Ticats betting favourite to win 2021 Grey Cup while Redblacks bring up the rear

The 2021 Grey Cup is scheduled to be handed out in November.

Winnipeg remains the defending CFL champion after the 2020 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the first time since 1919 the big silver trophy wasn’t handed out.

The league is working to put three-down football back on the field this year. Teams have re-signed key players and gone through free agency. Rosters have taken shape, except for a handful of recognizable names still on the open market, as franchises prepare to field cup contenders.

Bodog Canada has released its odds for each team to win the Grey Cup. Three tiers have emerged: favourites, long shots, and the Redblacks. Hamilton is set to host the CFL title game for the first time since 1996. The Ticats have been installed as the team to beat, but it will be decided on the field and not on paper.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats +300

The Tabbies were able to bring back many parts of the roster that produced a franchise-best 15-3 regular season record in 2019. Quarterbacks Jeremiah Masoli and Dane Evans give Hamilton the best pair of pivots in the league and you often need two through the marathon CFL season.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers +450

Similar to the Ticats, the team the Bombers blew out in the 107th Grey Cup, Winnipeg returns many critical pieces to try and run it back. The best offensive line in the CFL protects Zach Collaros who has Andrew Harris in the backfield and general manager Kyle Walters signed Bryant Mitchell who has legit No. 1 receiver potential.

Willie Jefferson made the saying famous and the Bombers want the trophy to come on down to Winnipeg again.

Calgary Stampeders +500

The Stamps weren’t active in free agency and watched as other franchises signed away former players, but Bo Levi Mitchell remains behind centre. That’s the difference-maker for the red and white, when Mitchell is on the field, Calgary always contends.

Saskatchewan Roughriders +500

Without Charleston Hughes and Cameron Judge, the Riders will rely on Cody Fajardo to score more points in his second full season as a starter. The dynamic duo of Shaq Evans and Kyran Moore can change the game in an instant and light up the scoreboard.

Toronto Argonauts +800

Michael “Pinball” Clemons has flashed his shiny, infectious smile and turned the narrative in Toronto around quickly. The Six has become a destination for homegrown talent, current CFL stars, and former NFLers, but the proof of concept won’t come until a trophy is raised.

B.C. Lions +850

The new regime has led a reconstructed roster on the left coast. Co-general managers Rick Campbell and Neil McEvoy paid Mike Reilly his grievance money, re-signed all-star Bryan Burnham and worked to improve the rest of the team.

Edmonton Football Team +900

The soon-to-be-named Edmonton Football Team has the makings of an explosive group. Trevor Harris has Derel Walker, Greg Ellingson, and Tevaun Smith among others to threaten defences through the air and James Wilder Jr. slated to tote the rock. That’s an entertaining group paired with offensive-minded head coach Jaime Elizondo.

Montreal Alouettes +900

After Vernon Adams Jr. reinvigorated the Als offence the last time the league assembled for football, general manager Danny Maciocia anointed him the franchise quarterback and focused on improving the defence. Signing veteran disruptor Almondo Sewell and pass rusher Nick Usher should boost the sack totals in La Belle Province and make Montreal more formidable.

Ottawa Redblacks +1400

Following a CFL-worst 3-15 record in 2019, the Redblacks have quickly become the butt of jokes in the league. Head coach Paul LaPolice hopes to make the joke makers look like goofs for pointing and laughing, but even the oddsmakers agree with the armchair comedians.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.