cnotes Posts:27604 Followers:33
On 06/23/2014 07:34 PM in Other Sports

CFL season betting preview: How to bet the East Division-West and Best Bets !

The 2014 CFL season will kick off on Thursday night in Winnipeg as the Blue Bombers host the Argos. There will be nine teams competing for the ultimate prize this year, as Ottawa has re-joined the fold.

Here’s a look at how the East Division teams stack up entering the new campaign.

East Division

Montreal Alouettes (2013: 8-10 SU, 11-7 ATS)

Odds to win division: +250
Odds to win Grey Cup: +706

Why to bet the Alouettes: Montreal might possess the best receiving corps in the CFL, led by Jamel Richardson, S.J. Green and emerging young talent Duron Carter. Former Heisman Trophy winner, QB Troy Smith has big shoes to fill, but does have the pedigree to succeed, and he’ll get plenty of help. The East Division might be a little watered down with the addition of expansion Ottawa, perhaps opening the door for an Als bounce-back year.

Why not to bet the Alouettes: The Anthony Calvillo era has come to an end, and that obviously leaves more questions than answers. That’s not to mention the fact that the Als lost a pair of offensive line standouts to retirement in the offseason, and did little to improve their team by way of free agency or the draft.

Grey Cup outlook: Poor. Inconsistency will plague the Als on both sides of the football, leading to a likely third place finish in the East Division.


Toronto Argonauts (2013: 11-7 SU, 9-8-1 ATS)

Odds to win division: +150
Odds to win Grey Cup: +639

Why to bet the Argos: The face of the league is also the face of the Argos in QB Ricky Ray. While health has been an issue in recent years, if Ray can stay on the field, the Argos will be among the best offensive teams in the league once again.

Why not to bet the Argos: Toronto will be forced to go with a running back by committee approach after Chad Kackert’s sudden retirement. Losing cornerback Patrick Watkins and versatile QB Zach Collaros won’t help matters either. It remains to be seen whether the Argos have enough depth to contend in the East.

Grey Cup outlook: Average at best. Scott Milanovich has proven to be a first class head coach, but he’ll need to do some of his best work to get the Argos back to the Grey Cup this year.


Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2013: 10-8 SU, 9-9 ATS)

Odds to win division: +200
Odds to win Grey Cup: +700

Why to bet the Ti-Cats: Credit Ti-Cats management for shaking things up after reaching last year’s Grey Cup. Henry Burris wasn’t getting any younger, and the move to a younger, more versatile QB in Zach Collaros should give the offense another shot in the arm. In fact, most of Hamilton’s offseason focus was placed on improving the offense.

Why not to bet the Ti-Cats: How long will it take Collaros to get up to speed with the offense? There are also a number of questions on the defensive side of the football, where the Ti-Cats did little to improve prospects in the offseason.

Grey Cup outlook: Good. The Ti-Cats will be hungry to get back after getting embarrassed by the Riders last November.


Ottawa Redblacks (2013: N/A)

Odds to win division: +500
Odds to win Grey Cup: +1800

Why to bet the Redblacks: There’s reason for optimism in Ottawa, even if it is the Redblacks inaugural campaign. While they are starting from scratch, the cupboard is by no means bare. Henry Burris will start the season under centre, while RB Chevon Walker and WR Paris Jackson give them much needed explosiveness all over the field. Ottawa’s defensive roster is filled with veterans.

Why not to bet the Redblacks: It’s obviously going to take some time for the roster to mesh. We did see some promising signs in the preseason, but it’s important not to get too carried away with those exhibition results. Ottawa may contend with its Eastern counterparts, but the West will be another story.

Grey Cup outlook: Not a chance. The Redblacks will simply be looking to build toward the future this year. As long as the product they put on the field is entertaining, it’s a win for the city of Ottawa.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27604 Followers:33
06/23/2014 07:35 PM

2014 CFL Future Odds

June 22, 2014

The new CFL season begins on Thursday June 26 with Winnipeg hosting Toronto. Defending champion Saskatchewan will open their season on Sunday June 29 by hosting Hamilton. Saskatchewan is tied with Calgary at 4/1 odds to win the Grey Cup, while B.C. is the favorite to win it all. Below are the latest odds from Sportsbook.ag for the upcoming CFL campaign.

Odds to win the 2014 CFL Grey Cup
B.C. Lions 15/4
Calgary Stampeders 4/1
Saskatchewan Roughriders 4/1
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 7/1
Toronto Argonauts 15/2
Montreal Alouettes 8/1
Edmonton Eskimos 9/1
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 12/1
Ottawa RedBlacks 18/1

Odds to Win the CFL East Division
Toronto Argonauts 3/2
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 2/1
Montreal Alouettes 5/2
Ottawa RedBlacks 7/1

Odds to Win the CFL West Division
B.C. Lions 9/5
Calgary Stampeders 2/1
Saskatchewan Roughriders 2/1
Edmonton Eskimos 5/1
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 10/1

Who will win the Grey Cup
Team from the West Division -175
Team from the East Division +145

2014 CFL Grey Cup - Exact Matchup
Montreal Alouettes vs B.C. Lions 8/1
Montreal Alouettes vs Calgary Stampeders 9/1
Montreal Alouettes vs Saskatchewan Roughriders 9/1
Montreal Alouettes vs Edmonton Eskimos 20/1
Montreal Alouettes vs Winnipeg Blue Bombers 33/1
Toronto Argonauts vs B.C. Lions 7/1
Toronto Argonauts vs Calgary Stampeders 7/1
Toronto Argonauts vs Saskatchewan Roughriders 7/1
Toronto Argonauts vs Edmonton Eskimos 14/1
Toronto Argonauts vs Winnipeg Blue Bombers 25/1
Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs B.C. Lions 7/1
Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs Calgary Stampeders 17/2
Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs Saskatchewan Roughriders 17/2
Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs Edmonton Eskimos 16/1
Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs Winnipeg Blue Bombers 33/1
Ottawa RedBlacks vs B.C. Lions 20/1
Ottawa RedBlacks vs Calgary Stampeders 22/1
Ottawa RedBlacks vs Saskatchewan Roughriders 22/1
Ottawa RedBlacks vs Edmonton Eskimos 45/1
Ottawa RedBlacks vs Winnipeg Blue Bombers 75/1
Any Other Matchup 25/1

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27604 Followers:33
06/23/2014 07:39 PM

TORONTO -- The snow has melted, the grass is green, and the sun is shining. Yes, it's summer in Canada, which means it's time for football.

Another CFL season is nearly upon us, with just days separating millions of fans from the 2014 campaign's inaugural kickoff in Winnipeg, as the Bombers host the Argonauts on Thursday night.

Here are 10 players (in no particular order) to keep an eye on during the regular season:

John Chiles, WR, Toronto Argonauts: Chiles enters the 2014 season amid high expectations from both fans,
and his own organization. In 2013, he racked up a surprising 725 yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie. Can he top those numbers now that he's on the radar of defences across the league?

Zach Collaros, QB, Hamilton Tiger-Cats: If Collaros' 2013 performance is any type of indicator, the Ticats should be
just fine under their new starting QB's leadership. How he'll fare as a starter is yet to be determined, but all signs
are pointing in the right direction in Hamilton.

Jon Cornish, RB, Calgary Stampeders: Despite all the personal accolades collected by the Canadian tailback in 2013 (Most Outstanding Player, Most Outstanding Canadian, Lou Marsh Trophy), Cornish will be the first to tell you that the only trophy that matters is the one given out following the final game of the CFL Calendar. Expect him to do whatever it takes to lift it at season's end.

Darian Durant, QB, Saskatchewan Roughriders: Fresh off his first Grey Cup victory, Durant will look to further cement his legacy in both the CFL and it's most intense market. But with no Kory Sheet, Weston Dressler or Geroy Simon to help him offensively, will we see a different Durant in 2014?

CJ Gable, RB, Hamilton Tiger-Cats: Last season's East Division Most Outstanding Rookie jumps, jukes, spins, and
powers his way into the new season, with expectations of developing into an elite CFL tailback. Look for him to anchor what should be a dangerous Hamilton offence in 2014.

Chad Johnson, WR, Montreal Alouettes: With plenty of fanfare, Johnson arrives in Montreal looking to not only
provide some depth on the Alouette offence, but to also re-establish himself as an effective football player. Don't
expect immediate results from the 36-year-old, as it should take him some time to familiarize himself with the new field.

Khalif Mitchell, DT, BC Lions: Back in his comfort zone on the West Coast, Mitchell's nastiness and tenacity is something the Lions will welcome with open arms in what's expected to be a very tight West Division.

Troy Smith, QB, Montreal Alouettes: Imagine the most popular guy at the office just quit, and you were chosen
to step in and replace him. Not the easiest of situations, is it? Replacing Anthony Calvillo is no easy feat, but the Als
appear to have full confidence in their new starting pivot, and they've provided him with all the tools he needs to succeed.

Chevon Walker, RB, Ottawa REDBLACKS: Forced to the bench by CJ Gable as a member of the Ticats in 2013, Walker will try and guide the newborn REDBLACKS to some success as their featured back in 2014. His final pre-season performance (47 yards, three touchdowns) showed he's ready to rock when his team begins their regular season in Week 2.

Drew Willy, QB, Winnipeg Blue Bombers: Named the starter before he even put a Blue and Gold jersey on, Willy
is charged with bringing the Bombers back into the post-season conversation, and even beyond. While that might
be too much to expect this year, Willy should provide Bomber fans with ample reasons to smile going forward.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27604 Followers:33
06/23/2014 07:40 PM

Bo's Ball: Mitchell to start for Stamps vs. Als

Posted: June 23, 2014 02:45 PM
Updated: June 23, 2014 03:00 PM

CALGARY -- A competition for the highest-profile position on the football field makes for a compelling storyline, so it’s no surprise that fans and media had been fixated on the battle for the No. 1 quarterback job with the Calgary Stampeders.

Much had been written and said about the arms race between Drew Tate and Bo Levi Mitchell and Stamps head coach and general manager John Hufnagel was asked almost daily for a progress update on the competition.

Coach Huff brought an end to the drama on Monday by announcing that Mitchell would be under centre for Saturday’s home-opener against the Montreal Alouettes, but the coach stressed that both players figure to see plenty of action in 2014.

“In my mind,” said Hufnagel, “it really doesn’t matter who’s the starting quarterback for Game 1. It’s a long season, they’re all going to play, and I believe they both will play well when they’re on the field.”

The numbers back up the coach/GM on both fronts. As far as the credentials of Tate and Mitchell go, both players have enjoyed success with the Red and White.
Related Links

Career stats: Bo Levi Mitchell
Career stats: Drew Tate
Stamps downed by Leos in pre-season

Tate has been with the Stamps since 2009 and became the starter in Week 17 of the 2011 season. Injuries have limited him to eight regular-season and two playoff starts since that time but he has been very productive when healthy, posting a 5-0 record when he plays the entire game.

He has completed 259 or 381 passes during his Stamps career (a 68.0-per cent completion rate, the highest total in franchise history) for 3,270 yards, 24 touchdowns and just nine interceptions.

Mitchell has been with the Stamps for two seasons and posted a 3-0 record when called upon as a starter in 2013. He completed 94 of 135 passes last season for 1,156 yards, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions.

Coincidentally, both players had a tough night in the Stamps’ pre-season game at BC last week although bad luck — passes were deflected by Calgary receivers and even by an official into the hands of Lions defenders — played a role in the quarterbacks’ struggles.

And when it comes to the suggestion that both players are likely to get their chance this season, one only needs to look back to 2013 when three different QBs — Tate, Mitchell and the since-departed Kevin Glenn — started and won games for the Stamps.

And it’s not just in Calgary that the pivots were rotating a year ago. In an eight-team (at the time) league, 18 different quarterbacks started games including one player who started games for two teams (Buck Pierce in Winnipeg and BC) and four different QBs in Montreal (Anthony Calvillo, Josh Neiswander, Tanner Marsh and Troy Smith).

Only two clubs — Edmonton (Mike Reilly) and Hamilton (Henry Burris) — had the same starter for all 18 regular-season contests.

With Burris now with the expansion Ottawa RedBlacks, Pierce and Calvillo retired and Glenn in line to start the year as the Lions No. 1 QB in favour of injured Travis Lulay, five of the eight incumbent teams in the league will have new season-opening starters in 2014.

The Calgary quarterbacks have proven that they will support one another regardless of the order on the depth chart from week to week. When Glenn was in the picture a year ago, observers marveled at how well the trio of talented throwers got along even when outside forces tried to create a quarterback controversy.

There’s no reason to believe that will change this year with Tate, Mitchell and newcomer Bryant Moniz, who won the No. 3 job in training camp.

“Obviously, you want to be the guy,” said Mitchell last week, “but no matter what, no matter who is in there, we’re going to win and that’s all we care about.”

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27604 Followers:33
06/23/2014 07:41 PM

Extended in Edmonton: Reilly re-ups with Eskimos

Posted: June 23, 2014 12:20 PM
Updated: June 23, 2014 12:33 PM


EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Eskimos have signed quarterback Mike Reilly to a contract extension, keeping him in Green and Gold through the 2016 season.

In 18 games (18 starts) last season, Reilly completed 305-of-512 passes for 4,207 yards (59.6% completion rate), 24 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. His passing yards and TD passes ranked second in the CFL.

In Week 8, against Toronto, Reilly passed for 511 yards - the fourth highest in a single game on the Eskimos all-time list.

Reilly also carried the ball 84 times for 709 yards (8.4 avg.) and one touchdown. He led all CFL quarterbacks in rushing and ranked fifth in the league. He is the first quarterback since 2007 to run for over 700 yards in a single season.

Reilly was originally traded to Edmonton from BC on Jan. 31,2013 along with the Lions' second round pick in the 2013 CFL Canadian Draft in exchange for Edmonton's second round picks in the 2013 and 2014 CFL Canadian Drafts.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27604 Followers:33
06/23/2014 07:44 PM

Steinberg's MMQB: Looking back and gazing ahead

Posted: June 23, 2014 09:00 AM


So the 2014 Canadian Football League pre-season is in the books, and we have our fair share of question marks. How will Ottawa do in their return to the league? What will life after AC look like in Montreal? How will a young Riders team defend their Grey Cup?

Questions like these are why we look forward to the end of June every year, and 2014 is no different.

When you factor in some of the decisions made Saturday as teams got down to size, the start of the coming campaign becomes even more intriguing. The preseason helped make a lot of decisions, but it’s good to know that we’ve got meaningful football to watch from now until November.

Deep cuts

Jamel Richardson headlines the list of surprise cuts as teams trimmed their rosters down to 46 on Saturday. The circumstances that lead to the decision are still a little fuzzy, so the MMQB feels a little hesitant to pass judgment on the choice itself.
Fan Poll
Which cut-day release surprised you most?
1) Jamel Richardson
2) Hugh Charles
3) Romby Bryant
4) Other

That said, we do feel comfortable passing on a few thoughts.

First off, I’ve always had a great appreciation for the way Richardson plays. Prior to his injury shortened 2013 season, Richardson had forged a reputation as one of the most reliable, physical, and explosive receivers in this league.

Watching him dominate defensive backs during his five straight 1,000-yard seasons truly was a pleasure, as he brought a skill set that was extremely unique.

With reports surfacing Richardson is on the verge of signing with Toronto, there are going to be questions as to how he’ll recover from a major knee injury. Chiefly: can he still play the physical brand of football he did prior?

I hope the answer is yes, and my gut says the answer is yes as well. But that’s just my gut. However, if my gut ends up being correct, he will absolutely be an asset to the Argos.

And, with a new full time starting quarterback in Montreal, there’s a pretty realistic chance his old squad will miss what he brings too.

I remember watching the Edmonton Eskimos beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 30-20 in Week 2 of the 2013 season and being extremely impressed with one player in particular.

That player was also the most notable name cut by the Eskimos on Saturday: running back Hugh Charles.

The game referenced above saw Charles score a pair of touchdowns while racking up 149 combined yards of offence.

I always wondered why then Head Coach Kavis Reed didn’t use Charles more extensively in his two full years in Edmonton, because I always thought he could be an extremely dangerous weapon.

2013 saw his touches drop from 202 to 136 from the year prior (with only one less game played), and you could tell he was becoming less and less a part of Edmonton’s offensive game plan.

I still maintain that more consistent usage of Charles would have been good for the Eskimos, but that page has been turned.

At 28, I still think the guy can play and could help a team right now. He’s a dual threat back who can stretch the field when catching the ball out of the backfield, and he’s no slouch in a pure running game either.

Let’s see if he catches on somewhere in 2014.

Good signs

Good news: three teams left their fans with positive quarterback impressions in their final pre-season week. Leading that pack is Ottawa’s Henry Burris. As we talked about last week, there are lots of areas the REDBLACKS will need to improve on throughout the season, but at the very least, it looks like they’ve got a quarterback who will keep them somewhat competitive.

Burris threw just five incomplete passes in a 26-10 win over Montreal on Friday night, and did so in impressive fashion. He hooked up with nine different receivers, looked comfortable in the pocket, and performed up to the high standard we’ve come to expect from him.

He truly is an ideal guy to help kick start an expansion franchise.

It was tough to get a true read on Zach Collaros in his Hamilton debut a couple weekends ago, so Tiger-Cats fans were likely pretty stoked to see him settle in and play some controlled football Thursday in Toronto.

Yes, the Argos prevailed 41-23, but the best news for Hamilton came from Collaros, who threw for 196 yards and ran for 22 more. He has a presence when he’s on the field, and I’m excited to see his first full year as a CFL starter.

Mike Reilly was just fine in his second pre-season game, and it sure looks like he’s solidified his status as a starter in this league. But it was Matt Nichols who was the story in Edmonton’s 19-14 win over the Riders on Friday night.

Nichols, who has had nothing but bad injury luck over the last two seasons, threw for 155 yards on 8-for-11 passing in his second exhibition outing of 2014.

Make no mistake, Reilly is the guy in Edmonton, and he should be. But knowing the difficulty the Eskimos had in protecting him last year, there’s always a chance Nichols may be called upon at some point. Seeing him have a positive pre-season is extremely encouraging.

Parting shots

Troy Smith’s pre-season debut for the Alouettes wasn’t as encouraging as some of the performances we just highlighted. However, I still think Montreal made a smart move when they brought him in last season.

His explosive ability and eagerness to make big plays will be more and more of an asset as he continues to hone in his understanding of the Canadian game.

He’ll never be as accurate as that guy who won a few titles in Montreal, but I still think he can be a CFL winner.

Nothing changes for me when it comes to Calgary’s quarterback situation. Drew Tate should be the Week 1 starter, even as neither he nor Bo Levi Mitchell were overly impressive in a 37-13 setback Friday in BC.

Tate is more accurate and can manage an offence better at this stage in his career. Mitchell’s ceiling is extremely high, and is time is coming, but I don’t think it’s here yet.

I’m not sure if anyone saw this, but how cool is it to see SI.com roll with Canada Week? We, um, borrowed the name of this column from Peter King who is spearheading seven days of coverage on Sports Illustrated’s website.

Former Als Head Coach Marc Trestman and the legendary Doug Flutie are writing columns, while King himself is covering the Stamps and Riders home openers. That’s pretty cool.
About Pat

Pat Steinberg is the co-host of the drive home program on Sportsnet Radio FAN 960 in Calgary. He also reports on the CFL and the Stampeders and hosts pre and post-game programs for the team. He looks forward to traveling to the Grey Cup every year. Follow Pat on Twitter @Fan960Steinberg.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27604 Followers:33
06/23/2014 07:46 PM

Three's company: Lulay, Iannuzzi, Arceneaux out for BC

Posted: June 23, 2014 12:30 PM
Updated: June 23, 2014 12:56 PM


VANCOUVER – The BC Lions will open their 2014 regular season campaign without an important trio on the offensive side of the ball.

Monday, the team placed QB Travis Lulay, as well as receivers Emmanuel Arceneaux and Marco Iannuzzi on the one-week injured list, meaning all three will be unavailable to play when the team hosts the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday.

Lulay did not particiapte in any pre-season action, as he continues to recover from off-season shoulder surgery. It appears as though the team will be handling his situation on a week-to-week basis.

With Lulay out, expect veteran pivot Kevin Glenn to lead the Lions offence for the time being.

Both Arceneaux and Iannuzzi also didn't see much action in the pre-season. Arceneaux has been nursing a broken hand suffered early in training camp, while the Lions have not released information on Ianuzzi’s injury.

The Lions also added DL Brandon Jordan, and LB Alex Hoffman-Ellis to the one-game injured list on Monday, and added offensive lineman Cody Husband to the 6-game injured list.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27604 Followers:33
06/23/2014 07:48 PM

Bryant the odd man out of Toronto's receiving corps


Posted: June 22, 2014 04:30 PM
Updated: June 22, 2014 05:04 PM


TORONTO -- Jim Barker hates telling a football player he's been released, especially one he has a history with.

The Toronto Argonauts GM gave 14 players their pink slips Saturday night to reach the 46-man limit. Included was veteran receiver Romby Bryant -- who goes back six years with Barker -- and defensive back Alonzo Lawrence, a starter last year.

"He (Bryant) has been with me since back in Calgary and he's such a phenomenal pro,'' Barker, who served as Calgary's coach and in its front office before returning to Toronto following the 2009 season, said Sunday. "The ones that have been there the longest are the hardest but they're all hard.

"These guys come in and you just hate to have to do it but it's part of what the business is.''

Bryant, 34, missed much of last season after being injured in a pre-season game against Montreal. He was limited to eight receptions for 91 yards and two touchdowns.

Bryant's best season was with Calgary in 2010 when he had 78 receptions for 1,170 yards and 15 TDs. He was also part of the Stampeders team that lost 35-22 to Toronto in the historic 100th Grey Cup game in '12 at Rogers Centre.
Roster Recap


All CFL teams cut their rosters down late Saturday night. Track all the moves heading into Week 1 here.

Bryant began his CFL career with Winnipeg in '08 and recorded 304 catches for 4,557 yards and 33 TDs over seven seasons.

The six-foot, 218-pound Lawrence had 44 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a sack last season, his first with Toronto.

In both situations, Bryant and Lawrence were beat out by younger players.

"I guess some of it is a philosophical deal, do you take a younger guy when they're similar (with veteran) and that's for the most part how we feel,'' head coach Scott Milanovich said. "If you've got two guys who are in the same neighbourhood, you go with the younger guy who has more time but Romby can still play.

"If you would've asked me a week ago I would've said Romby would be on our active roster. If you would've asked me a week ago I would've said Alonzo was probably a starter. We just had some guys step up and play a little better and that's a good thing for us.''

Offensively, Barker said young receivers Terrrell Sinkfield and Darvin Adams impressed throughout camp. Sinkfield had eight catches for 100 yards and a TD in Toronto's 41-23 exhibition win over Hamilton on Thursday while Adams added three catches for 67 yards and a touchdown.

"You just kept expecting one of them to fall off and they never did,'' Barker said. "They just got stronger as camp went and grasped what we're trying to do.

"Those two young guys made it difficult to keep Romby.''

Meanwhile on defence, Milanovich said Lawrence got caught up in shuffle within the secondary.

"We moved Brandon Smith from halfback to field cornerback and he also has return ability on special teams,'' Milanovich said. "Brandon Underwood moved to halfback and really picked it up quickly.

"Jamie Robinson has settled in as the Sam (linebacker). Alonzo was a field corner and some of these other guys have a little bit more versatility and can play more than one spot.''

Also released were: national long-snapper Michael Benson, national receivers Evan Pszczonak and Tore Corrado, international defensive linemen Padrick Scott and Dexter Davis, international receiver J.D. Falslev, national offensive linemen Kirby Fletcher and Thomas Griffiths, international punter/kicker Josh Jasper, international linebacker Eddie Lackey, international defensive back Andre Martin Jr. and international receiver K.J. Stroud.

Toronto kept four running backs -- Curtis Steele, Jeremiah Johnson, Canadian rookie Anthony Coombs and the injured Steve Slaton -- and three fullbacks -- rookies Alexandre Dupuis and Brendan Gillanders and veteran Zander Robinson. Milanovich said the club will go with a running back by committee as it attempts to replace Chad Kackert, the '12 Grey Cup MVP who retired prior to training camp after a slow recovery from a serious leg injury late last season.

Kackert remains Toronto's strength-and-conditioning coach.

"That's just a position you need to have some depth at,'' Barker said. "In Curtis Steele, we have a guy who's also one of our top special-teams players.

"There's a lot of guys who made this football team because of what they do on special teams. You're going to look at our roster and say, 'Wow, you've got seven running backs.'' The thing is they're all special-teams picks, a lot of them. That's just part of putting your roster together."

Toronto opens the '14 season Thursday night in Winnipeg. And despite the Argos managing nine sacks in their exhibition win over Hamilton, Milanovich said his team has plenty of work to do before it can consider itself a Grey Cup contender.

"I don't take a lot of stock in what happened in the pre-season,'' he said. "I just got done telling the team we're an average football team right now.

"But a defence that gets after the quarterback energizes a team. I hope we're able to do that Thursday night.''

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27604 Followers:33
06/23/2014 07:49 PM

2013 Regular Season Standings

West Division


GP W L T PTS F A HOME AWAY DIV STREAK

y - Calgary 18 14 4 0 28 549 413 8 - 1 - 0 6 - 3 - 0 7 - 3 - 0 L1

x - Saskatchewan 18 11 7 0 22 519 398 6 - 3 - 0 5 - 4 - 0 6 - 4 - 0 L2

x - BC 18 11 7 0 22 504 461 8 - 1 - 0 3 - 6 - 0 6 - 4 - 0 W2

Edmonton 18 4 14 0 8 421 519 1 - 8 - 0 3 - 6 - 0 1 - 9 - 0 W1

East Division


GP W L T PTS F A HOME AWAY DIV STREAK

y - Toronto 18 11 7 0 22 507 458 4 - 5 - 0 7 - 2 - 0 6 - 4 - 0 L1

x - Hamilton 18 10 8 0 20 453 468 6 - 3 - 0 4 - 5 - 0 8 - 2 - 0 W2

x - Montreal 18 8 10 0 16 459 471 4 - 5 - 0 4 - 5 - 0 4 - 6 - 0 W1

Winnipeg 18 3 15 0 6 361 585 1 - 8 - 0 2 - 7 - 0 2 - 8 - 0 L3

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27604 Followers:33
06/25/2014 11:03 AM

CFL season betting preview: How to bet the West Division

The 2014 CFL season will kick off on Thursday night in Winnipeg as the Blue Bombers host the Argos. There will be nine teams competing for the ultimate prize this year, as Ottawa has re-joined the fold. The B.C. Lions are currently favored to hoist the Grey Cup, with Saskatchewan and Calgary not far behind.

Here’s a look at how the West Division teams stack up entering the new campaign.

West Division

Calgary Stampeders (2013: 14-4 SU, 11-6-1 ATS)

Odds to win division: +200
Odds to win Grey Cup: +404

Why to bet the Stampeders: Calgary has two of the league’s best (some would say backup) quarterbacks in Drew Tate and Bo Levi Mitchell. Who will get the starting nod remains to be seen, but it’s a nice problem to have in the CFL, where durability tends to be an issue. With former Most Outstanding Player winner Jon Cornish in the backfield, neither Tate or Mitchell will have to shoulder the entire load.

Why not to bet the Stampeders: Has the window closed on the Stampeders? It seemed as if they peaked two years ago, when they reached the Grey Cup in Toronto. While they were terrific in the regular season a year ago, the playoffs were a different story.

Grey Cup outlook: Good. However, they’re going to need the offense to hum under the guidance of Tate or Mitchell.


Saskatchewan Roughriders (2013: 11-7 SU, 8-9-1 ATS)

Odds to win division: +200
Odds to win Grey Cup: +397

Why to bet the Roughriders: Darian Durant is back under centre, giving the Riders some continuity on offense. They’ve got plenty of depth all over the field, which is a good thing given some of the offseason departures. Don’t sleep on the Riders defense either, one of the most underrated units in the league.

Why not to bet the Roughriders: Kory Sheets and Weston Dressler will both be trying out south of the border this Summer, leaving a pair of substantial voids in the Riders offense. While both could return, that wouldn’t be likely to happen until Labour Day.

Grey Cup outlook: Not as good as the odds indicate. Could a letdown be in order after the Riders won the Grey Cup in their own backyard last year?


B.C. Lions (2013: 11-7 SU, 9-9 ATS)

Odds to win division: +180
Odds to win Grey Cup: +323

Why to bet the Lions: The Grey Cup host has ultimately hoisted the trophy in each of the last two years, and it’s the Lions turn this Fall. The sky is the limit for a team that’s loaded with stars on both sides of the football. The addition of QB Kevin Glenn gives the Lions a nice veteran presence behind Travis Lulay.

Why not to bet the Lions: The Lions offensive line is young and inexperienced. It won’t matter who is taking the snaps if the line can’t protect. We’ve seen this story play out before, with the Lions receiving plenty of hype prior to the start of the season, only to disappoint. We’ll see if that holds true this year.

Grey Cup outlook: Excellent. On paper, the Lions are the favorite for good reason. The added motivation of hosting the Grey Cup should serve them well.


Edmonton Eskimos (2013: 4-14 SU, 8-10 ATS)

Odds to win division: +500
Odds to win Grey Cup: +1000

Why to bet the Eskimos: Last season was a rebuilding year, plain and simple. Expectations aren’t all that high this year either, but the potential is there for the Esks to make a move. Mike Reilly has cemented his role as the team’s starting QB. The addition of former Argos defensive coordinator Chris Jones, not to mention CB Patrick Watkins bolsters an already promising defensive corps.

Why not to bet the Eskimos: Make no mistake, the Esks are still in rebuild mode. In a tough West Division, they’re unlikely to contend, but would look at six or seven wins as a major positive moving forward. If Reilly can’t stay healthy, the offense could be in serious trouble.

Grey Cup outlook: Poor. The Eskimos will be a fun team to watch, and should make positive strides, but shouldn’t be involved in too many Grey Cup conversations.


Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2013: 3-15 SU, 5-12-1 ATS)

Odds to win division: +1000
Odds to win Grey Cup: +1200

Why to bet the Blue Bombers: New head coach Mike O’Shea should provide a breath of fresh air to a struggling Blue Bombers franchise. After ranking last in both scoring offense and defense a year ago, there’s nowhere to go but up for the Bombers. QB Drew Willy takes over the offense and the move should pay dividends in short order.

Why not to bet the Blue Bombers: Outside of O’Shea and Willy, there are few reasons for optimism – this year at least. The Bombers are in a similar position to that of the Eskimos last year. They know the direction they’re headed in, but not quite sure how to get there. We’ll see plenty of growing pains again in 2014.

Grey Cup outlook: Poor. Unless O’Shea is able to pull off a miracle in his first year in Winnipeg, the Bombers will likely be looking at a five or six win season.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: