Nine teams, two divisions, four weekly games, 18 league games during a relatively short but exciting season — the Canadian Football League offers sports punters an action-packed season, culminating in the Grey Cup that will decide the CFL championship.
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This provides punters with ample betting opportunities throughout the season. And to make your wagers count, you need to be familiar with the CFL gameplay style, its teams, and its players. Suffice to say; you must also be familiar with the different types of odds, CFL betting lines and markets bookies offer if you expect to win your bets.
Read on for more information about the most popular markets and CFL odds, and discover where you can find the best odds for upcoming CFL games.
CFL Odds: Canadian Football League Betting Lines and Spreads
Perhaps you are a newcomer to CFL betting, or maybe this is just your first time betting online. In either case, you need a basic understanding of how sports betting and odds work before you start wagering.
Of course, you can learn how CFL bets work the hard way i.e. by betting blindly on a certain outcome without actually understanding the type of bet or the teams’ form. But sports betting involves enough risk as it is, so we thought we’d compose this article so you can at least learn the basics of CFL betting.
Despite having fewer teams than the NFL, seasoned punters would tell you there’s no shortage of CFL action throughout the season.
Every CFL game during the season is different, and the game’s intensity can vary depending on the importance of the contest, the teams’ form, or the form of particular players. Sometimes a single player can make all the difference. Based on these and other statistics, online betting sites create different odds for different betting markets like prop bets, point spreads, futures, money line, and other betting options.
While the types of bets are easy to learn, how the odds are represented might confuse some untrained punters. There are three main types of sports betting odds: fractional (or British) odds, decimal (European) odds, and American (or money line) odds. We will explain how to read these odds types later in the article.
Now, if you’re looking to find great odds for an upcoming Canadian football league game or a Grey Cup match-up, make sure to continue reading below.
We will also help you understand the most popular bets among CFL sports fans and offer tips for finding sportsbooks with favourable odds for CFL match-ups.
Best CFL Sportsbooks
CFL fans are in luck as many of the leading sportsbooks that provide online betting services also feature competitive odds for CFL league games and more than a dozen incentives such as free bets and bet credits.
We’re thinking of sites like 22 Sport, Bwin, 88 Sport, Bet365, Sports Interaction – just to name a few. We will now give you several tips for choosing not the best CFL betting site but the best one to tailor your specific needs. After all, besides these few, there are dozens of other top sportsbooks that provide CFL betting options to Canadian players.
Whether or not an online bookie is licensed matters more than the markets and bonuses it offers. There are online bookies unknown to the majority of CFL punters, yet they are fully licensed, secure, provide killer bonuses, and even provide the same, if not a better choice of CFL markets.
Any online gambling service that’s licensed to legally operate a sportsbook in Canada will surely cover the CFL. Besides license and legality, the choice of payment methods available is equally as important.
The scope to which Canadian sportsbooks cover the CFL lines also matters. Having more betting options on different markets increases the chances of all knowledgeable punters to place winning bets, and it also makes the entire process of analyzing potential outcomes for specific bets more engaging.
Last but not least, it’s wise to track down an operator providing free bets to get you started, along with a live betting system.
If you don’t have the time to conduct thorough research yourself before starting to bet on the CFL, you can always pick any sportsbooks on our website. We’ve employed all of the above mentioned criteria before featuring them on our site; therefore – they’re all licensed, offer a suitable payment method selection, a live betting system, and flawless mobile betting.
Below, we will take a look at some of the best CFL bets favoured by Canadian punters, such as spread betting, over/under bets and futures, and briefly explain through examples how each bet works.
Betting On The Point Spread
Say we have a hypothetical match-up that will decide the Grey Cup winner between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the East Division and the Calgary Stampeders of the West Division. No matter how unlikely this face-off seems to some, here it is only given as an example to illustrate how betting on the point spread works. After all, the two teams did meet in the Grey Cup in 2014, and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, based on the current standings, might have another shot at the Grey Cup this season.
The point spread is a type of bet where the bookmaker uses specific numbers that determine by how many total points the favourite team needs to win, or the underdog must not concede, for the bet to win. In a point spread, there are two identical numbers, except one has a plus and the other a minus sign in front of it. The minus sign indicates the favourite, while the plus sign is the underdog.
In the 2014 Grey Cup face-off, oddsmakers slightly favoured the Calgary Stampeders, and, ultimately, the Stampeders won that Grey Cup game by four points (16-20). We cannot know the exact odds for the spread for that specific game, considering it took place 7 years ago. For the sake of argument, say bookies gave the spread +3 for the Tiger-Cats and -3 for the Stampeders.
What these numbers indicate is that anyone who bet on the Stampeders to win would need them to win by at least 3 points, which they did, to cover the spread. Anyone betting on the Tiger-Cats would’ve needed the team not losing by more than three points to cover the spread.
Point spread betting is similar to handicap betting, where oddsmakers give the underdog team an imaginary advantage of a number of points to make betting more competitive. With the spread, it is not enough that the favourite team wins or the underdog loses. Instead, the favoured team must win by a specific number of points set by the bookie, while the underdog must not lose the game by the same number of points.
Placing A Moneyline Bet
Moneyline bets are based on American (a.k.a. moneyline) odds. This is the most basic of all sports bets and is offered at all CFL betting sites, albeit represented by different odds formats (decimal or fractional).
With a money line bet, you simply predict which CFL team you think will win the game. In some sports, like soccer, moneyline bets can have a third option, which is a draw.
But with Canadian and American football, games never end undecided, which is why moneyline bets for NFL and CFL games have only two possible outcomes where one team will always win the game while the other team will lose. The result of the match will be decided either during regular play or during overtime.
Money line bets may seem an easy way to earn a quick buck, but the outcome might not always be as predictable.
Case in point, week 16 of the CFL pitted the Edmonton Elks, the last team in the West Division, against the Toronto Argonauts, the first team in East Division. Reason tells you that the Argonauts would be the favourites, and you’d be right. The money line odds varied at different sports betting sites, but mainly, they favoured the Toronto Argonauts. Yet the Argonauts still lost the game 13-7.
Total Or Over/Under
Over/under markets, also called totals, are quite different from money line bets and spread betting. Where point spread and money line bets indicate the winner of a game, over/under bets are concerned solely with the total points scored during a given CFL game.
You basically bet on whether or not the two teams will score a certain number of combined points pre-set by the bookmaker. If the sportsbook, for instance, sets the total number of points at 45, you can wager whether the combined points scored in the game will be over or under that number.
CFL Futures Bets
Another pretty straightforward CFL bet type. With future bets, you predict whether a certain CFL team will win the championship or if a player will be named the MVP at the end of the season. As the nomenclature suggests, it’s a bet made for an event happening in the future.
For example, a futures bet would be betting whether a CFL team will win the championship or if that team will win its own division.
Before the beginning of the season, oddsmakers roll out odds for each of the competing teams winning the championship. Of course, initially, the odds may favour a specific team or several teams based on that team’s form from the previous season or during the pre-season games.
Most CFL bettors place futures bets before the start of the season, as this is when the odds for a particular team winning are highest. Of course, futures betting is also allowed during the regular season, but once the season begins, there are myriads of factors at play that can lower the odds for that team, such as player injuries and a team’s performance throughout the season.
The good thing about futures odds is that once you place your bet, the odds will not change on your bet slip, regardless of whether the bookie tweaks the odds during the season.
CFL point spread bets, moneyline bets, futures, and totals are certainly four of the most popular types of betting markets among NFL and CFL punters. But there are several more markets available to CFL punters, of which prop bets and parlay bets are two we will briefly look at.
Prop bets are any bets that are not based on the final result of the game, as opposed to moneyline or point spread betting. Online bookies provide dozens of prop (or proposition) bets. Any market that’s not a point spread, moneyline, or over/under is a potential prop bet.
For example, in a game between the Edmonton Elks and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, rather than predicting the winner, you can wager on which quarterback will complete a specified number of passing yards, or which team will first score a pre-set number of points.
Parlay bets – also called muli or accumulator bets – are when you bet on multiple fixtures on the same ticket, whose combined odds make for a considerably larger potential payout relative to your stake.
Betting Odds Resources
It’s important that you have certain key resources at your disposal before you start betting, particularly if this is your first introduction to CFL odds.
Pick a site that suits you, not just one that touts generous free bets. Next, set a budget and stick to it and mind that you don’t overspend and get carried away with your money. Responsible gambling is a priority of many online gambling operators.
Of course, you have to ensure the site is licensed and user-friendly. The best sportsbooks would always provide betting guides and tips for new players and provide tools for maintaining responsible gaming.
Also, it wouldn’t hurt to have an odds converter at hand in case the odds are presented in a format you are not that familiar with.
You can also read more guides like ours to further familiarize yourself with CFL betting and odds.
How To Read CFL Odds
How you read CFL odds depends on what type of odds are used and the type of bet.
Betting sites can use either American, decimal, or fractional odds, where the odds for common bet types such as moneyline bets, certain prop bets, or futures can appear quite differently.
American odds are the most commonly used format by Canadian betting sites as the CFL and NFL — Canada’s and America’s top-tier professional football leagues, respectively — share many similarities. American odds are two numbers preceded by a ‘plus’ or ‘minus’ symbol. For instance, +375 and -560, where the minus indicates the favourite team. The figure with the plus tells you how much you would win with a CA$100 bet, while the number with the minus tells you how much you must bet to win CA$100.
Although some CFL betting sites use British (fractional) odds, they are fewer compared to betting sites that use decimal or American odds. Fractional odds are two numbers divided by a slash (/) symbol. For instance, fractional odds of 8/2 indicate you will win $8 for every $2 wagered. The winnings will be calculated and adjusted relative to your bet amount and shown on your ticket.
Finally, decimal odds, which are widely used in Canada, are easy to learn and calculate as you simply multiply your stake amount by the odds number to come up with your potential winnings. If the Saskatchewan Roughriders have 2.30 odds of winning and you want to place a $40 stake, your potential winnings would be $92.
Most Popular Betting Odds
Point spread betting has proven as one of Canadians’ most favoured types of bets for both NFL and CFL games, though moneyline bets and totals follow close behind.
However, parlays and the hundreds of prop bet options available for CFL matches continue to attract myriads of Canadian punters.
At the end of the day, how you bet is yours to decide. We can only advise new players to start betting small and bet on low risk-fixtures and familiar markets like spreads or moneyline bets and leave parlays and unfamiliar prop odds for later on.
How do I bet on a CFL game?
First, find an online bookie that features the Canadian Football League. After you ensure the site is legal and safe, create an account and deposit money. Afterward, go to the sports section and find the Canadian Football League (CFL) on the list, and see how many games are available to bet on, which markets are available, and what are the odds for a specific market. Always compare the odds for a given market to the odds or the same market at several different CFL sportsbooks. This way, you can place your stake at the site which has the best odds.
Which Sportsbook has the highest CFL betting odds?
It’s hard to say. The odds for specific markets for different matches can oscillate between different sites, but for the most popular markets, they are more or less the same across the industry.
Which Sportsbooks offer the most current CFL odds?
There are dozens of legal and reliable sportsbooks you can regularly check for the latest CFL odds; this includes sites like Bwin, Sports Interaction, Bovada, BetOnline, and MyBookie, to name a few.
What is the best Mobile Experience For CFL odds?
Most bookies provide CFL markets on mobile. The best way is to download the mobile app or open the page through a browser and check the sports betting section. Or, you can ask a customer service agent if they provide CFL odds on mobile.