Let me start by saying I am not an employee of Bodog nor am I receiving any compensation for this column. However for the second time this season (first being for my 2014 season preview) I just couldn’t resist using some of their mid-season odds for my CFL at the midway point of the season piece.
I’m like a dog hanging around under a table waiting for scraps, when Bodog releases their CFL related prop bets I have to take a look.
So let’s breakdown some of their midseason odds and see if we can’t make some money.
Odds to win the 2014 CFL Grey Cup
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers||7/1|
Calgary deserves to be the favourites. I understand that Edmonton has the same record and Saskatchewan is the hottest team in the league, winners of five in a row, but Calgary is the most complete team in the league.
They’re also the only team to beat Edmonton, winning 26-22 in Week Five. Finally consider just how good Calgary has been the past three seasons. They went to the Grey Cup in 2012, had the league’s best record and led in scoring differential in 2013 and at the midway point of this season they again have the best scoring differential.
Their body of work demands they are the odds on favourite to win it all this season.
Please don’t throw your money away by taking a long shot with Hamilton, Montreal or Ottawa.
If you look back at the past twenty or so Grey Cup winning teams you will find them all being led by quarterbacks that are either future hall of famers, winning that respective year’s league Most Outstanding Player award or in many cases both.
I understand that Kerry Joesph isn’t making the Hall of Fame anytime soon but he was league’s best player in 2007 when the Roughriders beat Winnipeg.
The signal callers on those bottom three teams are either over their head, inexperienced or injured. Just not happening.
Odds to Win the CFL East Division
Toronto has double the amount of losses vs. wins, have been outscored on the season and are still far and away the odds on favourite to win the East.
Winning the Eastern crown is like beating me in a slam dunk contest or being at the top of your class in summer school, yeah it’s an accomplishment but nothing you would brag to all your friends about.
CFL 2014 - Who will win the Most Outstanding Player Award?
|Bo Levi Mitchell||3/2|
My first thought was I can’t believe Chad Owens has such good odds considering he’s only played in four games.
Than I went back and looked at his production and I was reminded just how much I miss seeing him on the field.
My next thought was clearly the people at Bodog are not regular readers of my column because I can’t see John Chick anywhere on this list. I’d still vote for him as the leagues Most Outstanding Player.
Am I allowed to bet for someone who is not on the list? Please Bodog give me 10-1 odds on Chick!
I love seeing Bo Levi Mitchell still healthy at this stage of the season but there is no way he should be the favourite. Yes he is the starting quarterback on the best team in the league but his numbers don’t blow you away and again Calgary, top to bottom, you can argue have the most talent in the CFL.
Mitchell is more than doing his job but he is also getting plenty of help. Don’t waste you money on Ricky Ray. I understand he’s leading the league in passing yardage but there is no way any player from the East is winning the award, it’s just not happening.
My dark horse pick is Andrew Harris who leads all players in yards from scrimmage.
CFL 2014 - Who will have the most passing yards?
|Bo Levi Mitchell||2/1|
After watching his ho hum game against Ottawa I can’t lay my money on Mitchell. I love the season that Drew Willy is having but I gotta go with Ricky Ray. The dude just attempted 18 passes in the time it took you to read this far into my column.
CFL 2014 - Who will have the most rushing yards?
This is a lot of respect for Jon Cornish who has played in only two games. I think there is value in Brandon Whitaker who is second in the league with 431 yards rushing.
Speaking of rushing my favourite stat of the 2014 season has to be the fact that Nic Grigsby is leading the CFL in rushing yards on the team that is last in average yards rushing per game. Has that ever happened before?
Can anyone outside of Winnipeg even name another running back on Winnipeg’s roster? Grigsby has 107 carries while the next highest total from a running back is Paris Cotton with 11 carries for 20 yards. Be honest you had no idea who Paris Cotton was until right now.
CFL 2014 - Who will have the most receiving yards?
With the season he has had so far Bowman should have the best odds. But I kind of like Clarence Denmark as a solid value bet. In his last five games Denmark has registered no fewer than 66 yards receiving. Plus right now I’d take Drew Willy over Mike Reilly. That last sentence is not to take away anything from the great season Mike Reilly is having. He fully deserved to win CFL's offensive player of the month for July, but for pure passing statistic you have to go with Willy.
Will Jeff Garcia play in a game for any team in the 2014 CFL season?
I’m not gonna lie, this prop bet was the main reason I decided to write this column.
After laughing at Bodog for posting it I than spent about 15 minutes deliberating which side I would bet on. I feel bad for Alouettes fans. They didn’t get an easy transition from the Anthony Calvillo era. Between Troy Smith, Jonathan Crompton and Alex Brink Montreal is last in first downs passing, average gain per pass, passing yards per game while completing 50% of their passes and throwing nine interceptions compared to just four touchdowns.
Will the Montreal Alouettes make the playoffs in the 2014 CFL season?
emember how I said I felt bad for Montreal fans? Well that sympathy did not last long when you consider the last time a Montreal team did not quality for the playoffs was in 1986.
This prop bet is a reminder that they’ve been in the playoffs every year since their return into the league in 1996. Of course considering the state of the East and there is still half a season to go you would be a fool to count out Montreal to make the playoffs. Anything can still happen.
In review I like:
Calgary to win the Grey Cup.
Toronto to “win” the East.
John Chick to take the 2014 MOP award.
Ricky Ray to lead the league in passing yards.
Brandon Whitaker to win the rushing crown.
Clarence Denmark to just beat out Adarius Bowman for most yards receiving.
Montreal to make the playoffs with Jeff Garcia making his triumphant return to the CFL.
So just take all your money that you have tied up in your mortgage and children’s college fund and bet it all on my 100% guaranteed winning picks. But just remember what Smooth Jimmy Apollo taught us: “When you’re right 52% of the time, you’re wrong 48% of the time”. (Fine Print: Guarantees are not guaranteed!)
Matthew Cauz is the Weekend Host for 'GAME DAY' on TSN 1050 Radio. Previously, he was a producer and football analyst for SUN TV where he appeared regularly on the “Casino Rama Grill Room” and he spent seven years working for TSN's “Off The Record”. Follow Matthew on Twitter @mcauz56.