Fantasy sports allow you to pick your teams, build your plays, and (hopefully) make your fantasy a reality if your team wins. Because of this, more than 62.5 million people across the USA and Canada participated in fantasy sports in 2022.
Of this vast number of players, 54% choose to play fantasy football, which is easily the most popular form of fantasy sport. A further 14% of this group plays CFL (Canadian Football League) fantasy football.
While this means that around 4.72 million players love this fantasy sport, only an estimated 236,500 players put their money where their mouth is and bet on CFL fantasy football. Although this number is growing, having a less diluted pool of bettors makes this sport the perfect one to try your hand at wagering.
If you’re unsure how to get started, read on for the ultimate guide to betting on CFL fantasy football.
CFL vs NFL
Before betting, it’s important to understand that CFL fantasy football is both very similar to and very different from NFL (National Football League) fantasy football. This may sound like an oxymoron, but knowing how the two compare and contrast is crucial to success during a season.
Regarding similarities, both the CFL and NFL use the same format for configuring fantasy leagues and scoring fantasy points. Therefore, if you’re familiar with setting up teams for NFL, you’ll have no problem doing the same with CFL.
The differences between the two are more extensive. The first is that a CFL roster is significantly smaller, consisting only of seven spots (one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one flex, and one team defence). This is different from the 16 spots in an NFL league.
Secondly, while NFL has a draft season allowing you to pick the players you will back, CFL does not. Instead, you can select any eligible CFL player to add to your team. However, you will have a salary cap that you will need to work with and budget against when you’re picking your players.
Finally, NFL requires you to select players you will support for the entirety of the season. When playing CFL fantasy football, you can choose an entirely new squad every week—making it easier to put your support behind almost every player you select in a single season.
When to Bet
Once you understand how to bet, the next thing to know is when to place your bets. Each CFL schedule is similar, with the season usually starting in June and running until the end of November when the Grey Cup final is held.
Across the season, each team plays 18 games across 21 weeks. Included in these 21 weeks are three bye weeks—or weeks where no teams are participating. After this, there are three final weeks of playoffs.
During this time, the semifinals and finals are held. The winners of these finals advance to the ultimate final—the Grey Cup. The winners of this game are seen as the best team in the CFL until the following year, when they will need to prove their worth again.
CFL and CFL fantasy football is made up of two divisions: the East and West divisions.
The east division is better known for their defensive abilities and not their ability to play games that end with large numbers on the scoreboard. The teams making up the east division are Toronto Argonauts, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Montreal Alouettes, and Ottawa Redblacks.
Opposite to the east division, the west is known for games that end with impressive scoring. The teams in this group are the BC Lions, Calgary Stampeders, Edmonton Elks, Saskatchewan Roughriders, and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Each is known for playing offensively and wielding their skill as weapons to win.
Types of Bets on CFL Fantasy Football
While some sportsbooks may offer more options, as a standard, you can place three types of bets on CFL fantasy football. Doing this with a reputable sportsbook could lead you to a bonus ranging anywhere from 100% to 500% and make your gamble all the more worthwhile.
The following are the three most common types of bets:
Known as the most basic bet type, a moneyline bet requires you to pick only which team you think will walk away victorious. There is no need to decide which player will perform best or score most, only who will win.
Moneylines are also easiest to understand if you’re relatively new to sports betting. Most moneylines are based on $100 spent. The favourites for a match will be depicted by having a minus symbol (-) followed by numbers. The underdogs will be represented by a plus sign (+) and numbers.
The numbers are what you stand to gain or lose for every $100 you wager. For example, if you bet on a team with -150 as its moneyline, you’ll need to wager $150 to win $100 in profits. Inversely, if a team is marked with +150, you’ll only need to wager $100 to get a profit of $150 should the team win.
Slightly more complicated than moneylines, points spread bets use the same concept but also dictate how many points a team should win or lose by to be a successful wager.
A team with -3.5 must win by a number higher than the points spread—or more than four points. A team with +3.5 will need to lose by four or more points.
Over and Under Bets (Totals)
These bets are simply concerned with whether or not the total combined score of both teams in a game will be over or under a certain amount. If a bet is over 47.5, the combined score must be 48 or higher to win. Under 47.5 means the total scores should be less than 47 for your wager to be successful.
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