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September 10, 2021

CFL Simulation: A long way up for the Stamps

Photo: The Canadian Press

TORONTO —  You can almost feel the words turning into motivation for Bo Levi Mitchell and the Calgary Stampeders as they read them.

The following should be prefaced by the obvious: CFL Simulation garners its info from the numbers and the numbers in the win column haven’t been kind to the Stamps this season, who sit at a league-worst 1-4 going into Week 6. The simulator doesn’t take into account that Mitchell has been injured all year and that he’s returning to action this week, or that the Stamps have been the CFL’s model franchise over the last decade or so. The Stamps aren’t in a great place right now, but with nine games left on the schedule and a healthy group, they should be more than capable of climbing their way back into the mix of what’s shaping up to be a very interesting West Division.

For now though, the cold, hard numbers are just that when the simulator looks at the Stamps.


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On the other end of this spectrum, the simulator likes what it’s seen from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who have been dominant through their first four games and are coming off of an impressive thumping of the Saskatchewan Roughriders over Mark’s Labour Day Weekend.

In the East, Hamilton, Montreal and Toronto all get some love when it comes to playoff odds, hosting games and a Grey Cup appearance. The West has been a dogfight for a number of years and it seems that after years of surrendering a crossover spot, the East is putting up a fight of its own.

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

ODDS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS

Team (Projected 2021 Record) Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (9-5) > 93.69%
Saskatchewan Roughriders (8-6) 80.40%
BC Lions (7-7) 76.25%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (7-7) 75.46%
Edmonton Elks (7-7) 75.16%
Montreal Alouettes (7-7) 72.00%
Toronto Argonauts (7-7) 71.46%
Ottawa REDBLACKS (6-8) 38.37%
Calgary Stampeders (5-9) 17.21%

 

ODDS TO HOST PLAYOFF GAME

Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 70.95%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 61.63%
Montreal Alouettes 57.22%
Toronto Argonauts 56.04%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 45.88%
BC Lions 40.35%
Edmonton Elks 38.92%
Ottawa REDBLACKS 25.11%
Calgary Stampeders 3.90%

 

ODDS TO WIN EAST

Team Projection
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 36.87%
Montreal Alouettes 28.38%
Toronto Argonauts 26.24%
Ottawa REDBLACKS 8.51%

 

ODDS TO WIN WEST

Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 43.31%
Edmonton Elks 20.11%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 18.46%
BC Lions 17.06%
Calgary Stampeders 1.06%

 

ODDS TO APPEAR IN 108TH GREY CUP

Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 39.62%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 31.24%
Toronto Argonauts 26.38%
Montreal Alouettes 26.34%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 23.93%
Edmonton Elks 20.92%
BC Lions 18.22%
Ottawa REDBLACKS 10.91%
Calgary Stampeders 2.44%

 

ODDS TO WIN 108TH GREY CUP

Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 26.16%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 15.77%
Edmonton Elks 13.64%
BC Lions 11.23%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 10.78%
Montreal Alouettes 8.69%
Toronto Argonauts 8.65%
Ottawa REDBLACKS 3.69%
Calgary Stampeders 1.39%

 

MOST LIKELY 108TH GREY CUP MATCHUPS

Team Projection
Winnipeg-Hamilton 12.69%
Winnipeg-Toronto 10.44%
Winnipeg-Montreal 9.61%
Saskatchewan-Hamilton 6.87%
Saskatchewan-Toronto 6.04%

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 100,000 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 20,190 of the 100,000 replications, then its Grey Cup victory probability would be 20,190 / 100,000 = 20.19%.

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

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