CFL Week 18 News and Notes

CFL Week 18 News and Notes

Canadian football power poll: Week 18
By ALEX SMART

1: Calgary Stampeders (11-5) (11-5 ATS) (LW: 1) Calgary moved one step closer to locking up the top spot in the West when it destroyed Winnipeg 37-16 in Week 17. QB Henry Burris threw five touchdown passes, and the defense stepped up and held the Bombers to just 211 total yards for the easy victory. They can’t slip up in Ivor-Wynne Stadium this week though, especially with a game against the Lions waiting in the final week of the season.

Next up: Away at Hamilton (3-13)

2: Montreal Alouettes (11-5) (10-6 ATS) (LW: 2) Montreal won easily last week despite having little to play for. The Alouettes notched a 43-34 victory over the hapless Argonauts. QB Anthony Calvillo threw for another 336 yards, giving him 5,433 for the season. It’s the fifth time in his storied career that AC has topped the 5000-yard plateau.

Next up: Home vs. Winnipeg (6-10)

3: British Columbia Lions (10-6) (8-8 ATS) (LW: 4) BC kept itself alive for the Western Division title when it took out Edmonton 43-28 at Commonwealth Stadium in its Week 17 CFL betting match-up. After getting benched in the middle of its game two weeks ago, QB Buck Pierce responded by completing 25-of-40 passes for 378 yards and three scores. RB Charles Roberts picked up 168 total yards and two scores.

Next up: Home vs. Toronto (6-10)

4: Saskatchewan Roughriders (10-6) (10-6 ATS) (LW: 5) It was a close call for the Riders last week against Hamilton. Not only did they need two scores in the final seven minutes, but they also needed a missed field goal at the gun to hold off the worst team in the CFL. Still, the Roughriders did enough to stay a game behind the Stampeders, and can banish Edmonton to the Eastern playoffs with a win next weekend.

Next up: Home vs. Edmonton (9-7)

5: Edmonton Eskimos (9-7) (8-7-1 ATS) (LW: 3) It looks like QB Ricky Ray and the Eskimos are headed over to the Eastern playoffs after dropping a 43-28 decision at home to BC over the weekend. Even though it looked primed to pick up its third straight CFL betting victory, Edmonton was outscored 20-0 by BC in the fourth quarter ultimately dropping it to 9-7 and a game behind the rest of the field in the West. If the Eskimos have a chance of avoiding the cross over, they need to win this weekend in Regina.

Next up: Away at Saskatchewan (10-6)

6: Winnipeg Blue Bombers (6-10/0-1) (6-10 ATS) (LW: 6) Winnipeg lost to the Stamps this weekend, but head coach Doug Berry knew that the game was meaningless since the Bombers had already locked up the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference. If the fact that Berry used three quarterbacks against Calgary is any indicator, don’t expect Winnipeg to be playing too hard in its final two games of the regular season.

Next up: Away at Montreal (11-5)

7: Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3-13) (6-10 ATS) (LW: 8) Hamilton gets the nod this week over Toronto for its inspired effort against the Riders. QB Quinton Porter threw for 300 yards, but the Tabbies couldn’t hold on tight enough to their 29-20 lead with just 7:00 to play. Still, Porter showed grit by marching Hamilton from its own 35 to give Nick Setta a chance to win it with just 0:50 to work with. Setta’s kick didn’t ring true, and Hamilton lost its 13th game of the season.

Next up: Home vs. Calgary (11-5)

8: Toronto Argonauts (4-12/0-1) (4-11-1 ATS) (LW: 7) If Toronto bettors thought that bringing Don Matthews in to coach would change the team’s morale, they were sorely mistaken. The Argos dropped to 4-12 last week after getting destroyed 43-34 by their rivals from Montreal - officially knocking them out of the playoffs. There wasn’t a bigger disappointment in the CFL than 2007 MOP QB Kerry Joseph, even though he threw for 400 yards on Saturday.

Next up: Away at British Columbia (10-6)

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Re: CFL Week 18 News and Notes

Friday, October 24

CALGARY (11 - 5) at HAMILTON (3 - 13) - 10/24/2008, 7:30 PM
Top Trends for this game.
HAMILTON is 8-18 ATS (-11.8 Units) in home games over the last 3 seasons.
HAMILTON is 8-18 ATS (-11.8 Units) in home lined games over the last 3 seasons.
HAMILTON is 8-18 ATS (-11.8 Units) in home games in games played on turf over the last 3 seasons.
 
Head-to-Head Series History
HAMILTON is 3-2 against the spread versus CALGARY over the last 3 seasons 
CALGARY is 3-2 straight up against HAMILTON over the last 3 seasons 
4 of 5 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons 

Saturday, October 25

EDMONTON (9 - 7) at SASKATCHEWAN (10 - 6) - 10/25/2008, 6:30 PM
Top Trends for this game.
SASKATCHEWAN is 74-46 ATS (+23.4 Units) revenging a loss versus opponent since 1996.
 
Head-to-Head Series History
SASKATCHEWAN is 5-4 against the spread versus EDMONTON over the last 3 seasons 
EDMONTON is 5-4 straight up against SASKATCHEWAN over the last 3 seasons 
5 of 9 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
TORONTO (4 - 12) at BRITISH COLUMBIA (10 - 6) - 10/25/2008, 10:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
TORONTO is 2-8 ATS (-6.8 Units) when playing with 6 or less days rest this season.
TORONTO is 2-8 ATS (-6.8 Units) off a division game this season.
BRITISH COLUMBIA is 4-18 ATS (-15.8 Units) as a favorite of 10 or more points since 1996.
BRITISH COLUMBIA is 9-18 ATS (-10.8 Units) as a favorite over the last 2 seasons.
BRITISH COLUMBIA is 15-29 ATS (-16.9 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a losing record since 1996.
BRITISH COLUMBIA is 16-30 ATS (-17.0 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record after 9 or more games since 1996.
 
Head-to-Head Series History
TORONTO is 3-2 against the spread versus BRITISH COLUMBIA over the last 3 seasons 
BRITISH COLUMBIA is 5-0 straight up against TORONTO over the last 3 seasons 
5 of 5 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons 

Sunday, October 26

WINNIPEG (6 - 10) at MONTREAL (11 - 5) - 10/26/2008, 1:00 PM
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.
 
Head-to-Head Series History
MONTREAL is 7-3 against the spread versus WINNIPEG over the last 3 seasons 
MONTREAL is 5-5 straight up against WINNIPEG over the last 3 seasons 
7 of 10 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons 

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Re: CFL Week 18 News and Notes

Friday, October 24

7:30 PM CALGARY vs. HAMILTON
Calgary is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games
Calgary is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
Hamilton is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games when playing at home against Calgary
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Hamilton's last 5 games when playing at home against Calgary

Saturday, October 25

6:30 PM EDMONTON vs. SASKATCHEWAN
Edmonton is 3-4-2 ATS in its last 9 games on the road
Edmonton is 4-11 SU in its last 15 games on the road
Saskatchewan is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games when playing at home against Edmonton
Saskatchewan is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games when playing at home against Edmonton

10:00 PM TORONTO vs. BRITISH COLUMBIA
Toronto is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
Toronto is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games on the road
British Columbia is 7-13-1 ATS in its last 21 games
British Columbia is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games

Sunday, October 26

1:00 PM WINNIPEG vs. MONTREAL
Winnipeg is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games when playing on the road against Montreal
Winnipeg is 3-14 SU in its last 17 games when playing on the road against Montreal
Montreal is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Winnipeg
Montreal is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing Winnipeg

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Re: CFL Week 18 News and Notes

Friday, October 24

Calgary (11-5) @ Hamilton (3-13)-- Stamps won six of last seven games, are 4-1 in last five road games-- they crushed Hamilton 43-16 in Week 4 (-10), with five takeaways, outgaining TiCats 487-283. Hamilton is 1-8 in last nine games, but 3-3 vs spread in last six; they're 2-6 at home, with losses by 23-5-6-3-23-2 points. Last five Calgary wins are all by 11 or more points. Over is 10-5 in Hamilton's last fifteen games.

Saturday, October 25

Edmonton (9-7) @ Saskatchewan (10-6)-- Roughriders are struggling, in 2-4 slide (Ws 37-34 vs Calgary, 30-29 vs TiCats). Home team won first two series games this year, with Riders winning 34-13 in season opener in Regina (-4), then losing 27-10 in Alberta in Week 9 (+6). Eskimos are 2-5 vs spread in last seven games- they're 7-0 this season if they allow less than 30 points, a figure Roughriders scored in only 2 of last 12 tilts.

Toronto (4-12) @ BCLions (10-6)-- Argos lost seven in row, nine of last ten games, one of which was 33-10 home beating by Lions in Toronto in Week 15 (+3). Only one of those nine losses was by less than 16 points (25-16 at Winnipeg); they're 1-5 vs spread in last six tries as a road dog. Lions won six of last seven games, but are ust 3-5 vs spread as a home favorite, with home wins by 9-2-6-5-30 points. Under is 8-1 in last nine Lion games.

Sunday, October 26

Winnipeg (6-10) @ Montreal (11-5)-- Bombers lost twice to Montreal earlier in year, 38-24 in Quebec back in Week 2 (-1), then 39-11 at home in Week 7 (+2). Alouettes outrushed Winnnipeg 321-90 in those games. Montreal won nine of last eleven games, covered last four home games-- they scored 30+ points in every game but one this season, averaging 40.8 ppg in their last five games. Five of last six Bomber games stayed under.

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Re: CFL Week 18 News and Notes

CFL Week 18 Betting Preview
By Ron Raymond

While the West Division remains wide open, Montreal has the East title already in their hip pocket.  The Alouettes host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers this week looking for win #12 on the season.

Calgary (-11) at Hamilton (57)

The first place Calgary Stampeders roll into Steel Town for an East Division showdown with the 3-13 SU Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The Stamps have never been a good road favorite and this is the first time since 1996 Calgary has been labeled double-digit road chalk. However, the Stamps are in a bad betting spot here with the BC Lions on deck next week and that game could determine first place depending on the outcomes this weekend.

Hamilton has been more competitive with Quinton Porter at QB and I feel the Stampeders play down in class this week and it affects their whole game plan. Play the home dogs here.

Ron’s forecast: Calgary-31 Hamilton-23

Stampeders at Tiger Cats History: 6-6-0 (ATS) 5-7 (SU) 6-6-0 (O/U/P)

ATSCalculator.com: Calgary to win by 18.86 pts and the o/u to land on 57.33.

ATSDatabase.com Stat of the Game: When Hamilton plays as a +10.0 or more underdog and coming off a game where they allowed between 28 to 31 points in their last game, the Tiger-Cats are 7-3-0 ATS in this role since ’96.

Edmonton (54½) at Saskatchewan (-3)

Edmonton has always been a great football franchise in the CFL.  They recruit well and have 13 Grey Cups to their record, but they’ve always had their problems with the Green Riders in Regina.

Since 1996, the Eskimos are 5-12 SU vs. Saskatchewan at Mosaaic Stadium and they enter this game with the Roughriders winning eight of the last nine head-to-head matchups. The Riders are coming off a nail bitter win over the 3-13 Tiger Cats, but they found a way to win the game and they are 10-6 SU for a reason. No matter who’s at QB for the Riders this weekend, they have the defense to keep Ricky Ray and his offense at bay and the Roughriders are 8-3 SU as a home favorite during the month of October (Weeks 16-20).

Ron’s forecast: Saskatchewan-33 Edmonton-26

Eskimos at Roughriders History: 6-11-0 (ATS) 5-12 (SU) 12-5-0 (O/U/P)

ATSCalculator.com: Edmonton to win by 4.06 pts and the o/u to land on 54.27.

ATSDatabase.com Stat of the Game: When any CFL home team, playing on Saturday before a non-division game, scored 30 points or more in their last game and coming off a home win as a favorite, the home team is 11-1-0 ATS & SU in this situation since ’97.

Toronto (54) at British Columbia (-15)

Wonder what kind of round Rich Stubbler shot in golf yesterday?  What a complete and utter mess this once proud Toronto Argonauts franchise is. If you ask my opinion, the Argonauts need to distance themselves as far as possible from the Rogers Centre and get involved with a Canadian University program. Get real football people running the management side of the operation and not recycled dinosaurs who just bring in their buddies that got axed at their old job.

If there’s one thing that bothers me with the CFL, organizations continue to recycle former coaches and GM’s who have no history of winning, while you have coaches in the CIS like Glen Constantin of the Laval Rouge et Or who might go down as the best CIS coach of all time.

As for this game, it’s tough to handicap a team that has thrown in the towel, quit on their coaches and riding a seven-game losing streak. The BC Lions have a big game on deck vs. Calgary, so the Under might be worth a shot here. Here’s a word of advice to David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski: Get out of the Rogers umbrella and partner up with a CIS school!

Ron’s forecast: BC-29 Toronto-16

Argonauts at Lions History: 7-6-0 (ATS) 6-7 (SU) 7-5-1 (O/U/P)

ATSCalculator.com: BC to win by 17.62 pts and the o/u to land on 54.65.

ATSDatabase.com Stat of the Game: Any CFL road underdog during Weeks 16-20 and coming off two ATS losses, the road dog is 13-5-1 ATS in this role since ’96.

Winnipeg (55) at Montreal (-8½)

The Alouettes wake up call a few weeks ago vs. Hamilton might have been the game that wins Montreal the Grey Cup. Montreal has been one of the most consistent football teams in the CFL this season and the Blue Bombers are 3-15 SU in Montreal since 1996.

This is a bad situation for the Bombers in this spot; they are 1-15 SU as a road underdog when the total is 54½ or more after a non-division game.  Plus, the Alouettes are 8-2 (80%) the last three years at home in October.

Ron’s forecast: Montreal-44 Winnipeg-8

Blue Bombers at Alouettes History: 8-9-1 (ATS) 3-15 (SU) 11-5-1 (O/U/P)

ATSCalculator.com: Montreal to win 16.58 pts to win and the o/u to land 55.32.

ATSDatabase.com Stat of the Game: When MONTREAL team played as Home team as a Favorite - Coming off a Road win as a Favorite; The OVER is 9-2-0 for the Alouettes in this role since ’96.

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Re: CFL Week 18 News and Notes

CFL Preview and predictions: Week 18
By CHARLES-ANDRÉ MARCHAND 

Calgary Stampeders (11-5) vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3-13) (Calgary -10.5)

After destroying Winnipeg 37-16 last week, the Stamps can't miss this golden opportunity to secure first place of the Western Division, especially since they will end the season against the talented B.C. Lions.

Henry Burris completed 28 of 36 pass attempts for 337 yards for the Stampeders in Week 17 while Brett Ralph had 70 yards receiving with two touchdowns. These teams met once this season in mid-July and the Stampeders won 43-16. But Calgary has to beware of these resilient Tabbies who surprised the Alouettes at Ivor Wynne a few weeks ago and gave a good scare to the Roughriders last week. Hamilton dropped its 13th game of the season, 30-29, but only because of a Saskatchewan field goal with only seconds left.

Because of the 10-point spread, I would go with the Tiger-Cats, who will want to keep it a close one in front of their loyal fans.

Pick: Hamilton (+10.5)


Edmonton Eskimos (9-7) vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders (10-6) (Saskatchewan -3)

Edmonton was on the verge of beating the Lions last week before collapsing and giving up 20 points in the fourth quarter to finally lose 43-28. But for Danny Maciocia's team, this could provide good news and a possible berth to the Eastern Division semifinals against Winnipeg. The Eastern path would probably be a safer one to the Grey Cup than facing a semifinal on the Western side against the likes of Calgary, B.C., or Saskatchewan.

A loss to the Roughriders in Week 18 will mean Edmonton will play the Bombers in the playoffs. But Saskatchewan hasn’t been playing great football over the past few weeks, which was clear last week in the squeaker against struggling Hamilton.

Will the Riders want to finish their season with some momentum, or would they prefer to play in Winnipeg a week prior to the Grey Cup?

We didn’t learn much from the first two showdowns between these teams earlier this season: The Riders won 34-13 in June when they were red-hot but got crushed 27-10 in late August when they were struggling. Unless the Eskimos desperately want to play in the Eastern semifinals, they should win this one.

Pick: Edmonton (+3)

                                                                       
Toronto Argonauts (4-12) vs.  B.C. Lions (10-6) (B.C. -14)

The Lions are still in the hunt for the top spot in the Western Division after a comeback win against Edmonton at Commonwealth Stadium. Buck Pierce had one of his fine games of the year with 25 of 40 passes for 378 yards and three touchdowns.

Running back Charles Roberts added a pair of scores with 168 total rushing yards. The Argonauts have shown some signs of improvement since Don Matthews took over and last year's MVP Kerry Joseph threw for 400 yards last week at Rogers Centre against the Alouettes, but they came short and Montreal won 43-34.

These teams met only once this season and it was a close one, with the Lions winning earlier this month 24-20 in Toronto. But the stakes are too high for them to take the Argos lightly a second time in a row. And this time, they should cover, even with a 14- point spread.

Pick:  B.C. (-14)


Winnipeg Blue Bombers (6-10) vs. Montreal Alouettes (11-5) (Montreal -9.5)

This is a meaningless game for both teams as far as the playoff picture is concerned. Winnipeg will host the Eastern Division semifinal and Montreal will host the Eastern Division final the next week.

That said, there is a strong possibility the Bombers will be the Alouettes’ opponents Nov. 15, with the winner staying in Montreal for the Grey Cup. So, this may quite be a game where both teams will want to establish some sort of psychological advantage.

Montreal won both its games against Winnipeg so far this season, a 38-24 victory at home in July and a 39-11 triumph in Winnipeg in August.

Avon Cobourne will be absent for the Alouettes but Mike Imoh has been pretty efficient replacing him. Safety Etienne Boulay, who missed the last three games with an ankle injury, will be back in action.

The Montreal defensive unit will want to redeem itself after giving up 34 points last week to the weakest offense in the CFL.

Pick: Montreal (-9.5)

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