September 10, 2019

CFL Simulation: The Stamps are surging

Johany Jutras/

TORONTO — What a difference a week can make.

The CFL Simulator returned ahead of Week 13 and made Riderville very happy when it projected Saskatchewan as an early favourite to win the 107th Grey Cup. But following a lopsided loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on the road, the green and white dropped out of the top spot in all the categories they led in the first simulation.

The biggest hit they took was to their Grey Cup odds. After being at nearly 50 percent a week ago, they sit at just 6 percent now and won the championship just three percent of the time. They’ve also had their odds to win the West dropped from 49 to 6 percent.

The Bombers have jumped into the driver’s seat ahead of Week 14 action, and the Calgary Stampeders have now jumped into the conversation as a championship favourite again after winning both halves of their home-and-home series against Edmonton.

Calgary has also received another spot in the top five Grey Cup matchups with their performance.

In the East, Montreal made a jump up after winning their third straight game in Week 13 and they now feature in two of the five most likely championship game matchups. Their percentage to capture the championship went down because of Calgary’s surge, but their odds of hosting a playoff game went up.

After beating Ottawa in their head-to-head matchup in Week 13, the Toronto Argonauts improved their odds in nearly every category. On the other side, the REDBLACKS are now projected to finish with the worst record in the league at 4-14.

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The model considers the following:

  • Each team’s current win-loss record.
  • Opponents already played (including whether it was a home or away game).
  • The 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 and resulting playoff bracket (including the possibility of a playoff crossover team).  For each replication, the model keeps track of a number of performance metrics (for example, which teams earned home playoff games, which teams appeared in the Grey Cup, etc.).

For instance, if Winnipeg won the Grey Cup in 1,990 of the 10,000 replications, then its Grey Cup victory probability would be 1,990/10,000 = 19.90%.

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

Here’s a look at how all the teams stack up:

Odds to make playoffs
Team (Projected 2019 record) Projection
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (13-5) >99.99%
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (13-5) >99.99%
Calgary Stampeders (11-7) 99.89%
Saskatchewan Roughriders (10-8) 99.60%
Montreal Alouettes (10-8) 98.94%
Edmonton Eskimos (9-9) 97.48%
Toronto Argonauts (6-12) 2.59%
BC Lions (5-13) 1.32%
Ottawa REDBLACKS (4-14) 0.18%


Odds to host playoff game
Team Projection
Hamilton Tiger-Cats >99.99%
Montreal Alouettes 98.81%
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 95.35%
Calgary Stampeders 66.91%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 31.40%
Edmonton Eskimos 6.33%
Toronto Argonauts 1.13%
Ottawa REDBLACKS 0.06%
BC Lions 0.01%

Odds to win East
Team Projection
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 92.22%
Montreal Alouettes 7.78%
Ottawa REDBLACKS <0.01%
Toronto Argonauts <0.01%


Odds to win West
Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 76.61%
Calgary Stampeders 16.38%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 6.88%
Edmonton Eskimos 0.13%
BC Lions Eliminated

Odds to appear in 107th Grey Cup
Team Projection
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 75.27%
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 68.33%
Calgary Stampeders 27.17%
Montreal Alouettes 17.95%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 6.91%
Edmonton Eskimos 4.17%
Toronto Argonauts 0.18%
BC Lions 0.02%
Ottawa REDBLACKS <0.01%

Odds to Win the 107th Grey Cup
Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 53.46%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 19.64%
Calgary Stampeders 19.58%
Montreal Alouettes 3.33%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 3.21%
Edmonton Eskimos 0.75%
Toronto Argonauts 0.03%
Ottawa REDBLACKS 0.01%
BC Lions 0.01%

Most likely matchups in 107th Grey Cup
Teams Projection
Winnipeg-Hamilton (50.82%)
Calgary-Hamilton (19.96%)
Winnipeg-Montreal (12.45%)
Calgary-Montreal (4.51%)
Saskatchewan-Hamilton (3.95%)