CFL Simulation: A tight race develops in the East

TORONTO — With each win, each week, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are seizing statistical control of CFL Simulation. The defending Grey Cup champs have looked every bit the part in their 6-1 start and as you scroll through the probabilities of every post-season scenario, you’ll see that they all start with the Bombers.

As great as they’ve been, even in the scenario that they do make it to the Grey Cup game this year, they’re only half of the equation. What’s shaping up on the other side of that equation is turning out to be pretty interesting.

With Hamilton and Toronto at 3-3 and Montreal right behind them at 2-3, the East Division is very much wide open. It’s been a disappointing season for Ottawa thus far, with them at 1-4, but the parity above them paired with a good run in the second half of the campaign has them as not quite the longshot that you might think they’d be. The Bombers are in control so far this season, no doubt, but the teams out East and even the ones trailing behind them in the West have a lot of interesting things going on around them.


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The odds are currently not in the favour of the struggling Stampeders, who at 2-5 are last in the West and are statistical longshots at this point, though these things can of course all start to shift with some wins. The Lions continue to trend upward and the Riders’ outlook improved when they snapped their two-game, Bomber-induced slide.

Take a look at how things shake out this week and see how your team’s doing.

ODDS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS

Team (Projected 2021 Record) Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (10-4) 99.64%
BC Lions (8-6) 94.77%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (7-7) 83.34%
Saskatchewan Roughriders (7-7) 82.57%
Toronto Argonauts (7-7) 78.66%
Montreal Alouettes (7-7) 61.87%
Edmonton Elks (6-8) 38.62%
Ottawa REDBLACKS (6-8) 34.22%
Calgary Stampeders (5-9) 26.31%

ODDS TO HOST PLAYOFF GAME

Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 91.42%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 70.94%
BC Lions 66.02%
Toronto Argonauts 63.90%
Montreal Alouettes 44.07%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 32.50%
Ottawa REDBLACKS 21.09%
Edmonton Elks 6.22%
Calgary Stampeders 3.84%

ODDS TO WIN EAST

Team Projection
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 42.76%
Toronto Argonauts 31.04%
Montreal Alouettes 19.35%
Ottawa REDBLACKS 6.85%

ODDS TO WIN WEST

Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 66.45%
BC Lions 25.93%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 5.93%
Edmonton Elks 1.69%
Calgary Stampeders 0.01%

ODDS TO APPEAR IN 108TH GREY CUP

Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 55.02%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 36.96%
Toronto Argonauts 29.81%
BC Lions 26.61%
Montreal Alouettes 19.20%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 15.23%
Ottawa REDBLACKS 8.67%
Edmonton Elks 5.17%
Calgary Stampeders 3.33%

ODDS TO WIN 108TH GREY CUP

Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 37.81%
BC Lions 17.40%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 12.46%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 9.87%
Toronto Argonauts 9.11%
Montreal Alouettes 6.05%
Edmonton Elks 2.88%
Ottawa REDBLACKS 2.63%
Calgary Stampeders 1.79%

MOST LIKELY 108TH GREY CUP MATCHUPS

Team Projection
Winnipeg-Hamilton 20.80%
Winnipeg-Toronto 16.50%
Winnipeg-Montreal 10.00%
BC-Hamilton 9.34%
BC-Toronto 7.48%

The model considers the following:

  • Each team’s current win-loss record.
  • Opponents already played (including whether it was a home or away game).
  • Margin of victory (or loss) in games previously played in the season.
  • Remaining opponents to be played (including whether those games are home or away).
  • Most recent results (a recent win is weighted more heavily than a win back in Week 1, for example)

The model calculates each team’s probability of victory in each remaining game. It then simulates 100,000 replications of the remaining regular season schedule and resulting playoff bracket (including the possibility of a playoff crossover team). For each replication, the model keeps track of a number of performance metrics (for example, which teams earned home playoff games, which teams appeared in the Grey Cup, etc.).

For instance, if Winnipeg won the Grey Cup in 20,190 of the 100,000 replications, then its Grey Cup victory probability would be 20,190 / 100,000 = 20.19%.

The model is updated weekly based on the results of games played that week.

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