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CFL Grey Cup Odds

Every year, in late November, nearly four million Canadians tune in to watch the CFL’s East and West Divisional winners face off for the Grey Cup. The awarding of the cup is a national tradition that has taken place since 1909, long before the CFL was even in existence.

There’s been a big uptick in CFL betting action in our sportsbook too, where you can bet on CFL gamelines and futures. The futures are where you’ll find Grey Cup betting odds for each team to hoist the hardware come November. Join us as we explain how to make the most popular bets in CFL in our sportsbook, but first, we’ll take a look at the intriguing history of football in Canada.

History of CFL and Grey Cup

Before the CFL was established, the Grey Cup was already in circulation. The ninth Governor-General of Canada, Earl Grey, began the tradition of awarding the cup, which he donated, to the top-performing amateur football team in 1909 and every year after. Football was played in Canada for roughly 50 years before that, although it looked more like rugby, and it stayed that way until the mid-century when it switched over to the grid-style of play more commonly associated with American football.

While college teams were the dominant forces early on, with the University of Toronto’s Varsity Blues winning the first three cups, professional teams began to outcompete them in various leagues until the late 1950’s when the Canadian Football Council replaced the IRFU and WIFU to create one unified league. Shortly after, the CFC reorganized to become the Canadian Football League and it took full rights to the Grey Cup. This move eliminated amateur teams from the main event.

The CFL attempted an American expansion in the 1990s that proved unsuccessful in the end. Five American teams were started and disbanded, and after near financial ruin, the CFL survived, partially based on an interest-free loan provided by the NFL in exchange for player access. In the early 2000s, the league repaid the loan and was no longer under contractual obligation with the NFL, and the years that followed saw tremendous growth and development that included many stadium rebuilds or renovations.

Now the CFL is looking to expand further with a 10th team. They’re looking at Halifax for a potential re-launch of the Atlantic Schooners—a team that originally tried to join the league for the 1984 season, but couldn’t secure sufficient resources for constructing a stadium at the time. Adding a 10th team to the league will help generate additional revenue and allow the league to have a more balanced schedule, as there are currently five Western teams and four Eastern teams.

How to Bet on CFL

Betting on CFL games has given fans an opportunity to capitalize on their team’s success and get more engaged in the action. Every game has CFL odds posted in our sportsbook under the Spread, Win and Total columns; we’ll use an example of a regular season match to explain the three straight bets.

Spread win Total
Colorado Avalanche –1.5 (+200) –115 O 6 (+105)
Tampa Bay Lightning +1.5 (–240) –105 U 6 (–125)

In this match, the Montreal Alouettes are favoured by 9 points on the spread; they’re also the home team, as can be seen by their position underneath their opposition. In order for a Montreal bet to pay out, they need to beat Edmonton by more than 9 points; if they win by exactly 9 points, the bet is a push, and all money is returned. If Edmonton loses by fewer than 9 points, they win (cover) the spread. Both teams have a payout of -110, meaning that for every $110 bet, you win $100.

The moneyline odds are in the Win column. Here, you’re simply betting on a team to win straight up; there’s no spread involved. Edmonton is the underdog with positive odds; a $100 bet would result in a $280 payout. Montreal is the favourite with negative odds; that means a $360 bet would pay $100.

The third column on the gameline indicates the totals. This is a bet on the total number of points scored by both teams combined exceeding or going under a prediction. In our example above, the total is listed at 49.5 points. You can take the “O” (for over) and bet that the actual total will be 50 or higher, or take the “U” (for under) and bet that it’ll be 49 or lower. You can bet on specific team totals too under the Team Totals menu.

Grey Cup odds can be found under the futures menu for CFL. For most of the season, all nine teams are available to win the upcoming Grey Cup. The odds are listed as “American odds”; however, you can switch over to decimal or fractional odds if you prefer. Any time a team has positive odds in the American odds format, the odds show how much you would win off of a $100 bet. For example, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are the +200 favourite after winning the last two Grey Cups, meaning that a $100 bet would yield a $200 payout.

FAQ about Grey Cup Odds

Q: Do CFL games include overtime for wagering purposes?

A: CFL bets placed on the full game and second half include overtime. A CFL bet placed specifically on the fourth quarter, however, doesn’t include overtime.

Q: Do CFL games have to go to the end to be official for wagering purposes?

A: A CFL game is considered “official” for wagering purposes after 55 minutes of play. However, for first half wagers to be official, the entire first half must be played.

Q: What kind of scores are valid for the prop: Will either team score three unanswered times in the game?

A: For this prop to win, a team must score three consecutive times in any the following ways: touchdown, field goal, or safety. Two-point conversions and the extra point following a touchdown are not included.

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