Why Ontario Proline Doesn’t Offer CFL Point Spread Betting

If you live in Ontario and want to bet on the Argos at Proline, you'll have to bet on them to win the game by 4 points or more, not to cover the spread. (Photo credit: christopherharte / Foter / CC BY-SA)

Ontario Proline doesn’t offer point spread betting on the Canadian Football League because of the “volatility” of the market.

That’s what I found out with a quick call to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission one day after visiting the Ontario Proline website and not seeing any point spreads up for that week’s CFL games.

The OLG representative I spoke to confirmed that Ontario Proline does not offer point spread betting on “lower-scoring games” like the CFL, Major League Baseball and the NHL. Ontario Proline will, however, continue to offer point spread betting on the National Football League, NCAA football and NCAA basketball.

When I pointed out to the OLG rep that CFL games are in fact higher-scoring than NFL games, she hesitated before saying something about the “volatility” of CFL games. Not entirely sure what that means, but I’m sure it’s just one more way that Ontario Proline ensures it tilts the odds in its favour.

Sportsbooks best option for CFL bettors in Ontario

It’s also one more reason why, if you live in Ontario and you like betting on the CFL, you should be using at least one online sportsbook.

Ontario Proline only allows you to bet on sides (visitor, home or tie, with any game decided by three points or less ruled as a tie) and totals, and you have to bet on at least three outcomes on your ticket.

Online sportsbooks like Bet365, Bodog and Pinnacle will take one bet at a time and offer you point spreads, moneylines, totals, first-half wagering, second-half wagering and more — with much better payouts as well.

B.C, West, Atlantic and Quebec offer CFL point spread betting

While Ontario Proline doesn’t offer point spread betting on CFL games, Proline in other provinces does offer that option.

I hopped onto the Western Canada Proline and Quebec Mise-O-Jeu sites and noticed that they like to inflate the point spreads of favourites. The B.C. Lions, Toronto Argonauts and Calgary Stampeders were all three-point favourites that week in Vegas and at online sportsbooks, but they were all 3.5-point favourites on Western Canada Proline and Mise-O-Jeu.

That half-point difference may not sound like much, but the difference between 3 points and 3.5 points in football is massive. Instead of pushing your bet when your team wins by a field goal, you’ll lose by half a point (the hook) if you bet on the favourite with Proline. Then again, if you like the underdog, getting that extra half-point is a nice plus with Proline. It’s not enough of an advantage to negate the fact that you have to parlay your bets or that you won’t get paid nearly what you should if you win, but at least it’s something.

The Alouettes – 11-point favourites in Vegas and at online sportsbooks — were 12.5-point favourites with Western Canada Proline and Mise-O-Jeu in Quebec.

British Columbia Proline and Atlantic Proline had actually given Lions’ bettors a break this week, forcing B.C. to lay only 2.5 points to the Tiger-Cats instead of 3. They had the Argos and Stampeders as 3.5-point favourites and listed the Alouettes as 11.5-point favourites.