CFL Betting Guide
I’ve been a CFL fan my whole life – the Argonauts have been my team as I grew up in the city.
There are definitely some things I dislike about CFL, such as the three downs rule, but I also like the some of the unique rules, such as the size of the football field.
One of the biggest perks about the CFL is that it starts well before the NFL and NCAA Football.
The CFL season is two months in before the other two leagues start, so if you’re missing football, there’s nothing better than betting on some CFL and getting ready for the other leagues to start.
Best CFL Betting Sites
Before I explain the betting markets available for the CFL, I want to touch on the best betting sites.
With the CFL you really have to pick and choose where you play for one major reason – most bookies have very poor coverage of CFL betting markets. It’s imperative to join a bookie with a Canadian presence.
Do you live in the United States and want to bet on the CFL?
- BetOnline: Lifetime bonus worth up to $1000 on every deposit (100% of every deposit).
BetOnline doesn’t restrict any countries, so us Canadians or anyone else can bet here too. The betting selection isn’t as good as what Bet365 offers for the CFL, but the lifetime bonus is a great deal.
I always recommend joining multiple shops as well, because often CFL point spreads, money lines and over/under odds will differ. You always want the best odds, so “shopping” at multiple books is ideal.
- Bet365: Sign-up and get a cash bonus worth up to $200 (100% of first deposit).
If you’ve ever been to a CFL game or even watched a game on TV for that matter, you’ve most likely seen Bet365 advertisements along the sidelines. This is a great out for Canadians or anyone outside of the US.
CFL Futures Betting
Let’s start with CFL futures, including Grey Cup futures, which is simply a bet where you pick a team to win the CFL Grey Cup, which for newcomers to the sport, is equivalent to the NFL Super Bowl.
Grey Cup futures see most of the action, but there are other options available to handicappers.
Take for instance the popular regular season win total bet. Any football fan will have heard of this bet by now. You predict whether a single team will go over or under the win total listed.
For example, the Argonauts have a win total of 8.5 wins – your job is to predict whether the Argonauts will have more or less wins during the regular season — the CFL playoffs don’t count for this wager.
There are also division futures – you can bet on a team to win the East or West.
That about sums up what’s available in terms of CFL futures bets. There aren’t too many, as they don’t receive a ton of action and they’re not worth pricing up for most bookmakers.
Betting on a CFL Game
Don’t want to tie up your money for a full season? I don’t blame you, especially if you’re just starting out and trying to build a bankroll. There are numerous ways to bet on the outcome of a CFL game.
- Money Line: Betting on a CFL team just to win a game by 1+ points.
I’ll rarely bet on a favorite using the money line, but there’s often value picking money line underdogs in the CFL. When the favorite is a small favorite (2-6 Points) – consider betting the ML instead of the spread.
You’ll get plus money on your wager (IE: Above even money) and CFL underdogs often win. Plus, with a small point spread, the underdog often doesn’t cover if they end up losing, so the ML has great value.
- Point Spread: Bet on a CFL team to cover a point spread set by the bookie.
Let’s take a look at an example. The Toronto Argonauts (-3.5) play the B.C. Lions (+3.5). The Argonauts are a -3.5 point favorite, which means they have to win the game by 4+ points to cover the spread.
The favorite is the team with a negative point spread, while the underdog has a positive spread.
This wager aims to create an equal playing field between the two teams by handicapping the match-up. In this example, the Argos win the bet if they win by 4+ points, while the Lions win with any other result.
- Game Total: Bet on whether a CFL game will go over or under a total set by the bookie.
I actually find the over/under market the easiest to handicap in the CFL. The totals are often very high and there’s a ton of value selectively betting on the under in ideal match-ups.
Most CFL totals will be 50+ points and a lot of them go well over the total, but you’ll always find at least one game a week where the total is way too high based on the circumstances.
You have to consider injuries, home/away splits and other important statistics/trends when you bet on the game total. Injuries play major role, as teams in the CFL are void of much depth on the rosters.
You can break a CFL game down into a half or quarter as well at the best CFL bookies. What I mean by this is you can wager on the money line, point spread or total for the 1H/2H or 1Q.
Unfortunately, you’re not going to find bookies posting lines for other quarters other than the first.
You can also bet on a CFL game at halftime. When you bet at halftime the game starts fresh. So, if you bet on the Tiger-Cats to cover -3 points in the 2H, it just means they have to win the 2H by 4+ points to win.
If the Ti-Cats are down 10 points at halftime and they lose the game by 5 points – a 2H bet on the Ti-Cats at -3 would cover and therefore cash. 2H betting opens up opportunities to watch and handicap the 1H.
There aren’t many betting markets and you’re not going to find player/team props price up except for the Grey Cup, but the lines are very soft and definitely beatable if you put the time into it.