Free Weekly CFL Picks Against the Spread
Each week during the Canadian Football League season our handicappers break down all the game match ups looking for the best bet on every match. Visit weekly for our handicapping analysis and CFL against the spread picks.
Since losing the Grey Cup by one point last year and missing their chance to three-peat, Winnipeg has been on a mission to return to the big game and re-take their spot at the top of the pyramid. Montreal is just happy to be there and can't score offense. There is no doubt in my mind that the Bomber's if Zach Collaros plays all four quarters, the Bombers will win this game. It's a big number for a championship game, but I'm going to fade the chance that Zach gets hurt and lay the points with the Bombers.
The tried-and-true recipe for success in November in the CFL is running the ball on offense, playing solid defense, and not giving up big plays on special teams. BC might have the advantage on special teams, but their ninth-ranked road rushing stat, combined with a defense that's been exposed recently, won't be enough to get it done against a team that can score quickly and furiously like the Bombers.
Calgary is 6-12 for a reason, having been crushed 9-37 by BC when it mattered. This game holds much more significance, and BC has a legitimate shot at playing for the cup. Their motivation will be high, regardless of their inability to run the ball.
Montreal is the better team record-wise and in most statistical categories, but they're on a short week. I'm picking Edmonton to pull off the upset.
Winnipeg is now tied for first place in the West division with BC and needs this win to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Additionally, I could see the Bombers wanting to pound Toronto after losing the Grey Cup to them last year. I fully expect Toronto to show up for this "nothing" game and play for pride, but Dukes will have to play like a seasoned vet to keep up on the scoreboard with Winnipeg. If this were the first game of the season, and Kelly was starting, it would probably be too close to call. However, with a rookie QB making his first start against a motivated team of Winnipeg's caliber, I'll lay the points with confidence.
The Redblacks play a lot of close games, and despite their fading playoff hopes, I expect them to show up, but Ottawa is in a tough spot here. They're on the road, coming off an emotional loss, facing a team they haven't beaten away from home in five years. The Lions have the history, the air attack, and had the extra week to prepare. Also, BC tends to either win handily or lose entirely, and I don't see them losing this one.
The energy at IG field is electrifying almost every home game for the Bombers, but when
Saskatchewan comes to town; it's taken to another level. Saskatchewan is banged up and possibly
emotionally "hung over" from their huge win last week. Without the extra time to prepare, and
likely not being able to match Winnipeg's intensity, I don't believe the Riders can win or even keep it
close without the Bombers handing it to them. I'll fade that chance and give the Riders the points.
Bombers win big.
Edmonton has the history, the offense, and the momentum; I think they take this one straight up, but I'll play it safe and take the 5
In the last fourteen and half years, BC has won this matchup at home by more than 10 points only twice. From a betting perspective, historically, Hamilton has the advantage, but almost all the other stats favor the Lions. Even with history on their side, the Tiger-cat offense is just too inept to back; therefore, I am going to fade the recent trends and predict the Lions to run away with this one.
Despite Saskatchewan's struggles on offense and their propensity for mistakes, they hold a betting advantage due to situational factors. The -10 spread might be influenced by recent results, and while it seems logical on paper, covering such a spread on the road against a motivated Riders team in Mosaic Stadium is challenging. The prediction is for a close game where the Riders put up a strong fight but fall short in the end, losing the game but covering the spread.
I see Toronto bouncing back after a loss and rolling over a slightly overrated Ottawa squad, even in
the unlikely situation they start Dukes, the team will rally around him, and they’ll cover anyway.
I originally had this game at -6.5 and bet it at that number, but I do think that there is still value on BC to win and cover the 8 points at home.
Calgary should even the score SU but the best bet in this game is the OVER on the total line.
Take Winnipeg both SU and ATS to sweep the home-and-home
When I take into account the entirety of each team’s season, it's difficult to say who has the better body of work, but if we look at the last few weeks, I'd have to say Winnipeg has been more impressive. I wouldn't be surprised if the Bombers got out to an early lead like they did most of the year, and then give it up in the second half like they did most of the year. Regardless of who jumps out front, neither one of these teams is going to run away, and this game will, in all likelihood, come down to the last play. I like having the previous Grey Cup experience of QB Zach Collaros behind my money, I think it will be the difference in the game, and the Bombers will win SU, if not, the Bombers will lose in the heartbreaking fashion they’re known for. Either way, it should be close. Grab the points and a bevy; this will be a good one.
The script often flips in football, and I see this as a potential spot for that phenomenon to take place. Last week Edmonton's QB torched the defense, and the opposing QB sealed the deal by throwing picks trying to catch up, exactly the same thing that happened to Harris in Last year's Grey Cup. Hamilton's defense is really good, much better than Montreal's, way better in fact. When I look at the potential outcomes, I don’t see any potential of Edmonton winning this one big, but Hamilton could blow them out. I’m going to fade the last minute back-door cover, which is the most likely way Eskimo backers will cash, and take the squad that has been crushing teams at home all season. Give the -6 and back the Ti-cats.
“Morale is to the physical as three is to one", do you know who said? Napoleon Bonaparte, and there is a lot of truth to that in life, war and football. Montreal has a superior leader in Khari Jones over Edmonton's Jason Mass, and I think even some players on the Eskimos' side realize that. I rarely ever see a team back into the playoffs like Edmonton has and win a big game. The sloppy field conditions favor the "run-and-gun" style of the Als, and everybody “knows” Jason Maas is likely to be fired at season end. Edmonton players don't believe they'll go through the motions on Sunday, but they're waiting for next year. This game, this pick, isn't about scheme, talent, and tactics. It's all about heart, and that's why even though Edmonton is a dangerous team, especially on paper, they won't win the day. Montreal will win this one quite handily, lay the -2 points on the Khari kids.
Because these teams are out of the playoffs, there has been a lot of talk in the media about possibly putting other QBs in the game for evaluation purposes. I expect both starters to play the entire game unless the score gets out of hand. Both of these teams have already seen all their QBs play this season. Ottawa is starting their third-string QB, to begin with, so I don't see them going to their fourth-string unless they're losing badly. Argos HC Corey Chamberlain stated to the media on Wednesday that his focus is on winning at home for fan appreciation night, and QB Mcleod-Bethel Thompson would only be replaced if they had a comfortable lead in the fourth. Considering the QB match up and the positive energy in Toronto right now, I'm going to back the team on the upswing and lay the -6.
The way I see this game play-out is the home team overwhelming the visitors in the first half and then phoning it in, in the second half. I hardly ever back losers or bad sides in a funk, but the change at QB has given this RedBlacks team a spark, and let us not forget they played for the Grey Cup last year, so it’s not like they have a bunch of Tomato Cans standing on the sidelines. Ottawa is a wounded animal desperate for a meal, while the Ti-Cats are sitting back with their tummies full. I don’t care what the records are in this one; I'm backing the crazed dog with a lot of fight left, give me the RedBlacks and the +16.5.
Generally my rule of thumb is never pet a burning dog, and the Bombers are on fire right now, but not in a good way. This game means way more to the Bombers than the Alouettes, but this Montreal team keeps showing up regardless. The Als have proven this year they can beat any team anywhere and this week is no different, since this game might be played in slushy conditions, and the Bombers are for sure going to throw the sink at them, I don't like the Als on the ML, but the +3.5 gives me the warm and fuzzies.