Stats for CFL betting

Logo_Football_CFL 64x64

What are CFL stats?

When researching players and teams in the CFL, there are multiple different stats you can use to gauge their level of performance and therefore inform your bets. Here are the key stats you should be aware of for CFL betting:

  • Score: To score in a CFL game means to earn points for a team, either via a touchdown, field goal, or safety. An individual touchdown is also known as a score, meaning that the player who carries the ball into the end zone for a touchdown is said to have completed a scoring run.

  • Yards per Play: This is the total number of yards accrued from the line of scrimmage divided by the total number of plays. For instance, if a quarterback attempts 20 passes in a CFL game and accrues 100 passing yards in the process, he is averaging 5.0 yards per play.

  • First Downs: Teams on offense in CFL games have three attempts to move the ball 10 yards down the field. Each attempt is called a down and if they succeed in one, they get a fresh set of three downs, starting with the first down. First downs can be used to measure a team’s ability to move the ball down the field during games.

  • Rushing Attempts: These count how many times a team’s offense has attempted to move the ball by running with it instead of passing it. If a CFL team records lots of rushing attempts, it is likely they are relying on their ground game to generate touchdown opportunities.

  • Rushing Yards: This is the total number of yards that the ball has been carried for, either by a single player or the whole offense. This stat can be reviewed for individual plays or cumulatively for all carries over the course of a CFL game.

  • Yards per Rush: Similar to Yards per Play, this stat divides the total number of rushing yards by the total number of rushing plays. If a running back carries the ball 25 times in a CFL game with 250 total rushing yards in the process, their Yards per Rush for the match is 10.0.

  • Passing Attempts: This is how many times the quarterback throws a pass. A pass is counted as an attempt, regardless of whether or not it is caught by the receiver or intercepted by a defensive player.

  • Passing Yards: This is how many yards were gained from a successful pass. This can be applied to either individual plays or an entire CFL game, and is used to measure the performance of quarterbacks.

  • Yards per Pass Completion: This is calculated by dividing the total number of passing yards by the total number of successful passes. If a quarterback completes 20 passes in a CFL game for 200 yards, their Yards per Pass Completion is 10.0.

  • Yards per Pass Attempt: A more widely used stat than Yards per Pass Completion, this is calculated by dividing the total passing yards by the total passing attempts, regardless of whether they were successful. If a quarterback attempted 40 passes in a CFL game for 200 yards, their Yards per Pass Attempt is 5.0.

  • Time of Possession: This is how long each team has been on offense over the course of an CFL game.

  • Turnovers: A turnover is when the team playing offense loses the ball to the team playing defense. This is most commonly via fumbles (when an offensive player drops the ball during a live play) and interceptions (when a defensive player catches a pass attempt).

  • Penalties: Penalties are imposed for rule infractions, with the offending team usually being penalized by a loss of yards, a loss of downs, or a loss of a timeout. Common penalties include offside, unsportsmanlike conduct, roughing the passer, pass interference, holding, and illegal blocking.

The best CFL sportsbooks


CFL stat leaders

The CFL has appeal for both football fans and bettors alike because it is a game of stats. The performance of a player can be measured to a large degree by the stats they generate, meaning you need to pay special attention to them when doing your pre-game homework.

This is why it is always helpful to pay attention to the stat leaders in the CFL every season. These can offer an glimpse as to who are excelling in certain categories, and therefore who the most important players for every team are.

As they play such a critical role in their team’s success (or failure), the obvious starting point is quarterback stat leaders. However, while the number of touchdown passes thrown and total passing yards are obvious to keep an eye on, you should not overlook the downside. A large number of interceptions and sacks and a low completion percentage are good indicators that a quarterback, and players hired to protect him, aren’t performing well.

A quarterback may not be a leader in touchdown passes or passing yards, but can still bring value to his team with the ability to run with the ball, so rushing yards are also a useful stat to follow when assessing their performance.

Other key offensive stats to watch for are total receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns. On defense, the success of the defensive line can be measured in tackles, sacks, and forced fumbles. In addition, cornerbacks earn their pay by limiting opportunities for opposing receivers, with interceptions being a good gauge of their success.

Football_CFL_Montreal Alouettes wide receiver Eugene Lewis
© David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

CFL stats FAQs

Who has the most passing yards in CFL history?
Who has the most passes in CFL history?
Who is the fastest player in the CFL today?

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