Grey Cup Futures
With the 2011 Canadian Football League playoffs looming, now is the time when many savvy bettors place their wagers on the Grey Cup.
It’s late enough in the year that we know a lot about every team but, since the playoffs haven’t started, there are still potential value picks.
Where do the B.C. Lions stack up? Here’s a look at the odds, excluding the eliminated Saskatchewan Roughriders and Toronto Argonauts:
B.C Lions: 9 to 5
Winnipeg Blue Bombers: 11 to 4
Montreal Alouettes: 3 to 1
Calgary Stampeders: 4 to 1
Hamilton Tiger-Cats: 8 to 1
Edmonton Eskimos: 8 to 1
Yep, the B.C. Lions lead the way with 9 to 5 odds, (or just better than 2 to 1 odds). It’s an amazing turnaround for a team that opened the season at 1-6. The seven-game winning streak has vaulted B.C. into a three-way tie with Edmonton and Calgary atop the West Division at 8-6.
The always-contending Montreal Alouettes loom in the East at 9-5 and are buoyed by Anthony Calvillo’s return from cancer and setting the all-time pro-football passing record for yardage. The surprising Winnipeg Blue Bombers look dangerous, too.
But the betting favorite status may be justified for B.C. The Lions allow the fewest points per game (21.7) and score the second most (28.6). Calm, experienced coach Wally Buono got this team to change its culture after it lost its first five games this season.
Offensively, the Lions have gotten a real team effort. Travis Lulay is the general but four different Lions have run for 250 or more yards and four different receivers have at least 500 yards.
More importantly, the Lions’ last-second victory Calgary October 8 gave us a true sense of how they handle a playoff-like atmosphere.
They rose to the occasion and staked claim to the division with that 33-31 victory.
It appears B.C.’s odds are justified – and that has to get Lions fans excited considering that the Grey Cup will be played at B.C. Place Stadium this season.