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CFL 2018 Odds

Who wins CFL 2018?

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Even though we're only a few weeks removed from the completion of the 105th Grey Cup Game of the Canadian Football League, it's time to start looking ahead to the 2018 CFL season.

The most notable change that football fans up north need to know involves the league extending its regular season by one game, moving from a 20-week season to a 21-week regular season, with the goal of decreasing short turnaround times between games, and thereby increasing player rest time. Given that, the league will begin play for the 2018 season around the second week of June, with the postseason scheduled to start as of November 11th, 2018.

During the 2017 season, the Calgary Stampeders finished the regular season with a league-high 13 wins, thus clinching first place and a bye to the division final. But after defeating the Edmonton Eskimos in said division finals, the Stampeders lost in their second-straight Grey Cup appearance to Toronto.

Still, entering 2018, the Stampeders are the odds-on favorites to not only appear in the Grey Cup Championship game, but finally win it all. With a defense led by All-Star defensive tackle Micah Johnson and cornerback Ciante Evans, in addition to linebacker Alex Singleton, the CFL's defensive player of the year, Calgary allowed the fewest points of any CFL team last year, and looks like they should pick things right where they left off.

Head coach Dave Dickenson has been the head coach of this team for two seasons, leading them to two Grey Cup games, and losing both of them. The proverbial monkey is on his back, and it's up to him to see if he can get out from the tall shadow cast by former head coach John Hufnagel, a four-time Grey Cup championship coach.

Meanwhile, the Toronto Argonauts, who upset the Stampeders in the most recent Grey Cup, remain near the top of the list of favorites for next season, even though they finished this past regular season with a 9-9 record.

Head coach Marc Trestman, a three-time Grey Cup championship winner who made a name for himself in the National Football League as something of a "quarterback whisperer," will have a new man under center in quarterback James Franklin. Toronto acquired Franklin in a trade with the Edmonton Eskimos. That should help jump-start an offense that was ranked in the middle of the CFL pack, in terms of points scored last year.

The Edmonton Eskimos and Saskatchewan Roughriders enter 2018 tied for the second-highest odds to win Grey Cup 2018. Edmonton finished last year's regular season riding a five-game winning streak, and defeated the high-flying Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Western Division Semi-Finals. Similarly, Saskatchewan handily defeated the defending champion Ottawa Redblacks in the Eastern Division Semi-Finals, before losing to the eventual champion Argonauts in the Semi-Finals.

One interesting name to keep an eye on in 2018 is head coach June Jones of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Jones was named the full-time head coach of the Ti-Cats after taking over on an interim basis midway through the 2017 season, and the long-time offensive guru known for his "Run-and-Shoot" offensive philosophy could bring a level of theatricality to the Hamilton offense, which it clearly lacked last year (they were the second-lowest scoring team in the CFL).