CFL Picks: Betting Advice and Analysis for the 2023 Season
It is hard to believe, but the 2023 CFL season is nearly here. That means predictions are here.
Last season saw Toronto surprise Winnipeg to win the 109th Grey Cup. Henoc Muamba won the Most Valuable Player award for his interception of Zach Collaros. That set up Toronto to make the game-winning field goal. The Argonauts' defense preserved the win by blocking a late Winnipeg field goal try.
The next inevitable question is which teams will contend once more in this CFL football campaign. It is even harder to believe we are few days from British Columbia and Calgary battling it out on the gridiron this June 8. So to get your Canadian Football betting fix, we get you ready quickly for the 2023 season.
CFL Preseason Power Rankings
- Winnipeg Blue Bombers
- Toronto Argonauts
- BC Lions
- Calgary Stampeders
- Hamilton Tiger-Cats
- Ottawa Redblacks
- Saskatchewan Roughriders
- Montreal Alouettes
- Edmonton Elks
Winnipeg Rules The Canadian Football League Pecking Order
Again, last year taught us the lesson of any given Sunday. However, the reality is the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will be gunning for a third Grey Cup in four years. Considering they went 15-3 last season and arguably have an easier schedule, 13+ wins is not unreasonable. Zach Collaros and Brady Oliveira are a quarterback/running back duo teams can't match up against.
Last season, this team defensively was one of the best in a decade. Unfortunately, injuries hurt their defensive core late and Collaros obviously. It will be interesting to see what they have for this go-around.
Just looking at the early Canadian Football League futures reveals a lot. Winnipeg leads the way at 2.90 to win the Grey Cup at Sports Interaction and is even to win the West Division. After that, Hamilton has become the trendy "second pick" to win the East and advance to the Grey Cup. Then, there are some of the Canadian Football longer shots.
The Blue Bombers rule the pecking order for good reason. After all, Winnipeg has made three consecutive Grey Cups and won twice. This team is a machine coached by Mike O'Shea, who has taken his CFL linebacker mentality and applied it to his team with precision.
It is why Winnipeg Over 12.5 wins at 1.80 is far from outrageous. Seeing if 13.5 carries plus money could be a fun wager.
The best team in the league is Winnipeg and by a decent margin. It comes down to health in the key positions (QB and RB especially). A 100% Collaros likely guides this team to Grey Cup glory once again. Also, do not forget about Dalton Schoen. Schoen could very well top 1,200 yards once more from the wide receiver position.
Predictions are never easy to come by, as there are more than five months of action between opening night and the 110th Grey Cup. What other teams might contend?
The Toronto Argonauts Could Defend, Maybe?
While some believe Toronto got a little lucky last year, the Argonauts got hot at the right time. Their defense came up huge in a way that few expected. Given their start, it made that finish all the more surprising.
Naturally, when it comes to this Canadian Football League season, the question is can they do it again? Can Chad Kelly take the reins from McLeod Bethel-Thompson and run with it? Cameron Dukes is a capable backup, but this looks to be the Kelly Show in Toronto. The Over-Under for Kelly in yards is 3,400.5 at 1.90 and we like the Over.
Toronto ranks second behind Hamilton in some betting circles but don't let that fool you. The Argonauts still have the defense to frustrate the Tiger-Cats. No one knows if Hamilton can get out of the starters' block this year.
Toronto is at 6.60, representing some value even in an uncertain East Division. Defensively, the Argonauts have just enough to scare opponents. However, Kelly is the key. He needs to be the driving force behind that Toronto engine. Otherwise, their hopes of defending the Cup will go up in smoke and many predictions may take a hit.
What About The British Columbia Lions?
When discussing predictions and a team to watch, we didn't forget about the British Columbia Lions. BC had that wonderful run last year with Nathan Walker. Guess what? This year, they could catch the CFL elite with another stacked lineup.
Vernon Adams Jr. is more than capable of leading the Lions from the quarterback position. They are one of those teams who can challenge Winnipeg with their offense and defense. Losing a few times to the Blue Bombers was a humbling experience, as the Lions will want to get revenge early.
Again, British Columbia has a reasonable Over of 9.5 wins which pays out around Even. Dominique Rhymes and Lucky Whitehead form one of the more dynamic pass-catching duos in the Canadian Football League. This football roster is stacked offensively and British Columbia is more than capable of playing downhill football.
No one would be surprised if the Lions win 10 or 11 games this season. Then again, the same could be said about Calgary, too.
Then There Are The Calgary Stampeders
The West Division is stacked with firepower as the Calgary Stampeders were another team on the cusp of greatness but fell just short last year. Calgary lost several close battles with Winnipeg and BC. The Stampeders may be fifth in the futures betting at 6.95. This was a team that won 12 games last season.
Calgary won seven of nine games on the road in 2022. Their problem was at home where the Stampeders were only 5-4. That was worse on their talent than anything else. However, injuries arguably helped as Jake Meier went 6-3 in nine starts for Calgary. With a more rhythmic offense, Maier might challenge Chad Kelly and Zach Collaros for the Most Outstanding Player.
Malik Henry and the Wide Receivers figure to be even more prominent in the Calgary offense in 2023. Without the spectre of Bo Levi Mitchell's injuries hanging over them, the Stampeders could be even better this year even if their record is not. Basically, less mistakes on offense should lead to a slightly better defense almost by default.
Even though they are fourth or fifth in most power rankings, do be aware of Calgary. Again, the West Division is a three-team race that will be ferocious and intense.
What Are Other Long Shots That Could Surprise in the CFL?
It is hard to believe that in 5 1/2 months now, we will be crowning another Grey Cup winner. Again, opening night is Thursday night. Last season delivered so many surprises and twists. Yet, we turn to 2023 for new memories.
Predictions when it comes to Canadian Football are difficult and challenging, especially when it comes to rankings and rosters. Which crews and squads will be a hit and which will crash and burn? We saw what played out last year, but that is far from a guide for 2023. Could Hamilton flop early again? The Tiger-Cats are praying Bo Levi Mitchell stays healthy.
Can longer shots like Ottawa, Saskatchewan, or Montreal take that next step? The Roughriders are a project, but Mason Fine could be fun to watch. Those shorter quarterbacks (5-foot-11) can be quite a handful in the CFL. Sports betting sites have Saskatchewan at 8.45 to win the West and 13.00 to win the Grey Cup. Fine is our dark-horse "MOP" at 19.00.
Our 2023 Canadian Football League Predictions
Alas, one cannot ignore how good Winnipeg again looks on paper going into 2023. The same cannot be said about any other team. That Blue Bombers squad remains the class of the Canadian Football League for good reason. However, challengers are always trying to triumph.
Don't expect too many shockers to start, but this may be the year that Hamilton starts a little better than the past few campaigns. Ironically, our concerns with the Tiger-Cats may be how they finish. British Columbia and Calgary will give Winnipeg more headaches in the West Division. Three of the best four teams in the CFL are out there.
Toronto and Chad Kelly are dangerous and cannot be taken lightly. One of the things we learned the hard way with the Argonauts last year was their perseverance. Toronto found ways to win when it counted. They have tasted the glory of the Grey Cup and know what it is like to be "the hunted."
Winnipeg is again our early pick, but Toronto and Calgary will be close behind. After that likely comes Hamilton and British Columbia. Also, Edmonton will finally win a home game and so will Ottawa. If there are props on that, bet the yes. Expect 2023 to be one wild season; at gambling.com, we will have you covered every week.
As the Canadian football season gets ready to start, Winnipeg tops most rankings. No games have been played yet, so those rankings will surely change as the CFL season begins. But, Winnipeg expects to be in the mix when all is said and done.
The 2023 Grey Cup features the two surviving teams from the East and West Divisions. They will play on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023 at 6 p.m. ET.
The 110th edition of the CFL Grey Cup will be played at Tim Horton's Field in Hamilton, Ontario. The CFL Grey Cup moves from stadium to stadium like the NFL's Super Bowl. Last year, it was played in Regina, Saskatchewan.
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