Canadian Football League (CFL) Betting
Founded in 1958, the Canadian Football league is the second oldest professional football league in North America. It’s popularity as a sport in Canada is immense, second only to the National Hockey League when it comes to home grown sport.
It receives television coverage from TSN, RSN and ESPN and with this level of popularity comes an interest not just in the competitive aspects of the sport, but also in the betting opportunities football presents to gamblers. From June until November gamblers have the chance to enjoy a bet on just about every aspect of the sport.
The prevalence of online bookmaking sites means it is now easier than ever to have a punt on football. Thanks to the rather complicated nature of Canadian gambling laws, most of these sites operate offshore meaning betting on football is legal and Canadians can enjoy a bet without fear of legal recourse. Almost all sites accept Canadian customers and will welcome Canadian Dollars (CAD).
How to bet on CFL
The Canadian Football League (CFL) always has to take second billing to the NFL across the border but football fans and serious bettors know not to ignore it. There is some quality sport on show across Canada and in terms of betting, there is definite value to be had.
In order to succeed, you need to know how the bookies work in terms of the betting markets offered and it’s also important to find the right sportsbook to play with. Here, then, is our guide to getting the most out of CFL betting.
What is a betting line?
A line is a term that is used to describe any market that the bookmakers have opened for an event. In regards to the CFL, this could refer to match result, overall Grey Cup winner or any of the prop bet markets that are made available for CFL matches through the season.
A sportsbook will assess the upcoming games in the league, consider some pricing for the matches and it’s then over to their customers to decide whether to take them on.
CFL money line odds
A money line in CFL simply refers to the match result and betting on the winner of the game. In this market, there are only two possible options with a win for either side so it’s a simple stake and a good place to start for anyone who is new to the sport.
Matches can be tied at the end of the four quarters but the sportsbooks in question will simply carry the bet into overtime and whoever wins at the end of the game will deliver the profit.
CFL Point Spread Odds
A point spread involves handicapping the stronger team in a CFL game and it therefore means that they have to win by a certain number of points for your bet to deliver. It’s a way of getting more value out of a money line market where we have a clear favourite.
For example, the sportsbook may give the weaker team a 10.5 point head start which means that the favourites need to win the match by 11 points or more. As an alternative to backing those favourites, you can stake on the weaker side and get a return if they win the game or lose it by ten points or less.
CFL Over / Under Odds
An Over / Under Bet refers to the number of points that are scored in a Canadian Football League game. Bookmakers will set a line, which may start at 20.5 points and the lines continue in an upward direction. The job of the bettor is then to stake Over or Under one of those lines.
The bet usually applies to the total number of combined points but with some sportsbooks it may be possible to find two additional markets for each team.
CFL Futures and Props
Futures markets can relate to season long bets and for the CFL, the most popular of these will involve the overall winner of the Grey Cup. This market will open before the start of the new season and there will be additional options for the winner of each of the two divisions.
A prop bet is defined as a bet that doesn’t necessarily affect the result of the game. For example, you could bet on a player to make over a certain number of yards or on a Quarterback to throw over a set distance. Futures bets are widely available while props can be restricted to certain sportsbooks.
CFL Betting Tips
Now we know all about the available markets it’s time to look for some winning bets. As a part of your betting strategy, you should be studying form of the two teams involved and any results from recent head to head matches.
This will help you in the CFL Money Line markets and also on the point spread, overs and unders and more. There are many websites online that will list all of the relevant statistics that you need and this is the place to start. Aside from that basic approach, these additional tips are designed to help turn the odds in your favour.
Money / Bankroll Management
If you’re going to bet on any sport successfully then you’ll need to learn about Bankroll Management and the CFL is no exception here. The bankroll is the amount of money that you set aside to play with and from there, you need to manage it effectively.
The figure is generally determined by how much you are ultimately prepared to lose and once set, you should not go over it under any circumstances. Work out your budget and consider the sums carefully as the bankroll is a crucial part of your overall CFL betting strategy.
Money Line Underdogs
The underdogs in a money line bet are the team that carry the longer of the two prices. It’s easy to dismiss them from your thinking but in reality, they could just offer some value here. The key is to consider those statistics and to see how their form is in the lead up to the game.
It’s also possible that the favourites have injury problems, are travelling away from home and they may also have a poor record in head to head games against these opponents. CFL money line markets throw up surprises in most weeks so consider the facts and indicators before writing off those underdogs.
Betting Against the Public
The concept of betting against the public is based on a similar theory to backing the underdog. It’s also referred to as a Contrarian Strategy or Fading the Public and it involves identifying where the majority of public money is being staked and then going against that trend.
The theory relates to the figures that show that the public will always bet on the obvious option and that they will take home field advantage and favouritism over reasoned thought. Once again, do those stats and they will indicate instances when you can prove the public wrong.
Bet365 CFL Betting
While some bookmakers remain quiet in regards to CFL betting opportunities, there are a dedicated bunch of operators who continue to provide markets and among the best of these is Bet365.
They are known through the betting world as one of the pioneers of in-play markets but for ante post options, they are strong too. Bet365 offer a perfect mix of competitive prices and a wide choice of markets and while there are others to try, this is a great place with which to kick off your CFL betting journey.
Football Betting Sites
We have looked at all the major betting sites to find the best options available for Canadians wanting to bet on the Canadian Football League. With so many different bookmakers providing betting lines for CFL on their sportsbooks, it is easy to get lost amongst the multitude of options, but we’ve narrowed it down to four sites that excel in different areas of CFL betting; Best for Stats, Best Range of Markets, Best odds and Best for Accessibility.
Bodog.Eu – Best for Statistics
Bodog is one of the must trusted sites out there. It has a line on Canadian Football befitting a site of it’s renown. It offers betting on individual matches as well as season future betting. You can bet on the outcome of each match or the spread. Bodog’s odds are competitive and they provide a full line on in-play betting. The site has an excellent stats and preview section. The statistics section gives a detailed rundown on injuries, recent form, head-to-head and betting trends, while the preview compiles all of this information into an easy to read guide. It’s a great feature full of every statistic you will need to get the edge.
As you would expect from a Canadian site, Canadian Dollars are accepted and there are plenty of deposit and withdrawal methods available for Canadian customers. Bodog is a very good site for customers looking to make a quick bet on the more general aspects of the game.
Sports Interaction – Best Choice of Markets
Sportsinteraction is another major player in the world of online betting sites. It too has a strong reputation and a full line on CFL. The advantage Sportsinteraction has over Bodog is the number of markets available on any individual game. In addition to the outcome and spread you can also bet on first half or second half moneyline, first half/second half over/under, first half/second half outcome, first team to score, first scoring play, race to ten points, and the half time/full time result. There is also the full range of stats, previews and betting trends. The trends are presented in graph form which makes it even easier to get a quick overview.
As the name suggests, this is a very interactive site. There is a very nice section where other customers can provide tips on the games and, through a twitter link, you can keep in contact with other customers throughout the game. There are many in-play options available also. Canadian players are suitably catered for into the bargain. Sportsinteraction has a great line on Canadian Football League betting. There are many markets available at competitive odds and the site is fully interactive. If you want a more in-depth look at CFL betting then you can’t go wrong with Sportsinteraction.
Pinnaclesports.com – Best for Odds
Pinnaclesports boasts of having the best odds available online and they are certainly up there when it comes to Canadian Football League. Pinnaclesports don’t offer introductory bonuses, but invest in more attractive prices for the customer. They will blow their competitors when it comes to getting the best odds. This is the site’s main selling point as the list of markets available on CFL is a bit limited. You can bet on outcomes as well as halfs, quarters and overs/unders, the moneyline and the spread as well as the eventual Grey Cup winner, but there isn’t a great deal more than this available. The site does have some other nice features though.
Like Sports Interaction you can view what other people have bet, enabling you to see where the money is going on any particular event. There is also a full range of live betting and a mobile site to allow you to bet on the go. Pinnacle Sports offers excellent odds on CFL, but the lack of markets available let the site down somewhat. If you are the type of person who simply wants the best odds available then Pinnaclesports.com is the site for you.
Bwin.com – Best for Accessibility
Bwin is another Canadian-friendly site with an extensive book on CFL. It has a range of bets that rivals and almost exceeds that of Sportsinteraction. Moneyline, spread, winning margin, over and under and both half betting are all accounted for as are all future markets. Betting in-play and mobile betting is covered. One of the best features of this site is it’s accessibility. If you want to bet a parlay on all the favourites on a particular match day, one click will pull of these teams together and put it into your bet slip. The stats section is also excellent. Full information on head to heads, recent form, offensive and defensive standings and players stats are presented in a very user-friendly format.
While the odds may not be as generous as Pinnaclesports, they are competitive enough. The site is suitable for Canadian customers with many banking options available and Canadian Dollars accepted. Bwin is a great option for customers looking to bet on CFL. The range of bets available is exceptional with a very good live betting portal adding to the excitement. It is easy to negotiate and simple to access all markets and stats.
As you can see the Canadian Football League is well represented in online betting. Whether you want great odds, a full range of bets, easy access or a site with the full quota of statistics, there is a site for you.