CFL Week 2 Odds, Betting Preview: Look For The Lions To Pounce Early On Stampeders

Vernon Adams Jr. #3 of the BC Lions rolls out to pass against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Tim Hortons Field on October 13, 2023 in Hamilton, Canada

We’re off and running as we enter the second week of the CFL regular season.

Week 1 didn’t disappoint, and in true CFL fashion, underdogs went 2-2 straight-up and against the spread. The nine-team league is known for being classically unpredictable and siding with the dogs is usually a slightly profitable play in the long term.

Last week, both the Montreal Alouettes and Toronto Argonauts covered the spread and won outright as underdogs and three of the four games on the scheduled played over the total.

Alouettes to repeat as Grey Cup champions


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Here’s a look at the latest CFL Grey Cup outright odds, followed by our Week 2 betting preview:

Teambet365Sports InteractionNorthStar Bets
Winnipeg Blue Bombers+220+275
Toronto Argonauts+350+550+450
Montreal Alouettes+350+375+400
BC Lions+450+450+500
Saskatchewan Roughriders+800+900+1200
Ottawa Redblacks+1200+2000+1800
Hamilton Tiger-Cats+1600+1300+1600
Edmonton Elks+1800+2000+1800
Calgary Stampeders+1400+1400+1400

Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Ottawa Redblacks – June 13

Best moneyline odds: Blue Bombers -280 (FanDuel), Redblacks +275 (Betway)
Best spread odds: Blue Bombers -6.5 (-105 @ FanDuel), Redblacks +7 (-111 @ Pinnacle)
Best over/under odds: Over 46.5 points (-105 @ FanDuel), Under 46.5 points (-106 @ Pinnacle)

The Bombers were humbled at home last week by the defending Grey Cup champion Alouettes, 27-12, but they lost more than the game after stud receiver Kenny Lawler suffered a broken arm in the second quarter. He’s been placed on the six-game injured list and joins six other players on the team in that regard. To make matters worse, reigning Most Outstanding Canadian Brady Oliveira hasn’t practiced yet this week due to a knee injury. He was held to just 38 yards on 11 carries in the season opener and has been ruled out for Week 2. That means Winnipeg will be without its top receiver and top running back in this one.

The Redblacks opened the season with a bye (a sad reality of the CFL), so they’ve had plenty of time to prepare for the Bombers. They finished 4-14 and went 0-10 against divisional opponents last season, but the roster looks much different this time around. Ottawa added quarterback Dru Brown, stud receiver Dominique Rhymes, and reigning East Division Defensive Player of the Year Adarius Pickett to the mix this winter, and the team should be more competitive in 2024. The Redblacks appear to be catching the banged-up Bombers at a good time, and they could be a good bet to at least cover the spread here.

Pick: Redblacks +7. But shop around and see if you can find Ottawa +7.5 before you lock in to give yourself touchdown protection on your wager.

Montreal Alouettes @ Edmonton Elks – June 14

Best moneyline odds: Alouettes -220 (FanDuel), Elks +210 (Betano)
Best spread odds: Alouettes -4.5 (-112 @ FanDuel), Elks +6.5 (-133 @ 888)
Best over/under odds: Over 46.5 points (-118 @ PROLINE +), Under 48.5 points (-111 @ 888)

Well, how about that start to the season from the Alouettes? They simply dominated the Bombers in Winnipeg, which is no small feat. The departure of receiver Austin Mack for the NFL left a huge hole at primary wideout for the Als, but Tyson Philpot looks ready to fill that void after catching 10 balls for 142 yards and a pair of touchdowns last week. Bettors will want to monitor the statuses of receiver Tyler Snead and defensive back Reggie Stubblefield this week, though, as both players appeared to suffer major injuries in the season opener.

After several miserable seasons, the Elks looked much better in their season-opening loss to the Roughriders. Yes, they lost the game 29-21, but McLeod Bethel-Thompson fell right back into the groove in his return to the CFL, throwing for 336 yards and a pair of touchdowns. This Elks team will throw the ball a lot and be a ton of fun to watch this season. Combine that with a subpar defence and you have the perfect recipe for the CFL’s best “over” team this year.

Pick: Elks over 20.5 points scored (-120 @ bet365).

Bet on Alouettes vs. Elks

MTL -5.5
EDM +5.5

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Calgary Stampeders @ BC Lions – June 15

Best moneyline odds: Lions -333 (Betway), Stampeders +345 (Betano)
Best spread odds: Lions -8 (-109 @ Pinnacle), Stampeders +8.5 (-102 @ BetRivers)
Best over/under odds: Over 49.5 points (-115 @ Bet99), Under 50.5 points (+100 @ FanDuel)

The Stampeders are fresh off a very nice 32-24 home win over Hamilton. Quarterback Jake Maier completed 21 of his 26 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns without throwing an interception. Dedrick Mills got the job done on the ground, rushing 13 times for 87 yards, and eight different players caught at least one pass from Maier in the victory. There were concerns about the depth of Calgary’s receiving corps heading into the season and a possible overreliance on Reggie Begelton, but so far so good.

The Lions won’t be happy about their second-half collapse in Toronto last week. They put up just seven points in the second half while allowing the Argonauts to score 19 and come away with a big win as sizable underdogs. Perhaps more concerning was the lack of a running game in the season opener. Veteran tailback William Stanback managed just 35 yards on 11 carries, and quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. scrambled for 25 more yards to bring their total to 60. Adams Jr. threw the ball for 363 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but he was also sacked six times by Toronto. Adams Jr. sustained a minor hand injury in the loss, but he’s good to go for Week 2.

Pick: Lions first-half spread: -5 (-110 @ bet365)

Saskatchewan Roughriders @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats – June 16

Best moneyline odds: Tiger-Cats -106 (Pinnacle), Roughriders -104 (FanDuel)
Best spread odds: Tiger-Cats +1 (-118 @ Pinnacle), Roughriders +1.5 (-115 @ BetMGM)
Best over/under odds: Over 48 points (-109 @ Pinnacle), Under 49 points (-110 @ bet365)

The Roughriders are 1-0, but more importantly, 38-year-old quarterback Trevor Harris looks productive and healthy. He threw three touchdown passes to Shawn Bane Jr. in the 29-21 victory over the Elks, which tied a team record for TD receptions in a single game. Bane Jr. hauled in five passes for 125 yards to help give new head coach Corey Mace his first win as boss of the team. Establishing the run game with new tailback A.J. Ouellette will be the priority this week after he had a subpar debut with the team, rushing for just 32 yards on 18 carries. Ouellette broke out with Toronto last year, rushing for 1,009 yards and eight touchdowns.

One thing we learned last week is that Hamilton is going to be a running team under new head coach Scott Milanovich. James Butler successfully ran the ball 13 times for 119 yards in Week 1, and it’s clear he’ll be the focal point of the offence this season. Veteran quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell also had a solid game, throwing for 300 yards and a touchdown. He was also picked off once. The big news off the field in Hamilton heading into Week 2 is the signing of American quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa to the practice roster. Taulia is the younger brother of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and is the Big Ten’s all-time leader in passing yards (11,256) and completion percentage (67.1%). He recently attended mini-camps with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals but didn’t impress enough to catch on with either team. Many CFL analysts believe Tagovailoa could be the franchise’s next superstar quarterback, but it could be another year before he gets a legitimate shot at the oft-injured Mitchell’s QB1 job. In the meantime, Tagovailoa has plenty of work to do to learn and adjust to the Canadian game. Hamilton also has one of the better backup quarterbacks in the league in Taylor Powell.

Pick: Individual rushing yards props aren’t up yet for this game at online sportsbooks as of Wednesday morning, but have a hard look at Butler’s line once they’re available. Hamilton really seems committed to the run game and it’s very likely he eclipses the 100-yard mark again this week in Hamilton’s home opener.