There’s still much to be decided with only two weeks and six games remaining in the CFL regular season.
Last week, the Saskatchewan Roughriders failed to clinch the sixth and final playoff berth after falling 26-19 to the Calgary Stampeders, who kept their playoff hopes alive by putting up 21 second-half points in the come-from-behind victory.
We also still don’t know who the top seed will be in the West Division, with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and BC Lions still battling it out for a first-round playoff bye and home advantage in the Western Semi-Final.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers to win the Grey Cup
|Team||Grey Cup Outright Odds|
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers||+165|
Calgary Stampeders @ BC Lions (-9, 49.5 o/u)
About the Stampeders (5-11 SU, 8-8 ATS, 5-10-1 o/u): The Stampeders can clinch a playoff berth with a win on Friday and a Saskatchewan loss on Saturday. CFL.ca’s playoff simulation is giving the Stamps a 43% chance of claiming the West’s final playoff spot, as Calgary enters play this week two points behind the struggling Roughriders who have a 57% chance of claiming the last playoff berth. Calgary has made the playoffs in 17 consecutive seasons.
Reggie Begelton (chest) has been a full participant at practice this week after missing the team’s 26-19 win over the Roughriders this past Friday. The receiver leads the team with 1,053 receiving yards and his inclusion on the depth chart for the team’s biggest game of the year is imperative.
Receiver and kick returner Tommylee Lewis (personal reasons) has been suspended by the club after failing to report after the team’s most recent bye week. In 10 games, he recorded 1,008 yards in kick and punt returns. It’s obviously not an ideal time to be without your primary returner.
About the Lions (12-5 SU, 8-8-1 ATS, 10-6-1 o/u): Unfortunately for the Stamps, this game is also meaningful to the Lions, who can move into the top spot in the West Division (at least until Winnipeg plays on Saturday) with a victory in their season finale. The Bombers own the tiebreaker over the Lions, though, and do have one game in hand. Both the Lions and Bombers currently have 24 points in the standings.
This game will be won or lost through the air. BC boasts the top passing game (318.3 yards per game) in the league and the Stamps have the second-best pass defence (allowing 236.6 passing yards per game). Quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. is making a late push for the Most Outstanding Player Award with 4,653 passing yards and 31 touchdowns to his credit. It should be noted that the Lions’ run game is last in the league in total yardage (79.6 rushing yards per game).
- The over is 6-0 in the Lions’ last six games.
- The under is 4-0 in Calgary’s last four games.
- The Lions are 0-4 ATS in their last four home games.
Pick: Stampeders +9
Bet on Stampeders vs. Lions
Toronto Argonauts @ Saskatchewan Roughriders (+9.5, 50.5 o/u)
About the Argonauts (14-2 SU, 12-4 ATS, 8-8 o/u): The Argos have been in cruise control after clinching the East Division title several weeks ago, and that has made them tricky to handicap down the stretch as they continue to rest key starters on a week-by-week basis. Bettors will want to wait for the release of the team’s depth chart prior to the game before backing the Boatmen in this one, as the game is meaningless for them.
The Argos finished the regular season with a perfect 9-0 record at home for the first time since 1997, leaving many wondering if this is the best team the franchise has ever put on the field. They’re getting after opposing quarterbacks with ease, recording a season-high nine sacks last week against the Redblacks. In fact, the Argos have nine players with four or more sacks this season and are just two shy of setting a new franchise record in the stat category. Their +48 sack ratio is on pace to be the highest ever recorded in the CFL.
About the Roughriders (6-11 SU, 6-10-1 ATS, 12-5 o/u): The Roughriders are awfully damn lucky to still be in the playoff hunt after dropping six straight games. They can clinch a playoff berth with a win this week against the Argos in their final regular season game and a Stampeders loss to BC.
Saskatchewan’s defence has allowed 36.6 points per game during the losing skid, and the team has also allowed 52 sacks this season, which doesn’t bode well against Toronto’s potent pass rush.
The Riders have dropped the last three meetings with Toronto, including this season’s Touchdown Atlantic Game that was played in Halifax. The Argos won and covered the 10-point spread in that game by a score of 31-13. But the Riders will have home advantage this time around and I’m guessing this will be a competitive game with so much on the line for the home team. This game is ripe for a Saskatchewan backdoor cover, especially if the spread reaches 10 points.
- The over is 6-0 in Saskatchewan’s last six home games.
- The Roughriders are 1-5 ATS in their last six games.
- The over is 4-1 in the past five meetings.
Pick: Roughriders +9.5.
|Home Team||Away Team||Date/Time (ET)|
|BC Lions||-9||49.5 o/u||Calgary Stampeders||Oct. 20, 10:00 PM|
|Saskatchewan Roughriders||+9.5||50.5 o/u||Toronto Argonauts||Oct. 21, 4:00 PM|
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers||-12||50 o/u||Edmonton Elks||Oct. 21, 7:00 PM|
Edmonton Elks @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers (-12, 50 o/u)
About the Elks (4-13 SU, 6-11 ATS, 8-9 o/u): The Elks are 0-3 straight-up and against the spread in their last three games as they limp into their final regular season game. It’s been another tough season for the Elks, but there is reason for optimism looking ahead to next season.
The Elks lead the CFL with an average of 6.1 yards per rush attempt. Tre Ford and Kevin Brown lead the team with 9.5 yards and 6.1 yards per carry, respectively. Ford has helped revitalize the offence, and if the team can beef up on the defensive end this offseason, the Elks have the potential to be competitive next year.
It would be a step in the right direction to pull off an unlikely season-ending win on the road against a top team, or at least make it a close game.
About the Blue Bombers (12-4 SU, 9-7 ATS, 11-5 o.u): If the Lions lose on Friday night, the Bombers will clinch the top spot in the West Division and this game will be meaningless for them. In that scenario, this spread could move in favour of the Elks as the Bombers will likely elect to rest many of their starters in an attempt to keep them healthy for the playoffs. But if the Lions pull out a likely win over the Stampeders, Winnipeg will be motivated to pound the lowly Elks into submission and clinch that top spot in the division with a win.
There is one major injury note for the Bombers, as their top receiver Dalton Shoen has been ruled out with an ankle injury. He’s hauled in 71 passes for 1,222 yards to lead the team in both of those categories this season. With Shoen sidelined, expect the Bombers to continue to rely on Brady Oliveira and the ground game. Oliveira is on pace for an incredible 2,128 yards from scrimmage. No player has passed the 2,000-yard milestone since Jon Cornish in 2013.
- The Bombers are 0-5 ATS in their last five games against opponents with a losing record.
- The over is 6-0 in Winnipeg’s last six games.
- The Elks are 1-5 ATS in their last six games.
Pick: Elks +12.
Bet on Elks vs. Blue Bombers