagues tend to struggle. The Alliance of American Football launched in 2019 but folded without a single championship game played. Both DraftKings and FanDuel ended up anointing the Orlando Apollos as honorary champions. Last year also witnessed the end of the Arena Football League, which went bankrupt after running for 33 seasons from 1987.
The XFL was in operation back in 2001 for a short time, but sports betting was not yet legal in New Jersey.
The XFL has some different rules than the NFL that are designed to create a more free-flowing, action-packed game. They include:
• There is no extra point after a touchdown. When a team scores a touchdown it has the choice to play a set from the 2.5-yard line for one point or from the 10-yard line for three points. If the opposing team creates a turnover after the touchdown and returns the ball to the opposite end zone, it will also score one or three points depending on where the other team chose to go for the conversion.
• There can be two forward passes in one play, but the second pass has to be beyond the original line of scrimmage.
• If the game goes to overtime, there will be five rounds where the teams get a single offensive play each.
• The XFL play clock runs for 25 seconds, while the NFL play clock is 40 seconds.
• The game clock will continue to run even after an incompletion or if the ball goes out of bounds. In the NFL, the game clock stops when these two things happen.
The XFL season will run for 12 weeks, with the championship game slated to take place on April 26. XFL betting lines are now open at New Jersey sportsbooks and the league is excited about its partnership deal with DraftKings.
Jeffrey Pollack, the president and COO of the XFL, recently stated the partnership is “another great way to broaden our reach and introduce our new league”.
He continued, “We want what our fans want, and millions of football fans have made fantasy and legal wagering an essential part of their football experience. DraftKings is a leader in this space and shares our commitment to giving fans more ways to connect to the game we all love.”