UFC 253 comes packed with fireworks from both inside the octagon and the betting lines as middleweight king Israel Adesanya settles his grudge with the unbeaten destroyer, Paulo Costa. Both fighters are explosive strikers and with ill will all but guaranteeing heated exchanges. Co-headlining are red-hot fighters Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz facing off for the vacant light heavyweight title. Let's break down these fights and see which bets we can cash.
Montreal Alouettes Grey Cup Odds 2017
Alouettes Odds To Win The Grey Cup
Two straight years without a spot in the postseason (after going every year from 1996 to 2014) have led the Montreal Alouettes to make some large moves this offseason. The biggest move the team made was trading for quarterback Darian Durant.
He had spent the first 12 years of his Canadian Football League career with the Saskatchewan Roughriders but deemed replaceable after a last-place finish in 2016. Durant is only 34 years old, and while he may not be in the long-term plans, he is a perfect one or two year stopgap for the franchise. Durant is not all the Als added on offense this offseason. The franchise inked Ernest Jackson, a highly productive wide receiver. In 2016, Jackson had 1225 yards and ten touchdowns, but most importantly, he caught the game-winning touchdown for Ottawa in the 2016 Grey Cup.
Overall expectations in Montreal are small to medium. The team is entering a transition period standard amongst franchises that experience such long runs of success. The acquisition of Darian Durant is the franchise’s way of staying afloat while they groom the quarterback of their future - Jacory Harris. With that said, Durant is by no means a total wash at quarterback – and is miles better than what they had in 2016. He should help the Alouettes improve their offense – which ranked second last in the CFL in 2016 – and add enough veteran leadership to make Montreal good enough to compete for a playoff spot.
At +750, the Alouettes are tied for the second worst Grey Cup odds overall. While the team is not getting much respect from the odds maker, they still have an outside chance at winning the Grey Cup in 2017. Because the Eastern Division is visibly weaker than the West, the Alouettes path to the postseason is easier than most. It took nine wins in 2014, ten wins in 2015 and only eight wins in 2016 for an Eastern Division team to make the playoffs. The Alouettes added enough in the offseason – especially at quarterback where they were atrocious in 2016 – to believe they can improve from by two wins in 2017 and make the playoffs. Once in the playoffs, anything can happen, and they have a chance at winning their first Grey Cup since 2010.
Montreal Alouettes 2017 Schedule
The Montreal Alouettes have the honour of opening the 2017 CFL season against Saskatchewan. Though both teams finished outside the playoffs in 2016, this game still is intriguing. The biggest story is Darian Durant facing his former team. Durant spent 12 years in Saskatchewan leading the Roughriders to three Grey Cups appearances going 1-2 overall.
The two losses were against Montreal – by a combined four points. Outside of the Durant history, expect both teams to come out of the gates flying as neither franchise wants to start the season off poorly after missing the playoffs the last two years.
The Montreal Alouettes schedule is one or more balanced in the league. They benefit from having their bye weeks in week 7 and week 17 – perfect for recovering mid-season and getting the team organized for a final playoff push over the last three week. The other benefit the Als have is they never have to play back-to-back road games against Western Division opponents. Of course, the entire schedule is not all easy. In week four, the Alouettes play the Ottawa Redblacks on the road and then return home to play the Calgary Stampeders five days later. The Alouettes wrap up the 2016 regular season with two of their final three games against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. They two games will likely play a major part in deciding the Eastern Division playoff picture.
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