How to bet on the Grey Cup

Logo_Football_CFL Grey Cup 64x64

What is the Grey Cup?

The Grey Cup is the Canadian Football League (CFL)’s championship game. The CFL has nine teams in total split over two divisions, of which six make the CFL playoffs. The top team from each division is awarded a bye week during the first round of the playoffs, meaning they can sit out as they await their next opponent.

The second-place team from each division matches up against the respective third-place team in what is called the Division Semi-finals. From there, the two winners face the first-place team from their division. The winners of those two games secure their spot in the Grey Cup championship game. The winner of that game is crowned that season’s CFL champions.

In Canada, the Grey Cup has significance outside of football. Given that it usually happens in late November, the completion of the game also officially kicks off the Christmas season. Similarly to the Super Bowl, it is also a game big enough to attract the attention of those who do not regularly follow the CFL. It has become an event all on its own, with American and international viewers also tuning in with increasing numbers.

Football_CFL_Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back Brady Oliveira
© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

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How can I bet on the Grey Cup?

There are several ways that sports bettors can wager on the Grey Cup. In fact, placing a CFL bet on the outright Grey Cup winner can be done as early as preseason. This is what’s called a futures bet, as it signifies a wager that is made well in advance of a future event. This is a popular form of CFL betting, as oddsmakers are at their least accurate before the season has got underway because there hasn’t been any regular season games yet, so they don’t have any recent data to work from.

Other popular Grey Cup betting markets involve placing wagers much closer to the date of the actual game. Many CFL bettors would rather wait until the Grey Cup matchup is set before making a bet, which can be a shrewd move. Betting on the outright winner is called a moneyline bet. These differ from futures bets, as moneyline bets on the Grey Cup cannot be placed until the Division Finals have concluded.

Point spread bets are also available, which involves wagering on a team to win or lose the Grey Cup within a certain range of points. You can also place Grey Cup prop bets on things not directly related to the game’s final outcome.

Grey Cup betting tips

Study teams' routes to the game

A good place to start for Grey Cup betting is by looking at the two teams that are playing in the game. The odds will likely be close since both teams will be very good, but perhaps only one team is a legitimate contender. Knowing how each team got to the Grey Cup, and how well they fared in the games leading up to it, can start to paint a clear picture of how good they really are.

Keep track of team news

It’s important to note any key injuries. Players will be pushing themselves to play given that it’s the championship game, but scratches to key players can end up happening very close to game time. For example, if a Grey Cup team announces shortly before the game that their quarterback will not be able to play, the odds can suddenly be in your favor if you’re able to place a last-minute bet based on this new information.

Be wary of upsets and underdogs

The CFL is a small league and the playoffs are short, meaning it’s very possible for a lesser contender to end up in the Grey Cup. Hot streaks and upsets are a big part of sports, especially in the CFL playoffs. With this in mind, pay particular attention to teams that you think may have been undervalued by sportsbooks and other bettors.

Inform your bets with stats

Following the latest stats throughout the season and during the build-up to the Grey Cup can go a long way, and help keep you up to speed on which players and teams are (and aren't) performing well. Make sure you also always have the latest odds and betting information by visiting BET.CA for all of your Grey Cup betting needs.

Who won last year's Grey Cup?

The 2021 Grey Cup winners were the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 33-25 at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton. This game was played on December 12, making it the first time a Grey Cup championship game has been held outside of November since 1972.

Winnipeg quarterback Zach Collaros was awarded Most Valuable Player for the championship game. He was regarded as pivotal to the Blue Bombers’ impressive final quarter comeback, which saw them come from nine points behind to take the game to overtime.

The Blue Bombers are actually back-to-back Grey Cup champions, having beaten the Tiger-Cats in 2019 as well (no Grey Cup was awarded in 2020 due to COVID-19). On that occasion they won 33-12, with their running back Andrew Harris claiming the MVP award on that occasion.

Who is the Grey Cup MVP?

Since 1959, the Grey Cup has given out the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award to the game’s best player.

The award is given out before the Grey Cup trophy is presented to the winning team. Between 1974 and 1990, separate Grey Cup MVP awards were given out to the best offensive and defensive players, although since 1991 it has been a singular award.

The 2021 Grey Cup MVP was Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros. The 33-year-old completed 21 passes on 32 attempts through the air, totaling 240 yards along with two touchdowns. After the Blue Bombers won the Grey Cup in 2019, their running back Andrew Harris won MVP.

In 2018, Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell won Grey Cup MVP on the back of a 253-passing yard, two-touchdown performance. This wasn’t Mitchell’s first time winning the Grey Cup, nor Grey Cup MVP, as he also took both awards home in 2014.

Football_CFL_Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros
© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Grey Cup history

In 1909, the Grey Cup trophy was created by The Earl Grey, who was Canada’s governor general at the time. He had actually made the trophy in hopes of donating it to the Senior Amateur Hockey Championship, but it became the national championship trophy for Canadian football instead. It was then called the Canadian Dominion Football Championship.

The first-ever Grey Cup was won by the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on December 4, 1909. The trophy itself had not been ordered until two weeks before the first-ever Grey Cup game, meaning Toronto didn’t get to physically handle the trophy until it was completed in March 1910.

Several teams have won the Grey Cup throughout the years, as the league itself has seen many teams come and go on top of other changes. The then Edmonton Eskimos (currently the Edmonton Elks) boast the Grey Cup’s longest championship dynasty, as they won five consecutive championships between 1978 and 1982. In fact, Edmonton reached the Grey Cup an astounding nine times between 1973 and 1982.

Due to the fluctuations of the teams within the league, the Grey Cup has actually flown south of the border. In 1995, the league expanded into the United States and the Baltimore Stallions of the CFL South were crowned champions.In 2021, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers became the first team to win the Grey Cup in back-to-back seasons since the Montreal Alouettes achieved the feat in 2010.

Grey Cup FAQs

How many people watch the Grey Cup?
Which team has the most Grey Cup wins?
Which teams have made the most Grey Cup appearances?
Which players have played in the most Grey Cups?
Has a defensive player ever won the Grey Cup MVP?
What are the overtime rules for the Grey Cup?

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BET.CA staff
BET.CA staff