The start of another season of football in both the NFL and the college ranks is still a couple of months away, but our friends north of the border in the Canadian Football League are ready to get another season of action underway in a little more than two weeks.
Doc’s Sports has you covered with the latest CFL futures odds to win this season’s Grey Cup, and the following is a brief betting report for all nine teams.
Calgary Stampeders – 10/3
Calgary rode a straight up 15-3 record into last season’s Grey Cup playoffs and all the way to a league title with a 20-16 victory over Hamilton in the championship game after closing as a seven-point favorite on Odds Shark’s betting odds. The Stampeders were a profitable team to wager on last season with a 13-6-1 record against the spread that included a 7-1-1 record ATS at home.
This team remains stacked on offense behind both Bo Levi Mitchell and Drew Tate at quarterback and Jon Cornish running the ball. The only significant loss on defense was Shawn Lemon, so there should be little drop off on either side of the ball in 2015.
Saskatchewan Roughriders – 5/1
The Roughriders finished third in the West Division behind Calgary and Edmonton with a SU record of 10-8. They were a costly 7-12 ATS, and their season came to an end with an 18-10 loss to the Eskimos in the playoffs as 7.5-point road underdogs.
The outlook for 2015 remains positive as the second overall favorite to win a title. Much of Saskatchewan’s chances will hinge on the health of quarterback Darian Durant, who missed a good part of last season due to injury.
Edmonton Eskimos – 11/2
Edmonton could bring a ton of value to the table this season as a third-favorite to win the Grey Cup after posting a SU 12-6 record last season. They ended up getting hammered by Calgary 43-18 in the West Division Finals as 6.5-point road underdogs to end their season 13-7 ATS. This included a 9-2 record ATS as favorites.
Mike Reilly should remain Edmonton’s primary signal caller for 2015, but the Eskimos also have a solid arm in Matt Nichols, so they should once again be one of the top-scoring teams in the league.
British Columbia Lions – 6/1
The Lions finished fourth in the West last season at an even 9-9 both SU and ATS. They are expected to hold that position as the fourth-favorite to win a title in 2015 with some stiff competition ahead of them in the division standings.
Jeff Tedford takes over the reins as BC’s new head coach after a successful career in the college ranks at California. The key to turning things around will be the play of Travis Lulay at quarterback. He should have no problem racking up the passing yards as long as he can stay healthy.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats – 13/2
Hamilton may be the fifth team on the list when it comes to the Grey Cup futures odds, but it should once again be the class of a watered-down East Division after going 9-9 SU last year. The Tiger-Cats made a strong showing in last season’s Grey Cup loss after closing out the season with a 6-1 record ATS in their final seven games.
Zach Collaros is rapidly developing into one of the best young quarterbacks in the CFL, and the addition of wide receiver Spencer Watt gives him another solid weapon in the passing game. Better play on the road could be the key to another division crown after going just 2-7 SU in 2014.
Montreal Alouettes – 8/1
Montreal was able to overcome a painfully slow start to pull to an even 9-9 on the year, but it made an ugly exit from the postseason with a 40-24 loss to Hamilton in the East Division Final as a three-point road underdog. The Alouettes were another team that struggled to win on the road at 3-6 SU (3-5-1 ATS).
Jonathan Crompton is penciled in as the team’s starting quarterback, but early reports out of Montreal suggest that fourth-round pick Brando Bridge could move into the starting role if the Alouettes’ offense once again struggles out of the gate.
Toronto Argonauts – 8/1
The Argonauts missed the playoffs last season after falling to 8-10 SU on the year, and they were slightly worse ATS at 7-11. Like most of the teams in the East, they knew how to win at home with a record of 6-3, but they went just 2-7 SU in nine road games.
Ricky Ray is probably the top gun slinger in the CFL at quarterback, so much of Toronto’s chances to turn things around will depend upon how his surgically-repaired shoulder holds up.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers – 17/2
The Blue Bombers improved to 7-11 SU (8-9-1 ATS) on the year in their first season in the West Division after winning just three games the season before as bottom dwellers in the East. They started the season on a 5-1 SU run. However, as their offense basically ground to a halt, they proceeded to lose 10 of their final 12 games.
The outlook for a winning season in 2015 remains in doubt mainly because of the stiff competition Winnipeg will face in the stacked West Division. Richie Hall was brought in as the team’s new defensive coordinator to help clean up a unit that allowed a total of 481 points last season.
Ottawa RedBlacks – 20/1
The expansion RedBlacks played true to expectations in their inaugural season in the CFL with a SU record of 2-16, but they did cover in six of their 18 games as an underdog in every contest. The lone ray of hope was a 4-4-1 record ATS at home.
It will be a couple more seasons before Ottawa will legitimately compete for a playoff spot in the East, but hiring Jason Mass as its new offensive coordinator has to be seen as a step in the right direction. The RedBlacks scored an average of just 15.4 points a game last year.