The biggest event in Canadian curling has finally arrived.

The Tim Hortons Curling Trials get underway this Saturday from the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon as nine of the best men’s and women’s rinks in the nation will battle it out over the next week (Nov. 20-28) to determine which teams will earn the right to represent Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing this February.

With so many talented teams in the field, it won’t be easy to predict the winner, let alone the three teams that will make the playoffs.

Let’s take a closer look at the Tim Hortons Curling Trials from a betting perspective and see which squads might have the best value.


The Favourite

Team Brad Gushue

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To Win Trials: -110
To Make Three-Team Playoff: -556

Brad Gushue and his rink from The Rock have arguably been the best men’s team in curling over the past quadrennial.

Brendan Bottcher’s team might have something to say about that, but the fact is Team Gushue has won three Brier Tankards since 2017, beating Bottcher in the final twice.

Team Gushue has won 16 of 17 games this season, most recently beating Olympic gold-medal contender Bruce Mouat of Scotland in the final of the National on the Grand Slam circuit.

Gushue and third Mark Nichols won the Trials together in 2005 before capturing gold in Torino, Italy a few months later.

He was an underdog back then, but he’s the favourite now.


Right Behind

Team Brad Jacobs

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To Win Trials: +265
To Make Three-Team Playoff: -185

Up next is the only other Olympic champion skip in the men’s field.

Brad Jacobs and his Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., rink struck gold at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia after dominating at the Trials in Winnipeg.

Jacobs, 36, hasn’t returned to the top of the curling mountain since as he hasn’t won a Brier since his first in 2013 and went a disappointing 3-5 at the 2017 Trials in Ottawa.

Two-time Olympian Marc Kennedy has been with Jacobs and the “Brush Brothers” for the last couple of seasons and the foursome has had a strong Tour campaign with four appearances in the finals.

Will Kennedy make the difference for Team Jacobs in Saskatoon?


Team Kevin Koe

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To Win Trials: +425
To Make Three-Team Playoff: +100

Kevin Koe didn’t earn his reputation as one of the most clutch skips in history for his strong play on Tour.

No, that was attained at events such as the Tim Hortons Curling Trials.

The four-time Brier champion will look to defend his Trials title from 2017, this time bringing along 2010 Olympic gold-medallist John Morris and BJ Neufeld.

This new-look foursome meshed quickly last year, reaching the Tim Hortons Brier final in their first season as a foursome.

If Koe can find his groove by week’s end, a repeat performance could be in store.


Team Brendan Bottcher

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To Win Trials: +535
To Make Three-Team Playoff: +107

With its Brier burden gone, Team Brendan Bottcher can now focus on its next goal: Olympic glory.

Gushue and Bottcher are the only squads in the men’s field bringing back their same lineups from the 2017 Trials.

Team Bottcher wasn’t favoured to do too much damage four years ago in Ottawa, but impressed many with a 4-4 record, missing the playoff by just one game.

That won’t be the case this time around and it might have the best value from a betting perspective in this stacked field.


Dark Horses

Team Mike McEwen

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To Win Trials: +1700
To Make Three-Team Playoff: +265

Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen was a shot away from representing Canada at the Olympics four years ago.

That was until Kevin Koe made a draw to the four-foot for the win and the trip to South Korea. McEwen’s rink broke up shortly after the loss following a decade-long run together.

Now, the 41-year-old is back with a new lineup he’s skipped since the 2018-19 campaign.

McEwen is usually in the mix at big events, but if he’s going to get into another Trials final, he’ll need to play like the “Magic Mike” of four years ago.


Team Matt Dunstone

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To Win Trials: +2100
To Make Three-Team Playoff: +310

At just 22, Matt Dunstone served as Steve Laycock’s fourth at the 2017 Trials, posting a record of 2-6.

Since those Trials, Dunstone has become one of the best shooters in the game after back-to-back third-place finishes at the Canadian championship.

The rink from Regina made a last minute change to their lineup as third Braeden Moskowy will not play the Trials due to personal reasons and will be replaced by Dunstone's teammate from junior in Colton Lott. 

Team Dunstone is in the middle-of-the-pack in terms of betting odds. It will need to rekindle that Brier form from the past two seasons to have a chance at the final three playoff teams.

The hometown Saskatoon crowd will be on Dunstone’s side in one of the first events to have fans in attendance since the start of the pandemic.

Will the crowd and the recent big-game experience propel underdog Team Dunstone to the Olympics?



Long Shots

Team John Epping

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To Win Trials: +6500
To Make Three-Team Playoff: +795

As one of the most veteran teams in the field, Team John Epping has a wealth of Trials experience.

The team won’t be rattled by the pressure; however, it has yet to find its form in the 2021-22 season.

The Toronto rink sits four games under .500 on the season and holds a 1-6 record at the Grand Slam events against strong competition. It will need to improve on those number greatly to have a shot in Saskatoon.


Team Jason Gunnlaugson

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To Win Trials: +6100
To Make Three-Team Playoff: +795

Jason Gunnlaugson returns to the Trials for a second time after playing in his first back in 2009 in Edmonton.

He went 0-7 at that event, so there’s a very good chance he improves that mark by at least a couple games in Saskatoon.

However, the odds will be against Team Gunnlaugson when it comes to standing atop the podium by week’s end.


Team Tanner Horgan

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To Win Trials: +8800
To Make Three-Team Playoff: +1050

Tanner Horgan took over the squad previously skipped by Scott McDonald this season and the results have already been promising.

After some strong play on Tour, Team Horgan went 8-1 at the Pre-Trials last month out East to earn its ticket to the Trials.

The Kingston rink isn’t expected to make the playoffs at the Trials. Can they use that advantage to produce a couple of upsets?