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Canadian Football League: The B.C. Lions missed the playoffs for the first time since 1996 last season and don’t want to duplicate that again in 2018. They have a lot of the same pieces returning and need them to step up in order to make the postseason.
The Lions are not on the short-list of contenders this season but will aim to buck the projections and compete when the CFL regular season commences. Wally Buono stepped down as General Manager in November but will remain as the head coach for a 12th and final season this year.
Jonathon Jennings is back at quarterback in 2018. Last year he threw for 3,639 yards with 19 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He hopes to tune down the turnovers to give the offense a better chance at success.
The Lions went 7-11 last season, the only team in the West Division to finish under .500 on the season. B.C. began the year 5-2 but fell apart down the stretch to miss the postseason. The Lions had some nice wins early on but couldn’t sustain the momentum down the stretch.
The Lions are hoping a pair of first-round draft picks help improve the squad. Offensive lineman Peter Godber was the team’s first choice at No. 3 overall and they added defensive lineman Julien Laurent with the No. 7 overall pick after making a trade with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in CFL wagering.
CFL Odds To Win the Grey Cup at BetCRIS
Calgary Stampeders 2/1
Edmonton Eskimos 6/1
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 13/2
Toronto Argonauts 13/2
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 7/1
Saskatchewan Roughriders 15/2
BC Lions 10/1
Ottawa Redblacks 12/1
Montreal Alouettes 18/1
The Lions have the third-longest odds in the CFL to claim this year’s title. The 10/1 number isn’t overwhelmingly long since there aren’t a lot of teams in the league but B.C. will definitely be an underdog.
If the team had some new pieces it would be a more intriguing play but there are a lot of holdovers from last year’s team that need to improve to give the team a chance. There are a few returners that are expected to lead the way.
B.C. Lions linebacker Solomon Elimimian was named the team’s Most Outstanding Player a year ago after a stellar defensive season and hopes to lead the defense to a solid season. WIde receiver Shaquille Johnson was named Most Outstanding Canadian as he finished with 30 catches for 521 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The team’s Most Outstanding Rookie Award was given to kicker Ty Long, who made 89 percent of his field goals and converts while also handling punting duties.
Grey Cup Titles
Six -- The B.C. Lions have six CFL championships in their history. The most recent of which came in 2011 and they would love to add another title. The passing game needs to take a step forward and the Lions need to find a way to remain consistent throughout the season.
B.C. opened the 2017 season with four victories in five games before falling off a cliff. The Lions would love to have another fast start but maintain it this time around. However, the Lions don’t have the same type of talent as some of the elite teams in the Canadian Football League.
B.C.’s first title came in 1964, and they added others in 1985, 1994, 2000 and 2006 in addition to the one in 2011. They are longshots to add another title in 2018 in CFL gambling.
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