CFL 2022: Analysis of the new season
CFL predictions, CFL Week 10 picks, CFL odds

CFL 2022: Analysis of the new season

The Canadian Football League returns in June for a full season after a pandemic-shortened schedule in 2021.

Here we have taken a look at the competition and what could happen this year.

How does the CFL work?

The CFL currently consists of nine teams divided into two divisions but all playing each other at least once. Over the course of the 21-week regular season each will play a total of 18 games.

The three highest-ranked teams in each division will then contest the play-offs for the Grey Cup.

First the second and third-ranked teams meet in a semi-final, with the winner of that game progressing to a final against the division winners. The two winning finalists then progress to the Grey Cup final to determine that season’s champion.

Which CFL teams have the best pedigree?

There have been seven complete seasons since the CFL was expanded to nine teams in 2014. The Calgary Stampeders have enjoyed the most success in this period with four first-place finishes and are the only team yet to finish below third since the expansion.

Along with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats they have the most first or second-placed finishes – six out of a possible seven – although the more easterly team have only won their division twice.

Which CFL team has the best recent record?

Over the last three seasons each team has played exactly 50 regular-season games, with four standing out.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have the best record of all with 34 wins, one more than Calgary, two more than the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and three more than Hamilton.

The other five CFL teams have all tasted defeat more often than victory since the start of 2018.

While Saskatchewan has the best overall record, their matches have been fairly close on average: 24.5 to 22.3 points over this period.

This season’s favourites in the CFL odds, Winnipeg, have the biggest average margin, with their last 50 regular-season games typically ending almost eight points in their favour: 28.2 to 20.3.

Which CFL team has the best opening schedule?

We have used our Grey Cup winner odds to assess the strength of each team’s first nine opponents – the first half of their schedule.

Winnipeg should get off to a good start, with four of their first seven games against one of the three weakest teams. Meanwhile the Ottawa Redblacks are expected to struggle this season and their troubles could start early, with four of their first five games against one of the three favourites for the Grey Cup.

Which CFL games will be the most one-sided?

Since the 2014 expansion, there have been seven regular-season combinations which have seen one team emerge victorious at least three quarters of the time.

Calgary have 12 victories out of a possible 13 against the Toronto Argonauts and 11 out of 13 against Hamilton, while the newly-renamed Edmonton Elks are also 11-2 against the Montréal Alouettes.

Which CFL games will see the most points scored?

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are one of the CFL’s most reliable guarantors of points regardless of opposition. Their regular-season games against Edmonton have produced an average of 56.6 points – more than any other combination – while their encounters with Toronto and the BC Lions also feature in the top five.

Their meetings with Saskatchewan have been cagey affairs though, edging out the Roughriders’ games against Montréal as the lowest scoring. Both have clocked in at approximately 42.9 points on average since 2014, making them the least exciting for the neutral spectator.

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