Tradition is a major part of the Canadian sports landscape. Historical figures, competitions that trace their roots back over a century, and of course, legendary trophies give fans across the nation plenty of things to root for and be proud of.
On the trophy front, one of the most significant is the Grey Cup, which is awarded annually to the champion of the Canadian Football League. First awarded way back in 1909, the annual game is the biggest TV event of the year here at home.
It’s the Canadian equivalent of betting on the Super Bowl and a game that often lives up to the hype. The nine current CFL teams are spread across the nation, and each of them boasts an incredibly loyal and passionate following.
The CFL version of professional football is unique in comparison to its American counterpart, and that directly translates into a regular season that’s packed with excitement. When the postseason and Grey Cup games roll around, interest spikes to extraordinary levels.
Once Ontario sports betting launches, sportsbooks such as DraftKings and FanDuel will be setting up shop and there will be a further explosion of attention. In anticipation of that, here’s everything you need to know about betting on the Grey Cup.
Latest Grey Cup betting odds
As the signature event of the CFL season, and one of the biggest sporting events in Canada for the year, interest in the Grey Cup is out of this world. When the game rolls around, you’ll be able to place your bets on the outcome and other facets of the contest quickly and easily with sportsbooks.
You don’t have to wait for the game to be close to getting in on the action. There’s an active futures market on the next Grey Cup winner where you can place your bets at any time. Our live odds feed down below is the place to go for the latest real-time odds and lines from the industry’s top operators.
How the CFL season works
The traditional CFL betting season spans 21 weeks from around mid-June to early November with each of the league’s teams playing 18 games and receiving three bye weeks. For 2021, the schedule has been condensed.
It’ll all begin in early August with all nine clubs playing 14 games apiece for a 16-week regular season. The season is scheduled to be wrapped up on November 20. The playoffs will begin on November 28 with the Eastern and Western semi-final games.
The following week, the Eastern and Western final games will be played on December 5. The winners will advance to the 108th Grey Cup game, which is slated for December 12 with a 6:00 p.m. ET kickoff at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, ON.
CFL betting lines explained
All season long, sportsbooks will have odds and lines available whenever there’s a CFL game on tap, including for the Grey Cup. When you visit your book of choice to check out the numbers, you’ll see the game listing with CFL odds for a trio of bet types.
|Hamilton Tiger-Cats||+110||+2.5 (-110)||Over 56.5 (-110)|
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers||-130||-2.5 (-110)||Under 56.5 (-110)|
If we go from left to right next to the two team names, these are the numbers for moneyline, point spread, and totals wagers on the game. Here’s how the bets work.
For this simple bet, the task is to simply pick the winner. Naturally, that’s easier said than done, but it’s a very straightforward bet that’s easy to understand.
- Hamilton Tiger-Cats +110
- Winnipeg Blue Bombers -130
Favorites have negative odds while the numbers are positive on the underdog side. The gap between the numbers tells you how close of a matchup oddsmakers are expecting.
The spread is a number that’s set by oddsmakers for each CFL game. It’s basically like an estimated margin of victory that needs to be accounted for in your wager.
- Hamilton Tiger-Cats +2.5 (-110)
- Winnipeg Blue Bombers -2.5 (-110)
You can choose the favourite minus the points or take the underdog plus the spread. The side you select has to cover the number for your bet to be a winner.
Also known as an Over/Under, this bet is all about how many points will be scored in the game. The total is set by oddsmakers with odds attached to the two possible choices.
- Over 56.5 (-110)
- Under 56.5 (-110)
Over bettors anticipate more scoring than the listed number, while those on the Under side expect the opposite to happen.
All three bet types will bring in tons of betting action for the Grey Cup. As a result, you can expect to see movement on the odds board. Remember that you can always shop around to find the best prices, and to lean on our customizable odds feed to do so. For example, FanDuel Sportsbook could have one number on the game, while DraftKings or BetMGM has a more appealing price.
The odds can also help you to estimate potential returns. For negative odds such as -110, that’s how much you have to bet to get back $100 for a winner – i.e. $110. On positive odds, the amount is equal to how much of a return you’d get for a $100 winner – i.e. $110 at odds of +110. Let’s take a look at some of the other popular ways to get in on the excitement of the Grey Cup.
Grey Cup live betting & props
Beyond the top pregame bets, there are several other ways to get in on the action of the Grey Cup. Two very popular segments of sports wagering can be found in props and live betting. A prop is basically like a way to get in some side action on a game or event, while live betting lets you wager in real-time as the action plays out on the field.
You can find the available prop odds for CFL games by clicking through on the individual game listings. There are typically various options for betting on the individual team performances or game circumstances, as well as on the accomplishments of the individual players. For the Grey Cup, you can expect to see a wide array of options to consider. Examples include:
- Over/unders for team and player yards and scores
- Pick the top-performing side from various categories
- Simple questions like who will win the MVP award or if overtime will be needed
Prop offerings can vary by operator, as can the odds for the wagers, so be sure to shop around. Live betting begins once the game gets underway. Many of the top shops have a dedicated section where you can browse opportunities as the action plays out on the field. Examples of what you’ll see include:
- Updated odds and lines for the main pregame bets
- Bet on drives, quarters, and halves
- New prop-style wagers on the players, teams, and game
The live betting markets move fast, but mobile apps from the top sportsbooks make it so you don’t miss a beat. Once the game gets started, just log in on the mobile platform. As the game plays out, check the offerings on your device and get set to bet when an appealing opportunity comes up. Live betting can help make the Grey Cup even more exciting.
CFL Grey Cup futures market
There’s a very active futures market for the winner of the next Grey Cup. Odds for the next champ will come out soon after the current edition is in the books, and the market will stay active from there. There will be Grey Cup odds listed for all teams in the league, and you can expect to see movement in the numbers in response to betting action. An example of the board looks something like this.
Grey Cup futures odds 2021
|Hamilton Tiger Cats||+300|
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers||+400|
|British Columbia Lions||+1100|
The basic idea for futures betting is to find the selections you want at the best possible price. To do so, you should always take the time to shop around for prices. As an example, odds for the Tiger Cats may be listed at +300 on DraftKings Sportsbook, but they could be priced at +350 over at FanDuel or BetMGM Sportsbook.
Those seemingly small ticks of difference can have a direct impact on your bottom line. A $100 winning bet at odds of +300 returns a profit of $300, while the return rises to $350 at +350. No matter what stakes you bet at, it’s important to remember that futures betting requires a long-term view as wagers can’t be settled until the outcome is known.
Vegas odds for Grey Cup
For decades, the place to find the best odds for the Grey Cup and other sporting events was in Las Vegas. The city has continually held the moniker of the ‘sports betting capital of the world’ as a result, but times are changing. You can find odds that are right in line with what you’ll find out in the desert in other legal markets these days.
As sportsbooks enter new markets, the natural goal is to make some headway. To do so, they need to be on point with the odds and lines. Due to market action and other factors, there will always be some variance in the market. However, you can rest assured that the top local shops will stack up quite well with the numbers from Sin City.
When is the 2021 Grey Cup?
This year’s Grey Cup game will be the 108th edition. The cup was first awarded in 1909 when the University of Toronto Varsity Blues took down Toronto Parkdale Canoe Club by a score of 26-6 at Rosedale Field in Toronto. The game has been played annually ever since except for four years from 1916-19 and in 2020. Here are the details of this year’s game.
- Date: Dec. 12, 2021
- Kickoff: 6:00 p.m. ET
- Teams: TBD
- Venue: Tim Hortons Field
- Location: Hamilton, ON
- Broadcast and Streaming: TSN and RDS
Brief history of the Grey Cup
The Grey Cup was first awarded in 1909. It was the prize for the winner of the Canadian amateur rugby football championship. Amateur clubs continued to compete for the title through the 1930s, but the professional squads began pulling away on a competitive front.
The game itself continued to evolve through the decades and eventually turned towards the style of Canadian football that is played to this day. The CFL was officially formed in 1958 and took over the awarding of the Grey Cup to its champion team.
Since that point, many of the league’s clubs have had major runs of excellence, including Edmonton’s dominant run from the late 1970s into the early 1980s which included five straight cup victories.
Dynasty teams have been tougher to come by in the modern era. The last club to win back-to-back titles was the Montreal Alouettes in 2009-10. The current defending champions are the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, winners of the 107th Grey Cup in 2019 over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Results for the last 10 Grey Cups
The 2020 CFL season was cancelled, but the preceding decade was filled with highlights. Since the Alouettes consecutive titles in 2009-10, we’ve seen a different champion crowned each year. Here’s a look back at the last decade of CFL final games and results.
|2019||Winnipeg Blue Bombers 33-12 over Hamilton Tiger-Cats||McMahon Stadium in Calgary, AB|
|2018||Calgary Stampeders 27-16 over Ottawa Redblacks||Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, AB|
|2017||Toronto Argonauts 27-24 over Calgary Stampeders||TD Place Stadium in Ottawa, ON|
|2016||Ottawa Redblacks 39-33 over Calgary Stampeders||BMO Field in Toronto, ON|
|2015||Edmonton Eskimos 26-20 over Ottawa Redblacks||Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, MB|
|2014||Calgary Stampeders 20-16 over Hamilton Tiger-Cats||BC Place in Vancouver, BC|
|2013||Saskatchewan Roughriders 45-23 over Hamilton Tiger-Cats||Taylor Field in Regina, SK|
|2012||Toronto Argonauts 35-22 over Calgary Stampeders||Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON|
|2011||BC Lions 34-23 over Winnipeg Blue Bombers||BC Place in Vancouver, BC|
|2010||Montreal Alouettes 21-18 over Saskatchewan Roughriders||Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, AB|
CFL team by team Grey Cup history
Of the currently active CFL teams, a few have stellar records in the big game or multiple appearances, while others are lagging in comparison to their counterparts. Here’s a look at the full history of all nine teams in the Grey Cup.
|Team||Total Appearances||Record||Last Win||Last Appearance|
|BC Lions||10||6-4||2011 over Winnipeg Blue Bombers||2011, defeated Winnipeg Blue Bombers|
|Calgary Stampeders||17||8-9||2018 over Ottawa Redblacks||2018, defeated Ottawa Redblacks|
|Edmonton Elks||23||14-9||2015 over Ottawa Redblacks||2015, defeated Ottawa Redblacks|
|Hamilton Tiger-Cats||21||8-13||1999 over Calgary Stampeders||2019, lost to Winnipeg Blue Bombers|
|Montreal Alouettes||18||7-11||2010 over Saskatchewan Roughriders||2010, defeated Saskatchewan Roughriders|
|Ottawa Redblacks||3||1-2||2016 over Calgary Stampeders||2018, lost to Calgary Stampeders|
|Saskatchewan Roughriders||19||4-15||2013 over Hamilton Tiger-Cats||2013, defeated Hamilton Tiger-Cats|
|Toronto Argonauts||23||17-6||2017 over Calgary Stampeders||2017, defeated Calgary Stampeders|
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers||25||11-14||2019 over Hamilton Tiger-Cats||2019, defeated Hamilton Tiger-Cats|
Which team has won the most Grey Cups?
Just three of the CFL’s nine teams have managed to win the Grey Cup 10 times or more. In addition, just getting to the big game is no guarantee of success as just three clubs have a winning percentage greater than .500 in Grey Cup games. Here’s the list of all teams and their prowess in the Grey Cup, listed in order by several victories.
|Team||Appearances||Record||Win %||Last Win||Last Appearance|
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers||25||11-14||.440||2019||2019|
Grey Cup MVP betting
The Grey Cup Most Valuable Player Award was first introduced in 1959. It goes to the player from the winning side who is judged to have had the finest performance in the contest. There was a four-year stretch in which it wasn’t awarded in the 1960s.
From 1974 through 1990, the award was split into two with a nod going to the Offensive and Defensive Players of the Game. Since 1991, it has gone back to its roots with a lone award going to the best player of the game.
You can also place your bets on who will win the award. It’s a fun prop-style bet, which can give you some additional rooting interest for the game, not to mention another way to potentially profit. As with the Super Bowl MVP award down south, offensive players win more often than not.
Since the turn of the century, just one defensive player has managed to snag it – DB James Johnson of the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2007. Here’s the position breakdown for the award since 2000.
- QB: 11 times, most recently to Bo Levi Mitchell of the Calgary Stampeders in 2018.
- RB: Five times, most recently to Andrew Harris of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2019.
- WR: Two times, most recently to DeVier Posey of the Toronto Argonauts in 2017.
- SB: One time to Jamel Richardson of the Montreal Alouettes in 2010.
- DB: One time to James Johnson of the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2007.
Over the past decade, QBs have accounted for half of the Grey Cup MVP awards. Here’s a peek at the last 10 winners.
|2019||RB||Andrew Harris||Winnipeg Blue Bombers|
|2018||QB||Bo Levi Mitchell||Calgary Stampeders|
|2017||WR||DeVier Posey||Toronto Argonauts|
|2016||QB||Henry Burris||Ottawa Redblacks|
|2015||QB||Mike Reilly||Edmonton Eskimos|
|2014||QB||Bo Levi Mitchell||Calgary Stampeders|
|2013||RB||Kory Sheets||Saskatchewan Roughriders|
|2012||RB||Chad Kackert||Toronto Argonauts|
|2011||QB||Travis Lulay||BC Lions|
|2010||SB||Jamel Richardson||Montreal Alouettes|
There’s also the Dick Suderman Trophy, which is awarded to the Grey Cup’s Most Valuable Canadian Player. It was first introduced in 1971. For the most part, offensive players have ruled the day here as well, but defensive and special teams players have also been honoured. Over the past 20 years, here’s the breakdown by position.
- SB: Six times, last to Andy Fantuz of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2014.
- RB: Four times, last to Andrew Harris of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2019.
- WR: Four times, last to Lemar Durant of the Calgary Stampeders in 2018.
- K: Two times, last to Sandro DeAngelis of the Calgary Stampeders in 2008.
- DE: One time to Ricky Foley of the Toronto Argonauts in 2012.
- DT: One time to Keith Shologan of the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2010.
- FB: One time to Mike Maurer of the Edmonton Eskimos in 2005.
- DB: One time to Aldi Henry of the Calgary Stampeders in 2001.
You can bet on the winner of this award as well. Andrew Harris of Winnipeg managed to snag both awards last year, the first player ever to turn that trick. Here’s a look back at the last 10 winners.
|2019||RB||Andrew Harris||Winnipeg Blue Bombers|
|2018||WR||Lemar Durant||Calgary Stampeders|
|2017||RB||Jerome Messam||Calgary Stampeders|
|2016||WR||Brad Sinopoli||Ottawa Redblacks|
|2015||WR||Shamawd Chambers||Edmonton Eskimos|
|2014||SB||Andy Fantuz||Hamilton Tiger-Cats|
|2013||SB||Chris Getzlaf||Saskatchewan Roughriders|
|2012||DE||Ricky Foley||Toronto Argonauts|
|2011||RB||Andrew Harris||BC Lions|
|2010||DT||Keith Shologan||Saskatchewan Roughriders|
Has any player won both the Grey Cup and Super Bowl?
It’s a very select list, but it has happened several times. Notable names to pull it off include Andre Rison, a Super Bowl winner in 1997 with the Green Bay Packers, and 2004 Grey Cup winner with the Toronto Argonauts.
This rare feat aside, there have been several players who have excelled both north and south of the border. The list includes several quarterbacks who managed to find success and light it up regularly in both leagues despite the two different styles of play.
- Warren Moon
- Doug Flutie
- Jeff Garcia
- Joe Kapp
- Joe Theismann
Through the years, there has been a pipeline of American players into the CFL, and vice versa for those with experience in the Canadian game. While there are some variances between the two sports, football is ultimately football, and there’s plenty to love about the game regardless of which side of the border it’s being contested on.
3 Grey Cup betting tips for beginners
The Grey Cup is one of the most popular events of the year in Canada, and also a fantastic spot to get in on the action with some wagers. For experienced CFL bettors, lean on what has worked for you in the past and don’t deviate too much. As for those new to CFL Grey Cup betting, break down the matchup as best as you can and have a full understanding of what the oddsmakers have to say. Regardless of your experience level, here are three key tips to lean on.
- Know your head-to-head and common opponent history: There are only nine teams in the CFL, so each club has a long track record against all of the other squads. If they’ve met during the regular season, take the time to review what happened and any adjustments that may be forthcoming. You can also dig even deeper by researching how they’ve fared against common opponents. It’s all about building a case for your picks. This step can help you do so.
- Grey Cup and postseason performance track records: While each season is a different event and should be treated as such, you should still take the time to review how the clubs have performed when the stakes are at their highest. Some CFL clubs have a great track record in the big game and postseason, while others have fallen flat often in pressure-packed spots. This is another little clue that can help you figure out what may be to come in the Grey Cup game.
- Budgeting and planning go a long way: The Grey Cup may be the last chance to bet on the CFL until next season, but there’s absolutely no reason to go overboard. You should always stick to stakes that you are most comfortable with while focussing on the kinds of bets that work best for your strategy. As part of your preparation, put together a total budget and allocate accordingly, something like 60% for pregame bets, 20% for MVP, and 20% for props or live bets.
Each CFL season culminates with what is often a very thrilling Grey Cup final. It’s an incredibly popular event for which interest should only continue to rise. Single-game wagering will be a game-changer in Canada for both long-time fans of the CFL and for those who are just beginning to fall in love with the Canadian version of professional football.