Football is football, and you know football. So betting on one league isn’t much different than betting on another.
Those are the words of the inexperienced sports bettor who is setting himself up for a really bad week of results. While the fundamentals of the game are the same, as is the structure of betting, each league comes with its own set of unique data that must be considered before placing bets.
For the Canadian Football League, specifically, this includes unique rules that result in different offensive strategies than the NFL, as well as far fewer teams and games in which to place bets.
Betting on the CFL isn’t as widespread as betting on its American counterpart, but the types of wagers that you can find are the same bets you’ll see on an NFL Sunday. Although inside each type of bet you can place, there are unique factors to consider.
A seven-point spread in Canadian football works just like it does in American football. But that doesn’t mean it’s equal between the leagues.
Seven points is the magic number because of the obvious connection to a touchdown (six points) and extra point (one point). This is shared between the two countries, as are field goals and safeties.
But in Canada, they have what is called a single or rouge, which awards the kicking team one point if they can prevent the return team from clearing the end zone.
With an average margin of victory in the CFL at less than three points total, that one-point scoring play can make a huge difference in your bet.
Because of a longer field, 12 players a side, and only three downs to get a first down, instead of the American four, the CFL also sees a different average point total than what sports bettors are used to in the NFL.
In 2019, the NFL averaged just over 45 points per game, which was actually down from 2018. In 2019, the CFL averaged 43 total points per game.
As always, do your research before assuming that the greater passing of the CFL means a high total on over/under betting. With different rules, a different field, and different coaching philosophies, you get different results. Know your numbers before placing any bets.
Understanding the different rules of the sport and how they influence the final score, and your bottom line, is only half the battle. Knowing the trends is also important in formulating a successful sports betting strategy.
Human nature gravitates to a winner. We like to bet on the better team, just like we like to bet for higher scoring. In almost every major sport that you can gamble on, the evidence for this betting psychology is overwhelming.
So when looking for a good sports betting strategy, placing bets contrary to the way the public is leaning is a great way to go. There is a reason more and more bookmakers are popping up.
It’s profitable. By and large, the public loses, so why would you want to follow them?
Remember, you only need to win 53% of your bets to be a winner in the long run.
A good gambler is always looking for an advantage in the betting odds. They hunt tirelessly for an exploitable point spread.
But keep in mind that with just nine teams and only four games per week, finding that advantage is much more challenging.
When you can fit all four game previews onto one screen, games don’t hide - unlike in college football, where you can find point spreads that garnered very little attention.
So don’t fall into the trap that some CFL bettors do. With only four games to play, they often feel the pressure to bet on all four. Only do that if you have the bankroll for it and the intel to justify it.
All of the major online sportsbooks offer CFL games to wager. But if your online betting fun includes prop betting on the Grey Cup, you might have to dig a little deeper to find the right book for you.
One of the giants of Daily Fantasy Sports that has since transitioned into a fully functioning sportsbook, FanDuel offers a complete range of betting options, including futures bets and propositions. They also offer live betting on CFL games.
FanDuel is online, available on mobile devices, and in various retail locations across the country.
The number one sportsbook in America, William Hill also offers live CFL wagering, the full menu of game wagers, as well as season proposition bets and Grey Cup props. William Hill is currently available in nine U.S. states.
For many people who grew up around American football, the CFL is still a bit of an unknown. And even if you’ve watched it, or even wagered on it, you still might have some questions.
There is no wrong or right answer to this, other than to say don’t place wagers on games you haven’t researched. And if you send the appropriate amount of time getting the information about a particular Canadian Football League matchup, place your wager with confidence.
Yes, absolutely. The rivalries are quite heated and, in many cases, feel more like college football rivalries in their intensity.
One of the biggest rivalries is between Winnipeg and Saskatchewan, and when those two match up, almost anything can happen.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts are also bitter foes with just 40 miles separating the two. When betting on the CFL, always know the rivalries.
Very much so. The Grey Cup is a massive event in Canada and quite often outdraws the Stanley Cup Finals and the Super Bowl on Canadian television. It’s also packed full of proposition bets very much like the Super Bowl, making it one of the premier betting events anywhere on the sports calendar.
Image Credits: Harry How / Getty Images North America / Getty Images via AFP
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