Football has begun in Canada and the United States, and there are plenty of intriguing storylines at the start of the season. Here's who might be in the Grey Cup and Super Bowl at the end of the season:
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Now that we have entered the fall, it is the greatest time on the sports calendar. Of course, basketball and hockey are starting up while the baseball playoffs are just getting underway. But the main attraction in Canada and the United States is football, which draws more of an audience than most of the other sports combined.
CFL 2021 Season
In the CFL, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are off to a fast 7-1 start. Quarterback Zach Collaros has thrown for a league-high 2,148 yards this season and ranks second with 12 touchdown passes. Fellow signal-caller Sean McGuire even leads the CFL in rushing touchdowns this season. Everything seems to be going well up there in Winnipeg for Mike O’Shea and the boys.
The West Division is also home to the second-best team in the CFL, the Saskatchewan Roughriders at 5-3. Quarterback Cody Fajardo ranks second in rushing touchdowns (4), third in passing yards (1,913) and fourth in passing touchdowns (7). Winnipeg and Saskatchewan seem like they’ll be jockeying for positioning in the standings all season long, but they’ll have to wait until the playoffs if they’re going to face each other once again.
Over in the East Division, the Toronto Argonauts (4-3) have propelled themselves to the top with a 3-0 record at home. Things are very tight over there as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (4-4) and Montreal Alouettes (3-4) are right on their heels. Things can shift at any point in the East, so that will certainly be an interesting race to watch going down the stretch.
At the bottom of the barrel, the Edmonton Elks and Ottawa Redblacks both find themselves at 2-5. Edmonton might find itself better off playing on the road, as they’re 2-1 away compared to its dreadful 0-4 record at home. Ottawa is in rough shape as well, dragging around the CFL’s worst point differential (-82) this season.
CFL 2021 Grey Cup Odds
According to Vegas Insider, Winnipeg is the clear-cut favourite to win the Grey Cup at 3.00. Up next in the odds, Saskatchewan is at 4.50 while there’s a three-team cluster of Toronto 6.00, Hamilton 6.50 and the BC Lions 7.00. Rounding out the list is Edmonton 17.00, Calgary 19.00 and Ottawa 80.00.
NFL 2021 Season
In the NFL, only the Arizona Cardinals remained undefeated at 4-0. Quarterback Kyler Murray is playing at an elite level, as you’ve probably seen with all of his video-game-like runs around the pocket. The Week 4 win against the Los Angeles Rams was his first game without throwing an interception all season, so look for that to continue. Murray’s play has led the team to score at least 30 points in every game this season.
Right behind the Cardinals are 12 different teams (Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) which are all 3-1.
At the bottom end of the spectrum, there are only two winless teams (Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars). Yes, that is correct. You do not see the New York Giants or New York Giants on the list. They both won their respective games in Week 4 to avoid remaining on the list of the winless.
NFL 2021 Super Bowl Odds
Surprisingly, the 2-2 Kansas City Chiefs still have the lowest odds to win the Super Bowl at 6.50. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs lost a couple of tough games in Weeks 2-3, but they did rebound nicely in Week 4 with a huge performance from wide receiver Tyreek Hill who put up 50+ fantasy points on the day.
Followed by the Chiefs, the defending-champion Buccaneers right on their tail at 7.00. Some of the other teams include the Bills 9.50, Rams 11.00, Ravens 13.00, Packers 13.00, Browns 13.00, Cardinals 15.00 and Cowboys 20.00. On Sunday Night Football in Week 5, we’ll see a rematch of the AFC Championship Game between the Bills and Chiefs.
NFL Individual Awards
According to FanDuel Sportsbook, Murray is the odds-on favourite to win the NFL MVP at 5.50. Following Murray, it’s a long list of quarterbacks that includes Josh Allen (7.00), Patrick Mahomes (9.00), Dak Prescott (10.00), Aaron Rodgers (10.00) and Justin Herbert (10.00). The closest non-quarterback on the list is Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry (81.00) while wide receivers Cooper Kupp (101.00) of the Rams and Davante Adams (151.00) of the Packers are somewhat in the vicinity.
As for the rookies, wide receiver, Ja’Marr Chase of the Bengals and quarterback Mac Jones of the Patriots are both tied at 5.00 to win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award. On the defensive side, linebacker Micah Parsons (5.00) of the Cowboys and Patrick Surtain II of the Broncos lead the way.
Predictions and Picks
If you’re betting on the CFL, it makes sense to take the favourite Winnipeg at 3.00. Right now, it appears like no one is even close in terms of competition, and it will take a monumental effort to knock them off the top spot.
In the NFL, things are a lot more uncertain. It’s hard to imagine a 2-2 team like Kansas City is still the odds-on favourite at 6.50, but they do have the best QB/WR/TE combo in the NFL. As we have seen over the last few years, a high-powered offence will at least make you one of the last teams standing.
Eventually, the Kansas City defence is going to run out, so perhaps taking a flier on Buffalo at 9.50 is the move here. The Los Angeles Rams are also quite appealing at 11.00.
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