XFL Week 1 Season Opener with Team Match Up, Odds, Predictions, & Rules

Updated: February 8, 2020

By: Anthony "Ace" Michael

The XFL Schedule 2020 kicks off this weekend and features all eight teams of the brand new league in action.

The inaugural season of the revamped XFL kicks off on Saturday, February 8, 2020 with the DC Defenders hosting the Seattle Dragons at 2:00pm ET. The initial XFL contest will be televised by ABC. Later on Saturday, the Houston Roughnecks host the Los Angeles Wildcats and it will be televised by FOX at 5:00pm ET.

Week 1 action continues on Sunday, Feb. 9 with the Tampa Bay Vipers traveling to face the New York Guardians (2pm ET, FOX) and the St. Louis BattleHawks playing at the Dallas Renegades (5pm ET, ESPN).




The XFL consists of eight league-owned teams split into two geographic regions. Below is the division alignment along with the team names.

East Division

  • DC Defenders
  • New York Guardians
  • St. Louis BattleHawks
  • Tampa Bay Vipers

West Division

  • Dallas Renegades
  • Houston Roughnecks
  • Los Angeles Wildcats
  • Seattle Dragons


Seattle Dragons at DC Defenders Odds

  • Spread: Defenders -7.5
  • Total: 49
  • Kickoff: 2 p.m. ET on Saturday
  • TV: ABC

I am waiting to get a feel on this league first, but one thing is certain, the vegas experts are wasting no time making the Defenders over a touchdown home favorite! Here is why, The Defenders are mostly healthy, but they will be without starting wide receiver DeAndre Thompkins (foot), whose absence will allow AAF star Rashad Ross to see more playing time. On the other side of the ball the Dragons are really banged up! The biggest concern for the Dragons is left tackle Isaiah Battle (ankle), who did not participate in practice and has been ruled out. For a team that will rely on the run game the most this season, this is a BIG blow. That stat alone has me all over the Defenders.


Pick: Defenders -7.5


Los Angeles Wildcats at Houston Roughnecks Odds

  • Spread: Roughnecks -6.5
  • Total: 49.5
  • Kickoff: 5 p.m. ET on Saturday
  • TV: FOX

The Roughnecks are one of a couple of teams that really stood out from the rest of the teams this season. Not only with all the talent, but with their coaching team and ability for the BIG plays. I expect this team to be in the championship game as long as there are no key injuries. As soon as the QB Johnson injuries came out this week for the Wildcats, the line shot up 2.5 points! This should be a blowout I believe, so I can taking the Roughnecks minus the points.


Pick: Roughnecks -6.5



Tampa Bay Vipers at New York Guardians Odds

  • Spread: Vipers -3
  • Total:  51
  • Kickoff: 2 p.m. ET on Sunday
  • TV: FOX

I am a firm believer that ALL four favorites will not win the opening week, so here is where I have to prove that theory. The pass/run ability of Quinton Flowers should be fun to watch this season. He does give up a lot of interceptions. I think the Guardians will make him pass to beat them. The Guardians are pretty healthy on the defensive side and I think they can get the job done in this match up. Quarterback Matt McGloin has NFL experience, but two of his receivers are out. I expect turnovers in this sloppy game. Let's take the points and run to the bank!


Pick: Guardians +3



St. Louis BattleHawks at Dallas Renegades Odds

  • Spread: Renegades -9.5
  • Total: 51.5
  • Kickoff: 5 p.m. ET on Sunday
  • TV: ESPN

The BattleHawks come in the most healthy team in the XFL and the Renegades are pretty banged up. So why are they "Big Time" favorites? This is the BEST defense in the league by far. Even with their offensive injuries they still should be able to score against the BattleHawks defense. The BattleHawks receivers do not look impressive at all, so they will have to rely on their running game. They should not be able to run against the Renegades either. The question now becomes will the Renegades be able to score on offense? They should and I think their defense will score also, so there should be no problem covering this spread.


Pick: Renegades -9.5






The XFL Playoff Schedule begins on Saturday, April 18 with the first-place East Division team hosting the second-place East Division team at 3:00pm ET on FOX. Then on Sunday, April 19, the top team in the West Division will host the second-place team from the West Division and it will be televised by ESPN at 3:00pm ET.

Winners of the two playoff games will advance to the 2020 XFL Championship Game, which will be played on Sunday, April 26. The game will be televised at 3:00pm ET by ESPN at a site to be announced.



The XFL will be similar to other American professional football leagues, but there are some differences. As in most American football, touchdowns will be worth six points and field goals will be worth three points.

The main differences will be on the kickoff, point after touchdown, punt, double-forward pass, and overtime. Those rules are listed below with explanation from the XFL:



  • The kicker kicks from the 30-yard line and must kick the ball in the air and in play between the opponent’s 20-yard line and the end zone.
  • The coverage team lines up on the return side 35-yard line and the return team lines up on the 30-yard line. Each team must have exactly 3 players outside the hash marks on both sides of the ball and cannot move until the ball is caught by the returner.
  • Out of bounds kicks and kicks that fall short of the 20-yard line will result in an illegal procedure penalty, taking the ball all the way out to the kicking team’s 45 yard line.
  • Players can move when the ball is touched by the returner or 3 seconds after the ball touches the ground (when the official waves his hand down).
  • If the ball is kicked into the end zone and is downed it is a “Major” touchback and the ball is placed at the return side 35-yard line.
  • If the ball bounces in bounds and then out of the end zone or is downed in the end zone, the ball is placed at the return side 15-yard line.
  • If a player on the return team touches the ball and it goes out of bounds, the ball is spotted where it went out of bounds.
  • If a team wishes to run an onside kick, it must indicate this to the official before the play and the two teams will be permitted to line up using traditional NFL rules (i.e. 10 yards apart from the kicking team). There will be no surprise onside kicks.


Point-After Touchdown

  • After a touchdown, the team has the option of running a play from the 2, 5, or 10-yard line, worth 1, 2, or 3 points respectively. The team must run an offensive play and no kicking plays are allowed.
  • If the defense is able to cause a turnover and return the ball to the opponent’s end zone, the resulting score is equal to the number of points the offense was attempting to score on its PAT.



  • Punting team cannot release past the line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked.
  • Gunners must line up at the line of scrimmage and are permitted to move laterally once the ball is snapped until it is kicked.
  • Defenders over the gunner cannot cross the line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked.
  • If the ball goes out of bounds inside the 35-yard line, it is a “Major” touchback and the ball goes to the 35-yard line.
  • If a punted ball lands in the opponent’s end zone or goes out of the end zone the result is a “Major” touchback, and the ball goes out to the 35-yard line.
  • Fair catches are permitted.

Double-Forward Pass

  • If a team completes a forward pass behind the line of scrimmage, that team may throw a second forward pass, as long as the ball has at no time crossed the line of scrimmage.
  • Once the ball has passed the line of scrimmage, no forward passes are permitted.


  • Overtime shall consist of 5 “Rounds”, staged in alternating single-play possessions as is customary in NHL shootouts or MLS penalty kicks. A “Round” will consist of one offensive play per team. Each possession starts at the opponent’s 5-yard line and the offensive team has one play to score. The team with more points after 5 rounds is the winner.
    • If a team has been mathematically eliminated before all 5 rounds have been completed, the game ends immediately (e.g. If Team A scores on its first 3 attempts and Team B is stopped on its first 3 attempts, then no subsequent plays are necessary).
    • If teams are tied after 5 rounds, then rounds continue until one team is leading at the conclusion of a round, and that team will be the winner.
  • For scoring purposes, each successful overtime score is worth 2 points.
  • The defensive team cannot score. If the offensive team commits a turnover, the play is over immediately.
  • If the defensive team commits a penalty, the offensive team will be allowed to re-attempt from the 1-yard line.
    • Any subsequent penalty committed by the defensive team on any subsequent play, including in future rounds, will result in a score awarded to the offensive team.
  • If the offensive team commits a pre-snap penalty, the ball will be moved back from the original spot, pursuant to regular rules and the play will be re-attempted.
  • If the offensive team commits a post-snap penalty, the play will end and no score will be awarded.
  • There will be a minimum of 20 seconds between plays with the ball-spotting official working in conjunction with TV and Official Review to signal when the next play begins.
  • All Overtimes will have the visiting team on offense first and home team on defense first.
    Every round will repeat this format.
  • In Overtime the end zone where the overtime takes place will be determined at the 90 minute meeting.





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