Hockey is definitely king among Canadian sports. However, you might be surprised to know that the Canadian Football League (CFL) is the country’s second-most-popular spectator sport. The CFL routinely draws lots of action in the CA sports betting market.
Launched in 1958, it features an East Division (four teams) and West Division (five teams). Each team plays an 18-game schedule that’s spread out over 21 weeks. Six of the nine teams make the playoffs, which culminate in the Grey Cup championship game. The Grey Cup is easily one of the biggest annual events for sports betting in Canada.
The CFL season spans from mid-June (opening week) to late November (Grey Cup). That said, you’ll have many opportunities to enjoy CFL betting throughout the year, and now you can visit some of the best new sports betting sites in CA and get in on the action.
You can also look forward to legal Canadian sports gambling thanks to the passage of C-218. Approved in June 2021, this legislation legalizes single-game betting in Canada (rather than just parlays). The CFL championed C-218 due to the increased viewership and revenue that comes along with legal sports wagering.
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The Canadian Football League offers a similar betting experience to the National Football League (NFL) and college football. Provided you have general knowledge of sports betting, then you shouldn’t experience any trouble picking up CFL betting.
However, Canadian football does have a few noteworthy differences compared to the NFL:
Assuming you already understand football, then you’ll quickly pick up these nuances when betting on CFL games. However, you should keep the differences in mind when wagering on the Canadian game.
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While certain rules differ between the CFL and NFL, the odds and betting processes don’t vary, which is why it is important that you understand the different odds formats. CFL betting odds are exactly like NFL odds.
The three types of CFL betting odds include American, decimal, and fractional. Most betting sites use American odds when listing lines.
Here’s an example:
With the Stampeders, you’d risk C$100 to win C$170 in profit. With the Tiger-Cats, you’d risk C$210 to win C$100 in profit.
Naturally, you’re risking more to win less on the favourite (Hamilton). Conversely, you’re betting less to win more on the underdog (Calgary). With American odds, the favoured team always has a plus (+) sign while the underdog carries a minus (-) sign.
As for placing wagers at CFL betting sites, everything begins with the signup and deposit process. You must sign up for an account before doing anything else. You can then proceed to choosing an available banking option and depositing.
Afterward, you visit the Canadian Football League section to look for available wagers. You can add one or more CFL bets to your betting slip.
Once satisfied, you submit the ticket and wait for the outcome. You should get into the habit of double and triple-checking your bet slip. All submitted betting tickets are final and cannot be taken back.
Canadian football offers a large range of bet types. You can wager on moneylines, spreads, totals and more. This variety of CFL bets keeps things entertaining and provides different ways to win money.
Moneyline betting is quite common in CFL wagering. It sees you place a straight-up bet on which football team will win a game. Online sportsbooks skew the odds to encourage action on both sides of a moneyline.
Here’s an example:
As seen above, the Roughriders are favoured and, thus, require greater risk for less money. Meanwhile, the underdog Lions offer a more-generous payout for a smaller bet. Of course, they also have a lower chance of winning.
Totals betting involves wagering on the combined score of two teams. You can either bet over or under the given point total.
Here’s an example:
When taking the over, you need the Blue Bombers and Redblacks to combine for 52 points or more. With the under, you need Winnipeg and Ottawa to score 51 points or less. As the -110 indicates, you’d wager C$110 to win C$100 in both instances.
The Canadian Football League generally features high-scoring games. The wider field encourages more passing. Additionally, the faster play clock leads to more overall plays.
You should take these unique traits into account when looking at totals betting odds. Furthermore, you want to be prepared for a high-scoring affair. CFL home teams average 27 points per game, and road teams average 24.5.
Next to moneylines, spread betting is perhaps the second-most-common form of CFL gambling. It assigns each team a number of points to cover during a game. The favourite must win by a certain amount of points, while the underdog must avoid losing by a specific number.
Here’s how spread betting looks:
As slight dogs, the Alouettes can lose by up to 3 points and still deliver a successful bet. The favoured Stampeders, meanwhile, need to win by 4 points or more.
The CFL odds on a point spread are usually -110 for both sides. However, you’ll occasionally see odds set lower (e.g. -108) or higher (e.g. -112).
Some CFL markets offer futures bets at the beginning or even middle of the season. A futures wager revolves around an outcome that will be decided in the distant future. For example, many online sportsbooks offer odds for Grey Cup betting. These betting odds will be available at the beginning of the season and will change throughout the season until the championship game.
Odds to win Grey Cup
A betting site may keep offering these CFL odds week after week. If so, they’ll adjust the odds to reflect the current standings. Assuming the Blue Bombers get off to a bad start, for example, they could drop to -400 odds of winning. The Lions, meanwhile, could start off hot and improve their championship odds to -550.
In addition to Grey Cup odds, sportsbooks can offer other types of futures too. For example, they might feature CFL betting odds on the season’s leading passer, receiving and rusher. The same principle applies in that you’re wagering on outcomes that’ll be decided at a much later date.
[prop ops list]
Proposition (“prop”) bets let you wager on outcomes that aren’t associated with final scores. They can include everything from a game’s leading passer to how many touchdowns will be scored.
Here’s an example on prop betting:
The number of available prop bets generally depends upon the profile of a game. Not surprisingly, the Grey Cup offers more prop betting opportunities than any other CFL game.
A parlay features multiple outcomes rolled into one bet. You must win all of the outcomes to win the wager.
Here’s an example of parlay betting :
The exact payout depends upon how many teams/outcomes you choose and the odds. Most sportsbooks let you put 2–12 outcomes in a single wager. You stand to win more money when adding extra outcomes, but your risk factor increases greatly with more teams.
In the example above, each point spread bet features -110 odds. The overall odds on the three teams at -110 are +600. Overall odds don’t come out so neatly, though, when adding moneylines to parlays.
Here’s an example:
The Hamilton selection gives you a strong chance to win at least one leg. However, you’re taking huge risks when adding Edmonton at +300 and BC at +255. You’ll be well rewarded if you do win, though, thanks to the +1950 overall odds.
Thanks to CFL online betting, you can place live wagers as a game is happening. Depending upon a game’s profile, you could enjoy dozens of live betting opportunities.
Examples of CFL live bets include:
The Canadian Football League doesn’t provide as many live betting opportunities as the NFL. Nevertheless, it still offers a fair number of chances to place live wagers. Just like with prop betting, the Grey Cup delivers the most chances for live bets. Other notable games—especially playoff contests—can also offer plenty of live wagering.
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You can find the best online sportsbooks for football betting by focusing on certain criteria. The following aspects are especially important when seeking a high-quality CFL betting site. They include everything from lucrative bonuses to licensing considerations.
The best odds refer to prices where sportsbooks don’t take as much juice (a.k.a. vig) from bets. Simply put, lower vig gives you a stronger chance of winning money. If one sportsbook offers the Toronto Argonauts at -160 and another at -150, then you want the second option.
Not all internet sportsbooks are equal when it comes to CFL lines. Some are more generous than others and consistently offer the best CFL bets. Assuming you’re looking for a better chance at winning money, then you definitely want a fair sportsbook. Luckily, plenty of online sportsbooks exist that feature competitive CFL odds.
Mobile Betting on the CFL
Betting markets are no longer confined to land-based locations. Instead, they’re available through smartphones, tablets, and computers.
Most sports gamblers today like the convenience of mobile betting markets. Therefore, you want to prioritize a sportsbook’s mobile product.
Any decent online sportsbook should offer compatibility for both Android and iOS devices. After all, these two operating systems make up roughly 99% of the mobile market.
A sportsbook doesn’t necessarily need to offer a dedicated Android and/or iOS app. However, it should at least feature browser-based betting with smooth navigation. In contrast, you want to avoid mobile sportsbooks that clutter their homepages with banner ads. The goal is to locate CFL and other betting markets without hassle.
Many internet sportsbooks offer a bonus when you first join and deposit at their sites. They’ll provide one or more of the following bonuses as part of a welcome package:
These offers help pad any potential winnings earned from a sportsbook. That said, you should look for CFL betting bonuses whenever possible.
You also want to seek sportsbooks that offer promotions beyond the welcome deal. Common promos include more risk-free bets, free bets, and parlay boosts. The latter increases your winnings on a successful parlay bet.
Terms and conditions (T&Cs) on bonuses/promos are important too. They determine how easy it’ll be for you to cash in on a CFL bonus. Simply put, you want operators that feature fair terms in comparison to the competition.
Rollover (a.k.a. wagering requirements) determines how much you must bet before withdrawing bonus funds. If one sportsbook features 8x rollover and another 5x rollover, then the latter offers the path of least resistance. Rollover is just one term to consider when reviewing the T&Cs. You should also look at the maximum bet allowed, market restrictions, minimum odds and more.
Any reputable online sportsbook will make sure that its website is secure. After all, it doesn’t want its CFL bettors getting hacked. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology is the most-popular way to protect websites. It’s high-level encryption technology that prevents third parties from stealing your personal and financial data.
Aside from securing its website, an internet sportsbook should also hold licensing. A license shows that a sportsbook is willing to be vetted by the relevant governing body. It also demonstrates that an operator will pay the necessary fees to serve a particular market.
Thanks to C-218, the Canadian market gives every province the opportunity to legalize sports betting. The Ontario sports betting market is currently the only CA jurisdiction with operators right now. However, other provinces figure to attract betting sites at some legal point in the near future. British Columbia could join Ontario when considering their large populations and the surge of sports betting since single-game wagering launched in August.
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At Gambling.com, we pride ourselves on pouring time into each and every review. Our staff wants to ensure that we offer informed recommendations on the best online sportsbooks for CFL betting. We closely examine all of the factors discussed above to get a composite opinion on each CA sportsbook.
Here’s a recap of the factors that we highly value:
You likely won’t feel like visiting multiple sportsbooks and analyzing them for all of these factors. After all, you could spend hours reviewing online sportsbooks yourself. We do this work for you by reviewing both existing and new betting sites.
When looking at the top CA online sportsbooks above, you can take comfort in knowing that plenty of thought goes into this list. We make it a mission to thoroughly examine every listed bookmaker and give an honest opinion.
The CFL may not be quite as famous nor televised as the NFL. However, it’s definitely a hit in the Great White North.
That said, you should consider this league if you’re into football or just sports betting in general. Canadian football features a lengthy season with many available gambling opportunities. It also offers three weeks’ worth of playoffs—culminating in the famed Grey Cup.
You can get started at a CFL betting site with relatively little time wasted. When signing up, you should look for any potential bonus opportunities too. An online sportsbook may give you a free bet, risk-free bet or deposit bonus after you’ve deposited.
Assuming you’re just starting out with CFL gambling, we recommend taking it slow in the beginning. You should dip your toes in with moneyline, totals, and/or point spread wagers. After gaining more confidence, you could branch out into futures, prop bets, live bets and/or parlays.
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