Grey Cup Betting Analysis & ATS Pick
The 110th Grey Cup features a Western perennial powerhouse against an Eastern darkhorse as the 15-4 Blue Bombers meet the 13-7 Alouettes in Hamilton on Sunday. The early betting action indicates the public likes Winnipeg, as the opening line of -7.5 has moved to -8.5 in most books.
This is the third and final battle between these two this season. The first meeting was back in July, in a rainy affair played in Montreal. Even though the weather hampered both offenses, and both teams turned the ball over in scoring position, the Alouettes still only managed to kick one field goal. The Bombers led on the scoreboard from start to finish and won comfortably 17-3, covering the -7 points. The week 12 rematch in Winnipeg started out well for the Alouettes as their defense found the end zone twice in the first half after two errant throws from Bomber's QB Zach Collaros were intercepted and returned for touchdowns. The Alouettes returned the favor with their own turnovers and found themselves down three points going into the third quarter. That was as close as the Als would get, as the Winnipeg defense shut down the Montreal offense in the second half. At the same time, Collaros and company took advantage of good field position and turnovers, scoring 27 points in two quarters, finishing off Montreal 17-47, covering the -7.5 number. In the two meetings, the Alouettes offense only scored six points on two field goals, and the Bombers covered by more than a touchdown on both occasions.
Winnipeg was surprised early in the season by Ottawa and BC and also lost to a decent Hamilton team on the road, but aside from those hiccups, they've been dominant in almost every game. Especially at IG field, where they posted a 9-1 record straight up and 8-2 against the spread. This match will be on the road in Hamilton, of course, but they have a winning record there as well, as they just won the Grey Cup there, against the hometown Tiger-cats, no less, in 2021. The Bombers have trouble not turning over the ball on offense, as QB Collaros has thrown a pick in almost every game this year. Most professional football teams with a turnover rate like Winnipeg would probably be fortunate to make the playoffs, but in Winnipeg's case, it hasn't hurt them. So far. With the number one running back in the league, a veteran QB, and a top-tier defense, the Bombers can put teams away when they take the lead or can come back from 21-point deficits and still beat you as they did to Edmonton.
Montreal's play has improved significantly from the start of training camp until now, especially on defense. The Alouettes play a complicated system under defensive coordinator Noel Thorpe. The unorthodox system is difficult for opposing QBs unfamiliar with it to read. Last week in the Eastern final, the Montreal defense took the ball away from Toronto at least nine times, which led to their huge 38-17 upset over the defending champs as +11 road dogs. As impressive as that win was, their offense didn't do much of the scoring as QB Cody Fajardo threw for 175 yards with one touchdown and one interception, and as a team, the Als only had 197 yards of net offense. In order to win on Sunday, the defense will need another huge game if the offense can't generate more yards, points, and time of possession than that.
Unfortunately for the Als, the weather forecast for Sunday in Hamilton is supposed to be mild, with no precipitation or heavy winds expected. Some bad weather would help to slow down the Winnipeg pass attack and turn the match into a slugfest, which would heavily favor Montreal.
Injury-wise, the Bombers' middle linebacker, Adam Big Hill, and star receiver Dalton Schoen are doubtful. Wide receivers Nic Demski and Rasheed Bailey, as well as defensive lineman Jackson Jeffcoat, are listed as questionable. Montreal's defensive back Zach Lindley is out, wide receiver Kaion Julien-Grant is Doubtful, and offensive lineman Pier-Olivier Lestage is Questionable.
2023 Grey Cup Point Spread Pick
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.