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CFL Futures: 2019 Season Preview and Grey Cup Odds

Bombers Appearances(10-14) @ Argonauts Appearances (17-6)

  • Where: McMahon Stadium. Calgary, Alberta
  • When: November 24, 2019 2:00 pm EST
  • Moneyline: Calgary Stampeders +400 Ottawa Redblacks +450 Saskatchewan Roughriders +450 Winnipeg Blue Bombers +450 British Columbia Lions +750 Hamilton Tiger-Cats +900 Edmonton Eskimos +1000 Montreal Alouettes +1200 Toronto Argonauts +1200

Mercy me, there’s been a lot happening in the sports world since we took a coffee break at Mobile Sports Betting.

Zion Williamson of Duke had a shoe explode and cast doubt on his March Madness status, Paris Saint-Germain embarrassed Manchester United at Old Trafford, and the New England Patriots won it all again.

As fast as the Pats won the Super Bowl, it seems, the glory may be tarnished beyond repair. A pair of hard news stories out of the sports world are making the outcomes of the games feel like mere trivia. Patriots owner Robert Kraft is charged with soliciting illegal prostitution in Florida, and Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim accidentally struck and killed a pedestrian while driving down the highway.

Those are surely the most important topics of the day.

But due to time constraints, we can’t talk about them any more.

That’s right – with its late-night delayed cable broadcasts, “time constraints,” and a 110-yard field, and 3 downs from scrimmage, the Canadian Football League will be starting up again in early spring.

Calgary is an odds-on favorite to repeat as Grey Cup champions when the title scrum takes place on November 24th. It doesn’t hurt that the Stampeders would be hosting the event.

Let’s take a closer look, ay? Here’s a peek at some teams likely to contend in the 9-team Canadian league this season, along with an upset pick to lift the hardware.

Calgary Stampeders ((+400) Odds-to-Win 2019 Grey Cup at Bovada Sportsbook)

The defending Grey Cup champs were able to produce the franchise’s 8th league title last season. The Calgary Stampeders have now appeared in the playoffs in 14 consecutive seasons and are quickly becoming a staple of the final, much as the Brady Bunch has in the Super Bowl.

Ottawa fell to Calgary in last autumn’s title bout of Old Lion vs upstart.

QB Bo Levi Mitchell scorched defenses for a league-best 35 touchdowns and over 5,000 passing yards last year. Kamar Jorden, the 6’3” slotback, is Mitchell’s favorite target.

The Stampeders will be without CFL-leading tackler Alex Singleton. He was nabbed as a free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles in January. Standout DL Micah Johnson left for the Saskatchewan (no, really, he left to play with Saskatchewan) and LB Jameer Thurman is currently pursuing the NFL.

Ottawa Redblacks (+450)

While the Grey Cup match was a disappointment, Ottawa can still feel fortunate to have participated in the game given a steady-but-unspectacular 11-7 mark in ’18. The Redblacks have only been in the league for 5 seasons but have made an appearance in the Grey Cup in 3 of their previous 4 campaigns. This young franchise did defeat the Stampeders for league title in 2016.

The Redblacks experienced setbacks in the offseason, emphasized by the loss of starting quarterback Trevor Harris. The gunslinger exceeded 5,000 passing yards in 2018 but signed with Edmonton during the offseason. Ottawa lost a total of 4 offensive starters during the free agency period.

Defensive back Jonathan Rose does return after tying for league-best with 5 interceptions.

Saskatchewan Roughriders (+450)

The Roughriders finished the season a game behind the Stampeders at 12-6. Even though they had defeated the Stampeders in the regular season, a huge upset loss to Winnipeg during the division semi-finals kept the unit from having a chance to knock off Calgary in the playoffs.

Saskatchewan has won a total of 4 Grey Cups, with the most recent coming in 2013.

Last season, former Auburn Tiger and 3rd-round NFL Draft pick Tre Mason led the Roughriders with 809 rushing yards. Veteran defensive lineman Charleston Hughes led the league with 15 sacks is indeed a force to be reckoned with on the edge. But Hughes has lost his right-hand man in DE Willie Jefferson who takes his double-digit sacks to Winnipeg.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (+450)

The Blue Bombers triumphed over a rough start to finish 10-8 and 3rd place in the West Division. The squad pulled off a bombshell victory over the Roughriders in the division semi-finals before finally falling to the Stampeders. The franchise does boast 10 Grey Cup championships in franchise history, but has not grabbed the league title since 1990.

Things may soon change. Quarterback Matt Nichols is an Eastern Washington product who knows how to put the pedal to the metal in a wide-open contest. Running back Andrew Harris is the team’s go-getter and the league’s top runner last year with 1,390 rushing yards. Wide-receiver Darvin Adams is a threat on the outside.

A LB named Adam Bighill still leads the defense. In the offseason, Bighill signed a 3-year contract extension to become the highest paid defensive player in the history of the CFL.

British Columbia Lions (+800)

The Lions improved to a 9-9 finish in 2018 to end up in 4th place in the West Division. Usually, that would mean sitting out of the playoffs, but the Lions were present thanks to a qualification rule and played in the East Division’s side of the bracket. Hamilton smashed BC 48-8 to move up to the division title game.

There is not enough reliability in the passing game, and QB Mike Reilly could be a godsend of an acquisition through free agency. British Columbia also has a real lion on the inside with DE Odell Willis.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (+900)

Despite ending the regular season below .500, the Tiger-Cats finished in 2nd place in the East Division. They were a game away from playing in the Grey Cup. But a 46-27 loss to the Redblacks ended the Tiger-Cats season. Hamilton has not won a Grey Cup in 20 years to date.

Former Oregon and Ole Miss quarterback Jeremiah Masoli had a lively year, ending up being 2nd in the league in passing yards and 3rd in touchdowns. Brandon Banks and Luke Tasker are top targets and provide the most perilous outside duo in the league. Both receivers finished the season with 1,000 receiving yards and tied for tops in the CFL with 11 touchdown catches.

2019 CFL Prediction and Best Futures Bet

Agree with my analysis? Click here to wager on the British Columbia Lions and get a sign-up offer from Bovada Sportsbook.

CFL pundits looking at Calgary to repeat don’t seem to realize that most of the important transactions have already occurred, and the teams are deep in training. How can the club plug its holes on defense?

I’m liking BC Lions and their brand new QB instead, at (+800).

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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