Canadian Football League: The Saskatchewan Roughriders were really close to making it back to the Grey Cup last season, but a last-minute loss to the Toronto Argonauts on the final drive of the game in the Division Finals sent them home empty-handed instead. In 2018, Saskatchewan will be looking to improve upon last year’s 10-8 finish, and perhaps make it one game further too.
Chris Jones returns to the Roughriders for his third year as head coach and general manager. In his two previous seasons at the helm for Saskatchewan, Jones has gone 15-21 and he has an overall head coaching record of 41-31 in the CFL which includes a Grey Cup win with Edmonton Eskimos in 2015.
A lot of attention will be on the quarterback position. There is a competition for the job after Kevin Glenn was released this offseason to make way for Zach Collaros. Collaros is hoping to start but will need to beat out Brandon Bridge to do so. Both players have talent and it will be interesting to see how it shakes out. Bridge platooned with Glenn a season ago so has experience in the system while Collaros, who was added via trade, hopes to catch on quickly.
The Roughriders have a pair of former NFL running backs in Tre Mason and Zac Stacy who will aim for playing time. Marcus Thigpen may be the team’s best ball-carrier but he is suspended for the first two games of the year.
Saskatchewan has a big-time playmaking receiver in Duron Carter, who had 73 catches for 1,043 yards and eight touchdowns a year ago. He will be counted on heavily because some of the other veteran pass-catchers were released prior to the season.
The defense should get a boost with the arrival of four-time CFL all-star Charleston Hughes, who will aim to make a big impression at defensive end.
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 Roughriders have the fourth-worst odds to win the Grey Cup, but they are bunched closely with four different teams ahead of them. While the Calgary Stampeders are the clear favorite to capture this year’s title, Saskatchewan is right there among the next tier and would love to be in contention.
This team made the East Division Finals a year ago and while there have been some significant changes, there is nothing keeping it from making another deep playoff run. The division helps as the West seems like it will be much more powerful again. The Roughriders aren’t a bad choice to win the crown in CFL wagering.
Grey Cup Titles
4 -- The Roughriders’ first title was in 1966 and its most recent occured in 2013. The team also won in 1989 and 2007. The latest title in 2013 came against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saskatchewan’s home field at Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field. The Roughriders won that game by a score of 45-23.
Saskatchewan would love to get back in the title column and does boast a team with some definite talent. However, the odds are against the Roughriders as quarterback is a question mark and it’s never a good thing to have instability at that position in CFL betting.
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