CFL playoffs odds and bracket

Logo_Football_CFL 64x64

How do the CFL playoffs work?

After a lengthy 18-game regular season, the action heats up in the CFL playoffs before the Grey Cup champion is finally crowned. The CFL regular season typically comes to a close in late October before the playoffs take place over three weeks in November, with the Grey Cup usually played on the third Sunday of the month.

Every season, six teams qualify for the CFL playoffs – the top two teams from the East and West Divisions and the two teams with the next best regular season record. The two division runners-up face off against the two next best placed teams in the Division Semi-Finals, with the winner of each game going on to play the division winners in the Division Finals. The two winners of the Division Finals then face off for the chance to win the Grey Cup and be crowned CFL champions for that season.

With sportsbooks typically publishing CFL futures and props odds well in advance, sports bettors can start wagering on playoff action even before the regular season has even started. That includes betting on whether a team will make the playoffs, which teams will win their respective divisions, and who will eventually emerge as Grey Cup champions.

The best CFL sportsbooks


CFL division winners

In every CFL campaign, the team with the most points during the regular season in both the East and West Divisions are crowned division winners.

In addition to the obvious bragging rights that come along with winning your division, there is an added advantage for the two teams that manage to top the East and West Division standings. Division winners enjoy a bye through the first weekend of the playoffs, as well as home field advantage in the Division Finals.

A first-place finish can also provide a team with an edge at the sportsbooks. With a much needed week off to rest and heal from injuries, division winners have the opportunity to better prepare for the Division Finals, and this is often reflected in the CFL moneyline and futures odds. Suitably, of the last 10 teams to contest the Grey Cup between 2016 and 2021, eight won their division in the regular season.

Don’t forget that BET.CA has the latest CFL odds from Canada’s top sportsbooks for markets including division and Grey Cup winners throughout the season.

Football_CFL_Winnipeg Blue Bombers wide receiver Nic Demski
© Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

What are CFL playoffs standings?

Teams are seeded for the CFL playoffs according to where they finished in their division standings in the regular season, which itself is determined by how many points they get. Division winners are awarded first seed, division runners-up are awarded second seed, and the two teams with the next best regular season record are awarded third or fourth seed depending on where they finished in their division.

In the Division Semi-Finals, third and fourth seed teams play on the road against second seeds, while the two first seeds are awarded a bye to (and home field advantage for) the Division Finals. For example, during the 2021 CFL playoffs, both the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Toronto Argonauts enjoyed byes to the Division Finals by finishing first in the West and East Divisions respectively.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats both finished second, and were the host teams in the Division Semi-Finals. The Roughriders played host to the third-place Calgary Stampeders in the Western Semi-Final, while the Tiger-Cats welcomed the third-place Montreal Alouettes to Hamilton for the Eastern Semi-Final.

What is the CFL crossover rule?

It is important to note that since the final two CFL playoff berths are awarded to the teams with the next best win/loss records, it is possible for a team that finished fourth in one division to earn a playoff spot ahead of a team that finished third in the other.

For example, let’s imagine that the BC Lions finished fourth in the West Division, but had a better win/loss record than the third-placed team in the East Division. Under such circumstances, the Lions would be awarded the playoff spot, and would “crossover” to compete in the East Division playoff bracket, entering the Semi-Finals.

CFL playoffs FAQs

What team has never been to the CFL playoffs?
When do the CFL playoffs start?
What are the overtime rules for the CFL playoffs?

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.

BET.CA staff
BET.CA staff