The Canadian Football League (CFL) is essentially the NFL of Canada and has been around since 1958. Though it is small with just nine teams and two divisions, they play an 18-game season over a 21 week schedule. After that they have their playoffs and Grey Cup Championship which is the equivalent of the CFL’s Super Bowl. The top six teams make the playoffs and it takes three weeks.
The small size of the league means making lines takes that much less time-consuming for oddsmakers, and since bettors are down to bet on anything that might have an edge anyway, the CFL is very much an easy find in the world of online sports betting.
There are a million sports betting sites out there, and the CFL is part of many of them like any other major sport. Some examples are:
Most of the sites just list CFL with their betting options, but some have it under American Football. The question is more who doesn’t carry the CFL than who does.
To a casual bettor it may seem like such a secondary sport and it sure is next to the NFL. But given that it is the highest level of Canadian football and plenty of people enjoy watching it, it is very standard at this point for it to be available at least online. It would probably also do well in American casinos and we’re surprised it isn’t there yet.
Sportsbooks are liable to charge far more juice on the lesser known sports that receive little demand for action, but since the CFL is very much a staple for online gambling, the lines read like the standard NFL lines with a spread, moneyline, and over/under. If you want to bet the spread, you still pay the typical -110. But you’ll also see the occasional -115, -105, along with other unique variances like -108, 109, 111, or 112.
Making a line for the first half and second half is a workload most books are comfortable handling, so that option is to be expected for the CFL. However, if you are into live betting which is betting on games as they progress, that can vary for each site. Live betting is still a relatively new type of bet, but as its popularity grew quickly so too has its expansion.
Not everyone has it though, and the ones that do don’t necessarily offer it besides for the top American sports. With that said, we advise you check to be sure by either clicking on the live betting tab to see what’s available or inquiring with customer service through the live chat box if they have one.
Between the sites listed above and all the other sportsbooks that carry the CFL, there are a couple that stand out. We took a look at some of the biggest online sportsbooks and based our top picks on the company’s reputation, betting options, other sports markets offered and more.
Our first pick for CFL betting is Sportsbook.com. Like most online books, accessing the lines is easy as CFL is listed alphabetically on a column on the left side of the screen. However, what makes this book’s CFL lines exceptional is when you click on it, it immediately brings up separate tabs for betting on the standard game line, lines for the 1st half, 2nd half, 1st quarter, over/unders for each individual team in their upcoming game, and the Grey Cup.
What is also very convenient about Sportbsook.com is when you look at each specific part of the line, you don’t have to look at everything else. Sportsbook.com also offers live betting on the CFL and this is a non-standard practice. So, between the easy to read lines and the wide variety of options, Sportsbook.com is a cut above the rest for CFL bettors.
The other site we most recommend for betting the CFL is Sportsbetting.ag. Like Sportsbook.com, the betting menu is easy to read. Sportsbetting.ag has a tab that says football, and this brings up lines for all of its football leagues.
In addition to the standard lines you can also bet on the first half, the first quarter, and live betting is also available. If you have questions about the site, you can inquire with customer service in the live chat box any time of day. They are very helpful and you do not need to have an account to do so.
The question of how much can you bet is only going to be asked by those who like to go heavy. If you are going to bet on something that’s very unusual to find (like badminton or minor league baseball), your max bet is going to be capped at something way smaller than what you’re used to.
This is because if there is a sport that doesn’t generate much action to begin with, sportsbooks will eventually find themselves in an uncomfortable position of having to handle a game where most of the action is on one side. And if a bunch of people are suddenly loading up on an unpopularly bet sport, there is an above average chance they are sharp bettors who know what they’re doing, hence why the sportsbook only lets you bet so much.
Since the CFL is not exclusively made up of players who are the best of the best (and this goes for any sport below the top shelf), that means the gaps in the better players and teams is going to be wider than they are at the pros because some CFL athletes are probably close to NFL status while others have absolutely no shot.
It really seems sometimes like the best NFL team is lightyears ahead of the worst one. And while in many ways they are, should the top team not show up when the other one does, the superior team is going to get manhandled because they are still playing a team full of players that made it to the top level. This is not as likely to happen in a lesser league as extremely or as frequently if a superior opponent is having an off day because if you stink then you stink.
We initially thought betting on the CFL might put a small cap on how much you can bet, but since it is an easy league to find you can count on it being treated like the other sports. Your betting limit will be based on your account status or if you had requested a limit increase. It won’t be less just because it’s the CFL.