With just over a week to go until the kickoff of the new CFL season the defending Grey Cup champion Edmonton Eskimos look like they will start the season as favorites to repeat as champs at online sportsbook Bodog.
The Eskimos currently sit atop the Grey Cup futures at Bodog as a +400 favorite. Led by Grey Cup MVP Mike Reilly the Eskimos won their 14th championship in franchise history last season with a 26-20 win over the Ottawa RedBlacks as a 7-point favorite in the 103rd Grey Cup.
Not everything is the same in Edmonton though. Shortly after winning the title Edmonton head coach Chris Jones left town to take the top job with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Taking Jones’ place is former Edmonton quarterback Jason Maas. He spent last season as the offensive coordinator in Ottawa and this will be his first time handling the head coaching duties.
Following the Eskimos on the Grey Cup futures are their Alberta rivals, the Calgary Stampeders, at +450. The Stampeders were one win away from playing in the Grey Cup last season before bowing out to Edmonton in the division final. Bo Levi Mitchell returns at quarterback to lead the offense, but Calgary will be without veteran running back John Cornish who retired following another injury-plagued season.
The three Ontario teams round out the top five on the Grey Cup futures with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at +500, the Toronto Argonauts at +600, and the Ottawa RedBlacks at +700.
Hamilton boasted the top offense in the league last season behind quarterback Zach Collaros. Luke Tasker led the Tiger-Cats in receiving last season and he’ll be counted on even more after Terrell Sinkfield, Hamilton’s No. 2 receiver, departed for the NFL.
The Toronto Argonauts move to BMO Field, which is also the location of this year’s Grey Cup. The last time the Grey Cup was held in Toronto in 2000 the Argonauts won their 16th championship. Veteran QB Ricky Ray is the starting QB after receiving a contract extension and his main competition for the job, former backup Trevor Harris, left for Ottawa.
The RedBlacks are coming off their franchise’s first appearance in the Grey Cup and will look to Henry Burris to lead them there again, and win this time. Burris was last year’s Most Outstanding Player after leading the No. 1 passing attack in the league.
Odds to Win the 2016 Grey Cup at Bodog
Edmonton Eskimos +400
Calgary Stampeders +450
Hamilton Tiger-Cats +500
Toronto Argonauts +600
Ottawa RedBlacks +700
Saskatchewan Roughriders +800
British Columbia Lions +900
Winnipeg Blue Bombers +1000
Montreal Alouettes +1200