2017 CFL Grey Cup Win Probabilities (06/19/17)

By Rob Pizzola @robpizzola


Here at PredictionMachine.com, we pride ourselves on being able to model any league where we have enough substantial data to do so.

We do not have a single in-house CFL expert, but that hasn't stopped us from taking a run at generating Grey Cup win probabilities for the upcoming season. The CFL is a vastly different game from the NFL, or even NCAA football, which definitely poses some problems. With that being said, there is certainly enough data available to attempt to forecast the upcoming season.

It shouldn't come as a shock to anyone to see Calgary as our pre-season favorite to hoist the Grey Cup. The Stampeders led the league with a whopping +217-point differential a year ago. Just to put things into perspective, the next highest point differential was +91, registered by the B.C. Lions, who just so happen to come in as the next most likely team to ship it this season.

Similarly to the NFL, the CFL is an extremely quarterback-driven league, and both Bo Levi Mitchell (CGY) and Jonathon Jennings (BC) are the cream of the crop. Mitchell threw for nearly 5,400 yards a season ago, with a stellar 32:8 touchdown-to-interception ratio, averaging nearly nine yards per attempt. Simply put, those are outstanding numbers, and with a full complement of receivers returning this season, Mitchell should once again put together a great campaign. Jennings came close to matching Mitchell in total yardage and actually surpassed him in yards per attempt; however, turnovers were an issue, as he threw 15 picks a season ago. Regardless, barring injury, both the Lions and Stampeders are well-equipped to have successful upcoming campaigns.

After the Stamps and Lions, there is a cluster of five teams that are all within four percentage points in Grey Cup probability. Edmonton leads that pack with a 12.9%-win probability, followed by Winnipeg (10.7%), Hamilton (10.4%), Ottawa (10.1%), and Montreal (8.9%). Saskatchewan (7.1%) and Toronto (4.1%) round out the rest of the pack.

Once again, the West Division is clearly the better of the two divisions. No team in the East has more than a 10.4% chance to win the Grey Cup, while there are four teams in the West with a higher win expectancy. A team from the West is expected to win the Grey Cup a whopping 66.5% of the time!

Here are all of the Grey Cup win expectancies for the upcoming 2017 season: