Thu 22/07/2021 - 05:12 EDT

CFL Preview: Tcf and The Year of the Underdogs

CFL Preview: Tcf and The Year of the Underdogs

After losing a season due to the pandemic, the CFL returns with a reduced 14-game schedule that starts this August and ends in mid-December. The shorter schedule and lack of a preseason mean that most of the teams could be discombobulated thus opening the door for a chaotic CFL season. 

As such, literally, every team has a shot even if the online betting odds say otherwise:

2021 Grey Cup Winner Odds sports-interaction bodog betonline

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

3.92 4.00 4.00

Saskatchewan Roughriders

5.58 6.50 6.50

Calgary Stampeders

5.98 6.50 6.50

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

6.17 4.75 4.75

Toronto Argonauts

7.13 9.00 9.50

Edmonton Elks

9.00 9.50 10.00

British Columbia Lions

10.00 11.00 11.00

Montreal Alouettes

10.00 11.00 11.00

Ottawa Redblacks

13.00 19.00 19.00

The 2021 CFL Season: What's New?

Outside of the CFL season being shorter, the schedule changes a bit. There are more intra-division games including six of the last eight games. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Ottawa Redblacks will also not face each other. Saturdays will also have the bulk of the games with at least one game scheduled on 14 of the 16 games.

The first few weeks will also be played in western stadiums due to the COVID restrictions. The Roughriders play their first four games at home while the Alouettes have just two home games in the first nine weeks. This could give the western teams a fast start while making it harder for eastern teams. 

The CFL is also going ahead with its "global" players feature where teams will have two active roster spots designated for players who hold neither Canadian nor American citizenship.

We can also scratch off the partnership idea with the XFL. Commissioner Randy Ambrosie announced that the CFL will not be pursuing any collaborative actions with the upstart American League. 

And finally, preseason games are off the table. The CFL will begin with teams hitting the ground running. With a brief training camp and a condensed schedule, expect this CFL season to look different and with a high chance of an underdog champion.

the lions player odds

CFL Grey Cup Picks: Banking on the Underdogs

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are the consensus favourites to win the Grey Cup at 4.00 (per Bodog). They fell just short in 2019 but will return most of their key players from a season where they lost just four games. The defending champions, Winnipeg is in second at 4.75. And just behind them are the Western powers: Saskatchewan (6.50) and Calgary (6.50) with identical odds. 

All these teams have the same quarterback and similar rosters. They should be able to get back to business with their team continuity. But the real intrigue is with the underdogs, especially the teams that have made some bold changes. These could bust or these could take them all the way. 

Toronto Argonauts — 9.50

The Argonauts are the definition of a "boom or bust" team with the plethora of signings and changes the franchise has made. After a disastrous 2019 season where they finished with just four wins, the Argos went into immediate remodelling. They have a new front office with a new coach and a slew of new players.

Among the big names the Argos signed are a pair of Grey Cup-winning pass rushers in Charleston Hughes and Odel Willis. They also acquired a new quarterback in Nick Arbuckle along with receivers Eric Rogers and former NFLer Martavis Bryant.

The high roster turnover could mean the Argos will be disorganized, especially at the season's start. But when they start clicking, this team could just go all the way. The franchise did just win the Grey Cup in 2017 as a 9-9 team.  

British Columbia Lions — 10.00

The Lions are almost like the West version of the Argos when we're talking about being a "new" team. Except we caught a glimpse of what they could be like after patching up the offensive line late in 2019. The Lions finished 2019 with a 4-3 record and now they've made more upgrades.

The team signed speedsters Lucky Whitehead at receiver and Shaq Cooper at running back. And more notably, the team acquired Rick Campbell, who guided the upstart Redblacks to two Grey Cup appearances, winning one as an underdog.

Mike Reilly settled some contractual issues with the team and should now be focused to lead this team to the Grey Cup. He and Campbell have made championship-winning magic before. They can do it here and at 10-1 odds, there are worse bets out there. 

Ottawa Redblacks odds

Ottawa Redblacks — 13.00

If there's a franchise that has done the unthinkable before, it's the Redblacks. Like the Lions, it could go from worst to first and maybe even win the Grey Cup. Campbell may be gone, but the Redblacks swapped him with another Grey Cup-winning coach in Paul LaPolice.

This reunites LaPolice with his old quarterback in Matt Nichols. If he can stay healthy, he gives the Redblacks a solid pivot who can guide them to a respectable record and maybe more.

Also working in the Redblacks' favour is their not-so-difficult schedule. They don't face the champions Winnipeg and have eight games against very beatable opponents. A return to the postseason is definitely possible and it's anything goes from there.     

See below the top sportsbooks, like William Hill, where you can wager online and choose the best one for you:

Category : Sports News

Tag : cfl betting picks , cfl preview

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