CFL Simulation: Something stirs in Hamilton

TORONTO — Before we dive in on what the CFL Simulation sees in Tiger Town this week, we should be up front: It’s still Winnipeg’s world and we’re just paying rent.

The Bombers’ success this season stares back at us in the weekly update to the simulation. They’ve locked up the West and have been ahead of the pack essentially the entire season. Any of the charts below that involve the Bombers reflect that.

Lurking behind them, though, perhaps emerging from that early-morning fog that seems to like to linger after the sun comes up lately, are the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Although the Toronto Argonauts are more likely to finish first in the East (and thereby host the divisional final), Hamilton has a higher probability than the Argos of qualifying for or winning the 2021 Grey Cup.

The Ticats can clinch a playoff spot this week with a win or tie against the visiting BC Lions. They get a very important showdown with the Argos in Week 15, where a win would even up their season series and leave it broken down by point differential, which despite the Argos’ best efforts, is a direction that the East Division is still heading.

While it looks bleak for Edmonton — they’re not mathematically out yet — there’s a sliver of a chance for their post-season hopes. That would require a combination of them and the Lions finding the Ws that have so-often eluded them this season and some help from Calgary, who have shifted into survival mode, a la Cho Sang-woo in Episode 6 of Squid Game.


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Have a look below to see what the simulation thinks of your team’s chances.

A reminder: As teams clinch spots and are eliminated from playoff contention, you’ll see more Cs and Es popping up here.

*C: Clinched a particular outcome
*E: Eliminated from achieving a particular outcome

ODDS TO MAKE PLAYOFFS

Team (Projected 2021 Record) Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (12-2) C
Saskatchewan Roughriders (9-5) C
Toronto Argonauts (9-5) C
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (8-6) 98.50%
Montreal Alouettes (7-7) 98.70%
Calgary Stampeders (7-7) 92.30%
BC Lions (5-9) 10.43%
Edmonton Elks (3-11) 0.07%
Ottawa REDBLACKS (3-11) E

ODDS TO HOST PLAYOFF GAME

Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers C
Saskatchewan Roughriders 89.18%
Toronto Argonauts 87.21%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 71.66%
Montreal Alouettes 41.14%
Calgary Stampeders 10.71%
BC Lions 0.10%
Edmonton Elks E
Ottawa REDBLACKS E

ODDS TO WIN EAST

Team Projection
Toronto Argonauts 46.30%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 40.66%
Montreal Alouettes 13.04%
Ottawa REDBLACKS E

ODDS TO WIN WEST

Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers C
Calgary Stampeders E
BC Lions E
Saskatchewan Roughriders E
Edmonton Elks E

ODDS TO APPEAR IN 108TH GREY CUP

Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 83.13%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 48.71%
Toronto Argonauts 36.84%
Montreal Alouettes 21.86%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 9.29%
Calgary Stampeders 7.67%
BC Lions 0.20%
Edmonton Elks <0.01%
Ottawa REDBLACKS E

ODDS TO WIN 108TH GREY CUP

Team Projection
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 69.43%
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 9.26%
Saskatchewan Roughriders 6.23%
Calgary Stampeders 5.57%
Toronto Argonauts 4.85%
Montreal Alouettes 4.59%
BC Lions 0.07%
Edmonton Elks <0.01%
Ottawa REDBLACKS E

MOST LIKELY 108TH GREY CUP MATCHUPS

Team Projection
Winnipeg-Hamilton 34.13%
Winnipeg-Toronto 30.62%
Winnipeg-Montreal 18.13%
Saskatchewan-Hamilton 3.73%
Saskatchewan-Toronto 3.41%

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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