Betting on the CFL is a lot like the league itself: the action never seems to stop

Photo courtesy: Alex Lupul/

There are unique qualities to the CFL that makes it stand alone. 

For starters, it’s three-down football and with twelve men playing for each team, the 110-yard field and 20-yard end zones, the Canadian game is vastly different from its NFL counterpart. 

“It’s always good to watch the games,” former NFL wide receiver Nate Burleson, currently an analyst with the NFL Network, said. “When it comes on the NFL Network, I always find myself either sitting down to watch it or recording it to watch it later.”

Burleson comes by his love for the CFL naturally. His father Al was a defensive back for seven seasons with the Calgary Stampeders. Nate was born in Calgary.

The CFL’s unlimited motion and larger playing field lends the competition to being more of a wide-open affair. Three-down football demands that offensive schemes be extremely creative.

While watching CFL action unfold, Burleson admits to wondering whether he would’ve possessed the stamina to run the many pass patterns demanded of a CFL receiver.

“There’s definitely a lot of room, but there’s an awful lot of running, too,” Burleson said. “That’s one thing I always think about – would I have been able to go in motion and do that the whole game? Those guys are in good shape.”

A Canadian bettor’s game

Another facet the CFL offers is that it tends to be a wonderful game upon which to wager. 

The NFL will always be king when it comes to betting on pro football but the CFL can also earn a determined bettor a princely sum.

While the majority of pro sports are populated by teams numbering in the 30s, the CFL is a tight nine-team loop. Being on top of all that’s going on within the CFL is not nearly as demanding as staying informed about 32 NFL teams. 

There are usually four games a week on the CFL schedule, so prep time to decipher which way to stay on top of the CFL betting odds isn’t overwhelming. Learning the league, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each team, shouldn’t prove to be time-consuming. And that factor can turn betting on the CFL into a rewarding experience.

Weathering the storm

As with all forms of football, dealing with the elements is a huge factor when it comes to wagering on CFL games. The regular season gets underway in the stifling summer heat. By the time the squads are ramping up for post-season play, the bitter cold of November has set upon the league.

Just one team – the B.C. Lions – plays in the climate-controlled comfort of an indoor stadium at B.C. Place. Unlike the NFL’s Super Bowl, the Grey Cup — the CFL’s championship game — is not played in places where the weather is going to be warm and sunny. 

The 1962 Grey Cup in Toronto was contested over two days when a dense fog halted play on Saturday. The final 9:29 of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ 28-27 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats was played on Sunday. It was dubbed the Fog Bowl. 

In 1977, a heavy snowfall was followed by sub-zero temperatures, freezing the Astro Turf at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. The hometown Alouettes put staples in the soles of their shoes for traction and stapled the Edmonton Eskimos by a 41-6 count and become known as the Ice Bowl. 

Grey Cup futures

You’ll find CFL betting odds at all leading online sportsbooks. There’s almost never a time when there isn’t an opportunity to place a wager on the CFL.

Currently, you’ll find Grey Cup future book odds at all of the top sports betting sites. At Sports Interaction, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are the 4.40 betting favorites to win the 2020 Grey Cup. Hamilton lost 33-12 to Winnipeg in last year’s Grey Cup game. 

Over the past seven seasons, six different CFL franchises have won the Grey Cup, so it’s good to think outside the box when betting on Grey Cup futures. The last team to win back-to-back titles was the Alouettes in 2009-2010.

Four of the last six Grey Cups were decided by margins of less than a converted touchdown.

Other types of CFL bets

On Grey Cup day, bettors will find a variety of prop wagers offered. There will be in-game props, such as who will score the first touchdown and non-game related plays, including the over/under on the length of O Canada prior to kickoff.

Every CFL game offers the standard moneyline, point spread and total wagering. But there will be also game-related props provided all season long. 

As well, live or in-play wagers allow bettors to make plays on what the next play might be, which team will score next, or which quarterback will throw the next touchdown or interception. 

In fact, betting on the CFL is a lot like the CFL itself: the action never seems to stop.