The Hamilton Tiger-Cats lost last year’s Grey Cup to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and enter the 2022 season looking to get back to the CFL’s big game.
In what should be a very competitive East Division,
Ontario sports betting oddsmakers see Hamilton as the most likely team to represent the East in the 2022 Grey Cup
The Tiger-Cats currently have +500 odds on BetMGM Sportsbook Ontario to win the championship, the shortest odds in the East and third in the league behind the two-time defending champions from Winnipeg and just behind Saskatchewan.
Hamilton was 8-6 in the shortened regular season last year, behind only the 9-5 Toronto Argonauts, but Hamilton beat the Argos in the East Final in the playoffs.
The Tiger-Cats open the season at the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday. Fans and bettors in Ontario now have a regulated and competitive Ontario sports betting market in the province. Since April 4, the iGaming market has been live there.
Grey Cup Futures Odds
|⭐ Winnipeg Blue Bombers||+250|
|⭐ Saskatchewan Roughriders||+450|
|⭐ Hamilton Tiger-Cats||+500|
|⭐ Toronto Argonauts||+700|
|⭐ Calgary Stampeders||+700|
|⭐ Montreal Alouettes||+900|
|⭐ British Columbia Lions||+1100|
|⭐ Edmonton Elks||+1100|
|⭐ Ottawa Redblacks||+1800|
QB Evans Takes Charge of Offense
If the Tiger-Cats are to make it out of the East again it will be on the arm of QB Dane Evans. He has split time with Jeremiah Masoli at QB over the past two seasons because of injuries to both players, but with Masoli moving on to Ottawa this offseason Evans is now the clear-cut No. 1.
Evans passed for 787 yards last year but started just three games. As long as he stays healthy he should be able to easily surpass those numbers.
The Tiger-Cats had the league’s fifth-ranked offense last year and lost deep threat Brandon Banks and Jaelon Ackins in the offseason. But Evans still has a young group of wide receivers to throw the ball to, led by Steven Dunbar and Tim White, their receiving yards leader last year with 774. Bralon Addison and Lemar Durant are other solid receiving options in a group that has no lead option but has several players who could step up.
Hamilton averaged just over 100 rushing yards per game last season, good for fourth in the CFL. It returns both of its leading running backs from last year in Sean-Thomas Erlington, who had 356 yards in 12 games, and Don Jackson, who had 245 yards in his four appearances.
Evans and Masoli also added to the rushing attack, as many CFL quarterbacks do, and Evans should be expected to contribute around 25 yards on the ground per game.
Counting on the Defense Again
The defense was Hamilton's strength last year, allowing just 17.4 points per game, second to only the Blue Bombers. The Tiger-Cats lost Ja’Gared Davis in the offseason, a big blow to the defensive line, but Micah Johnson comes over in free agency and should nullify that loss. The defense will yet again have to be the key to Hamilton’s success.
With the gains made in the offseason by Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, it is going to be much tougher for Hamilton to make it out of the division, let alone win the Grey Cup.
The health of Evans at QB will be the biggest issue. He has had trouble staying healthy and with Masoli no longer in Hamilton, the dropoff if Evans misses time is significant. Someone will need to step up at receiver to give him a true No. 1 target or the offense just won’t be able to take advantage of the opportunities the strong defense should give Hamilton to win games.