CFL Future Odds 2019
The Canadian Football League is BACK…well almost. The CFL Schedule is up and available. The preseason begins in two months and the regular season kicks off on June 13.
After the Calgary Stampeders stamped a half decade of dominance by winning their second Grey Cup in four finals appearances out of the last five seasons, they’ll have their eyes of a repeat.
Odds to win the Grey Cup
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Now usually when discussing futures I like to go for the big value. However with the current CFL odds to win the Grey Cup the biggest value appears to be with the best teams.
At the top of the board are the defending Champion Calgary Stampeders at +325, the runner up Ottawa RedBlacks at +450.
So to provide some context, the CFL is a 9 team league. In the last 5 Grey Cup games, of a 9 team league, seven of the ten finalists have been either the Ottawa RedBlacks or the Calgary Stampeders
If you were to just bet $100 on both the Stamps and RedBlacks at their given price, with the odds of one or both teams continuing their recent dominance in your favor, you would look to be in good standing.
After the two clear favorites we have the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers both at +500, which brings me to our next talking point. The top heavy Western division.
In 2017, the teams with the four best records were all in the West, and no team in the East had a record above .500. In 2018, only Ottawa had record above .500 and the Hamilton Ticats made the playoffs with a sub .500 record. Seeing no significant improvements across the board by any franchise one can conclude that the West is much harder to emerge from than the East. This gives Ottawa’s futures a little more value to me.
The CFL Schedule: a Marathon, not a sprint
And if we dive further into the East vs West conversation, in 40 head to head games in the 2018 regular season, the West was 28-12. Calgary was 8-0 against the East division and no team in the West was below .500 versus the East.
I’d look to see if this trend continues in 2019 and if so it may be a profitable way to approach CFL picks.
As far as how this effects playoff seeding, if last season was any indication, conceivably, the RedBlacks can comfortably win the East, earn a bye into the semifinals and only have to play one game against a mediocre team to earn a Grey Cup birth.
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If you’re on Calgary futures the road will not be as easy, as there is a track record in the West of multiple strong teams being able to post good records. Recent history suggests that 10 wins will be enough to win the East but Calgary has had to win 13 games each of the last two seasons to top the West. So no team in the West can really afford to take their foot off the pedal the entire season.
If Ottawa, who we believe to be the best team in East by a wide margin, can start the season even average they should be fine. The RedBlacks have a very difficult schedule to start the year but their last 4 games of the 2019 regular season will all be against their weaker Eastern rivals, meaning that if they already have not secured the top seed by that point, they can look to run the table. If they’re already in good standing they’ll have the luxury of gearing up for the playoffs and not worry necessarily about wins and losses.
You can follow me on twitter @zahir_gilani
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