They used to say, “Don’t change horses in mid-stream.” But let’s face it – no one really rides horses in a stream anymore. But maybe it applies to the Canadian Football League’s “Tiger-Cats”?
Hamilton will start Dane Evans at quarterback on Sunday in the 108th Grey Cup. Evans came off the bench last week to lead the Ticats to a come-from-behind victory in the CFL East Final. The QB was a perfect 16-for-16 in leading Hamilton to a 27-19 victory over Toronto.
That win set up a rematch of the 107th Grey Cup, which was played two years ago after the 2020 game was canceled due to the COVID-19 virus. The 108th meeting will be at Hamilton’s home field in Ontario.
The Ticats used three starting quarterbacks in 2021, but it was Jeremiah Masoli who made most of the starts, while Evans only started three times. The Oklahoma native has served as backup to Masoli since 2019, but his versatile play (he ran for two TDs in last Sunday’s win, and also threw for one) is valuable.
The decision to start Evans over the QB who saw most of the action this season is a bold move by Hamilton head coach Orlondo Steinauer. But will it work?
CFL Grey Cup Preview: Hamilton vs. Winnipeg
Sunday, Dec. 12, 6:00 PM ET
|Caesars||Winnipeg (-3.5, -110)|
Hamilton (+3.5, -110)
|O (44.0, -110)
U (44.0, -110)
|DraftKings||Winnipeg (-3.5, -110)|
Hamilton (+3.5, -110)
|O (43.5, -115)
U (43.5, -105)
|FanDuel||Winnipeg (-3.5, +100)|
Hamilton (+3.5, -120)
|O (44.5, -105)
U (44.5, -115)
Winnipeg Favored, But Tiger-Cats Are Playing Better Right Now
The Blue Bombers made things look easy this season. They started the year 11-1, suffering only a loss in Week 3 against Toronto. With two weeks left in the regular season, Winnipeg had the West Division sewn up, and they rested many of their best players. As a result, the Blue Bombers finished the year with two losses.
However, in their division final against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Blue Bombers emerged victorious, 21-17. But it wasn’t pretty. Winnipeg looked very rusty, turning the football over six times, and having to score late in the game to avoid defeat.
But Hamilton is playing very crisp football right now on both sides of the game. The Ticats have won six of their last seven games to return to the Grey Cup. But there is concern that they can’t beat the better teams in the CFL.
In 2021, the Ticats suffered six losses, and all of them came against playoff teams. In Week 1 of the season, Winnipeg defeated Hamilton handily, 19-6. The home team will need to find a solution to the Winnipeg defense. They held the Ticats to only one score and picked off two of Masoli’s passes.
CFL Grey Cup Sports Betting Pick: Go Blue
- Winnipeg -3.5 (-110, DraftKings)
Hamilton will have the advantage because the 108th Grey Cup is at Tim Hortons Field, their home venue. They’re also playing better football right now than Winnipeg, who nearly saw defeat in their Division Final. Expect the weather to be clear and sunny, though it will be below 40 degrees F. But at least no white or wet stuff is supposed to be tumbling from the sky.
Tim Hortons Field is known as “The Donut Box.” But on Sunday in the first Grey Cup in two years, the home team will be the one glazed over by a superior football team. Give the points and take the Blue Bombers, who will ride their defense to a second consecutive CFL title.