October 17, 2017

CFL Simulation: A sudden turn of events

Matt Smith/CFL.ca

TORONTO — While the Argos still hold the cards, the Ottawa REDBLACKS are apparently the odds-on favourite to win the CFL East Division with three weeks left in the season.

In this week’s CFL Simulation, following an Ottawa win over Saskatchewan and an Argos loss in Edmonton, the tables have turned: the REDBLACKS are now a 59.96 per cent favourite to win the division.

It’s a drastic change from a week ago, when Toronto was given an 81.2 per cent chance of winning the East Division.

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» View Standings

Despite a two-game winning streak, the Argos are in control of their chances to win the East. They can clinch by winning both of their remaining two games, or winning one game combined with an Ottawa loss to Hamilton. Meanwhile, the REDBLACKS have only one game remaining, needing either a win and an Argos loss or two Argos losses.

Math aside, though, the simulator favours Ottawa. The REDBLACKS are the only team in the East with a positive point differential (plus-38), while they’ve got the momentum with two straight wins since the return of their starting quarterback.

Five teams have clinched a playoff spot but there’s still plenty to play for the next few weeks. CFL Simulation takes a closer look.

Here is a look at how the teams stack up:

Odds to Make Playoffs

Team Projection
Calgary Stampeders 100%
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 100%
Edmonton Eskimos 100%
Toronto Argonauts 100%
Ottawa REDBLACKS 100%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 99.95%
BC Lions 0.05%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats NULL
Montreal Alouettes NULL


Odds to Win East

Team Projection
Ottawa REDBLACKS 59.96%
Toronto Argonauts 40.04%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats NULL
Montreal Alouettes NULL


Odds to Win West

Team Projection
Calgary Stampeders 99.94%
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 0.06%
Saskatchewan Roughriders NULL
Edmonton Eskimos NULL


Odds to Appear in 105th Grey Cup

Team Projection
Calgary Stampeders 89.38%
Ottawa REDBLACKS 53.54%
Toronto Argonauts 37.56%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 8.84%
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 6.99%
Edmonton Eskimos 3.69%
BC Lions < 0.01%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats NULL
Montreal Alouettes NULL


Odds to Win 105th Grey Cup

Team Projection
Calgary Stampeders 76.77%
Ottawa REDBLACKS 9.74%
Toronto Argonauts 5.47%
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 4.25%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 3.10%
Edmonton Eskimos 0.67%
BC Lions < 0.01%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats NULL
Montreal Alouettes NULL


Most Likely 105th Grey Cup Matchups

Team Projection
Calgary-Ottawa 48.69%
Calgary-Toronto 32.32%
Calgary-Saskatchewan 5.03%
Winnipeg-Ottawa 3.88%
Winnipeg-Toronto 2.57%

The model considers the following:

•             Each team’s current win-loss record.
•             Opponents already played (including whether it was a home or away game).
•             Margin of victory (or loss) in games previously played in the season.
•             Remaining opponents to be played (including whether those games are home or away).
•             Most recent results (a recent win is weighted more heavily than a win back in Week 1, for example)

The model calculates each team’s probability of victory in each remaining game. It then simulates 10,000 replications of the remaining regular season schedule.  The first place team in each division is the one with the most regular season wins.  For each replication, the model keeps track of which team finished first.

For instance, if Winnipeg finished first in the West Division in 1,990 of the 10,000 replications, then its first place probability is 1,990 / 10,000 = 19.90%.

The model is updated weekly based on the results of games played that week.