However, the current collective bargaining agreement between the CFL and its players’ association expires on May 14, and the players have given the CFLPA a 95% strike vote. This could delay the start of the preseason, or potentially delay the regular season. The good news is that both sides have been meeting regularly to discuss new terms and seem determined to get a deal done as soon as possible.
Coolbet Canada was the first book in Canada and the province of Ontario to post its CFL season win totals on Thursday, just weeks before the preseason is scheduled to begin on May 23. The 18-game regular-season slate kicks off June 9.
Here are the posted win totals for all nine teams:
- Winnipeg Blue Bombers — over 10.5 wins (-120), under 10.5 wins (+100)
- Calgary Stampeders — over 9.5 wins (-133), under 9.5 wins (+110)
- Hamilton Tiger-Cats — over 9.5 wins (+100), under 9.5 wins (-120)
- Saskatchewan Roughriders — over 9.5 wins (+100), under 9.5 wins (-120)
- Toronto Argonauts — over 9.5 wins (-115), under 9.5 wins (-105)
- Montreal Alouettes — over 8.5 wins (-110), under 8.5 wins (-110)
- Ottawa Redblacks – over 8.5 wins (-110), under 8.5 wins (-110)
- BC Lions — over 7.5 wins (-105), under 7.5 wins (-115)
- Edmonton Elks — over 7.5 wins (-139), under 7.5 wins (+115)
Best over play to consider
Toronto Argonauts — over 9.5 wins (-115)
After posting nine wins last year to finish atop the East Division standings during the shortened 14-game regular season, the Argonauts made some significant upgrades this offseason.
First, they brought in 35-year-old Andrew Harris. The former Blue Bombers running back boasts three Grey Cups on his resume and has led the league in rushing three times (2017-19). He’s accumulated 9,661 rushing yards, 576 receptions, 5,223 receiving yards, and 83 total touchdowns in 176 career games. Toronto finished seventh in rushing yards last season, amassing only 1,272 yards for an average of 4.8 yards per carry. If Harris can stay healthy, Toronto could have the most balanced offense in the league this year instead of having to rely heavily on the pass.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson will come into camp as the undisputed No. 1 quarterback, and he’ll greatly benefit from the addition of 2019 Most Outstanding Player Brandon Banks, who left the Tiger-Cats this offseason to sign with their rival. The receiver, who previously played in the NFL for the Washington Redskins and is known as “Speedy B” in the CFL, was slowed by injuries last season, but he could be an offensive weapon for Toronto if he can return to elite form. With the addition of Harris to the backfield, Toronto’s passing game should be greatly improved, especially if wideout Kurleigh Gittens Jr. continues to build on his impressive second half from last season.
If these veterans can stay healthy, Toronto seems like a good play to finish at the very least one game above .500 (10 wins), if not compete for the Grey Cup again.
Trigger the city of Hamilton in a single sentence pic.twitter.com/xeTXXi8P8G
— Toronto Argonauts (@TorontoArgos) February 13, 2022
Best under play to consider
Hamilton Tiger-Cats — under 9.5 wins (-120)
The Tiger-Cats have played, and lost to the Blue Bombers, in back-to-back Grey Cup title games, and the team could be due to regress this year. After two seasons of uncertainty week in and week out with two great quarterbacks competing for playing time, the team is now all-in on Dane Evans after he signed an extension through the 2023 season. Jeremiah Masoli has moved on to be the new QB1 for the Ottawa Redblacks, who should be greatly improved this season after adding several veteran players.
The loss of Banks and receiver Jaelon Acklin (who also signed with Ottawa) will be tough for Evans to overcome, as he’ll now have to rely on a stable of relatively unproven receivers, aside from Bralon Addison. The Ticats also lost hybrid receiver/fullback Nikola Kalinic to the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, further diminishing their offense.
Unfortunately for the Tiger-Cats, the Argonauts, Alouettes, and Redblacks have all bolstered their rosters on paper ahead of the 2022 season, which means the East Division should be much more competitive. Hamilton appears to be the only team in the East that doesn’t have a better roster than last year, and although its defense is still nasty and will win games on its own, this team’s ceiling appears to only be a game or two over .500.
— CFL (@CFL) April 26, 2022
Grey Cup outright odds
Oddsmakers like Winnipeg’s chances of a Grey Cup threepeat in 2022, with Coolbet Canada listing the Blue Bombers first at +300.
Canadian Football Hall of Famer Damon Allen recently spoke with Sports Handle about the rule changes ahead of the 2022 season. The legendary quarterback, and BetRegal brand ambassador, was hesitant to name who he would bet on to win the Grey Cup this year because the playing field was so level.
“I thought Toronto made strides of being very competitive. [The West Division] is always competitive. The East is now competitive. You have a healthy Vernon Adams in Montreal. The [Hamilton] Ticats find a way to be competitive year in and year out, and you have Winnipeg who have dominated. You would have to say they’re the favorites, but I’m just guessing.”
The #CFL Season is nearly a month away and we've added both Grey Cup odds and win totals for all nine teams.
— Coolbet Canada 🇨🇦 (@CoolbetCanada) May 5, 2022
Photo: John E Sokolowski/USA TODAY