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CFL Grey Cup: Blue Bombers and Argonauts Set to Battle for the Title

With only three months to go before the 2024 Canadian Football League regular season starts, franchises are readying their rosters, and bookmakers are formulating their odds based on last season’s Grey Cup performances and new additions to team rosters for the upcoming campaign.

In this preview piece, we will look at the top two candidates for the upcoming Grey Cup, according to the early preseason odds on offer through the best sports betting sites in Canada listed by Khadija Bilal of Techopedia.

We’ll investigate the betting odds and provide some information on the top contenders’ new signings, starting with the early bookmakers’ favourites, last season’s Grey Cup runners-up, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (+210)

Having competed in the past four Grey Cup Finals, the Blue Bombers last won the CFL’s coveted Grey Cup in 2021 when the ‘Gateway to the West’ franchise won its second successive title against Ontario’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The Tiger-Cats’ successive final losses, separated by 2020’s COVID-induced cancelled season, were its last finals appearances, but the Blue Bombers’ consistency has endured.

A narrow Grey Cup Final defeat to the Toronto Argonauts in 2022 preceded another tight final loss last season, this time against the Montreal Alouettes at Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton, the scene of its 2021 triumph. The 2023 CFL showpiece extended Winnipeg’s record of the most Grey Cup Final appearances to 28, so it’s little wonder the bookies have installed the Blue Bombers as favourites in 2024.

The Winnipeg franchise has added three American players to its roster for the upcoming campaign. Offensive tackle Kendall Randolph joins after a stint with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, where he started three preseason games last season.

Kenny Randall, who attended a training camp with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2022, returns to Winnipeg for 2024. The defensive tackle represented the New Jersey Generals 10 times in the USFL last season. Last but not least, linebacker Jeremiah Gemmel, scouted by the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos in 2022, joins from the Orlando Guardians of the XFL.

Toronto Argonauts (+225)

As the most decorated franchise in the CFL, with 18 Grey Cup titles, the Argonauts are again among the favourites for the upcoming season. At current prices, oddsmakers predict a repeat of the close 2022 Grey Cup Final encounter between the Argonauts and the Blue Bombers, with Toronto, champions on that occasion, slightly shaded in the early 2024 betting.

Two seasons ago at the Mosaic Stadium in Saskatchewan’s Regina, the result couldn’t have been tighter as the 24-23 scoreline suggests. Should the two favourites make the final, history suggests the Argonauts may have the edge, as the Toronto team has won 75% of its 24 Grey Cup Finals compared to the Blue Bombers’ low 43% finals win rate.

By the time the first day of the CFL Free Agency period closed, the Toronto Argonauts had signed six players. Of the six, the standout signings are All-Star defensive back Tunde Adeleke, German Global linebacker Thiadric Hansen, and another defensive back, the experienced Kerfalla Exumé.

Adeleke comes to Toronto fresh from four seasons in Tiger-Cats colours, while Hansen and Exumé join from title rivals Winnipeg. Nigerian-born Adeleke, a Grey Cup winner with the Calgary Stampeders in 2018, brings a wealth of CFL experience.

Hansen’s return from injury, which limited him to four games last season, provides depth and experience in the linebacker position. Ex-Blue Bomber Exumé is another past Gery Cup winner, lifting the trophy during the first of his two Winnipeg stints in 2019.

Then only last week, Toronto signed two more American talents in wide receiver Trea Shropshire and linebacker Khalan Tolson, further bolstering its roster.

Other Grey Cup Contenders

While the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Toronto Argonauts dominate the early season CFL betting boards, sports bettors should not rule out the Montreal Alouettes (+600), fresh from an 8th Grey Cup title in 2023.

Along with the British Columbia Lions (+600) and the Saskatchewan Roughriders (+1000), the defending champions look to be the franchise most likely to provide opposition to the early title favourites.

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Priyanka Chaudhary
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