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Tampa Bay Vipers and XFL ready for reboot this weekend

Florida Football Insiders

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It’s the reboot of wrestling promoter Vince McMahon’s XFL Spring football league, and it gets set to take to the field for the first time in 19 years. And, with one of the eight franchises in Tampa Bay, we’re interested and are left with some early questions to be answered.

Those would be questions about the teams like: how good they are, and who really should be favored against whom, much less to win the championship in April?

As for the Tampa Bay Vipers, they will not only represent the “Sunshine State,” but the Southeastern part of the United States with other franchises in New York, St Louis, Dallas, and L.A. to name a few. The eight teams are broken into two divisions and will battle over a 10 game schedule. They will then play two weekends of playoffs to decide the title in April.

So, now we take a look at what Vegas thinks early on about the league and who is favored to not only win the whole thing but specifically, the week one matchups? It’s tricky, because most everyone has nothing to go on in terms of preseason games etc.

The Westgate Sportsbook in Las Vegas has installed the Dallas Renegades, coached by former Oklahoma National Champion college coach Bob Stoops, as the favorite to win it all at 5 – 2. The Vipers, being coached by former Bears boss and CFL Grey Cup winning coach Marc Trestman are in a group of teams with New York and Houston that are 5 to 1.

Meanwhile, the best value starting the re-boot season to win the XFL Championship is the Seattle franchise being coached by former Seahawks great Jim Zorn, as they are 16 – 1.

And, that brings us to the opening weekend, the Seattle Dragons and Washington D.C. Defenders will make XFL history by playing the first XFL game, since the LA. Extreme held up the XFL Championship Trophy in April of 2001. The Dragons and the Defenders tee it up in the nation’s capital at 2 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday on ABC.

The second game of the XFL first doubleheader has the L.A. Wildcats, (yes, we checked and Goldie Hawn is not the head coach) playing at the Houston Roughnecks in a game that will be televised at 5 p.m. on Fox

That leads us to the Vipers and their first ever game on the road against the New York Guardians at the Meadowlands, which will also be on Fox Sunday at 2 pm.

As we wrote previously this week, the Vipers definitely have a lot of Florida ties in finalizing their roster. and recognizable names for trestman’s roster. Those include Tampa native and former Georgia QB, Aaron Murray, and USF record breaking dual threat QB Quinton Flowers (above) being the most prominent.

The Guardians are being quarterbacked by former Penn State signal-caller and Oakland Raider Matt McGloin, and for what it’s worth, the Westgate Sportsbook installed New York as a 2.5 Point favorite in this one.

The final matchup of the first weekend will feature the Saint Louis Battlehawks vs. the league favorite Dallas Renegades. That game will be televised on ESPN late Sunday afternoon with the Renegades are 8.5 Point favorites to win.

How will the quality of play be? That’s a very good question.

Will the league financially survive, unlike its predecessor the Alliance of American Football last year at this time? The AAF reportedly ran out of money almost from the time it began its regular season last Feburary and ceased operations after only eight of their scheduled 10 weeks of the regular season.

Likely, McMahon won’t let that happen here, and now it’s time to see if his 2020 version of XFL catches on Tampa and the other cites.