You may not have any interest in betting Canadian Football League (CFL) games, but then again, you didn’t have any interest in eating green eggs and ham either, did you?
And look how that turned out: a best-seller that’s made millions and changed the way the world thinks.
Seriously though, betting on the CFL may not be the most mainstream of all activities, but that’s exactly what gives it charm—and potential profitability. With drastically less action on these games than on the typical NFL or NCAAF match-up, the bookmakers can actually fall asleep at the wheel sometimes, to your advantage as you spot out these erroneous odds.
But you’ll only be able to capitalize if you have a good idea of how to bet on the CFL. This kind of knowledge is mainly available to Canadians who follow the league and can watch the games on TV, so this is one instance where being Canadian can really pay off.
Different CFL Rules Create a Different CFL Betting Game
If you’ve never watched a CFL game, you probably should before you bet on one.
And then, once you watch one, you should probably spend some time thinking about how the rule differences between the NFL and the CFL can impact your betting choices when you bet on CFL.
Most of these rule differences are geared towards making the CFL a higher scoring, “more entertaining brand of football.” For instance, teams are only given three downs instead of four, leading to many more passing plays, and also the touchdown end zones are bigger.
These rules can create good over/under betting opportunities, as well as big point spreads that may be worth taking when one team is effective offensively and the other is not. Defense may not quite be an afterthought in the CFL, but offensive firepower is definitely at a premium.
Also worth noting is the fact that in the CFL, there are only eight teams in the entire league. This means that CFL teams play each other multiple times per season, giving the student of this league ample chance to evaluate match-ups from all angles.
Injuries to Key Players Are a Key Factor
In the NFL, the loss of a key player to injury may be a chance for a talented back-up to start a wondrous career. Of course NFL injuries can affect point spreads, but NFL teams are so deep, it’s rarely wise to make bets based upon the health of one player (unless it’s a QB).
In the CFL, teams are not nearly so stacked with talent. Therefore, if a CFL team loses its key player, this may be an opportunity to bet that team’s opponent, because the chances are that the team is not going to be able to replace the key player with anyone approaching his talent level.
Generally speaking, injuries to individual players are more impactful in the CFL than in the NFL. This is especially true of running backs; if a CFL team loses a star RB, be wary of its future.
The so-called “ratio requirements,” which limit the number of American players that can be on CFL rosters, contribute to this scarcity of talented back-ups. The league mandates that a certain number of players on each team must be Canadian.
Like Betting on Football During the Summer? Then Bet the CFL
The most appealing aspect of betting on the CFL for many sports bettors is the chance to bet on football when no other football is going on, during the summer, when there are limited other options if you don’t like betting on baseball.
The CFL season starts in July, so if you’re hankering for a football betting fix, the CFL may be the only show in town.
However, you may have to live in Canada to actually watch these games, unless you have satellite TV that picks up the local channels that broadcast CFL games. Another option, if you’re lazier than all that, is to follow a Canadian handicapper who is an expert on CFL betting.