XFL 2023 Championship Futures: BattleHawks, Sea Dragons, Roughnecks Lead the Picks

  • What: 2023 XFL Championship Game
  • Date: Saturday, May 13, 2023
  • Location: TBA
  • Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
  • How to Watch: ABC

Following a first season that was cut short because of the pandemic, the XFL returns in 2023 with eight teams and a 10-week regular season schedule. The top four XFL teams will meet in semifinal playoff games after the regular season, which kicks off on February 18. Then, on May 13, the two winning teams of that round of the XFL playoffs meet in the XFL Championship game, which ABC will broadcast.

Here are the eight teams involved in the 2023 XFL regular season: Houston Roughnecks, St. Louis Battlehawks, Seattle Sea Dragons, Arlington Renegades, San Antonio Brahmas, DC Defenders, Vegas Vipers and the Orlando Guardians. The league is split into North and South Divisions.

Before we look at the best bets to win the 2023 XFL Championship Game, check out the best Super Bowl betting tips and advice on how to bet on 2023 Super Bowl Props.

2023 XFL Championship Game picks

To Win 2023 XFL ChampionshipBetOnline ReviewBovadaBetUS Review
Houston Roughnecks+400+600+400
St. Louis Battlehawks+475+350+450
Seattle Sea Dragons+475+400+450
Arlington Renegades+500+400+500
San Antonio Brahmas+550+550+550
DC Defenders+750+650+800
Vegas Vipers+800+450+800
Orlando Guardians+800+500+800

Houston Roughnecks

The well-respected Wade Phillips, who served as a head coach for the Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys over the years, while also having stints as an interim head coach for the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons and the Houston Texans, coaches the Houston Roughnecks. This job brings Phillips back to where his NFL coaching career began, Houston. In 1976, Phillips got his first coaching gig as the linebackers coach of the Houston Oilers.

Houston only has a few name players on its roster. However, the team has Cole McDonald as its quarterback. McDonald played his college ball at Hawaii. The Tennessee Titans drafted him in the seventh round in 2020, but waived him in August that year. A tryout with the Carolina Panthers followed, but he failed to make the team. In 2021, the Arizona Cardinals gave McDonald a shot, but that team also waived him. However, McDonald saw some playing time as a CFL’s Toronto Argonauts member in 2021.

Houston RoughnecksTO WIN 2023 XFL CHAMPIONSHIP
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St. Louis Battlehawks

The St. Louis Battlehawks have a former member of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams as their head coach and general manager. Anthony Becht serves in those roles for the XL club. An 11-year NFL veteran, Becht was drafted at No. 27 in 2000 by the New York Jets. In addition to playing with NY and St. Louis, the former tight end spent time with Tampa Bay, Arizona and Kansas City before retiring.

The Battlehawks have A.J. McCarron at quarterback. McCarron led his college team, Alabama, to back-to-back BCS Championship Game victories in 2012 and 2013. He was a fifth-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2014 and spent four seasons with the Bengals as a backup. He also served in that role in Oakland and Houston. His last year in the NFL was 2021, when he was with the Atlanta Falcons. A torn ACL in a preseason game put him on injured reserve for that entire season. The 32-year-old signed with the St. Louis Battlehawks in November 2022.

St. Louis BattlehawksTO WIN 2023 XFL CHAMPIONSHIP
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Seattle Sea Dragons

The Seattle Sea Dragons have a former NFL Coach of the Year at the helm. That man is Jim Haslett, who won that award in 2000 while coaching the New Orleans Saints. Haslett spent six years in New Orleans before the team fired him and replaced him with Sean Payton. He also served as the interim coach for the St. Louis Rams in 2008.

Seattle has one of the more recognizable rosters in the XFL in 2023. The team has Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Ben DiNucci, ex-Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Jordan Evans, Super Bowl winner Josh Gordon and former Oakland Raiders draft pick P.J. Hall.

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Best bet to win the 2023 XFL Championship Game

The Seattle Sea Dragons might not have the talent of a team like the St. Louis Battlehawks, but the team’s head coach has a lot more experience and I’m putting a lot of weight on coaching and the ability to get buy-in from players, at least in this return season of the XFL. With that in mind, the best preseason bet to make on the XFL is to pick the Seattle Sea Dragons to win the 2023 XFL Championship game.

Our pick: Seattle Sea Dragons to win the 2023 XFL Championship.

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Trent Reinsmith

Trent is a professional sports journalist specializing in UFC, MMA, and esports coverage. His work has been featured in prestigious publications such as USA Today Sports, Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively. Trent's connection to MMA dates back to the early days when he and his friends pooled their resources to purchase the pay-per-view broadcast of UFC 1. He also has extensive experience in esports, particularly League of Legends and Counter Strike, dating back to the game's launch.