Betting On The Canadian Football League

Although a fully-fledged mobile betting market is still some ways away, Canada’s sports betting future looks bright. With the passage of bill C-218, single event or single-game sports wagering is now possible throughout Canada. However, individual Canadian provinces must still legalize the activity and launch their own sports betting markets.

Once sports betting is legalized across the country, you can bet that many Canadians will want to put their money down on Canadian Football League matches. Canadian football is one of the nation’s most popular sports. This page will break down everything you need to know about betting on CFL matches and players as the sports betting industry develops.

Canadian Football League Odds At The Best Sportsbooks

Odds for in football league are primarily calculated the same way that they are for other sports and in other countries. Player data, win ratios, and other attributes are taken into account by professional line makers or line-making algorithms.

Then, Canada’s sports wagering platforms (and eventual mobile apps) will take that data and use it to come up with enjoyable, potentially profitable wagers for both sides of a bet. This way, both underdog and favorite bettors can expect to win a good amount of cash if they are correct.

Odds are calculated and displayed in easy-to-understand formats. For instance, odds for moneyline wagers on Canadian football league games could be displayed in the following two ways:

  • Team A (+120) vs. Team B (-150)
  • Team A (2.2) vs. Team B (1.66)

The first example is displayed in the American odds format. An easy way to understand these odds are through $100 bets or adjusting for winnings. Placing a $100 wager on Team A (+120) would win $120 plus the initial bet. Placing a $150 wager on Team B (-150) would win $100 plus the initial bet.

The second example is displayed in the Decimal odds format. This is common across Canadian sportsbooks and other international offerings. It provides the same odds as the first example, just in a different format.

Again, payout is easily understood in $100 bets. Placing $100 on Team A (2.2) would win $120 plus the initial bet. Placing $100 on Team B (1.66) would win $66.67 plus the initial bet.

Team A is the underdog team and is rated least likely to win. Team B is the favorite team to win and is most likely to be victorious according to statistics. However, odds can change their appearance based on the wagers they are paired with. You can find more information about wager types on Canadian football league games below.

Where Can You Bet On The Canadian Football League?

For quite a while, betting on a single football game (or any other single event in sports) was not allowed throughout Canada’s official sports betting organizations and platforms. However, this has recently changed, and many Canadian provinces are already jumping at the opportunity to offer CFL bets like never before.

In Canada, sports wagering is handled at the provincial level. That means each province has its own regulatory organization that determines where sports bettors can wager and what betting platforms will be available.

For example, Ontario’s gaming industry is regulated by the AGCO, or Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Let’s break down how you can place bets on the CFL both online and in retail contexts.

Online Sportsbooks

In Canada, there are different online wagering platforms you can check out right now. Each platform is available for different provinces. The online betting platforms available include:

Saskatchewan, which is under the regulation of the Western Canada Lottery Corporation, plans to release single-event wagering on its online Sport Select platform sometime soon. The same holds true for all remaining Western Canadian territories.

Ontario will likely legalize third-party or commercial sports betting operators sooner or later. When this occurs, you’ll be able to place bets on Canadian Football League games and other sporting events through commercial betting platforms and mobile apps, not just the official provincial sites or platforms.

For example, the CFL has already partnered with BetRegal, a Canadian sports betting company already active in Europe. While an official launch date for this mobile app hasn’t yet been announced, Ontario is looking to launch sports betting apps by the end of 2021 or early 2022 at the latest. It remains to be seen what other provinces decide for commercial sportsbooks and their availability.

As you can see, most Canadians already have access to a few government-run sports betting platforms. Some offer special deposit bonuses for new users to take advantage of.

However, more choice is always a good thing as it drives competition. Check this page regularly for more information about upcoming online betting platforms where you can place wagers for Canadian Football League matches!

Retail Sportsbooks

Aside from online sportsbooks, many Canadian residents can also place single event wagers or parlay wagers on Candian Football League matches at retail sportsbooks and casinos.

For now, only Canadians in Quebec can place single event wagers at retail locations, like casinos or sporting stadiums. That said, more retail sportsbooks are sure to crop up once third-party operators arrive in Canada and reach partnership agreements with Native American tribes, commercial casino companies, and more.

For example, there are 28 licensed casinos and racing centers throughout the Alberta territory. These already offer table games, slots, and other entertainment options. They would make perfect choices for spots to install retail sportsbooks run by DraftKings, FanDuel, and more.

What Kinds Of Bets Can Be Placed On The Canadian Football League?

Once retail and online sportsbooks launch in greater numbers, you’ll be able to place a wide variety of bets on CFL games and players.

Moneyline

Moneyline bets are the standard wager type that some betting platforms already offer! These are simple wagers where you just bet on which team will win or lose a match.

Spread

Spread bets are common and popular bets for football and other games. They involve “betting the spread”, which means you either bet that the underdog team wins the game outright or loses by a certain number of points OR that the favorite team wins the game by a certain number of points. 

Totals

Totals bets are popular since they don’t involve betting on a winner outright. Instead, the oddsmakers give out a total points value for a given match and you have to decide whether the combined points from both teams will be above or below that predicted total.

Parlay

Most Canadians are already familiar with parlay bets as those wagers were the only types available for quite some time. They involve multiple games or events strung together into a single large wager. You have to get all the bets or “legs” correct in order to win your payout. It’ll be interesting to see how popular these bets are now that single-event wagering has recently become available.

What Is A Canadian Football League Futures Bet?

CFL futures bets are already available in many Canadian provinces and within commercial sportsbooks in the United States. Futures bets are wagers on future football league games and events, like the Grey Cup winner (equivalent to the NFL’s Super Bowl) and who wins the East or West Division.

With these bets, the earlier you place your wager, the bigger your potential payout since the odds will be more against you.  CFL championship bets will be a favorite futures wager type for many bettors. Some sportsbooks will offer odds for divisional winners and Grey Cup appearance.

In Canada, all of the lottery sportsbooks offer futures bets for the Grey Cup champion. Of those offering single-event wagering, PlayNow is the only one that offers additional markets for finalists in the Grey Cup and a winner for the East and West Division.

For “Grey Cup Finalists,” bettors select both teams that will represent their respective divisions in the championship game. For example, Winnipeg/Toronto has the most favorable odds at +200. Replacing Toronto with Hamilton would increase those odds to +400. Here are odds offered by PlayNow heading into Week 13.

PlayNow Odds for CFL Futures2021 Grey Cup WinnerWest Division WinnerEast Division Winner
Winnipeg+120-300
Toronto+550+130
Saskatchewan+550+450
Hamilton+650+200
Montreal+650+200
Calgary+750+550
BC+1300+700
Edmonton+25000+2500

In the United States, futures for the 2021 Grey Cup winner is available at multiple sportsbooks. None offer futures bets for division winners at this time. For comparison, here are futures bets offered by BetMGM heading into Week 13.

2021 Grey Cup WinnerBetMGM Odds
Winnipeg+135
Toronto+600
Montreal+600
Saskatchewan+650
Hamilton+650
Calgary+800
BC+1400
Edmonton+20000

Ottawa has fallen out of playoff contention is no longer offered at sportsbooks. Edmonton will likely be in a similar situation over the next few weeks.

How To Place Prop Bets On Canadian Football League

Prop or proposition bets may also be available at sportsbooks in the future. With proposition bets, you bet on specific events or actions within a game, not the game outcome overall. For example, you may bet that a Canadian football player makes a touchdown or makes a unique pass.

At this time, sportsbooks in Canada and the United States do not offer prop bets for teams or players.

How To Bet On The Canadian Football League

If you want to bet on the Canadian football league right now, you have a couple of different ways to do so. People in some provinces can visit a casino or racing center that has a sports wagering outlet. There, you can place single event wagers on CFL games depending on what types of bets they have available.

Alternatively, you can check out the online betting platform for your province. At the time of this writing, only players in Atlantic Canada (except Nova Scotia), Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba can place single event wagers through their government-run online betting platforms.

However, the Ontario government is currently looking at regulations and rules for third-party or commercial sports betting operators. In the near future, you’ll be able to download a mobile betting platform from operators like DraftKings or BetMGM and place bets on CFL games. Time will tell if other Canadian provinces will adopt regulations to bring in these types of sportsbooks.

Once your sportsbook of choice launches, you’ll need to follow this process to place a bet on CFL games:

  • Visit the desktop or mobile website of the betting platform, or download the sportsbook of your choice. Install the sportsbook on your iOS or Android mobile device if downloading.
  • Register for the sportsbook according to its rules and regulations. Fill out personal information for verification and accept terms and conditions.
  • Fund your account using online deposit methods, like credit or debit card transactions.
  • Then navigate to the betting line area of the desktop or mobile sportsbook and put your money down on a CFL wager.

Since Canadian provinces will likely emulate the US model, the entire process should be rather quick and you’ll be able to enjoy sports betting from the comfort of your home!

Canadian Football League Partnerships

There’s only one big partnership you should be aware of in the CFL: a recently announced, multi-year partnership with BetRegal, an online sportsbook and casino company. BetRegal is now the official sports gaming partner of the CFL overall.

What does this mean practically? In the long term, it means that BetRegal will likely try to launch a mobile betting platform in as many Canadian provinces as possible. If and when this occurs, the sportsbook will likely offer a variety of special wagering lines and promotions related to the CFL.

In the short term, you can expect BetRegal to be much more prominent in CFL league marketing and telecasts. This may result in new promotions, special wagering lines, and more. Time will tell how this partnership shapes up and what other effects it may eventually have.

Canadian Football League Sports Betting FAQs

How popular is single-event betting on the Canadian Football League?

It’s tough to say as Canadians haven’t had a lot of this type of betting opportunity in the past. However, we’d be willing to bet that single CFL bets will become some of the most popular wagering lines in Canada once they are more readily available.

Does the Canadian Football League have any partnerships with a sportsbook?

Yes, with BetRegal. This partnership was announced in August 2021.

Where can you bet on championship games for the Canadian Football League?

You can place futures bets for the Grey Cup winner on many of Canada’s current lottery-run sportsbooks.

Is DraftKings legal in Canada?

Only to offer daily fantasy sports at this time. However, DraftKings Sportsbook may be available in Ontario sooner rather than later.

Is FanDuel available in Canada?

Not yet, except for offering daily fantasy sports. But it may soon become one of the earliest commercial sports betting operators in Ontario.

Does DraftKings have odds for Canadian Football League games?

They currently have odds for games and futures available in the United States. Should it launch in Canada, it definitely will, along with a plethora of different wager types.

About the Author

Amber Hoffman

Amber is the Managing Editor of Toronto Sports Media. She writes for a variety of websites in diverse industries, including gaming and travel and is a fan of international football (not "soccer") and Gaelic sports.