The month of June may mark the end of the season for basketball in the NBA and ice hockey in the NHL. However, it is also the start of a new season of football ‘north of the border’ in the CFL. The regular season schedule consists of 18 games spread over a 21-week time span. There are four teams in the East Division and five teams in the West Division. This makes handicapping this league far easier than breaking down 32 teams in the NFL.
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The main difference between the CFL game and the NFL are certain rules that favor passing as opposed to the run. This, in turn, tends to drive up the points scored for the best passing teams in the league. A longer, wider field also comes into play as do deeper end zones for passing the ball in the Red Zone. In the CFL, you can also post a one-point play by kicking the ball into those bigger end zone areas.
The main reason to bet on the CFL is because it is a quality football product. There are not as many household names on the rosters, but it does not take all that much effort to narrow down the playmakers that can have the biggest impact on the outcome of a game.
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A great starting point is each team’s starting quarterback. Just like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees can have a major impact on their NFL team’s fortunes, Bo Levi Mitchell, Mike Reilly and Jeremiah Masoli are in excellent position to impact the actual outcome in their CFL matchups.
Mitchell is the starting quarterback for the Calgary Stampeders. This team has won the West Division three years in a row along with three consecutive trips to the CFL’s Grey Cup Championship. After two disappointing losses in the title game, Calgary finally got over the hump in 2018 by beating Ottawa 27-16 in last November’s title game as a 4.5-point favorite.
The Stampeders are +140 favorites to win the West again in 2019 and +270 favorites to successfully defend last year’s Grey Cup title. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are +138 favorites to win the East Division at one prominent Canadian online sportsbook with longer +513 odds to win the league title as the fourth team on the list.
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The British Columbia Lions pulled out all the stops to lure Reilly away from Edmonton after he started his CFL career in BC. With Reilly under center for the Lions, they are +225 second-favorites to win the West and +300 second-favorites to go on to win the 2019 Grey Cup.
Calgary as been the cream of the crop in the CFL the past few seasons, but a high level of parity throughout the league keeps things very interesting all season long.
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One noticeable difference betting the CFL verse betting lines for NFL games is higher totals. Since passing the ball is such a big part of the game up north, teams tend to put more points on the board. In the CFL, you only have three downs to try and move the chains at least 10 yards for a first down. This major rule difference between the CFL game and the NFL further enhances the teams with the best quarterbacks.
Mitchell would have to be considered the best all-around quarterback in the CFL, so its stands to reason why Calgary has enjoyed a great deal of success in recent seasons. Up and coming quarterbacks like Masoli make Hamilton one of the stronger-valued betting teams in the East. By taking the time to fully understand each team’s strengths and weaknesses, you will gain some solid insight into their overall betting value for each week’s limited amount of games.