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How to Bet on the CFL

With only nine teams in the Canadian Football League and four games a week, CFL bettors have a much smaller weekly schedule to handicap than NFL bettors and college football bettors. The smaller league size can work to the advantage of bettors who are willing to put in the time to study and learn the league.

Basic Odds and Betting Options

When it comes to betting on the CFL, there are different types of bets you can make. Each has its own advantages if you can handicap your bets correctly. 

  • Point Spread: A point spread is used to evenly match games regardless of the two opponents that are playing. For example, a game between the Ottawa Redblacks and the Toronto Argonauts favors the Argonauts. By adding a point spread to the game of Ottawa (+9.5) vs Toronto (-9.5), bettors who want to bet on the Argonauts at -9.5 will only win their bet if Toronto wins by 10 points or more. Ottawa +9.5 bettors cash their tickets if the Redblacks win outright or lose by nine points or less.
  • Moneyline: In the example above, bettors would have to pay a premium to bet on Toronto to win outright at -475 (bet $475 to win $100). On the other hand, betting on an Ottawa upset would pay nicely at +380 (bet $100 to win $380).
  • Totals: Also called OVER/UNDER, this is a bet based on a set number of points. If the point total is set at 50.5 points, a bet on the OVER cashes if 51 or more points are scored and a bet on the UNDER cashes if there are 50 points or less scored.
  • Props: These are bets on individual players, team stats and other outcomes that may not directly affect the game. Prop bets include which team will score first, how many yards will player X have, how many touchdowns will player Y have, and who will win the coin toss. Look for more props closer to Grey Cup. 
  • Futures: These are wagers you can make on events that are going to happen such as which team will win their division, which team will win the Grey Cup and who will be named the CFL's Most Outstanding Player.

Odds and spreads vary from game to game based on the talent of the two teams, home-field advantage and other factors. Lines are set about a week before each game but can move depending on betting interest. 

CFL Betting Strategies

Gaining an in-depth knowledge of all nine Canadian Football League teams is totally attainable for handicappers willing to put in the work. This work can pay huge dividends on a week-to-week basis. This will also help you when it comes to betting on the Grey Cup, the CFL’s equivalent of the Super Bowl.

With a firm understanding of each team’s strengths and weaknesses on offense and defense, knowledgeable CFL bettors can project likely outcomes of each game. If a game is too close to call but will clearly be a high-scoring affair, a play on the OVER could be in order. If one side has a clear edge, a play against the spread or on the moneyline could be correct.

Game selection is important in CFL betting too. With so few games to choose from each week, some bettors feel inclined to bet on them all. Resist this urge and stick to sides in which you feel you have a strong edge, unless your bankroll can handle it.

Finding a Suitable Sportsbook

Just about all online sportsbooks offer weekly lines on CFL games. But some go beyond just that, offering prop bets on player performances or futures like season win totals. Weigh your options by reviewing the betting options that each sportsbook offers on the CFL. 

We’ve compiled a list of the best sportsbooks for betting on the CFL and Grey Cup to help you find an online betting site that suits your wagering needs. 

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