The Grey Cup is the championship game of the Canadian Football League or the CFL. The CFL’s 62nd season is set to get underway on June 13, 2019 and will run through November 2, 2019. The playoffs will begin on November 10, 2019 with the Grey Cup slated for November 24, 2019.
This year’s edition is the 107th Grey Cup and it will be held at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alberta. It marks the 5th time in league history that Calgary will be hosting the Grey Cup. This will also be the second consecutive year that the province of Alberta will be hosting the CFL’s Grey Cup with Edmonton as the 2018 hosts. It is also the second time that the two cities have hosted back-to-back Grey Cups as they hosted the same event in 2009 and 2010.
The league’s free agency period started last February 12, 2019 and we saw key players moving to different places. Let’s take a look at the significant player movements in the CFL since the start of the free agency period:
|Team||Significant Free Agent Signings with free agent ranking|
|BC Lions||Mike Reilly (1), Sukh Chungh (12), Bryan Burnham (13), Duron Carter (21), Aaron Grymes (26)|
|Calgary Stampeders||Bo Levi Mitchell (2), Eric Rogers (29)|
|Edmonton Eskimos||Trevor Harris (3), Kwaku Boateng (11), Greg Ellingson (14), Don Unamba (16), SirVincent Rogers (23), Jovan Santos-Knox (24), Larry Dean (25)|
|Hamilton Tiger-Cats||Delvin Breaux (6), Brandon Banks (7), Ja’Gared Davis (9)|
|Montreal Alouettes||Taylor Loffler (17), B.J. Cunningham (19), DeVier Posey (22)|
|Ottawa Redblacks||Jonathan Rose (15), Jason Lauzon-Seguin (18), Jonathon Jennings (20)|
|Toronto Argonauts||Derel Walker (10), Micah Awe (27), Shawn Lemon (30)|
|Saskatchewan Roughriders||Micah Johnson (4), William Powell (28)|
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers||Willie Jefferson (5)|
The numbers beside the players’ names are their free agent ranking as per CFL.ca. Along with these player transfers came movements in the betting lines. Let’s take a look now at the updated betting odds for the CFL’s 2019 Grey Cup. And if you need any help betting on football check our guide.
Who Are The Favorites?
Here are the latest odds to win the CFL Grey Cup 2019. Odds taken from bet365.com as of October 6, 2019:
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers||+450|
No doubt about who the betting favorite is for the CFL Grey Cup 2019. After securing quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell for the next four seasons, the Calgary Stampeders kept much of the offense that scored a CFL-second best 522 points last season. Mitchell didn’t just get offers from around the league, he got offers from the NFL as well. But with NFL teams not projecting him higher than a third string quarterback, he decided to stick it out with the Stampeders. With the likes of Eric Rogers and Kamar Jordan back, the Stampeders are a solid bet to retain their championship trophy.
Of course, the team isn’t perfect and there are still holes to fill, especially in their defensive line and their secondary. However, given that Calgary’s defense allowed a league best 363 points last season, I think they are going to be fine. No other team in the league allowed fewer than 419 points last season.
The BC Lions hit the jackpot when they landed quarterback Mike Reilly in free agency. Reilly was the CFL’s leader in passing yards last season with 5,562 and he was also ranked 2nd overall in touchdown passes thrown with 30. For sure, Reilly’s arrival makes the Lions a much better team than last season but remember that Reilly is going to adjust to a new system and will not have the same weapons he played with in Edmonton.
The Lions also allowed 472 points last season which was the most in the Western Conference so while they upgraded offensively, they still need help with their secondary and their offensive line as well. I’m not sure whether they’ve addressed that need already. The BC Lions will be better but I’m not sure if they will be good enough to win it all this season.
The Edmonton Eskimos replaced Reilly with Trevor Harris but Edmonton’s new quarterback has dealt with inconsistency and injuries in the past. Without a doubt, the Eskimos have taken a step back in the quarterback position and that could affect their overall performance this season.
But remember that Harris played under Jason Maas in Toronto so there’s a familiarity that’s going to help smoothen the adjustment period. Likewise, Edmonton brought over some of Harris’ receiving corps so that should be another plus factor as well. Also, don’t forget that it was Ottawa who played Calgary in the finals last season so Harris is a proven playoff performer. I think the oddsmakers are underestimating Trevor Harris here. I like the value on the Eskimos at +1100.
The Montreal Alouettes are the betting longshots to win the CFL title at +1600. But they may be able to pull off a couple of surprises here and there given how they played their free agency. Taylor Loffler and Bo Lokombo look to improve the Montreal defense. On the other hand, DeVier Posey looks to make an impact on offense but the Alouettes lost starting quarterback Johnny Manziel who is now throwing football for the AAF.
Ottawa was the best team in the East last season at 11-7 while three other teams in the conference were 8-10 or worse. Considering Ottawa lost its starting backfield in free agency, the East is a wide open field and Montreal could surprise their rivals. I don’t think they can win the title though but if there will be odds to win the East, the Alouettes are a longshot bet worth looking at.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders have won eight out of their last nine games after Round 14 and they are poised to make a run at the 2019 Grey Cup. The Calgary Stampeders have been to the CFL title game in four out of the last five seasons and won the title last season. They were the betting favorites a couple of months ago and are currently on a five-game winning streak.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have the best record in the CFL right now and they are the top team in a weak East Division. That means that they are not only playing well right now but they also have an easier path to making it to the Finals than the other top contenders. Hamilton is coming off a three-game West trip which we though was going to be a tough test for them. They went 2-1 on that trip and were a blocked-field goal away from going unbeaten during that trip. No question, they are playing the best football in the CFL right now.
The bet here is about winning the Grey Cup and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, being in the “easy” East division have become the new favorites. Not only do they have the easier route to the finals, but they are also the team that is playing the best football right now with just one loss in their last nine games played. I’m going with the favorites here. I already likes Hamilton two months ago when they were down the odds board. This team is having plenty going for them right now. Prediction: Hamilton Tiger-Cats.