The Ottawa Redblacks have been the worst offensive team in the CFL the past two seasons, and it hasn’t been particularly close. Last season they were dead last in almost every offensive category and the end result was a 3-11 record.
The defense was also bad, but a lot of the issue was that Ottawa constantly found itself tired on the field as the offense just couldn’t sustain any drives to get the defense any time to rest.
Ontario sports betting oddsmakers see this trend continuing in 2022, unfortunately for Redblacks fans and bettors.
FanDuel Sportsbook Ontario has Ottawa’s odds to win the Grey Cup at +1200, in the bottom three of the nine-team league.
When the CFL season opens this week, this is the first time there will be a regulated and competitive Ontario sports betting market in the province. Since April 4, the iGaming market has been live.
The Redblacks travel to the defending Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Friday to open the 2022 season.
The CFL and its players reached a seven-year labor agreement last week, allowing for the season to start on time and for Ontario sports betting apps to take advantage of CFL wagering.
Grey Cup Futures Odds
|⭐ Winnipeg Blue Bombers
|⭐ Calgary Stampeders
|⭐ Saskatchewan Roughriders
|⭐ Toronto Argonauts
|⭐ Hamilton Tiger-Cats
|⭐ Montreal Alouettes
|⭐ Ottawa Redblacks
|⭐ Edmonton Elks
|⭐ British Columbia Lions
Redblacks Aim to Boost Offense
With the weakness of the team so blatantly obvious, Redblacks management addressed the offense in a big way in the offseason. They signed marquee free-agent QB Jeremiah Masoli to lead the charge.
Masoli passed for almost 2,500 yards in just nine games last season, leading the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to a successful regular season. Injuries played a role in his season and when the playoffs rolled around he found himself on the sidelines while Dane Evans took Hamilton to the Grey Cup, where the hosts lost to Winnipeg.
In relief, Masoli replaced Evans in the Grey Cup and threw for 185 yards and two TDs in a solid performance in the loss. He has battled injuries the past few years, but when healthy is a game-changer for this Ottawa offense and one of the top QBs in the CFL.
Quarterback wasn’t the only offensive position to undergo an overhaul. The Redblacks receiving corps also improved, adding veteran pass catchers Darvin Adams, B.J. Cunningham and Jaelon Ackins, joining R.J. Harris to form a deep, talented group for Masoli to throw to.
William Powell remains at RB, but the aging back rushed for just 4.4 yards per carry last year. There could be less pressure on the running game, and more defensive focus on the formerly hapless passing attack will allow Powell more success on the ground.
Can Offense Help the Defense?
Defensively there is a lot to improve for Ottawa, but a more successful offense should help the defense get a lot more rest. Like the offense, the defense was near the bottom of most categories in the 2021 season. The numbers have to be improved on if Ottawa wants to have a chance to make the playoffs.
The upgrades to the offensive unit are clear and should pay dividends early, but without also improving on the other side of the ball it will be another tough season for Redblacks fans and bettors.
In late March, the Redblacks became the first CFL team to partner with a sportsbook in Ontario.
PointsBet Canada and Ottawa announced a partnership making the gaming company the official sportsbook of the Redblacks and their home, TD Place.