Who Will Win the CFL's 2023 Most Outstanding Player Award?
With the Canadian Football League opening its season on Thursday night, it is a great time to look at a few Most Outstanding Player candidates and how the best CFL betting sites have them.
Calgary opens up the 2023 season against British Columbia at home.
Opening weekend features one game each from Thursday night through Sunday night, all in primetime.
Let’s look at some possible best plays and maybe a crazier one or two.
Are We Writing Off Bo Levi Mitchell?
While some might talk about Toronto defending its improbable Grey Cup triumph, we are staying away from Bo Levi Mitchell in Hamilton. Mitchell first won the Most Outstanding Player award in 2016 and won for a second time in 2018.
When the CFL futures betting began, Levi Mitchell was at 7.50. The odds shortened because of the potential of the Hamilton offense. Calgary has two potential 1000-yard receivers again. Winnipeg possesses an all-world offense with Dalton Schoen and Brady Oliveira.
That said, Hamilton has enough parts to help turn the two-time Most Outstanding Player into a three-time winner. Tim White, and especially the Hamilton running game, will be vital. Mitchell’s health may prove to be the biggest obstacle. He is now 33 and not getting any faster. Injuries have slowed down the quarterback. Could he turn back the clock? Anything is possible.
Zach Collaros Going For The Three-Peat?
The CFL Futures dropped in their favourite, and it is Zach Collaros again. These early numbers are again solid for Collaros, and the schedule sets up well. Winnipeg may have an easier time this year as they seek revenge for losing the Grey Cup to Toronto last November. Collaros won the Most Outstanding Player for the second year and eyes a third trophy.
Early on, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will face more of a mental challenge. They are the team that is again expected to hoist the 110th edition of the Grey Cup. Collaros is 3.74, which is slightly longer odds than the 3.50 he opened at last year.
Simply, Winnipeg’s depth is ridiculous. Again, he has Schoen and Oliveira as part of a three-headed threat teams can't stop. Collaros could lead the league in passing and touchdowns. Could he toss 30 or more this year once more? Hey, Collaros topped 4,000 yards and 37 touchdowns in 2022.
Collaros easily repeated his 2021 triumph in 2022. This year, there is some solid competition too. The quarterback has won 33 of his 38 starts. He wins. Winnipeg wins. Plus, the numbers keep piling up. Collaros is the inside pick.
What About Chad Kelly?
Chad Kelly (6.46) is carrying heavy pressure heading into the 2023 campaign. Kelly gets the keys to the Toronto Argonauts' offense. He takes over for McLeod-Bethel Thompson. Kelly did that in the Grey Cup, made some solid passes, and helped guide Toronto to a fourth-quarter comeback.
In 2022, he was signed as insurance. Now, he is the starter. Kelly has mobility and a nose for the endzone. He ran for six touchdowns in a limited role while starting one game under center. Toronto possesses a solid offense, and their line is one of the better-blocking lines in the East.
Kelly could find an excellent fit here.
Any Longer Shots On The Radar?
Who is this year’s Nathan Rourke? Jake Meier is intriguing in Calgary but not a long shot at 7.52. Jeremiah Masoli is at 9.00, and Cody Fajardo is just too much of a risk at 9.00 (see Bo Levi Mitchell for risks).
If one will take a more extended look here, consider Mason Fine at 17.00. The Saskatchewan quarterback will not be on many radars, and the Roughriders are not too good defensively. If Fine can get going early, he could build some buzz as Rourke did in 2022.
Vernon Adams Jr. at 23.00 is our other long-shot choice. Adams had that magical 2019 season and showed some flashes of brilliance last year.
Expect a fun race and some unexpected twists. Canadian sports betting players and fans need to get ready, strap on in, and ride the many waves!
- 2022 – Zach Collaros (QB), Winnipeg Blue Bombers
- 2021 – Zach Collaros (QB), Winnipeg Blue Bombers
- 2020 – Season cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic
- 2019 – Brandon Banks (WR), Hamilton Tiger-Cats
- 2018 – Bo Levi Mitchell (QB), Calgary Stampeders
- 2017 – Mike Reilly (QB), Edmonton Eskimos
- 2016 – Bo Levi Mitchell (QB), Calgary Stampeders
- 2015 - Henry Burris (QB), Ottawa RedBlacks
- 2014 – Solomon Elimimian (LB), BC Lions
- 2013 – Jon Cornish (RB), Calgary Stampeders
- 2012 – Chad Owens (WR/KR), Toronto Argonauts
- 2011 – Travis Lulay (QB), BC Lions
- 2010 – Henry Burris (QB), Calgary Stampeders
- 2009 – Anthony Calvillo (QB), Montreal Alouettes
- 2008 – Anthony Calvillo (QB), Montreal Alouettes
- 2007 – Kerry Joseph (QB), Saskatchewan Roughriders
- 2006 – Geroy Simon (SB), BC Lions
- 2005 – Damon Allen (QB), Toronto Argonauts
- 2004 – Casey Printers (QB), BC Lions
- 2003 – Anthony Calvillo (QB), Montreal Alouettes
- 2002 – Milt Stegall (SB), Winnipeg Blue Bombers
- 2001 – Khari Jones (QB), Winnipeg Blue Bombers
- 2000 – Dave Dickenson (QB), Calgary Stampeders
- 1999 – Danny McManus (QB), Hamilton Tiger-Cats
- 1998 – Mike Pringle (RB), Montreal Alouettes
- 1997 – Doug Flutie (QB), Toronto Argonauts
- 1996 – Doug Flutie (QB), Toronto Argonauts
- 1995 – Mike Pringle (RB), Baltimore Stallions
- 1994 – Doug Flutie (QB), Calgary Stampeders
- 1993 – Doug Flutie (QB), Calgary Stampeders
- 1992 – Doug Flutie (QB), Calgary Stampeders
- 1991 – Doug Flutie (QB), BC Lions
- 1990 – Mike "Pinball" Clemons (RB), Toronto Argonauts
- 1989 – Tracy Ham (QB), Edmonton Eskimos
- 1988 – David Williams (WR), BC Lions
- 1987 – Tom Clements (QB), Winnipeg Blue Bombers
- 1986 – James Murphy (WR), Winnipeg Blue Bombers
- 1985 – Mervyn Fernandez (WR), BC Lions
- 1984 – Willard Reaves (RB), Winnipeg Blue Bombers
- 1983 – Warren Moon (QB), Edmonton Eskimos
- 1982 – Condredge Holloway (QB), Toronto Argonauts
- 1981 – Dieter Brock (QB), Winnipeg Blue Bombers
- 1980 – Dieter Brock (QB), Winnipeg Blue Bombers
- 1979 – David Green (RB), Montreal Alouettes
- 1978 – Tony Gabriel (TE), Ottawa Rough Riders
- 1977 – Jimmy Edwards (RB), Hamilton Tiger-Cats
- 1976 – Ron Lancaster (QB), Saskatchewan Roughriders
- 1975 – Willie Burden (RB), Calgary Stampeders
- 1974 – Tom Wilkinson (QB), Edmonton Eskimos
- 1973 – George McGowan (WR), Edmonton Eskimos
- 1972 – Garney Henley (WR), Hamilton Tiger-Cats
- 1971 – Don Jonas (QB), Winnipeg Blue Bombers
- 1970 – Ron Lancaster (QB), Saskatchewan Roughriders
- 1969 – Russ Jackson (QB), Ottawa Rough Riders
- 1968 – Bill Symons (RB), Toronto Argonauts
- 1967 – Peter Liske (QB), Calgary Stampeders
- 1966 – Russ Jackson (QB), Ottawa Rough Riders
- 1965 – George Reed (RB), Saskatchewan Roughriders
- 1964 – Lovell Coleman (RB), Calgary Stampeders
- 1963 – Russ Jackson (QB), Ottawa Rough Riders
- 1962 – George Dixon (RB), Montreal Alouettes
- 1961 – Bernie Faloney (QB), Hamilton Tiger-Cats
- 1960 – Jackie Parker (QB), Edmonton Eskimos
- 1959 – Johnny Bright (RB), Edmonton Eskimos
- 1958 – Jackie Parker (QB), Edmonton Eskimos
- 1957 – Jackie Parker (RB), Edmonton Eskimos
- 1956 – Hal Patterson (DB/OE), Montreal Alouettes
- 1955 – Pat Abbruzzi (RB), Montreal Alouettes
- 1954 – Sam Etcheverry (QB), Montreal Alouettes
- 1953 – Billy Vessels (RB), Edmonton Eskimos
Zach Collaros the quarterback of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers was the league's Most Outstanding Player, what the CFL calls it's MVP. The league does use the term MVP in the Grey Cup and the winner of that award was Henoc Muamba, linebacker for the Toronto Argonauts. The Argonauts beat Winnipeg 24-23 to win the Grey Cup championship.
Interesting question. In 2021, the TV ratings for the Grey Cup were way up from the previous playoffs. The 2021 CFL playoffs averaged 980,000 viewers in the four semi-final and divisional final games. Maybe that was because COVID-19 wiped out the 2020 season. Last year, viewership was down 27 per cent to 634,850.
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