CFL Grey Cup Futures Odds and Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 6/20/2012
The Canadian Football League wraps-up its two-game preseason schedule this week in anticipation of opening day of the 2012 regular season next Friday, June 29. The following is a brief look at all eight teams along with their current futures odds to win this season’s Grey Cup as provided by Bovada as well as some predictions for betting.
British Columbia Lions- 9/2
The futures odds for this year’s Grey Cup point to a wide-open season in the CFL with as many as six teams having a fairly even shot at hoisting the Cup in late November. Given the tightness of this race, the logical place to start is with last year’s champions. BC strung together an eight-game winning streak down the stretch of the 2011 regular season to win the West Division with an 11-7 record in a three-way tie-breaker. The Lions parlayed this momentum into a 40-23 romp over Edmonton as six-point home favorites in the Division Finals and a 34-23 victory over Winnipeg in the Grey Cup as 7.5-point favorites. Led by quarterback Travis Lulay, all the ingredients remain in place for another championship run this season.
Calgary Stampeders 9/2
Calgary finished third in the West at 11-7 but made a swift exit from the postseason with a 33-19 loss to Edmonton as a two-point road underdog in the Division Semifinals. This offseason the Stampeders traded quarterback Henry Burris to Hamilton and elevated Drew Tate to the starting role. Tate completed 63.9 percent of his passes as a back-up last season and could be poised for a breakout year in 2012. Calgary’s defense finished fifth in points allowed; giving-up an average of 26.4 points a game.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 9/2
Hamilton snuck into the playoffs last season with an 8-10 record but made some noise in the playoffs by knocking off the defending champion Montreal Alouettes, 52-44, in overtime as a six-point road underdog. With Burris replacing Kevin Glenn, who was shipped-off to Calgary, the Tiger-Cats are hoping to take the next step this season. First-time Head Coach George Cortez takes over for Bill O’Billovich, who remains the team’s general manager, and is sure to dial-up the passing attack this season after the Tiger-Cats finished near the bottom of the league in passing yards per game in 2011.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 5/1
It was a worst-to-first turnaround for Winnipeg in 2011 after going from winning just four games in 2010 to a 10-8 record and East Division title The Blue Bombers made it all the way to the Grey Cup Championship behind quarterback Buck Pierce and believe they can win it all this season as long as he can stay healthy. Look for Chris Garrett to become the team’s featured running back with the departure of Fred Reid and for wide receiver Paul Hubbard to become a big part of the passing attack.
Montreal Alouettes 11/2
The 2009 and 2010 Grey Cup champions took a big step backwards last season with a second-place finish in the East at 10-8 and a first-round exit from the playoffs, but remain confident it can get back on top of the heap this year. A huge part of Montreal’s chances will hinge on long-time veteran Anthony Calvillo’s arm. The CFL’s all-time leader in passing yards is entering his 19th season in the league and still believes he has what it takes to bring home yet another title for this team.
Toronto Argonauts 13/2
Toronto posted 9-9 record and playoff appearance in 2010 after winning just three games the year before, but reverted back to its old ways with a 6-12 record in 2011. In order to shake things up, the Argonauts traded for quarterback Ricky Ray with Edmonton in hopes of finally bringing some stability to that position. They also made a conscience effort to beef-up their offensive line in order to give Ray the protection he did not always have with the Eskimos.
Edmonton Eskimos 8/1
This was another worst-to-almost-first story last season as the Eskimos finished second in the West at 11-7 on a tie-breaker after going 7-11 in 2010. They will go with Steven Jyles as their starting quarterback after acquiring him from Toronto as part of the Ray trade. Edmonton’s defense was ranked second in points allowed last season but sixth in scoring. If Jyles struggles early, look for Edmonton to turn to veteran signal-caller Kerry Joseph as their starter.
Saskatchewan Roughriders 9/1
It was a fall from grace for Saskatchewan in 2011 after back-to-back appearances in the Grey Cup the previous two seasons. It missed the postseason altogether with a record of 5-13. Heading back to the drawing board, the Roughriders decided to go in a different direction by naming Corey Chamblin their new head coach. Darian Durant is expected to remain the team’s starter at quarterback in hopes he can return to the form that saw him led the CFL in 2010 with 5,542 yards passing.
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