After signing arguably the league’s best quarterback as a free agent in February, there’s clearly optimism surrounding the 2019 edition of the BC Lions.
Mike Reilly is a game-changer, giving hope that the Lions can escape years of futility.
BC returned to the playoffs last season, but did so as the fourth-place team in the West Division with a pedestrian 9-9 record. They’ve had just one winning season in the last five years and haven’t hosted a playoff game since 2012. Interest in the team has waned in recent years too, making this upcoming year a pivotal one for the orange and black.
Winning a Grey Cup would sure help.
Oddsmakers appear convinced that BC has what it takes in 2019, as betting giant Odds Shark has listed them as the favourite to lift the Grey Cup this November in Calgary. The Lions are actually listed ahead of the defending champion Calgary Stampeders, who have been the class of the CFL for the past three years.
Odds to win the 2019 Grey Cup:
B.C. Lions +300
Calgary Stampeders +325
Winnipeg Blue Bombers +550
Hamilton Tiger-Cats +650
Saskatchewan Roughriders +750
Ottawa Redblacks +850
Edmonton Eskimos +1100
Toronto Argonauts +1400
Montreal Alouettes +1600
— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) April 3, 2019
The Lions have made a number of offseason changes, with high profile players Travis Lulay (retired), Jonathon Jennings (Ottawa), and Manny Arceneaux (Saskatchewan) now gone. Meanwhile, talented and outspoken receiver Duron Carter, who signed with the Lions as a free agent from Toronto, gives BC’s offence great potential.
With Wally Buono now retired, the Lions will look a lot different on the sidelines this year as well. GM Ed Hervey hired former Stamps defensive coordinator DeVone Claybrooks as Buono’s successor in December.
Will it all equate to a Grey Cup victory? We’ll begin to find out when the regular season kicks off this June.