The 2012 Canadian Football League’s regular season gets underway next week as eight teams once again begin their quest for this year’s Grey Cup. The following is a preview of all eight teams along with their odds to hoist the Cup in late-November.
With just over a week to go untill kickoff, lets look at the current odds favorites to take it all this season in the Canadian Football League.
British Columbia Lions 9/2
Columbia returns pretty much the same roster that led it all the way to a Grey
Cup Championship last season with a 34-23 victory over Winnipeg as a 7.5-point
favorite. A big part of that success was quarterback Travis Lulay, who finished
second in the league in total yards passing with 4,815. It should not be surprising that this team is once again a betting odds favorite to repeat it's successes from last season.
Calgary Stampeders 9/2
slipped to third in the West Division last season with an 11-7 record and was
bounced from the playoffs in the Division Semifinals by Edmonton in a 33-19
loss as a two-point road underdog. The Stampeders parted ways with quarterback
Henry Burris in a trade with Hamilton and turned the keys over to former
back-up Drew Tate for at least the start of the 2012 season.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 9/2
finishing with an 8-10 record, the Tiger-Cats qualified for the postseason and
promptly defeated the reining two-time Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes
52-44 in overtime as six-point road underdogs. They lost to Winnipeg 19-3 as
three-point road underdogs in the Division Finals, but set the stage for bigger
and better things this season. Burris will take over for Kevin Glenn, who was
in-turn traded to Calgary, and is hoping to improve upon his 3,687 yards of passing
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 5/1
losing the championship game, the Blue Bombers still have to be happy with a
major turnaround from 2010 when they won just four games. Much of the success
for this worst-to-first transition goes to quarterback Buck Pierce, who threw
for 3,348 yards and 14 touchdowns despite missing a substantial amount of time
in the regular season due to injury.
Montreal Alouettes 11/2
finished second in the East last season at 10-8 and took a major step backwards
with a first-round playoff loss after posting back-to-back titles in 2009 and
2010. The recipe will remain pretty much the same in 2012 with quarterback
Anthony Calvillo returning for his 19th season in the CFL. The
Alouettes have initiated a youth movement on the defensive side of the ball to
improve upon a less than stellar performance last year.
Toronto Argonauts 13/2
9-9 in 2010 to earn a postseason berth, but took a step in the wrong direction
last season with a last-place finish in the East at 6-12. The Argonauts decided
to go for broke this offseason by pulling off a trade with Edmonton for
quarterback Ricky Ray. He was third in the league last season in passing with
4.594 yards for 24 touchdowns while compiling the highest passer rating of any
Edmonton Eskimos 8/1
Oddmakers must be expecting a back-slide from Edmonton after an 11-7 record and
run to the Division Finals in the playoffs in 2011. The Eskimos obviously see
things differently after their willingness to trade Ray for quarterback Steven
Jyles. This move could backfire given Jyles’ past inconsistencies at this
position. If he does stumble, look for head coach Karvis Reed to turn to
veteran Kerry Joseph as his starter.
Saskatchewan Roughriders 9/1
went to two-straight Grey Cup Championship’s in 2009 and 2010, but could only
manage five wins last season on its way to a last-place finish in the West. If
the Roughriders are going to have any shot at turning things around, they will
need a much more consistent performance from quarterback Darian Durant. He led
the CFL in passing in 2010 with 5,542 yards, but only managed 3.653 yards while
throwing for 18 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last year.