Rachel Homan and Bruce Mouat each picked up a grand slam win on Monday after taking their respective finals at the Champions Cup. Now, they’ll be back in action a day later for more Grand Slam of Curling action in the Calgary bubble, as all 24 teams turn around immediately to compete in the Players’ Championship.
Mouat and his team join the Niklas Edin squad as +325 co-favorites in the men’s field, while Homan and Canadian rival Kerri Einarson are both fetching +325 odds on the women’s side of the draw, according to online sportsbook Coolbet.
Homan, Baby Bowyn win Champions Cup
Homan won the Champions Cup – her record 11th Grand Slam of Curling title – by beating Silvana Tirinzoni’s team from Switzerland 6-3 on Monday. The victory came just three weeks after Homan gave birth to her daughter, Bowyn.
— Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling (@grandslamcurl) April 20, 2021
“It feels incredible. I’m really proud of my team for playing so well all week,” Homan said, via Sportsnet. “Coming off this kind of year where we couldn’t practice basically between the Scotties and the Slams, it’s definitely an incredible feeling to be able to pull off a win and playing so well as well.”
Homan played the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in February while eight months pregnant. She led her team to the silver medal, losing to Einarson in the final. Team Homan avenged that loss in the Champions Cup semifinal.
|Players’ Championship Odds – Women’s Winner (via Coolbet)|
|Einarson: +325||Homan: +325|
|Hasselborg: +450||Tirinzoni: +450|
|Muirhead: +700||Kovaleva: +1000|
|Fujisawa: +1100||Fleury: +1200|
|Jones: +1200||Kim: +1550|
|Stern: +2400||Peterson: +3300|
Einarson will represent Canada at the World Women’s Curling Championships beginning on April 30. That makes the Players’ Championship an even bigger tournament for her squad, as well as the five other teams that will stick around for worlds after the event.
Players’ Championship provides warmup for women’s worlds
Four of the teams going to worlds made the playoffs in the Champions Cup, and those rinks will be trying to hit peak form coming out of the Players’ Championship.
“We don’t want to put any pressure on ourselves,” Einarson told the Calgary Sun. “So we’re just going to take it one game at a time and focus on ourselves and not put that pressure on ourselves, because we don’t need to. We just want to be ourselves and go out there and do what we love.”
On the men’s side, Mouat defeated Canadian champion Brendan Bottcher to win the Champions Cup 6-3 in Monday’s final.
|Players’ Championship Odds – Men’s Winner (via Coolbet)|
|Edin: +325||Mouat: +325|
|Bottcher: +350||Gushue: +500|
|Koe: +650||Jacobs: +800|
|Dunstone: +1400||Epping: +1500|
|McEwen: +1600||Schwaller: +1900|
|Gunnlaugson: +2100||De Cruz: +3500|
“I’m very excited and very happy,” Mouat said afterward. “It was nice to win after getting the silver last week at worlds. I’m over the moon, really.”
The 26-year-old and his Scottish team now stand alongside Edin’s Sweden rink – which just won its third consecutive world title – as co-favorites for the Players’ Championship. But Bottcher (+375) also expects to be in the mix. The Canadian champions lost out in the quarterfinals at men’s worlds, and are still looking for a title to back up their sterling Brier performance.
Brad Gushue (+500), Kevin Koe (+650), and Brad Jacobs (+800) also rank among the top contenders on the men’s side of the draw, while Tirinzoni (+450), Anna Hasselborg (+450), and Eve Muirhead (+700) should make noise in the women’s bracket. The Players’ Championship wraps up on Sunday, April 25.