The Calgary Stampeders have been upset in the Grey Cup the past two seasons, but the oddsmakers like the Stamps to close the deal this year as they open the season Saturday at home against Hamilton.
Oddsmakers have the Stamps set as 7.5-point favourites for this CFL matchup.
CFL Betting Odds
Calgary was one of the best regular-season teams in CFL history in 2016 and a huge favourite in the Grey Cup but upset by Ottawa 39-33. Last year, Calgary again was clearly the league’s best regular-season team and again the favourite to win the franchise’s first Grey Cup since 2008. However, Toronto pulled off a 27-24 upset. The Stamps are just a few plays from going for a three-peat.
On the 2018 CFL futures, Calgary is the +140 favourite to win the West Division again and +200 to win the Grey Cup. The Stampeders are given a win total of 12.5, easily the highest in the CFL, with the under a slight -139 favourite.
Hamilton, meanwhile, has a win total of 10.5, with both options at -115. The Tiger-Cats are +190 favourites to win the East Division after finishing third a year ago and +550 to win the franchise’s first Grey Cup since 1999.
The biggest-name on the Tiger-Cats may not play a down for weeks. That of course would be former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel, who is trying to rehabilitate his image and football career in hopes of another NFL shot in a year or two. There are three CFL odds specials on Johnny Football: over/under 22.5 touchdown passes, O/U 8 starts and +800 that Manziel wins the league’s Most Outstanding Player Award.
Obviously, those are all predicated on Manziel playing plenty, but he’s No. 2 on the depth chart behind Jeremiah Masoli, a good college QB in his own right. The Ticats opened the 2017 season 0-8 with Zach Collaros (now gone) under center before Masoli took over and led the team to a 6-4 finish. Masoli threw for 3,177 yards and 15 TDs in 12 total appearances and rushed for 446 yards. This is the first time in Masoli’s six-year CFL career he enters the season as the starter. The Ticats had three players with over 1,000 yards receiving last season in Brandon Banks, Luke Tasker and Jalen Saunders, and they all return.
The Stamps have no quarterback questions whatsoever with Bo Levi Mitchell. The 2016 Most Outstanding Player remains one of the CFL’s best and hasn’t missed a game since 2014. Mitchell, who has a new backup in Ricky Stanzi, welcomes back receiver Eric Rogers, a 2015 CFL All-Star, from the NFL. The team added free-agent running back Don Jackson to help replace Jerome Messam, who signed with Saskatchewan. Terry Williams will be the primary back. The Stamps and Ticats most recently played Week 17 of last season in Hamilton and Calgary won 28-25 for its 12th straight victory in the series. In the home matchup in 2017, Calgary destroyed Hamilton 60-1 in a record-setting performance. It was the largest margin of victory in franchise history.