Two stunning upsets later and we have what should be an explosive CFL Division Finals and CFL playoff odds couldn’t come here any sooner. We get Chapter IV of the Banjo Bowl as bitter rivals Saskatchewan and Winnipeg clash in Regina while the Edmonton Eskimos head to the CFL-leading Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ home. As last week proved, this is all up for grabs! Let’s get to the odds.
The 2019 CFL Season kicks off
Now that the CFL season is underway, be sure to check in every week for CFL picks against the spread and advice for your CFL pick em pools. But for now let’s try to get an overall lay of the land.
Let’s have a look at the current CFL odds to win the Grey Cup:
- Calgary Stampeders +280
- Winnipeg Blue Bombers +333
- BC Lions +475
- Saskatchewan Roughriders +1000
- Edmonton Eskimos +1000
Are the Defending Grey Cup finalists flying the radar?
Way back in March when we first discussed CFL Betting Futures, the Ottawa RedBlacks futures to win the 2019 Grey Cup opened at +450.
Fast foward to the middle of June and the Ottawa RedBlacks are now up to +700 on BET365. This comes after a week 1 win, at the home of the Grey Cup Champion Calgary Stampeders, and inquiring minds want to know why has their price gone up?
Luckily for us, there is a simple explanation. Quarterback Trevor Harris, who led Ottawa to the Grey Cup last season, signed for the Edmonton Eskimos and will be applying his trade in Alberta through the 2020 season, leaving a void in football’s most important position.
Enter Dominique Davis, career back up and journeyman in both the NFL and CFL, who has been given the shot to start. We will undoubtedly learn a lot more about this enigmatic character in the weeks to come, but despite some poor week 1 passing stats, Davis has earned the trust from his teammates and head coach.
All the comments from head coach Rick Campbell and his players are the type of comments that are made by coaches and players when they know they potentially have something special on their hands and that makes me excited as a bettor.
Furthermore, the defense held the Calgary Stampeders to under 300 yards of total offense on the road, and Davis led a late comeback drive to steal the opener 32-28. If this is a sign of things to come then the RedBlacks will be that team this year who are never out of any ball game, and who can often rally back to win games.
And, probably the most important factor in all of this is that they still play in the East Division, the decidedly weaker conference as the top three teams favored to win the 2019 CFL Grey Cup all play in the West Division. Surprisingly, the Hamilton Ticats at +500 have the lowest CFL odds of any team in the East to win the Grey Cup.
But for my money, Ottawa is still the best team in the division.
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The sun sets in the West
And now that Edmonton has a legitamate starting quarterback, don’t be shocked if they make some noise this season. In his debut with Eskimos this past weekend, Trevor Harris shredded the Montreal Alouettes for 447 yards and 3 TDs. The books haven’t overreacted however as they are near the bottom of the Futures table at +1000 to win the Grey Cup.
At the helm for the BC Lions this season is Canadian Mike Reilly who spent the last 6 seasons with the Eskimos, and won the 2015 Grey Cup and was named Grey Cup MVP. This immediately has made the Lions contender in the eyes of the sportsbooks.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Calgary Stampeders have both lost some value at the current price compared to when the lines initially opened, and the Saskatchewan Roughriders price has doubled since they initially opened at +500.
As a bettor, every team gives me pause. The BC Lions and Saskatchewan Roughriders don’t inspire much confidence as I don’t think anyone knows what they’ll be this season.
The Blue Bombers and Stampeders offer little to no value, and the while the Eskimos price tag does tempt, it would only be a knee jerk reaction to them beating Montreal in week 1, perhaps the worst team in the CFL.
And the bigger issue with backing a West Division team is that they inevitably all have to go through one another. All in all, it’s way too early to know where the value. But we will be watching all season long and eventually come up with a winning approach to the West Division.
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