CFL Odds - Canadian Football League Lines
Check back during the season for odds, lines and point spreads
As a Canadian resident, I've seen my fair share of CFL games, and I can honestly tell you that the CFL as a product does not get the respect it deserves. The CFL is fast-paced, high-scoring and much more watchable than the product the NFL is putting out on a weekly basis. Sure, the players are smaller and "not as skilled", but they are still professional athletes who dedicate 95 percent of their time to playing the sport they love and trying to win a championship for their fanbase.
The casual football fan may not know this, but the CFL has been a building block for several players to make a name for themselves before moving on to the big stage. Guys like Warren Moon, Doug Flutie, Joe Theismann, and Cameron Wake are all CFL alumni, and each one of them (except Wake – he's still active) have achieved amazing accomplishments. Moon was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, Theismann led the Redskins to a Super Bowl and captured the MVP award, and Flutie was named the No. 1 CFL player in the history of the league.
So, let this be a lesson to all of you who don't give the CFL a second look. The CFL should be taken seriously, and so should the fact that it can be very profitable if you know how to properly wager on it.
Betting on the CFL Moneyline
As a concept, this is the simplest wager you can make on any game in any sport (except soccer). The moneyline betting option allows you to place a bet on the team you think is simply going to win the game. In the CFL, this bet includes overtime, but there have been a few instances where the game finishes tied at the end of OT and both sides get their money refunded.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers: +175 ML
Edmonton Eskimos: -155 ML
The moneyline betting odds correlate to the listed point spread. In this example, the Eskimos are the favorites, and you must wager $155 dollars to turn a profit of $100. If you are a homer or love betting on the underdog, the Bombers will return you $175 for every $100 you wager on them if they pull off the mini upset. If the game happens to end in a tie, bettors with moneyline tickets on either side will be refunded.
Betting on the Point Spread
Regardless of if I am talking about the NFL, CFL, NCAA, Arena League or upcoming XFL, the point spread is the most popular wagering option for bettors who love to test football betting skills. The point spread is an indication of which team is the favorite and underdog heading into their matchup.
A negative betting line such as -6.5 indicates that the team is expected to not only win the game outright but win by seven or more points. On the flip side, positive betting lines such as +6.5 indicate a team's underdog status. Not only is the underdog expected to lose, but they are expected to lose by at least a touchdown.
When looking over betting options for the CFL, you will come across lines that look like the following:
Winnipeg Blue Bombers +6.5 (-110)
Edmonton Eskimos: -6.5 (-110)
Depending on which side you select, your team must "cover the spread" in order for your wager to be graded a winner.
If you choose to take Winnipeg +6.5, you will be a winner if either of these three scenarios play out. The first being Winnipeg wins the game outright by any score. The second being Winnipeg losing by six of fewer points, thus "covering" the +6.5-point spread. And the third being if the game finishes as a tie.
If you decided to wager on the Eskimos as -6.5-point favorites, they must win by seven or more points in order for wager to be graded as a winner.
One thing to keep in mind when betting on the point spread is that the point spread moves up or down depending on how much action a certain side is receiving. If you are able to lock in your bet at -6.5 and the line goes down to -4.5, your ticket would only be a winner if your team won by seven or more points. If they won by five, they would have beat the closing spread of -4.5, but your odds are locked in from the time your ticket is printed or you click place bet.
Betting Game Totals
Despite being classified as the same sport, the NFL and CFL couldn't be more different. The CFL is played on a much bigger field and awards points for punts that aren't returned out of the end zone. The CFL also plays with just three downs, which makes it much more inducive to passing plays. Because of this, totals are typically higher than those in the NFL with the exception of a few games.
The CFL also features college-like overtime rules where both teams possess the ball at least once. None of that hybrid NFL nonsense. This means that OT could account for one, two, or possibly five scoring plays, which helps "over" bettors.
Let's look at an example of a game total:
Winnipeg Blue Bombers/Edmonton Eskimos – "Over" 58.5 -110, "Under" 58.5 -110
If you are to bet the "over" 58.5, there must be a total of 59 points or more scored in the game in order for you to be a winner. If there are 58 or fewer points scored, then those who bet on the "under" will cash their tickets.
If totals are whole numbers such as 55 or 60 and the total happens to land exactly on the number, your bet, regardless whether it's an "over" or "under" bet, will be graded as a push and your money will be returned to you.
Since the CFL is only a nine-team league, the advanced betting options are slim. There are, however, a few options that can prove profit to handicappers who take the time to understand team's weakness and strengths. It's almost impossible to do this with 32 NFL teams and more than 100 college programs.
This works almost exactly like the game total, but it revolves around one team instead of both. With the "team total" wagering option, you are essentially betting on whether you think Team X will score more or less than the line given out by the sportsbooks.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers Team Total: "Over" 33.5 -110, "Under" 33.5 -110.
In this case you have two options. You can bet them to score 34 or more points or 33 or fewer. The decision is ultimately up to you. This bet also includes overtime, unless otherwise stated in the betting rules provided by your sportsbook of choice.
The "first-half spread" betting option is a trickier form of betting the full-game point spread. This option takes into account the score at halftime in order to determine a winner. The first-half spread is usually half of what the full-game spread is.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers +3.5 1H
Edmonton Eskimos -3.5 1H
Depending on what side you are on, the score going into half time is what is used to determine a winner. If the score is 24-20 in favor of the Eskimos, bettors holding an Edmonton -3.51H ticket are winners since they were able to cover the -3.5- first-half spread.
As I mentioned above, the first-half point spread is typically half of what the full-game line is.
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