2016 CFL Season Preview
Looking for 2016 Grey Cup Odds? You’ve come to the right place! The 2016 CFL season is just around the corner and for the first time in recent history it seems that there is no clear-cut favorite to win it all. The defending champions, Edmonton are currently the favorites but they went through almost unprecedented change during the offseason and could take a while to get on track.
NFL Handicapping Insight
Saskatchewan made the biggest strides during the offseason – changing their culture and having arguably the best draft class of any of the nine teams while the Hamilton Tiger-Cats bolstered what has potential to be the best offense in the league.
So what does it all mean? Who is the team to beat? Let’s break it down in the 2016 CFL Season Preview.
2016 GREY CUP ODDS
Edmonton Eskimos +400
The defending champs lost head coach Chris Jones to Saskatchewan where he became their head coach, general manager, VP of football operations. A number of Edmonton’s key players followed.
Rookie Head Coach Jason Maas takes over a decent roster for sure – he will have the benefit of the uber-qualified Mike Benevides as defensive coordinator. Mike Reilly still exists as one of the best QBs in the game and the dominant D-line and O-line will mostly return intact.
Edmonton is still the champs until they get knocked off their perch but turnover during the offseason certainly has me wary of them this year. Especially with the presence within their own division of…
Calgary Stampeders +450
The 2014 Champs had a down season in 2015 and look like a team poised for a huge comeback season in 2016.
Calgary has won at least 10 games each of the last eight seasons and has won two Grey Cups over that span – as consistently good a team as there is in the CFL.
One of the best coaches in the game – John Hufnagel moves to the GM roll however and Dave Dickenson takes over as Head Coach – reason for a little concern.
QB Bo Levi Mitchell and Jerome Messam should be a strong battery for this team but the departure of veterans Juwan Simpson, Keon Raymond and Jon Cornish definitely raise a few red flags.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats +500
The success of the Ti-Cats seems to be dependent on the health of one man – Zach Collaros who got off to an insane start to last season before injury sidelined him – will be back but will he be fully back?
Truth be told if Collaros was 100% Hamilton would be my easy pick to win it all this year – they probably would have won the Grey Cup last year.
Kent Austin returns and is one of the best Head Coaches in the game, veterans Andy Fantuz, Luke Tasker and Chad Owens give the T-Cats arguably the best receiving corp. in the game and the O-line figures to be one of the league’s best.
Hamilton will have one of/if not the best offense in the game and will trot out a formidable defense.
Hamilton should have won it all last year – I expect them to get it done in 2016.
Toronto Argonauts +600
No team was more active in free agency than Toronto who could sneak up on some people this year. Their main issue seems to be their reliance on the brittle Ricky Ray who suddenly has no reliable backup behind him after the departure of Trevor Harris.
If Ray is healthy Toronto is a contender in the East but to rely on the aging QB is too scary for me.
Ottawa Redblacks +700
Let’s be honest – Ottawa’s appearance in last year’s Grey Cup was the result of every star possible aligning. The East was in shambles last year and Ottawa caught lightning in a bottle.
Add in the fact that the Redblacks lost a lot of key guys from the roster and one of their top coaches Jason Maas and it is easy to expect a huge step back for the team this year.
Saskatchewan Roughriders +800
Saskatchewan delivered a huge message in the offseason that they want to be a contender again. But can a slew of free agent moves and the addition of Grey Cup winning coach Chris Jones make that much of a difference?
My guess is that the Riders improve and make the playoffs in 2016 but that they are still a piece or two away from beating the likes of the Eskimos and the Stamps in 2016.
B.C. Lions +900
Wally Buono is back patrolling the sidelines for the Lions – that gives them instant credibility!
The fact remains that the Lions have regressed in each of the last five years and will hand the team over to a largely unproven Jonathan Jennings – or go with the brittle Travis Lulay.
There simply aren’t enough pieces in place for BC – they will have to beat two much better teams in Edmonton and Calgary to contend – I don’t see it happening,
Winnipeg Blue Bombers +1000
The Bombers added Paul LaPolice as offensive coordinator but they are still largely the same team that missed the playoffs last year.
To expect them to be this year’s Redblacks is a pipe-dream!
Montreal Alouettes +1200
The Alouettes are another team that made a ton of moves in the offseason to improve – Kevin Glenn, S.J. Green and Nik Lewis are all quality players brought in my management.
But having faith in Jim Popp as their Head Coach and the inexperienced Anthony Calvillo as OC is too much of a gamble for me.
For me 2016 looks like a Grey Cup battle between the Stampeders and the Tiger-Cats with Hamilton realizing their immense potential and taking CFL’s biggest prize.
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