The Labor Day holiday is coming up in North America this weekend. Usually, we’re well into the second part of the Canadian Football League season and focusing on the playoff race. This abbreviated 2021 season is only four weeks old with plenty of time for teams to adjust and make it to the playoffs.
Prior to the season beginning, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats were favorites across the board. With a struggling start, they’ve been bumped down to pave the way for new top contenders, the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The 2019 champions, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, remain near the top in second place at many sportsbooks.
A limited amount of United States-based sportsbooks offers updated futures odds for the 2021 Grey Cup. BetMGM is one of those platforms, featuring the top team with +325 odds. Many of the Canadian-based sportsbooks offer outright winners, with PlayNow also featuring division winners and finalists. Here are the latest odds at the beginning of September with some sports betting recommendations.
CFL Team BetMGM PROLINE+ PlayNow Saskatchewan +325 +300 +350 Winnipeg +425 +400 +425 Hamilton +500 +400 +450 Toronto +600 +500 +450 Montreal +800 +900 +900 BC +900 +800 +900 Calgary +1000 +450 +950 Edmonton +1200 +900 +950 Ottawa +1400 +1300 +1800
Is Saskatchewan Success Smoke And Mirrors?
Saskatchewan (+350, PlayNow) is the clear favorite after the first four weeks as the league’s only undefeated team, scoring the most points (86) and allowing the least amount of them (47). However, it’s hard to recommend taking them at this time with a variety of factors.
The West Division is going to be competitive. Two other teams, Winnipeg and BC, have also scored 80 or more points. They are aided in playing an additional game at this point, but that is approximately double the points compared to three other teams that have just played three games.
The Roughriders are 3-0 at home, but so is Winnipeg. Of their first three games, only one game was against a West team – a close win against BC. Saskatchewan is good, but more value is likely to be gained on these odds as the season progresses.
Good Value In Toronto?
Let’s contrast to the best team in the East Division, Toronto (+600, BetMGM). Over their first three games, they have won two of them with a victory at home and away. They are the only team in their division with a winning record with the remaining three currently holding a 1-2 mark.
The Argonauts have a -3 point differential and questions surrounding the defense. However, the offense has scored 60 points across three games and all three of those contests came against the West Division. If Hamilton continues to struggle, there’s a chance Toronto can really beat up on the East Division and get an easier pathway to the Grey Cup.
Calgary’s Interesting Futures Odds
Calgary has the most interesting set of odds across the board. PROLINE+ in Ottawa has them ranked fourth in their odds (+450). This is despite having a 1-3 record and holding last place in the West Division. More expected odds can be found at BetMGM, which offers them at +1000 prior to week 5. There’s a reason some sportsbooks like their chances over others.
For those unfamiliar with the CFL, there is an opportunity for teams to get into the postseason by crossing over to the other division. This means that even though Calgary is 1-3 and in last place in the West, three of the four teams in the East Division are currently 1-2. The Stampeders qualify for the postseason if they are fourth in the West and finish higher than two teams in the East.
There’s automatically some value in picking Calgary if a bettor likes them to rebound this season. The defense has been poor, but they are holding teams to an average of 19.5 points per game. The Stampeders’ passing attack has remained strong despite main quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell being injured. He’s off the injury list heading into this weekend and is able to practice, but no word yet on if he’ll be immediately back in action.