XFL Betting Guide 2023: Explaining all the rule differences between the XFL and NFL 

St. Louis Battlehawks quarterback Jordan Ta'Amu hands the ball off to Christine Michael in an XFL game.
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Ricky Dimon


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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.

Football never stops.

Sure, the NFL may be on hiatus for 7 months until the 2023 campaign gets underway. In the meantime, however, there will be plenty of action on the gridiron to whet the appetite of football fans and bettors. That’s right; the XFL is back! This year marks the third iteration of the XFL following previous appearances in 2001 and 2020. Things won’t be entirely the same as either 1 of those other 2 installments, and there are obviously a lot of differences between the XFL and NFL.

Let’s take a look at the key rules you need to know before watching and betting on the XFL in 2023.

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XFL rules to note

Game clock

In the XFL, for most of the game the clock is running on a consistent basis – even following incomplete passes or when a player goes out of bounds. The only exception is in the final 2 minutes of each half. During those timeframes, the clock will stop following incompletions and out-of-bounds situations between the end of the previous play and the next snap. The play clock is 35 seconds (up from 25 for the 2020 season) and begins when the ball is spotted.


Overtime in the XFL consists of 3 alternating rounds of 2-point conversion tries. Following the 3 rounds, if the 2 teams have the same amount of points it continues with a sudden death of alternating 2-point attempts. The 2020 XFL used the same format except went 5 rounds instead of 3.

Point-after tries 

Unlike in the NFL (where teams either kick an extra point or go for a 2-point conversion), there are 3 options for XFL teams following a touchdown. They can try for 1 point by running a play from the 2-yard line, 2 points from the 5-yard line and 3 points from the 10-yard line. In the 4th quarter, teams can also attempt a 4th-and-15 conversion from their own 25-yard line to maintain possession after scoring.

Double forward pass

An XFL team is allowed to throw 2 forward passes on the same play as long as the first forward pass is thrown behind the line of scrimmage and the next passer of the ball has not yet crossed the line of scrimmage. Similar to the NFL, no forward pass can be thrown once the ball has crossed the line of scrimmage.

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XFL Schedule

The XFL returns for its first season since 2020 when it kicks off this Saturday, February 18. The regular season runs through mid-April, after which the playoffs conclude with the championship game on Saturday, May 13.

Unlike the USFL in 2022, teams will play true home and road games – thus creating a natural home-field advantage that will likely be factored into betting lines. The 8 participating teams are (with title odds in parentheses) the Arlington Renegades (+450), San Antonio Brahmas (+500), St. Louis BattleHawks (+500), Seattle Sea Dragons (+550), Las Vegas Vipers (+650), Houston Roughnecks (+700), DC Defenders (+700) and Orlando Guardians (+800). 

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Pickswise is the home of free NFL Picks and NFL Odds. Be sure to check out all of our post-Super Bowl offseason coverage as we gear up for the 2023 campaign. 

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