While the Argonauts have won seven consecutive games and are poised to enjoy home-dome advantage for the Grey Cup match in Toronto on Nov. 25, the guru of CFL odds favours the B.C. Lions to successfully defend the league’s championship.
Randall the Handle, who supplies CFL lines to most of the planet’s sports-wagering services, told me yesterday he is establishing the Lions as 1.5-to-1 favourites to win this year’s Cup. Next on his list are the Argos, at 2-to-1.
“As hot as the Argos have been,” Randall explained, “the Lions are hotter. (The Lions have won eight consecutive games.) The Argos’ potential home-field advantage for the Cup is factored into the odds, but the Lions simply are the better team.”
The Lions have dominated the CFL this season, dropping only three of 18 games despite losing their No. 1 and No. 2 quarterbacks with injuries relatively early in the schedule. Third-stringer Jarious Jackson has led the Lions effectively, and the consensus is he will start Nov. 18 in the Western final, although Dave Dickenson and Buck Pierce have more or less regained their health and B.C. coach Wally Buono has a history of making QB changes in the post-season.
Rounding out Randall’s Grey Cup odds, incidentally, are the Saskatchewan Roughriders, at 3-to-1, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, at 5-to-1, and the Montreal Alouettes and Calgary Stampeders, each at 8-to-1.
The Stamps entered the season as 3-to-1 co-favourites with the Lions to win the Cup. If they lose Sunday, look for ex-QB/offensive co-ordinator John Hufnagel to replace Tom Higgins as coach.
• I’m told the Hamilton Tiger-Cats would like super-agent Gil Scott, and/or his son Bill Scott, to join their front office.
Gil is an ex-partner of Ticats president Scott Mitchell, who, as forecast here months ago, has fired Marcel Desjardins as general manager. Bill is the American Hockey League’s manager of hockey operations.
• In MLB, GMs are in Florida for meetings that may lead to significant trades.
The Blue Jays, for instance, are in pursuit of a catcher — again — and have approached the Colorado Rockies about Yorvit Torrealba. The Rockies covet Paul Lo Duca or Jason Kendall.
Players likely to be dealt are third baseman Miguel Cabrera, pitcher Johan Santana and outfielder Coco Crisp. And the Baltimore Orioles, I understand, are listening to offers for their pitching ace, Ontarian Erik Bedard.
In three-plus decades as a columnist and broadcaster, Marty York has built a network of solid contacts and a renowned reputation for his hard-hitting, groundbreaking style. The tradition continues in Metro Sports.