December 6, 2021

CFL Simulation: A Grey Cup rematch

Jason Halstead/

HAMILTON — There are two teams left standing in the 2021 CFL season and as we all know, they’re the same two that stood at the end of the 2019 campaign.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will get to defend the championship they won two years ago against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday, Dec. 12 at Tim Hortons Field.

The CFL Simulation isn’t one to say I told you so, but it did give this pairing a good chance of happening.

In last week’s post, a Bombers-Ticats game was given a 40.51 per cent chance of happening. That fell just behind the odds of a Bombers-Argos game, which was at 46.13 per cent chance.

Given the season they’ve had, the Bombers will go into the game with most picking them to win — BetRegal has them as 3.5-point favourites as of Monday morning — but the Ticats will have the blessing of home field advantage as they try to win their first Grey Cup since 1999.

Despite that, the simulation sees the Bombers as an almost unstoppable force.

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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%.

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

Odds to win 108th Grey Cup
Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 62.3%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 37.7%


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