The consensus among those following the XFL is that the Houston Roughnecks are probably going to win the championship this year. With the season now at the halfway point, it is not hard to understand why. They are the only undefeated team in the league.
But there is more to it than just that. Houston has the most reliable and productive offense in the league. While their defense has given up 14 touchdowns (tied for second-most), they are still capable of making big plays and saving games.
However, there is a common theme to just about every game (other than winning). If a few plays went the other team’s way instead of their way, they would not look as good as they do. Four of their five wins were by a single score (since touchdowns can be worth nine points).
Some of these other teams are starting to get better. If the Los Angeles Wildcats make the postseason and catch P.J. Walker on a bad day, Houston’s title hopes could easily be dashed despite a great regular season.
Should Dallas stay in the hunt, Landry Jones had the Renegades in a position to win their game against Houston before an injury knocked him out. If he returns and the Renegades make the playoffs, they could take down the Roughnecks.
As for the other division, Houston only beat the St. Louis Battlehawks by four. The Roughnecks may not be as lucky should they face the Battlehawks again. If the New York Guardians can continue to play good defense and efficient offense, they could be a surprise contender.
Technically, the D.C. Defenders are in the thick of the chase. But if they can’t get their quarterback situation figured out, that is going to change.
While Houston is and should be the favorite, the competition is catching up with them. According to DraftKings, the current XFL Championship odds are as follows:
- Houston Roughnecks +160
- St Louis BattleHawks +375
- DC Defenders +475
- Dallas Renegades +750
- New York Guardians +750
- Los Angeles Wildcats +800
- Seattle Dragons +2600
- Tampa Bay Vipers +2600
So—who should you bet on?
The smart money is still on Houston. While the passing game has led the way so far and will continue to do so, they proved last week that they could rely on their run game for help. P.J. Walker was bound to have some issues and struggles eventually (like he did last week), but he worked through them.
Overall, their defense just bends too much to get behind them. They are certainly capable of making big plays, and no one makes halftime adjustments as well as they do.
If you are looking for someone to take a chance on, go with the Los Angeles Wildcats. If they catch the Battlehawks and Roughnecks on not-so-good days and Josh Johnson catches fire, they could pull off the upsets.
The Defenders are getting more credit than they deserve, the Renegades can’t win without Landry (and struggled to do so with him), and the Guardians are going to need more offense than they have to beat their better teams.