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November 18, 2021

CFL Simulation: Sizing up two important East games

Dominick Gravel/Montreal Alouettes

TORONTO — As we work our way through the final four games of the regular-season, CFL Simulation is like many of us, focusing on the outcomes in Hamilton and Montreal this weekend.

The Alouettes are up first, hosting the Ottawa REDBLACKS on Friday. On Saturday, the Tiger-Cats welcome the Saskatchewan Roughriders to Tim Hortons Field.

The Ticats currently hold the edge in the standings and if it stays that way — both teams win or Hamilton wins and Montreal loses — the Eastern Semi-Final goes next week in The Hammer. If the Als win and the Riders — who it appears will rest players in a game that has no bearing on their playoff game next week — manage to beat the Ticats, that East playoff game would shift to Montreal.

Given that the Als beat the league’s top team last week, even if the Bombers were a dressed down version of themselves, the simulation saw a nice win for Montreal, while the Ticats lost by 19 points to their rival Argos, with first in the East on the line.

That has the simulation high on Montreal, thinking the Als could go into Tim Hortons Field and knock off the reigning East Division champions. The Als currently stand a 24.70 per cent chance of appearing in the Grey Cup, while the Ticats sit at 12.69 per cent.

Of course, they’re both behind the two first-place finishers in their division. Given the Argos’ emphatic win over Hamilton last week (and not impacted much at all by their low-scoring loss to Edmonton on Tuesday night), the Bombers and Argos have a 49.88 per cent chance of meeting in the Grey Cup on Dec. 12 in Hamilton.


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With all of the playoff spots spoken for, see where the rest of the pack lands in this week’s simulation.

*C: Clinched a particular outcome
*E: Eliminated from achieving a particular outcome

ODDS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS

Team (Projected 2021 Record) Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (11-3) C
Saskatchewan Roughriders (9-5) C
Toronto Argonauts (9-5) C
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (8-6) C
Montreal Alouettes (8-6) C
Calgary Stampeders (8-6) C
BC Lions (5-9) E
Edmonton Elks (3-11) E
Ottawa REDBLACKS (2-12) E

 

ODDS TO HOST PLAYOFF GAME

Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers C
Toronto Argonauts C
Saskatchewan Roughriders C
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 66.20%
Montreal Alouettes 33.80%
Calgary Stampeders E
BC Lions E
Edmonton Elks E
Ottawa REDBLACKS E

 

ODDS TO WIN EAST

Team Projection
Toronto Argonauts C
Hamilton Tiger-Cats E
Montreal Alouettes E
Ottawa REDBLACKS E

 

ODDS TO WIN WEST

Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers C
Calgary Stampeders E
BC Lions E
Saskatchewan Roughriders E
Edmonton Elks E

 

ODDS TO APPEAR IN 108TH GREY CUP

Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 79.71%
Toronto Argonauts 62.61%
Montreal Alouettes 24.70%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 12.69%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 11.26%
Calgary Stampeders 9.03%
BC Lions E
Edmonton Elks E
Ottawa REDBLACKS E

 

ODDS TO WIN 108TH GREY CUP

Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 65.11%
Toronto Argonauts 11.23%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 7.98%
Calgary Stampeders 6.90%
Montreal Alouettes 6.30%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 2.48%
BC Lions E
Edmonton Elks E
Ottawa REDBLACKS E

 

MOST LIKELY 108TH GREY CUP MATCHUPS

Team Projection
Winnipeg-Toronto 49.88%
Winnipeg-Montreal 19.72%
Winnipeg-Hamilton 10.10%
Saskatchewan-Toronto 7.03%
Calgary-Toronto 5.71%

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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