I’m a proud Canadian, but I’ve never really been into the Canadian Football League or CFL betting.
Well, maybe I enjoyed the CFL game when I was a youngster and I didn’t really know the difference between three downs and four.
But once I concluded the NFL was both bigger and better, I became an American football disciple. Even a few years ago, when I covered the 100th Grey Cup as a newspaper reporter, my interest was limited.
In 2016, I decided to give the CFL another shot. I researched the league to write my 2016 CFL preview and make 3 CFL futures bets, and I’ve been relying on that preview as well as newspaper coverage and my own observations to make weekly CFL betting picks.
And I’m glad I did. Not only have the picks done well (as I’m writing this, we are 9-4 against the spread for +4.6 units through 8 weeks of the 2016 season), but I’ve also found myself looking forward to the games.
Yeah, it’s not the NFL. And once the calendar turns to September, there’s no question my attention will turn to American football – both the professional and college game.
But I’ll still be keeping an eye on the CFL through to the Grey Cup.
Here are 3 reasons you might want to give CFL betting a try as well.
1. The CFL Has Soft Betting Lines
NFL spends millions to keep gambling on its games illegal. Meanwhile, online casino has ad ON THE FIELD of a CFL game.
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) November 23, 2014
Many people consider the NFL as the hardest sport for gamblers to win money at.
The biggest reason isn’t necessarily that the NFL is so unpredictable or that there’s so much parity, although that’s also probably part of it.
With so much money bet on the NFL every week (a Forbes article projected $93 billion would be wagered on the NFL and college football in 2015), sportsbooks have to be absolutely certain that their point spreads and totals are bang on.
Also, even if an NFL line is severely out of whack, you can be sure that the line will soon be moved to its proper place by the “sharp” bettors. In other words, if sportsbooks are getting hammered by sharp money on the Packers -3, they’ll quickly move the point spread up to -3.5, -4 or higher until the big money stops coming in.
Neither of these two things are nearly as true in CFL betting. Sportsbooks are busy preparing for NFL season in the summer and don’t put nearly as much effort into their CFL lines, and there’s no comparing the CFL betting volume to the NFL.
You can take advantage of the much softer lines in the CFL, especially if you bet them early before any of the lines change.
2. There’s Not As Much Mainstream Media Coverage
— 3rdand1Football (@3rdand1Canada) July 9, 2016
When it comes to football, the NFL is king. If there’s a queen, it’s NCAA football.
The CFL isn’t necessarily the court jester, but mainstream media outlets (particularly in the U.S., where a lot of the football betting lines are set) treat the CFL as if it is.
You’ll see debates about Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers on the ESPN screens in March, but you won’t see much discussion about the CFL during the actual season. (Though ESPN is now carrying more CFL games than ever before, they rarely feature the CFL on Sportscenter.)
Less mainstream media coverage can work to your advantage, though. With meaningful information such as injuries and other factors less available to the general public, you can gain an edge with a little bit of effort.
The TSN coverage of the CFL is pretty decent, but you can also find some very valuable nuggets by searching the newspapers of each CFL city.
The Edmonton Journal, Winnipeg Free Press, Calgary Herald, Vancouver Province and Regina Leader-Post are among the papers we look at regularly for CFL information.
3. Football Is Football
If there’s anything that sucks about football, it’s that the season is so short.
The NFL season starts in September and is over by the first week of February, while the college season is even shorter – ending the regular season in early December.
CFL football kicks off in late June. Even though it ends in November, it’ll have given you an extra two and a half months of pigskin to bet on.
Football from June to February? Yeah, we’re down with that – whether it’s three downs or four.