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November 7, 2017

CFL Simulation: 6 teams, 9 possible Grey Cup matchups

Johany Jutras/

TORONTO — Six teams, nine potential Grey Cup matchups. And of course, in the end, only one actual outcome.

That’s what the math tells us heading into the 105th Grey Cup Playoffs, which kick off Sunday with games in Ottawa and Winnipeg before shifting to Calgary and Toronto on Nov. 19.

CFL Simulation returns for the post-season, breaking down the odds of every playoff team — from the slumping Calgary Stampeders to the surging Edmonton Eskimos.

» Power Rankings: Argos jump to second
» CFL Fantasy continues in the playoffs
» QB Index: Ranking the playoff pivots
» The latest on the 105th Grey Cup Playoffs

While no team dominated the first four months of the season like Calgary, the cold November winds have brought plenty of change in the eyes of the odds-makers. The computers have soured on the Stamps, dropping Calgary to third on the list of favourites going into the playoffs (14.13%).

Winnipeg (15.45%) has jumped ahead of Calgary following a one-sided win in the season finale, but no team has stood out like the Argos. After a decisive 40-13 win in BC, Toronto (51.66%) is a strong favourite to not only appear in the Grey Cup but to win it.

It’s no surprise, then, that a Calgary-Toronto Grey Cup is the likeliest of all scenarios according to the simulation. But what other matchups could loom large?

We break it down in this week’s simulation.

Odds to Meet in Grey Cup

Matchup Projection
Calgary-Toronto 40.09%
Winnipeg-Toronto 26.15%
Edmonton-Toronto 17.38%
Calgary-Ottawa 5.68%
Winnipeg-Ottawa 3.55%
Calgary-Saskatchewan 2.42%
Edmonton-Ottawa 2.42%
Winnipeg-Saskatchewan 1.43%
Edmonton-Saskatchewan 0.88%


Odds to Appear in 105th Grey Cup

Team Projection
Toronto Argonauts 83.62%
Calgary Stampeders 48.19%
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 31.13%
Edmonton Eskimos 20.68%
Ottawa REDBLACKS 11.65%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 4.73%


Odds to Win 105th Grey Cup

Team Projection
Toronto Argonauts 51.66%
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 15.45%
Calgary Stampeders 14.13%
Edmonton Eskimos 11.77%
Ottawa REDBLACKS 4.88%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 2.11%


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.

Fan Poll
Who will represent the West in the 105th Grey Cup?