Is Saskatchewan worth a futures bet heading into 2022 season?

Photo courtesy: CFL

The expansion of sports betting in Ontario means that Canadian Football League fans and bettors have plenty of betting options for the 2022 season, and one of the teams already seeing plenty of action in the futures market is the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

With just a few weeks remaining until the regular season kicks off, there’s really no better time to start scouring the expansive array of options to shop for the best prices on CFL futures bets.

All regulated betting sites in Ontario have Grey Cup odds, and plenty of them also have lines for the East and West divisions readily available. An even smaller number (PointsBet) has win totals for the upcoming season among their options.

Below, we’ll discuss whether this year’s iteration of the Riders is a group you’ll want your money on before the 2022 season gets going.

Extra pressure on Saskatchewan with Grey Cup at Mosaic Stadium?

The Riders finished the shortened 2021 campaign with an impressive 9-5 record before narrowly losing the West Division Final to the eventual Grey Cup champion Blue Bombers.

Saskatchewan won’t only have that disappointing conclusion as motivation for 2022, as the 109th Grey Cup also happens to be slated for their home field at Mosaic Stadium home field on November 20th.

The opportunity to play for the CFL’s biggest prize at home will naturally offer plenty of extra fuel for Craig Dickenson’s squad but at the same time, knowing your stadium is hosting the championship game can also add to the pressure of reaching that point. Twelve CFL teams have served as both Grey Cup participants and hosts since the league’s inception, with those clubs forging a 6-6 mark.

The conditions may just be right for the Riders to join that group. After all, Saskatchewan returns the bulk of its key players from last season and the state of the West Division arguably leaves the Riders with just one main obstacle – the defending champs.

The Blue Bombers are favorites for a third consecutive championship with good reason, given that quarterback Zach Collaros will be back under center and five-time 1,000-yard receiver Greg Ellingson was added this offseason.

Nevertheless, the Riders counter with the return of their own talented signal-caller in Cody Fajardo. There are some questions in the backfield now that three-time 1,000-yard rusher William Powell is in Ottawa, but Fajardo boasts a talented array of pass-catching options that includes Kyran Moore, Kian Schaffer-Baker, Shaq Evans and the newly-signed Duke Williams, the Riders’ marquee offseason signing.

Meanwhile, key contributors Micah Teitz (team-high 71 tackles, three sacks) and A.C. Leonard (team-high 11 sacks) return to a defense that allowed the fourth-fewest points per game (20.3) a season ago.

Even with the signing of Williams factored in, the Riders have just under $5.1 million in ’22 salaries on the books, the third-lowest figure among the league’s nine teams. While some feel the Riders could’ve done more in the offseason, others feel this group can still content with Winnipeg as is. So are the Riders worth a futures bet in 2022?

Is Saskatchewan a team to target for 2022 CFL futures?

With the Blue Bombers still loaded with talent and the Stampeders boasting plenty of veteran players, there’s no guarantee the Roughriders can finish atop the West Division (), even if it has another strong season.

But this team is fully capable of reaching the postseason and getting back to Mosaic Stadium the hard way, especially with the incentive of potentially playing for the CFL’s biggest prize in front of the home crowd. With that, the odds to win the Grey Cup () are a more worthwhile wager.

Keep in mind that PointsBet Sportsbook is also presenting an interesting opportunity thanks to its offering of CFL win totals before most other regulated sportsbooks in Ontario. One bet worth looking at for Saskatchewan is the win total of Over 9.5 (+100) as the CFL returns to an 18-game season in 2022.

This team won nine in a 14-game season last year and can very well get one more win with four more contests to work with. There should be more than enough firepower on the offensive end in particular to fashion at least a 10-8 mark, with the fact Fajardo has another year of experience under his belt boosting those chances further.

Finally, this wager also isn’t dependent on hoping Winnipeg and Calgary lose, outside of the head-to-head games with the Riders.