St. Louis surging in XFL Championship odds
The St. Louis BattleHawks started the season as the seventh choice out of eight teams to win the XFL Championship. They're now the second choice, behind only the Houston Roughnecks.
The BattleHawks moved from +1000 at the beginning of the season to +275 today. Let's look at the current XFL Championship odds, and the movement from last week, to figure out the best bet.
Odds to win the 2020 XFL Championship
|Team||XFL Championship Odds|
St. Louis BattleHawks
Los Angeles Wildcats
New York Guardians
Tampa Bay Vipers
Defense conquers all
St. Louis managed to hold another opponent to fewer than 20 points last week. And 13 of Seattle's 16 points came in the second half, after the BattleHawks jumped out to a large lead. They still lead the league in touchdowns allowed (seven). Their +4 touchdown differential is second, behind the Roughnecks.
The most impressive part of the defense is its ability to shut down opponents without relying on turnovers. The BattleHawks give up an average of 266.3 net yards per game. The Roughnecks allow 334 per game. St. Louis has only forced three turnovers in four games. If the BattleHawks can add an ability to force turnovers to their already stifling defense, the sky is the limit.
The SEC has dominated college football over the past decade, between Florida, LSU, Alabama, and Auburn. It is no surprise the XFL team with the most former SEC players is having so much success. The BattleHawks have 13 former SEC players on their roster, with nine playing key parts.
It all starts at quarterback, with former Ole Miss Rebel Jordan Ta’amu. The dual-threat quarterback is making plays all over the field with his legs and arm.
They also have contributing running backs, with Matt Jones from Florida, and Christine Michael and Keith Ford from Texas A&M. Two of their leading wide receivers hail from Missouri — L’Damian Washington and Marcus Lewis. There's also a starting offensive lineman from Vanderbilt, Bruno Reagan.
On the defensive side of the ball, the leader of the secondary, Will Hill, played his college ball at Florida. One of the leaders on the defensive front, Channing Ward, hails from Ole Miss.
I have been a fan of St. Louis as a dark horse since the beginning of the season. I am now starting to come around on the club as a favorite. The BattleHawks have a significant road test this weekend against the DC Defenders, who are 2-0 at home. DC was the favorite to win it all after their two home games to open the season.
Houston is still the favorite, and deservedly so, after its impressive win over Dallas last weekend. However, the Roughnecks are too reliant on their offense to carry the load, and the defense has to step it up for me to consider them at this price.
I have said for weeks that the Renegades have the most talent on their roster and should be considered for wagers, especially as the fourth choice at +600. However, I now believe St. Louis has the best roster, and even though they are now +275, they are still my favorite bet.