Will Elks’ on-field results reward fans after season-ticket surge?

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

The 2022 Canadian Football League season is now just weeks away from its June 9th start date and as we look toward the new season, we are making a pit stop in Edmonton to check on the Elks and their futures odds at Ontario sportsbooks.

Ontario bettors will certainly have plenty of betting options when it comes to their three area CFL teams – the Argonauts, Redblacks, and Tiger-Cats. But the good news is they’ll be able to wager on the CFL throughout the entire season, from Week 1 through the Grey Cup.

One of the teams outside the region that’s getting no shortage of excitement from its own fanbase ahead of the new season is Alberta’s Edmonton Elks, despite last year’s 3-11 record and longshot odds in 2022.

Elks record highest season ticket sales in franchise history

As 3DownNation reported back in late February, the Elks’ poor showing last season led to Edmonton’s home field of Commonwealth Stadium becoming cavernous at times in a show of displeasure with the organization.

Given the unacceptable 2021 results, changes were unsurprisingly made at the highest levels of the Elks franchise this offseason. New Elks CEO Victor Cui is leading the charge in reigniting interest in the team, and those efforts appear to be moving the needle if a recent season-ticket purchasing blitz is any indication.

The Elks ran a 72-hour season-ticket sale back in late February that featured a special price of $99. The discount offer worked to perfection, as the team reportedly sold more tickets on February 21 than on any other single day in the franchise’s 73-year history.

Whether fueled by a belief the team has nowhere to go but up, a thirst for the first full CFL season since 2019, the rock-bottom limited-time ticket price, or a combination of all three…it seems Elks faithful is energized. Now, the question becomes: will the on-field results be able to match that enthusiasm?

2022 Edmonton Elks futures odds | will on-field results reward the investment from fans?

The swell of optimism is encouraging, and having the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft doesn’t hurt that excitement, but can the Elks reward their fans by validating expectations in 2022?

Edmonton could very well improve in its 3-11 mark from 2021 and potentially climb out of the basement in the west. But given the type of one-year turnaround that would be required to reach the division final or the Grey Cup, it would seem the odds are against them, and oddsmakers seem to agree.

In surveying some major platforms already doing business in the province – BetMGM, FanDuel, Unibet, and PointsBet – the Elks are listed with the second-longest or co-longest odds to win the West (). And when it comes to the possibility of shocking the league and winning it all this season, Edmonton’s chances () are naturally considered even more remote.

If you are among the bettors looking at Edmonton as a dark horse, sportsbooks such as FanDuel, Unibet, and PointsBet are among the sites with the best futures prices on the Elks at this point.

While those prices are undeniably appealing, how equipped Edmonton is to turn those bets into winning tickets is very much up for debate. The team does have a very interesting quarterback situation when you factor in the signing of former Ohio State standout J.T. Barrett, but the team has other options at this most critical position.

Taylor Cornelius, an Oklahoma State product, picked up some valuable experience in his rookie season. Over 14 games, the 26-year-old completed 58.0 percent of his passes for 1,795 yards with nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions. The dual-threat QB added 149 yards and a touchdown while averaging 7.1 yards per carry.

But even with a solid skill-position group that includes James Wilder, Kenny Lawler, Armanti Edwards, and former NFL speedster Martavis Bryant, Cornelius could naturally suffer through plenty of growing pains in his first full season as a clear-cut starter, if that does wind up being the case.

Meanwhile, even if Cornelius and his teammates outperform expectations, a defense that allowed the second-most points per game (27.0) a season ago would have to display exponential improvement for the Elks to make a serious run.

Best CFL sportsbooks in Ontario