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.
Ottawa is coming off a well-deserved bye after playing two games in an extended five-game Week 5 schedule. It has struggled to a 1-4-1 SU start, but bettors along for the ride have pocketed some cash behind a 5-1 record ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in their last four games, but I am still going with the OVER in this matchup given each team’s ability to put some serious points on the board.
The Argonauts are a perfect 3-0 SU (2-1 ATS) against the East Division this season, but they are 0-3 both ways when playing a team from the West. They have allowed a total of 99 points in those three inter-division tilts while getting outscored by a combined 32 points. Playing at home against Calgary should keep game this a bit closer, but I am still taking the Stampeders both SU and ATS.
The Roughriders are 1-3 SU (2-2 ATS) following last week’s 27-10 loss to Calgary as heavy 10-point road underdogs to fall to 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games against a team with a SU winning record. While Saskatchewan has only scored a total of 26 points in two road games this season, it posted 40 points in a loss to Winnipeg and 37 points in a win against Hamilton in two previous home games this year. When it comes to an East vs. West clash, I will lay the points on the dominant division especially with the Roughriders playing this game at home.
The SU 3-1-1 (2-3 ATS) Stampeders started the new season as clear favorites to win it all and they finally looked the part in last week’s dominating win at home against Saskatchewan. Bo Levi Mitchel did not have his best game throwing the ball, but on the year he is third in the CFL in passing with 1,635 yards and he is second in touchdown throws with nine. The current 12.5-point spread is just a bit too wide for my tastes, but I do like this game going OVER the current 54.5-point total line.
The Eskimos have put up an average of 26.8 PPG in their run to a SU 4-0 start. They have failed to cover in their last three games after squeaking by Hamilton last week 31-28 as 3.5-point road favorites. The total went OVER the closing 51.5-point line in that game after staying UNDER in their first three contests. Beating Edmonton at home will be a tough task for the Lions, but I believe the effort will be enough to take the total in this game OVER the current 54.5-point line.
The Blue Bombers lost a 45-42 shootout against BC last week to fall to 2-2 SU on the year, but they improved to 3-1 ATS after covering as four-point road underdogs. Winnipeg’s offense is led by quarterback Matt Nichols and he has this unit averaging 32 points a game. While Montreal has been a tough team to score on this season, I do not see the Alouettes keeping pace on the scoreboard in this one. Lay the 4.5 points and take Winnipeg to cover at home.
Take the Winnipeg Blue Bombers -4.5
This week’s contest should let bettors know whether last week’s loss to Montreal was just a blip on the radar or a sign of further trouble for what was perceived to be the CFL’s top team. Calgary has had its troubles with the Alouettes in the past and I am fairly confident that Bo Levi Mitchell and this high-powered offense will get things back up to speed with a SU win on Saturday night that covers ATS.
BC lost its season opener at home to Edmonton in Week 1 as four-point favorites, but it has feasted on the East Division its past three games while outscoring its opponents by a combined 35 points. Lions’ quarterback Jonathan Jennings left last week’s game against Hamilton in the first quarter due to injury and Travis Lulay picked up the slack by throwing for over 400 yards. Whichever player lines up under center this week should be able to lead BC to another win both SU and ATS.
Hamilton has been outscored by a combined 49 points in its 0-3 start both SU and ATS. While the Tiger-Cats’ offense is averaging 20.3 PPG, their defense has allowed at least 32 points in each of the three losses. I do not think they can turn things around that quickly this week against one of the powers from the West, so I am going with Edmonton both SU and ATS.
The RedBlacks have the unenvious task of playing two games in Week 5 so it becomes almost imperative that they get the first straight-up win of the season this Wednesday night on their home field. Ottawa’s offense led by quarterback Trevor Harris has not been the issues so far but a defense that has allowed an average of 30.8 points per game has not helped the cause. Stick with the RedBlacks to tighten things up enough to win this game both SU and against the spread.
Hamilton makes its season debut at home following road losses both SU and ATS to Toronto in Week 1 as a 3.5-point favorite and to Saskatchewan last week in a 37-20 setback as a slight one-point favorite. The Tiger-Cats need to first tighten things up on defense and they also need a strong effort from Zach Collaros on the offensive side of the ball. He has thrown for 431 yards in his first two starts with just one passing touchdown. It could take a few more weeks for Hamilton to get on track so I am going with the Lions this Saturday in a SU road win that covers the three points.
Montreal continues to play tough on defense with a points allowed average of 20.7, but it is going to need some more production from an offense that has failed to score more than 19 points in any of its first three games. The total has stayed UNDER in all three contests and that is the way I am leaning in this matchup. I have Calgary getting the SU win on the road, but things should still remain low and tight on the scoreboard.
The Blue Bombers were shut down in the second half of last week’s 29-10 loss to Calgary after opening their regular season in Week 2 with 43 points against Saskatchewan. Matt Nichols has thrown for 598 yards and five touchdowns in his first two starts and he could be the difference in this one as Winnipeg bounces back this week from a bad loss with the victory against Toronto both straight-up and ATS.
The Roughriders only managed to win once last season through its first 11 games and it has already suffered two tough losses this season in games they did have a chance to win. Sometimes teams forget how to win and Saskatchewan could fall into this category given what we have seen so far. Kevin Glenn has proven that he can take this offense down the field through the air after throwing for 675 yards and five touchdowns in his first two games. He has also been picked off three times. I am not really sure which team comes away with the SU win in this one, but I do like the OVER on the 53-point total line.
Led by quarterback Trevor Harris, Ottawa proved one thing in two-straight games against Calgary; it can put the ball in the end zone. The one thing the RedBlacks failed to prove was their defense’s ability to keep Calgary from doing the same. Toronto will not be nearly as tough of a test, but they are still going to have to keep Ray from throwing the ball all over the field. This is another potentially high-scoring game, but I will lay the six points and take Ottawa at home both SU and ATS.
The Blue Bombers opened their new season last week following a Week 1 bye in wild fashion as well with a 43-40 double overtime victory against Saskatchewan as slight 1.5-point road underdog. Matt Nichols put the ball up 36 times and completed 23 passes for 331 yards and four touchdowns. I am looking for more of the same from both of these offenses this week in a West Division tilt that goes OVER the current 54-point line.
Montreal is going to have to counter with the stingiest defense in the CFL through the first two weeks. After holding Saskatchewan to 16 points on opening day, it manage to limit Edmonton to 23 points in a four-point loss as a nine-point road underdog. The Alouettes are going to need better production from Darian Durant and a passing game that only managed to gain 166 yards in last week’s loss. West against East, I am going with BC to cover the three points on the road as the better all-around team.
The Roughriders limped out of the gate last season with just one SU victory in their first 11 games and last Thursday’s loss to Montreal could signal another slow start this year. Kevin Glenn is Saskatchewan’s new starting quarterback and he ended Week 1 with 298 yards passing while connecting on 31 of his 44 passing attempts. He will probably have to put the ball up that many times this week as well, but in the end I am going with the Blue Bombers both SU and ATS.
Eskimos’ quarterback Mike Reilly was the most proficient passer in the CFL in 2016 with close to 5,500 yards and he got off to a fast start this season with 315 yards passing and two touchdown throws in last week’s win. John White rushed for 104 yards on 14 carries for an average of 6.12 yards per carry. This is just too much production for Montreal to keep pace with, but my ‘best bet’ pick in this matchup is the UNDER on the total line.
Toronto should be riding high following its stunning 32-15 upset against Hamilton as a 3.5-point home favorite this past Sunday. Not to take anything away from Ricky Ray’s 506 yards passing while completing 32 of his 41 attempts, but the fact that the Argonauts gained just 39 yards on the ground in that game could come back to haunt them against a BC team that can beat you in so many ways. Take the Lions and the point as slight road underdogs in this inter-division tilt.