Odds-on favourites: breaking down the top three teams to hoist the 2019 Grey Cup

Using the Sports Betting Dime odds, the top three favourites to win the Grey Cup are Hamilton, Calgary and Saskatchewan.

Sascha Paruk and myself break down the chances for each of the contenders — prove us wrong, Winnipeg — to earn a CFL title.

Paruk

No. 1 Hamilton Tiger-Cats (+325)

The argument for why the Ticats should be at the top is not nuanced. Statistically, they have the best offence and the best defence in the CFL, and they also have an easier path to the Grey Cup in the East. They’ll only need to win one game at home against a middling team to punch their ticket to Calgary. They have responded well to losing Jeremiah Masoli, with Dane Evans going 7-2 as the starter, and they remain unbeaten at Tim Hortons Field. The fact that they haven’t won a Grey Cup in this millennium is a non-factor.




No. 2 Calgary Stampeders (+400)

Winners of five of six since getting Bo Levi Mitchell back, the Stamps are tied with the Riders for first place in the West. But crucially, they own the tiebreaker, so they have the inside track on hosting the West Final. With this year’s Grey Cup also in Cowtown and the rest of the top contenders posting mediocre-at-best results on the road, Calgary has a slight edge over Saskatchewan in SBD’s 2019 Grey Cup odds.

No. 3 Saskatchewan Roughriders (+425)

The Riders edge the Bombers for third for a couple reasons. First and foremost, they’re healthier, with the Bombers losing Matt Nichols for the season a few weeks ago. Number two, they are a half-game up on Winnipeg in the standings, meaning they’d host the West semi if the playoffs started today, and they recently routed Winnipeg at home, 21-6. Unlike the two teams above them on this list, though, they are only .500 on the road, which keeps their odds behind current West-leaders Calgary.

Time for a run at it like each team is trying to make for hoisting the coveted trophy.

Dunk

No. 1 Hamilton Tiger-Cats (+325)

Hamilton is an elite all-around team. That’s why the Tabbies have been successful without star quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. An excellent offensive line with playmakers around an improving Dane Evans has kept the offence scoring points.

Defensively, all-world linebacker Simoni Lawrence heads the hardest unit to score against in the CFL. Meanwhile, special teams coordinator Jeff Reinebold has a knack for scheming well in important games. The Ticats are Steeltown tough in every phase.

Hamilton are favourites to claim the Cup because the West winner is going to be beat up.

No. 2 Calgary Stampeders (+400)

Bo knows winning and almost always seems to find a way to get it done in crucial moments. Even though the Stamps’ franchise quarterback missed a large chunk of the season, Mitchell has his team in the mix for top spot in the West and the bye that comes with it.

The defence is criminally underrated in Cowtown and Mark Kilam’s special teams units are the best in the league. Dave Dickenson’s group is a tough out at McMahon Stadium, especially in November.

The perennial favourites are a safe bet.

No. 3 Saskatchewan Roughriders (+425)

Green Jesus sprinkles have the Riders in Grey Cup contention.

Cody Fajardo has blessed the franchise with a quarterback to call their own. Fajardo has a strong runner in William Powell to provide a balanced offensive attack with weapons Shaq Evans, Kyran Moore, Jordan Williams-Lambert, Naaman Roosevelt, and Cory Watson. Saskatchewan’s offensive line is stout and strong.

35-year-old Charleston Hughes is on pace for a career-high in sacks, proving age is just a number. Solomon Elimimian has displayed similar youthful exuberance, while studs Micah Johnson, Derrick Moncrief, Cameron Judge and Nick Marshall round out a solid defence.

Saskatchewan has intriguing value at the current odds.

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