Football betting in Canada
How does football betting work?
The NFL is not only one of the most watched sports leagues on the planet, it is also the most popular among North American sports bettors. Featuring 32 teams and globally recognized star athletes like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Derrick Henry, the NFL captures the attention of fans and sports bettors alike during a season that lasts from September to February.
NFL teams play just 17 games over the course of an 18-week regular season, so every game can have huge consequences for the season. The action heats up in the NFL playoffs, with the top teams ultimately battling for supremacy in the Super Bowl. There are dozens of markets available for every NFL game, including the moneyline, point spread, total or over/under, prop bets, and more.
Football action isn’t just limited to the pros. NCAA college football on Saturdays has become an annual tradition, with teams representing hundreds of schools from across the country vying for a shot at the College Football National Championship. Canada also has its own football league with the CFL, in which teams compete to win the prestigious Grey Cup.
The best NFL sportsbooks
What are the top football events to bet on?
The NFL has been a Sunday sports tradition for decades, but football action is not just limited to the weekends. The league widened its reach and appeal when it first introduced Monday Night Football back in the 1970s. The NFL has since expanded its prime-time TV offering with the introduction of Thursday Night Football and Sunday Night Football.
While the NFL remains the world’s most popular football league, it is not the only game in town. The Canadian Football League (CFL) has been thrilling football fans north of the border for decades. Unlike the NFL, the CFL season usually starts in June. The campaign lasts until November, when the top teams battle it out for the Grey Cup in what has become one of Canada’s largest annual sports events. Football fans can also follow NCAA college games.
Over the years, there has been no shortage of upstart leagues seeking to steal the NFL’s thunder. The most recent alternative has come in the form of the XFL. Initially founded by WWE owner Vince McMahon in 2001 for one season before being rebooted in 2020, its comeback season was halted early due to COVID-19 before the league announced its bankruptcy. However, the XFL is now on track to return to the field in February 2023 under a new ownership group headed by former WWE superstar and actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Football betting tips
The NFL provides betting opportunities for both the novice and sharp bettor. For sports bettors getting into NFL action, there are several factors to consider when laying a wager on a game.
Injuries to key players can quickly turn a favourite into an underdog. That makes it critically important to review the injury reports published by each team prior to each game. Home-field advantage can also play a critical role in how a game is handicapped, as does recent individual and team trends and stats.
Understanding the offensive and defensive philosophy of a team’s coaching staff can also help guide your betting decisions. For example, how will a team with a good pass defense defend against the run, or how will a quarterback fair against a team with a strong pass rush, and what impact will that have on the betting lines?
In addition, NFL bettors should resist the urge to let streaks influence their betting decisions. The potential for a single injury to alter a team’s fortunes cannot be underestimated, nor can the ability of coaches to adapt their game plan in response to the success of an upcoming opponent. As a result, most NFL teams in playoff competition still end up losing over 40% of their games over the course of a season.
An example of this is the roller-coaster season endured by the Arizona Cardinals in 2021. The Cardinals won eight of their first 11 games. However, after being hobbled by injuries, they disappointed sports bettors by losing their final five home games, all as favourites with sportsbooks.
Betting on football in Canada
Canada enjoys a longer and deeper football tradition than most people realize. Canadian football teams were battling for the Grey Cup decades before the founding of the NFL, and the CFL remains the top draw in a number of small and medium-sized cities across the country. However, the NFL has seen dramatic gains in popularity north of the border in recent years, with thousands of Canadian fans crossing the border every Sunday to attend games in person.
With no Canadian cities currently represented in the NFL, loyalties are widely divided among Canadian football fans. Of course, there is no shortage of Buffalo Bills fans in southern Ontario. Fans in southwestern Ontario are often drawn to the Detroit Lions, and the Seattle Seahawks enjoy a strong following in British Columbia.
However, allegiance to NFL teams among Canadian fans is not entirely determined by geography. Fans captivated as youngsters by the exploits of Joe Montana and John Elway have continued to support the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos, while legions of young fans that learned the game by watching Tom Brady remain loyal to the New England Patriots to this day.
Football betting FAQs
BET.CA's football guides are written by our experienced team, who have spent years following the NFL, CFL, and NCAA football. Their expertise and advice will help you get the most out of your football betting.
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