Betting on CFL Games
The top betting sport for US players at any of the big online sportsbooks is going to be the NFL. Unfortunately, at this time of the year the new season of games is still three months away. One viable alternative to waiting it out until the 2018 NFL regular season is up and running is to turn to football ‘north of the border’ in the CFL.
In-depth reviews all of the different football betting options,
The new CFL 18-game regular season kicks things off on Thursday, June 14 with the Edmonton Eskimos traveling to Winnipeg to face off against the Blue Bombers. This is the first of four games on the Week 1 schedule for the nine-team league. Football is football when it comes to betting on the games with pointspreads and total lines. However, the CFL style of play given the difference in the rules with the NFL version requires adjustments when it comes to handicapping the head-to-head matchups.
The glaring difference between the CFL and the NFL is the sheer amount of teams and games. With a nine-team league playing an 18-game schedule, familiarity with one another becomes an important factor to take into consideration. The CFL schedule offers any number of home-and- home betting opportunities with two teams facing each other twice in the span of a week. This puts some extra emphasis on recent betting trends along with each team’s current form.
A NFL roster runs deep in talent from a team’s top player down to the 53 rd man. Injuries can still have an impact on the betting lines, but most times this is limited to the quarterback position. In the CFL, a key injury here and there at any position should be taken into consideration. If an offense loses its top wide receiver, this could have a much bigger impact on the passing game than it might in the NFL. Another thing to keep in mind is that the CFL injury reports tend to mirror the NHL’s with vague descriptions such as ‘lower body injury’ as opposed to specifics such as ‘left knee ACL strain’ that you would normally find in the NFL game reports.
The biggest difference in the rules between the NFL and the CFL is the number of downs that constitutes a series. In the CFL, you still need to gain 10 yards for a first down, but you only get three plays to try and move the chains as opposed to four in the NFL.
Add in a longer and wider playing field (110 yards long and 65 yards wide) than the NFL (100 yards long and 53 1/3 yards wide) and you quickly understand why any CFL game is dominated by pass plays. This, in turn, tends to lead to higher total lines in light of higher scoring games. Also impacting the higher scores in the CFL is 12 players on offense (and defense) including the use of two slotbacks as opposed to a tight end.
Since there are only nine CFL teams to handicap, you can quickly get to know each team’s strengths and weakness, especially at the crucial quarterback position. It is common for the top quarterbacks in the CFL to throw for close to 6000 yards in a single season. Last year, Edmonton’s Mike Reilly led the CFL in passing with 5,830 total passing yards. The Eskimos averaged 28.3 points per game. Four of the five teams that make up the CFL’s West Division scored more than 500 total points over the course of 18 games.
Finally, larger line movements in both the spread and the total are more common in the CFL. It does not take that big of a bet to move the numbers a few points in either direction. If you really like a CFL betting line when it is first released, then you should lock it in with an actual bet.