Future Best Bets
June 15, 2017
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2017 CFL Futures
Now that the NHL and NBA playoffs have concluded, and the MLB season is entering the dog days of summer, many bettors are shifting their focus to the upcoming football season. 99% of that is NFL based, but for those up in Canada (or fans of the CFL anywhere), they'll be quick to tell you that the 2017 CFL season gets going in a week and it can be great for those who want to scratch that itch of watching/betting on football games.
Last year it was the underdog story of the Ottawa Redblacks who came away with a Grey Cup victory in an all-time classic championship game with Calgary, but the defending champs from Canada's capital lost their starting QB Henry Burris to retirement and have turned things over to the very capable Trevor Harris.
Currently it's those Calgary Stampeders who are favorites to claim the title this year (+325) and that shouldn't be too surprising given the core of their roster is back and they were nearly double-digit favorites in that Grey Cup vs. Ottawa.
But will the Stampeders get redemption this year, or should bettors set their sites on other squads that could very well make a run just like the Ottawa Redblacks did in 2016?
CFL Grey Cup Odds - per Sportsbook.ag
You can find the full list of Grey Cup odds for the nine teams in the CFL here, but there are two teams – one from each division that I want to focus on today.
BC Lions (+500) – The Lions come in right behind Calgary as the favorites to go all the way in 2017 and rightfully so. BC made it to the Western Final last year against those Stampeders, but a 1st half blitz by Calgary turned that game into a blowout rather quickly. There is no chance that BC has forgotten about how their 2016 season ended, and with all their key contributors suiting up in the orange and black this year, we could see 2017 turn out to be a year of redemption for this team out West. Things won't be easy for them as they've still got to find a way to get through Calgary, and the two teams behind them in the odds for the Grey Cup – Edmonton (+550) and Saskatchewan (+600) – are in the West as well.
Yet, what may be interesting to note here is the fact that the last three Grey Cup champions all lost in the Grey Cup or Conference Final the year before – typically in blowout fashion – and that's a scenario the Lions fit exactly in 2017. Come playoff time in November, you can expect the Lions to be making a lot of noise.
Montreal Alouettes (+750) – Unlike BC, Montreal did not have much success a year ago, but they were still a win away from getting into the playoffs where anything can happen. It's been a few down years in a row for the Alouettes as they've transitioned to the post-Anthony Calvillo era, but they hope to rectify that in 2017.
Montreal made the biggest move of the off-season when they acquired former Saskatchewan QB Darian Durant from the Roughriders, hoping that Durant can stay healthy and recapture his past glory. Durant and Calvillo were epic rivals in 2009-10 when Saskatchewan and Montreal met in consecutive Grey Cups against one another. Calvillo and Montreal came out on top in both instances, but now with Calvillo on the sidelines as an Alouettes coach and Durant on the field, those two great QB minds are working together to turn this thing around in Montreal.
In general, the East is going to be the weaker of the two divisions this year and that is good news for Montreal. They've still got a deep stable of talented receivers Durant can use at his disposal, and after consecutive years of battling one another for a championship, you know Calvillo and Durant are excited to work together towards that same goal. East teams aren't getting that much respect to begin the year, but as we saw with Ottawa in 2016, anything can happen in a one-game playoff contest and 2017 could very well be the Alouettes time to re-assert themselves as the best organization in the league.
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