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October 16, 2019

CFL Simulation: Who will walk away with the West crown?

The Canadian Press

TORONTO — The battle for the West Division crown is getting interesting, and even the CFL Simulation has the race coming down to the wire.

The Ticats are in three of the most likely matchups for the 107th Grey Cup presented by Shaw. They also have over 90 percent odds to make it to the final game of the year and a 60 percent chance to win it.

With Montreal dropping their last game to Winnipeg, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats locked up the East Division crown. Percival Molson Memorial Stadium will be the site of the Eastern Semi-Final while the Eastern Final will be in Hamilton.

Out West, however, we still don’t know who will be hosting each round. That will be decided in the final weeks of the year, and following the Week 18 game between the Riders and Stamps, those two teams’ odds to win the West are very close. The Riders still hold the edge with 43.67 percent to the Stamps’ 37.64 percent, but those odds are down from the 70 percent advantage Saskatchewan held a week ago.

The Stamps’ odds to appear in the Grey Cup went up by over 10 percent while their chances to win the championship went from 7 to just over 10 percent.

Despite the loss, the Riders are still the West team that most often won the division, appeared in the Grey Cup, and won the whole thing. They also feature in the most likely matchup for the championship against the Ticats.

The Toronto Argonauts were the only team eliminated from playoff contention heading into Week 18, but with their victory over the REDBLACKS, they knocked their Ontario rivals out. Edmonton also eliminated the BC Lions while clinching their crossover spot on Saturday.


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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 (15-3) Clinched
Calgary Stampeders (11-7) Clinched
Saskatchewan Roughriders (12-6) Clinched
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (11-7) Clinched
Montreal Alouettes (10-8) Clinched
Edmonton Eskimos (9-9) Clinched
BC Lions (6-12) Eliminated
Toronto Argonauts (4-14) Eliminated
Ottawa REDBLACKS (3-15) Eliminated

 

Odds to host playoff game
Team Projection
Hamilton Tiger-Cats Clinched
Montreal Alouettes Clinched
Saskatchewan Roughriders 86.59%
Calgary Stampeders 64.48%
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 48.31%
Edmonton Eskimos Eliminated
Ottawa REDBLACKS Eliminated
Toronto Argonauts Eliminated
BC Lions Eliminated

Odds to win East
Team Projection
Hamilton Tiger-Cats Clinched
Montreal Alouettes Eliminated
Ottawa REDBLACKS Eliminated
Toronto Argonauts Eliminated

 

Odds to win West
Team Projection
Saskatchewan Roughriders 43.67%
Calgary Stampeders 37.64%
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 18.68%
Edmonton Eskimos Eliminated
BC Lions Eliminated

Odds to appear in 107th Grey Cup
Team Projection
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 91.91%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 50.12%
Calgary Stampeders 29.81%
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 20.04%
Montreal Alouettes 6.47%
Edmonton Eskimos 1.65%
BC Lions Eliminated
Toronto Argonauts Eliminated
Ottawa REDBLACKS Eliminated

Odds to Win the 107th Grey Cup
Team Projection
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 60.58%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 20.04%
Calgary Stampeders 10.33%
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 6.50%
Montreal Alouettes 1.95%
Edmonton Eskimos 0.40%
BC Lions Eliminated
Toronto Argonauts Eliminated
Ottawa REDBLACKS Eliminated

Most likely matchups in 107th Grey Cup
Teams Projection
Saskatchewan-Hamilton 45.98%
Calgary-Hamilton 27.45%
Winnipeg-Hamilton 18.37%
Saskatchewan-Montreal 3.33%
Calgary-Montreal 1.73%