New CFL Rule Changes Add Appeal to Betting the Total Line
The difference between NFL games and its counterpart to the north in the CFL has always been striking. Canadian football is played on a bigger field with only three plays to gain a first down. These two major differences have always favored the passing game and higher scoring contests.
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The CFL just went through the review process for the upcoming season and announced nine different rule changes that will go into effect in 2022. Many of the changes are designed to increase scoring and improve the overall flow of the games.
These changes were driven by the fact that scoring has been on the decline in the CFL the past few seasons. The average total score of a CFL game dipped to 43.1 points in 2021. Just two seasons earlier, that same game total averaged out to be 49.5 points. This reflects a substantial decrease of 12.9%.
Since most football fans and bettors love to watch high-scoring games, the CFL decided to take the proper steps to boost its current scoring numbers.
Darren Hackwood is the associate vice president of officiating for the league. He added the following comments on the rule changes in a recent interview posted on CFL.ca:
“We want to make sure that we’re doing what’s right for the game. At the same time, if (the changes) work out we can add to them next year. I was kind of concerned what the reception might be, ‘well you’re not doing anything.’ It definitely was refreshing to get some positive feedback.”
The process to change the existing rules consisted of a presentation to the nine CFL head coaches prior to final approval. Through their feedback, the new rules were adopted with the intention of not changing “the fabric of the game.”
One of the biggest rule changes involves the placement of the hash marks. By moving them closer together, they will now be nine yard apart as opposed to 17. This brings the far receiver more into play.
CFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Damon Allen played 12 season’s in the league. He offered the following insight on this subtle change:
“That’s a throw that not many can do. You see it in our game. Nobody throws across the field. That’s what all the defenses are doing these days – they’re packing the middle, packing the boundary and forcing you to throw across the field. You have to be able to throw that field-side out, field-side hook.”
Kickoffs will be adjusted by five yards to a team’s 30-yard line as opposed to the 35-yard line. Following a field goal or one-point score, the opposing team will start their next offensive possession from their own 40-yards line as opposed to the 35-yard line.
Adding more variety to innovative play calling, a team may have two quarterbacks in the 12-player offensive lineup.
There was some consideration in adding the fourth down to an offensive possession to mirror the NFL. That rule was not changed but it has not been ruled out for future adjustments.
Changing the rules to enhance scoring will also have an impact on Oddsmakers setting the total lines for CFL games this season. Adjusting the numbers will be a work in progress for the first few weeks of the league’s 18-game regular season schedule.
BetRegal CEO Mike Mirtl added his thoughts on adjusting the total lines:
“The CFL is a pass-first league and the rules implemented certainly continue the emphasis on scoring and offense. Anytime there are changes in the rules, there is a period of adjustment.”
The recent launch of commercial sportsbook operators in Ontario should add to the excitement of betting on CFL games this season throughout Canada’s most populated province.
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