When it comes to professional football ‘north of the border’, the Calgary Stampers have been the closest thing to the NFL’s New England Patriots for the past three seasons. The early money at the Canadian book Bovada believes that ride is about to come to end with the BC Lions boasting the best odds on the board to win the 2019 Grey Cup.
2019 CFL Grey Cup Top Favorites
Since the CFL is not at the top of the list with US bettors, many of the offshore books still have Calgary at the top of the list to win the Grey Cup again in 2019. The Stampeders have gone to the league title game the last three seasons after winning the highly competitive West Division each year. The recently updated odds at Bovada have this team second on the list at +325 odds to add some tremendous value to this play.
The Stampeders have posted double-digit victories in an 18-game regular season schedule the past 11 years and they are coming off a 13-5 record in 2018. After suffering a pair of heart-breaking losses to Ottawa (2016) and Toronto (2017) in the CFL Championship, everything came together in last year’s title run. Behind an offense that averaged 29 points per game and a defense that ranked first in points allowed (20.2) by a wide margin, Calgary remains the team to beat in my book.
The favorite on the board at Bovada is the BC Lions at +300 betting odds. Coming off an even 9-9 record last year after going just 7-11 in 2017 in the West Division, Canadian bettors are banking on a major move forward in 2019. Most offshore books still have the Lions well down the list among the nine CFL teams on minimal betting action. If you want to jump on the BC bandwagon, be sure to shop the odds to find the best value.
The main reason the Canadian betting public is backing the Lions is their new quarterback Mike Reilly. He started his CFL career in BC before moving on to Edmonton for the past six years. You could compare Reilly to Drew Brees in the NFL given his ability to rack up yards through the air. He has led the league in total passing yards the past three seasons. After throwing for an incredible 5,830 yards in 2017, he came back down to earth a bit last season with 5,562 passing yards in 18 games. He also tossed 30 touchdowns, which was second-most in the CFL.
2019 CFL Grey Cup Top Contender
The East Division’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats have the third-best odds on the board at +550 followed by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (+600) and Saskatchewan Roughriders (+650) as two more teams from the West.
The overall competition in the West is brutal to squeeze value from Winnipeg and Saskatchewan. I am not sold on Hamilton coming off an 8-10 record in 2018. This leaves the Ottawa RedBlacks at +850 betting odds as my top-valued contender.
An expansion team in 2014, Ottawa has already won a Grey Cup title in 2016 along with East Division titles in two of the past three seasons. The RedBlacks lost to Calgary 27-16 in last year’s Grey Cup as 4.5-point underdogs. The path back to the championship game is far easier in the East and there is enough talent back from last year’s squad to make another deep run this season.