XFL Week 1 Takeaways, Week 2 Preview
My VSiN boss, Bill Adee, asked me for my XFL takeaways from Week 1 for the VSiN newsletter, so this is what I shared:
The eight XFL teams have one game under their belts, but what do you hear on every VSiN show in September after the NFL season-openers?: “Don’t overreact to what you saw in Week 1.”
That’s important to remember heading into XFL Week 2, which kicks off with a Thursday night game. And we already see that the oddsmakers haven’t overreacted to last weekend’s results as the Seattle Sea Dragons, who fell 22-18 in their opener at the DC Defenders after closing as 2.5-point road favorites, are 3-point home chalk over the St. Louis Battlehawks, who beat the San Antonio Brahmas 18-15 and covered after closing as 2.5-point road faves.
The one takeaway we think we can count on after Week 1 is that these teams appear pretty well-matched. Orlando pulled away to rout Houston 33-12 last Saturday night, but the other three games were all one-score games that could have gone either way as faves started 3-1 SU but just 2-2 ATS. We expect these coin-flip results to continue with maybe a slight ATS edge to the underdogs if the games continue to be around a full field goal (the Week 2 lines are all between -3 and -5 as of early Wednesday night).
As for totals wagering, Overs went 3-1. The Week 1 totals were set low due to early-season results in recent spring football leagues (XFL, AAF, USFL), so don’t “Over”-react to that 3-1 mark. There were 160 points scored in the four games, so exactly 40 points per game. Not exactly a bunch of shootouts.
My early XFL Week 2 leans are St. Louis +3 (but waiting to bet as Resorts World Las Vegas has already gone to +3.5 while other books here and elsewhere have added juice on Seattle -3) and San Antonio-Orando Under 39. I’ll be updating my picks each morning in my “Tuley’s Takes” column at VSiN.com.
Thursday Best Bets, Wednesday Recaps
And now back to our regularly scheduled column . . .
We won our Best Bet on Wednesday with the Jets-Islanders 1P Under 1.5 +105 cashing as the Islanders only led 1-0 after the first period. We also hit our secondary NHL play on the Blackhawks +1.5 +125 at the Stars, though we wish we had just played it straight as the Blackhawks won 4-3 at around +350 (we would love to hear from followers who took our lead and went for it with the money line to win outright). We did lose our CBB play on Providence +7.5 at UConn as the Friars were right in it before going cold in the second half, but it was still a profitable night.
Let’s recap the rest of Wednesday’s betting action and look for more plays on a very busy sports betting day on Thursday with the return of the NBA in addition to the XFL, plus an attractive slate in the NHL. I don’t have a Best Bet in college or pro basketball, though I was considering the Pacers +8.5 vs. the Celtics but not sure they can carry the “swagger’ over after snapping their 5-game losing streak before the All-Star Break.
CBB: No. 2 Alabama beat South Carolina 78-76 in OT, but never came close to covering as a 17-point road favorite. Boston College upset No. 6 Virginia 63-48 as a 9-point underdog and +350 on the money line. No. 18 UConn pulled away and covered in 87-69 win vs. No. 20 Providence.
NHL: Favorites/underdogs split 1-1 Wednesday with Wild-Islanders closing pick-’em in Islanders’ 2-1 win. The upset was by the Blackhawks (+350 in 4-3 win at Stars). The Flames (-230) beat the Coyotes 6-3 and covered the 1.5 puck line at +111. Road teams went 2-1. Overs led 2-1.
NBA (ICYMI): Coming out of the All-Star Break, favorites lead 569-302 SU on the season with 13 games closing pick-’em, but underdogs still hold a slim lead at 433-417-21 ATS (50.9%). Home teams lead 526-358 SU and 455-410-19 ATS (52.6%). In totals wagering, Overs lead 445-425-14 (51.1%).
Thursday XFL Best Bets
St. Louis Battlehawks +4 at Seattle Sea Dragons: As written above, I was waiting for a better number and we have it with the line up to +4 at a lot of books as of early Thursday morning. Circa opened this line at St. Louis -2 and I’m reminded of the Super Bowl when they opened the Chiefs -2.5 but the rest of the market went to having the Eagles favored, yet the Chiefs ended up winning by 3. The Battlehawks were the preseason favorites, so I think this is great value getting more than a field goal.
San Antonio Brahmas-Orlando Guardians Under 39: As also posted above, I’m putting this in early for Sunday’s game at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT.
Thursday NHL Best Bets
Wild-Blue Jackets 1P Under 1.5 +100: The Wild are on a 9-game First-Period Under run, 18-2 in their last 20 and the No. 1 1P Under team at 36-21 (63.2%). Why wouldn’t we continue to ride them? With the Blue Jackets at 30-27, the two teams are hitting a combined 57.9% and we’re getting even money.
Canucks-Blues 1P Over 1.5 -195 / Flames-Golden Knights 1P Over 1.5 -135 (parlay pays +163): Even those these 1P Over parlays have been cold, we’re still 4-4 with a profit of 2.51 units since the Super Bowl, so we’ll use the game involving the Canucks and Flames as they’re the No. 1 and 2 1P Over teams.