The two division races in the CFL this season are already heating up after just four weeks of play with a two-way tie for the lead in the West and a three-way tie in the East. The following is a betting preview and prediction for Week 5’s early games this Thursday and Friday night.
Thursday, July 26
Edmonton Eskimos vs. Winnipeg
shocked British Columbia last Friday night with a 27-14 victory as 8.5-point
road underdogs to raise their record to 3-1 both straight-up and against the
spread and move into a tie with Saskatchewan atop the West Division. The total
has stayed UNDER in three of the four games. The big play in this game was Joe
Burnett’s interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Edmonton
quarterback Steven Jyles is listed as probable for Thursday’s game after taking
a hard hit in the win over the Lions.
It has been
a start to forget for last season’s Grey Cup runner-up. Winnipeg sunk to 0-4 SU
(1-3 ATS) on the year with a tough 25-22 loss to Toronto as an 8.5-point road
underdog last Wednesday night. The total stayed UNDER the 52.5-point line and is
now 2-2 on the year. To make matters worse, the Blue Bombers’ starting
quarterback Buck Pierce is out indefinitely with a foot injury. His
replacement, Alex Brink, went a dreadful 9-for-34 against the Argonauts and was
picked-off twice. Brink has completed just 41.5 percent of his attempts this
season and has two touchdown passes versus four interceptions.
6-22 ATS in its last 28 games as a favorite on the road. The total has stayed
UNDER in nine of its last 14 games following an ATS win. The Blue Bombers are
10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 home games and 13-4-2 ATS in their last 19 games
following a SU loss. The total has stayed UNDER in 18 of their last 27 home
games as underdogs. Head-to-head, the Eskimos are 2-5 ATS in the last seven
meetings and 1-4 ATS in their last five trips to Winnipeg. The total has stayed
UNDER in six of the last eight meetings overall. Stick with the Blue Bombers to
end their slide this week with a SU win that stays UNDER the total.
Pick: Winnipeg 23 Edmonton 22
Friday, July 27
Toronto Argonauts vs. Montreal
victory over Winnipeg raised its record to 2-2 SU (1-3 ATS) and has it tied for
first with Montreal and Hamilton in the East. The total has gone 2-2 in its
first four games. The Argonauts’ new starting quarterback Ricky Ray continues
to put-up some solid numbers with a completion rate of 69.5 percent for 1,262
yards and six touchdowns, which is the second-highest passing total in the
league. It also helps that running back Cory Boyd leads the CFL in rushing with
373 yards on 60 carries. The Argonauts’ defense has given-up the fewest points
in the East, but is still allowing an average of 28.3 points a game.
Alouettes’ 39-24 loss to Hamilton last Saturday as 2.5-point road underdogs
snapped a two-game winning streak. They are now 2-2 SU on the year and 1-3 ATS.
The total went well OVER the 60-point line and has now gone OVER in three of
its four games this year. Offense is still the name of the game for Montreal,
but its defense has been torched for 139 total points this season, which is the
second-most in the CFL. Veteran quarterback Anthony Calvillo has battled
through some minor injuries to lead the league in passing with 1,316 yards. He
is completing 63.9 percent of his throws and has already posted 10 touchdowns
passes this year.
Argonauts are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games following a SU win. The total
has gone OVER in five of their last six games as underdogs. Montreal is 1-8 ATS
in its last nine games as a favorite but 13-5 ATS in its last 18 games
following a SU loss. The total has gone OVER in its last four home games.
Toronto is just 3-11 ATS in the last 14 meetings of this divisional rivalry and
2-5 ATS in its last seven games in Montreal. Bank on the Alouettes making-up
for last week’s loss with a much better performance on Friday night.
Pick: Montreal 34 Toronto 23