Sunday marks the first game in the history of the St. Louis BattleHawks XFL franchise. It is the first game in which St. Louis will field a professional football team since December of 2015 after the then St. Louis Rams bolted town. The XFL, founded by Vince McMahon, existed formerly in 2001 but folded after just one season. Then in January of 2018, McMahon announced that the XFL would be returning with play beginning in 2020. St. Louis was announced as one of the cities for one of the eight XFL franchise, and the team announced its branding of the BattleHawks on August 21, 2019. The jerseys, rosters, and all the kinks have been worked out and play for the BattleHawks begins this Sunday when they take on the Dallas Renegades. Here is everything you need to know about Sunday’s matchup.
Date: February 9, 2020
Game Location: Globe Life Park-Arlington, TX
Betting Line: Dallas -9 (via BetOnline.ag)
Over/Under: 51 (via BetOnline.ag)
The Dallas Renegades open with some of the best odds at winning the XFL Championship before the season kicks off, as they are tied with the DC Defenders and Tampa Bay Vipers with the best odds at +350 (via BetOnline.ag). The BattleHawks subsequently have the third worse odds to win the league, as their odds are +700, with only the New York Guardians (+750) and Seattle Dragons (+900) having worse odds to start the season (odds via BetOnline.ag). The BattleHawks go on the road to start the season against the Renegades and are a nine-point underdog.
The St. Louis BattleHawks, who are head coached by former NFL player and coach Jonathan Hayes, are led on offense by former Ole Miss QB Jordan Ta’amu alongside former NFL RB’S Christine Michael and Matt Jones. The BattleHawks also boast former Mizzou WR’s L’Damian Washington and Marcus Lucas which are sure to bring back some memories from their Mizzou days when they helped bring home the first SEC East Division Title in Tigers history. The BattleHawks also boast a lot of NFL experience on the defensive side, as they have LB Terence Garvin, SS Will Hill, and DE Will Clarke among many others. Here is the full depth chart for the BattleHawks:
On the flip side, the Dallas Renegades are led by former Oklahoma Sooners coaching legend Bob Stoops and he has one of his former OU quarterbacks leading the charge in Landry Jones, who played for the Sooners from 2008-2012. The Renegades also have former Auburn RB and NFL Draft pick Cameron Artis-Payne, former Dallas Cowboys RB Lance Dunbar, former Texans Draft choice CB Treston Decoud, and former Packers corner Josh Hawkins among the other talent on the team.
There is an abundance of talent on both the BattleHawks and Renegades rosters. One would think it would be difficult to predict season odds and odds for a game for teams that have only scrimmaged a handful of times over the past month. But it is widely recognized that the Renegades have one of the more solidified rosters of the teams in the XFL, while the BattleHawks have a lot of talented, younger players who are yet to reach their potential. Regardless of the nine-point favoritism for the opposition, Sunday is the cultivation of a years in the making of the rebranded XFL and professional football in St. Louis is finally back and regardless of the result, Sunday could be the start of something wonderful here in St. Louis.