Beating the Odds: Some Thoughts on the 2022 CFL Futures Markets

With the league’s deal with the players association locked in, let’s take a peek at plays from the sportsbooks relative to the upcoming CFL season. We recently put out a piece featuring each team’s odds for games to be won in the upcoming season.

In the East, I think the teams that are most likely to outperform the line are Ottawa and Toronto. The Redblacks’ Free Agency haul moved their odds to win the Grey Cup from +1800 the day after free agency (which is when I put my money on them) to +1200 today.  

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With an over/under line on their games to be won this regular season of 7.5, I’m betting the over. I think the new additions in Ottawa are still underrated and the Redblacks getting eight or more wins is a strong bet.

I also like Toronto to go over 9.5 wins. Why?  I’m bought in on the idea that Andrew Harris and Speedy Banks, while not ever going to be their “old selves,” are going to be out to show they have more left in the tank than the critics think.

Andrew Harris, Toronto Argonauts – Via Toronto Argonauts on Twitter

With Montreal at over/under at 8.5 games to be won this season I see this as a classic “no-play.” I’m just not sure. The Alouettes may finish right around .500 or they could host the East Final. So, for me, it’s “wait and see.”

With the TiCats, even though I consider them “my team,” I’m going to play the “under 10.5 wins.” If Hamilton comes in with 10 wins I have a winning bet and they will still likely make the playoffs and, perhaps, a Grey Cup run.

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In the West, I’m betting the under on Winnipeg also. Their line is 11.5 games and 12 wins is a lot to ask.  Similar to Hamilton, if the Bombers win 11 games, they could still challenge for their third consecutive title.

I think the BC Lions are the West’s safest “over” bet. Needing only seven wins in the regular season to beat the line, I like the chances of a Nathan Rourke-led team, starring Lucky Whitehead, to be more stable from the front end to the back. 

In the last two seasons, the Lions have flashed signs of brilliance but have been inconsistent. If they have woes on the offensive or defensive lines, they could disappoint. But, again, needing only to get seven wins makes them an attractive bet to go “over.”

Nathan Rourke, BC Lions – The Canadian Press

I’m staying completely off of the Elks, who are also over/under 6.5. I wrote the “Elks against Themselves” piece last season because I can’t figure this club out.

With Calgary and the Riders both at +/- 9.5 games, I’m splitting the difference. I think the Stamps will go under and win only nine games. I’m also putting my money on Saskatchewan to win at least 10 regular-season games.

Draftkings Sportsbook has also released futures odds on who will win each division. 

Related: CFL Odds Makers Set Lines for Regular Season Wins

The Bombers are favoured, at +120, to win the West.  The Riders are +275 and the Stamps +300.  The Lions are paying 12-to-one (+1200) to win the West and the Elks +1400.

I’m going to make the pro-move of hedging my regular-season wins bet and take the added value with the Stampeders to win the West at three-to-one.

In the East, the men from steel town are favoured at +150, with the DoubleBlue at +170 close on the heels of the ‘cats. Montreal is +400 (four-to-one) and Ottawa +600.

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I’m going to ride with the Argos here and put a secondary bet on the Redblacks as a hedge. The value on Ottawa is hard to pass up in light of that free-agent haul.

We are just days away from the regular season, so these markets will start to move soon.

I always disclose that sometimes, I make plays other than what I suggest on 13th Man Sports. If you bet on sports, keep it in moderation and enjoy the action.


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