- Connor O'Neil
Grey Cup Gambling Preview
The CFL season is becoming more of a reality every week. On this week’s Eh Block, Commissioner Randy Ambrosie spoke about the tireless work going on behind the scenes to make the 2021 season happen.
What has caught my attention recently has been the release of Grey Cup betting odds. Advanced analytics and gambling have become synonymous. There’s a certain excitement to watching a bet pay-off that you had been researching all week.
In the spirit of this excitement, I decided to give my initial thoughts on the Grey Cup odds as fans (im)patiently wait for the potential kickoff to the 2021 CFL season.
*Odds provided by BET99
Most Surprising Odds: Winnipeg Blue Bombers +500
I have to admit the Winnipeg Blue Bombers not being the Grey Cup favourite was a bit of a shock to me. Especially when taking into account, they are the defending champions.
The Bombers have also mostly avoided the roster turnover that is often seen during off-seasons. Instead, Winnipeg was able to extend offensive playmakers Andrew Harris, Nic Demski, and Kenny Lawler.
Adding Bryant Mitchell through free-agency raises eyebrows as well. The former Edmonton pass-catcher totalled 867 yards and 3 touchdowns on 60 receptions in 2019-20. Mitchell provides a boost for the Bombers’ big-play ability downfield. A scary thought.
The defending Grey Cup Champions are not going away, in fact, they got better in certain areas. Do not be surprised if the Bombers are at the top of the Western Division once again in 2021.
Favourite Odds: Saskatchewan Roughriders +440
Now that I’ve mentioned the West, I’d be remiss if I left out the Green and White. The Saskatchewan Roughriders find themselves as the second-highest favoured team to win the Grey Cup at +440.
Yes, the Riders lost talents such as, Dakota Shepley, Cam Judge and Charleston Hughes. However, they were able to convince defensive star, Micah Johnson to stay in Riderville after he had previously signed with BC in the 2020 off-season.
Additionally, they have been able to retain key offensive pieces in, Shaq Evans and Cody Fajardo. Also managing to bolster the speed of their secondary with the signing of Godfrey Onyeka.
Saskatchewan’s +440 odds to win a Grey Cup should indicate to CFL fans everywhere that the Riders are going to be legitimate contenders in 2021.
Eyes Catching Odds: Montreal Alouettes +900
The Montreal Alouettes at +900, are you kidding me?! As a dark horse pick this is the one line that I’m in love with. As Wade and I mentioned on this week’s All-Canadian, the Als could sneak their way in as the second seed in the East by the end of this year.
The thought of the Alouettes making a Grey Cup run isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. I may have taken a few shots to the side of the helmet in my day, but I haven’t completely lost my sanity… at least my football sanity.
Vernon Adam Jr. is cementing himself as one of the league’s premier quarterbacks. Posting 3,942 yards and 24 touchdowns through the air in 2019-20. The Montreal pivot added 394 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground. A dangerous weapon in any offensive scheme.
On the ground, Montreal was one of the best rushing teams in 2019. Amassing 2,236 rushing yards for a 5.7 yards per carry average, an eye-popping stat line in a pass first league.
Admittedly it’s the Montreal defence that’s worrisome. In 2019 they allowed the most passing yards and accounted for just 16 interceptions on the season.
Against the ground, the Als allowed the fourth-most rushing yards league-wide and struggled to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Recording a league-worst, 27 sacks.
While Montreal does need to figure out their imbalances, I strongly believe they could finish as the second-seeded team in the East. The +900 odds for the Als should certainly draw attention from those looking for a dark horse bet.