November 24, 2021

CFL Simulation: Stamps roll into the playoffs

The Canadian Press

TORONTO — If you’ve watched the Calgary Stampeders roll through the second half of the regular-season and wonder what they might be capable of, you’re not alone.

While the CFL Simulation is incapable of things like emotion, it does sense when a team is hot and it’s zeroed in on Bo Levi Mitchell and the Stamps.

It wasn’t always this way, though. Back on Sept. 10, when the Stamps were 1-4 heading into Week 6 of the season, they were projected to be the worst team in the league. The Simulation pegged them at the time to finish 5-9 and gave them a 17.21 per cent chance of making the playoffs; it gave them a 2.44 per cent chance of making it to the Grey Cup game.

Calgary will go on the road this weekend to face the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Western Semi-Final, but they do so as a rare travelling favourite.

The Simulation gives the Stamps a 16.48 per cent chance of making it to the Grey Cup, while the Riders have a 3.77 per cent chance. While Winnipeg is still the overwhelming favourite to win the Grey Cup (62.60 per cent chance), the Stamps are the next-best team behind them, at 12.48 per cent.

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Of course, the games still have to be played and whoever triumphs out West on Sunday will no doubt be underdogs a week later in the Western Final against a Bombers team that finished 11-3, with their place in the league never in question this season. Check out where all six playoff teams stack up in this week’s CFL Simulation.


Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 79.75%
Toronto Argonauts 58.06%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 32.51%
Calgary Stampeders 16.48%
Montreal Alouettes 9.43%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 3.77%



Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 62.60%
Calgary Stampeders 12.48%
Toronto Argonauts 11.20%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 9.59%
Montreal Alouettes 2.31%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 1.82%



Team Projection
Winnipeg-Toronto 46.30%
Winnipeg-Hamilton 25.98%
Calgary-Toronto 9.59%
Winnipeg-Montreal 7.47%
Calgary-Hamilton 5.32%
Saskatchewan-Toronto 2.17%
Calgary-Montreal 1.57%
Saskatchewan-Hamilton 1.21%
Saskatchewan-Montreal 0.39%

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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