CFL Week 1 Betting News and Notes

CFL Week 1 Betting News and Notes

CFL Betting Notes - Week 1
By David Schwab
VegasInsider.com

This Thursday night in Winnipeg the 2013 Canadian Football League kicks off its 18-game regular season schedule that will set the stage for this year’s quest for the Grey Cup Championship in late November. The Toronto Argonauts shocked CFL fans last year with their run to a title after going just 9-9 in the regular season, so anything is possible when it comes to professional football “North of the Border.”

The following is a brief betting preview of all of the CFL Week 1 games with the opening point spread and total line provided by 5Dimes.

Thursday, June 27

Montreal Alouettes vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers


Point-spread: Montreal -5
Total: 53

Montreal won the East Division last season at 11-7 straight-up but it went just 8-10 against the spread overall. The total went OVER in six of its nine games on the road. The Alouettes season came to sudden end with a stunning 27-20 loss to the Argonauts in the East Division Finals as five-point home favorites.

It was a rough 2012 campaign for the Blue Bombers with an overall 6-12 SU record that had them on the outside looking in come playoff time. They did go 9-9 ATS that included a profitable 6-3 ATS record at home. The stayed UNDER in five of their nine home games.

These two teams met four times in 2012 with each team winning once at home and once on the road SU. They also split the series 2-2 ATS with the total going OVER in the first two meetings and staying UNDER in the final two.

Friday, June 28

Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. Toronto Argonauts


Point-spread: Hamilton -4½
Total: 55

The Tiger-Cats were another team that watched the Grey Cup Playoffs on TV last season after going 6-12 SU. They were somewhat better ATS at 9-9, but they still had a losing 4-5 ATS record on the road. The total went OVER in seven of their nine games on the road.

Toronto went 9-9 ATS as well last season but it proved to be costly at home with a 3-6 record ATS. The total stayed UNDER in 10 of the 18 games with an identical 4-5 record both at home and on the road. It completed a 3-0 run both SU and ATS in the playoffs by beating Calgary in the Grey Cup 35-22 as a 1½-point underdog. The total went OVER the 55½-point line in that game.

The Argonauts won the regular season series 3-1 both SU and ATS but the margin of victory was just three points in two of the victories. The total went OVER in all four games after staying UNDER in five of the previous six meetings.

British Columbia Lions vs. Calgary Stampeders

Point-spread: BC -2½
Total: 52

The Lions won the Grey Cup in 2011 and despite having the best SU record in the CFL last season at 13-5; they could not get past the West Division Finals with a 34-29 loss to the Stampeders as 6½-point home favorites. They were 9-9 ATS overall and 3-6 ATS on the road. The total stayed UNDER in seven of their nine road games.

Calgary finished just game back in the West at 12-6 SU and it went 10-8 ATS. It was 4-5 ATS at home and the total went OVER in five of the nine games. Before knocking off the Lions in the divisional final, the Stampeders beat Saskatchewan 36-30 in the semifinals in a game that ended as a PUSH.

BC won the regular-season series 2-1 SU and ATS with the home team winning two of the three games. The total stayed UNDER in two of the three games. Prior to last season, the Lions won four of the previous five meetings SU and had s slight 3-2 edge ATS.

Saturday, June 29

Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Edmonton Eskimos


Point-spread: PICK
Total: 50

The Roughriders only won eight games in 2012 SU but that was good enough for third place in the West. They also went 8-10 ATS with a 3-6 ATS record on the road. The total went an even 9-9 but it stayed UNDER in five of the nine road games.

Edmonton was a game worse in the West at 7-11 SU, but it still made the playoffs as a crossover team from the division. It was over .500 ATS at 10-8 and a profitable 6-3 ATS at home. The total went OVER in 10 of its 16 games overall and in six of its nine home games.

The home team in this series is 9-1 SU and 7-3 ATS. Last season, Edmonton won the final two games at home both SU and ATS with the total going OVER in both contests. The total has now gone OVER in five of the last eight meetings.

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Thursday, June 27


MONTREAL (11 - 8) at WINNIPEG (6 - 12) - 6/27/2013, 9:00 PM


There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
WINNIPEG is 5-2 against the spread versus MONTREAL over the last 3 seasons
WINNIPEG is 4-3 straight up against MONTREAL over the last 3 seasons
4 of 7 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

Friday, June 28


HAMILTON (6 - 12) at TORONTO (12 - 9) - 6/28/2013, 7:00 PM


Top Trends for this game.
HAMILTON is 8-1 ATS (+6.9 Units) as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
TORONTO is 5-2 against the spread versus HAMILTON over the last 3 seasons
TORONTO is 4-3 straight up against HAMILTON over the last 3 seasons
5 of 7 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


BRITISH COLUMBIA (13 - 6) at CALGARY (14 - 7) - 6/28/2013, 10:00 PM

Top Trends for this game.
BRITISH COLUMBIA is 45-22 ATS (+20.8 Units) as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points since 1996.
BRITISH COLUMBIA is 74-50 ATS (+19.0 Units) as an underdog since 1996.
BRITISH COLUMBIA is 28-14 ATS (+12.6 Units) as a road underdog of 3.5 to 7 points since 1996.

Head-to-Head Series History
CALGARY is 4-3 against the spread versus BRITISH COLUMBIA over the last 3 seasons
BRITISH COLUMBIA is 4-3 straight up against CALGARY over the last 3 seasons
4 of 7 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

Saturday, June 29


SASKATCHEWAN (8 - 11) at EDMONTON (7 - 12) - 6/29/2013, 3:30 PM


Top Trends for this game.
EDMONTON is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) in home games when playing on a Saturday over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
EDMONTON is 4-2 against the spread versus SASKATCHEWAN over the last 3 seasons
EDMONTON is 5-1 straight up against SASKATCHEWAN over the last 3 seasons
3 of 6 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


HAMILTON vs. TORONTO
The total has gone OVER in 13 of Hamilton's last 18 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Hamilton's last 5 games when playing Toronto
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Toronto's last 8 games when playing at home against Hamilton
Toronto is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games

BRITISH COLUMBIA vs. CALGARY
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of British Columbia's last 7 games when playing on the road against Calgary
The total has gone UNDER in 14 of British Columbia's last 17 games on the road
Calgary is 12-6 SU in its last 18 games when playing British Columbia
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Calgary's last 6 games at home

SASKATCHEWAN vs. EDMONTON
Saskatchewan is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing Edmonton
Saskatchewan is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Edmonton
Edmonton is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Saskatchewan
Edmonton is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Saskatchewan

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Alouettes at Blue Bombers: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

Montreal Alouettes at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (+4, 51)

Dan Hawkins has some big shoes to fill. The new coach of the Montreal Alouettes will try to continue the success his team enjoyed under Marc Trestman when the Alouettes open the CFL season at the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Thursday. Trestman, who led Montreal to a 59-31 regular-season record and two Grey Cup wins in five campaigns, is now coaching the NFL’s Chicago Bears. Hawkins was unable to guide the Alouettes to victory in either of their preseason games, but will have a chance for his first CFL triumph against last year's weakest team in the East Division.

Following an appearance in the 99th Grey Cup, Winnipeg scored a league-low 376 points to finish the 2012 season with a 6-12 mark. The Blue Bombers’ offence did not fare any better in the preseason, managing just two field goals while allowing a total of 76 points in two contests. Winnipeg has reason for optimism - including a new stadium and the return of quarterback Buck Pierce, who missed most of last season due to multiple injuries. Pierce is the only quarterback on the roster with substantial CFL experience - but the Blue Bombers' preseason struggles are a familiar refrain.

Home underdogs were a profitable play in the CFL last season. Host teams getting the points went 11-9 SU but 14-6 ATS in 2012. Oddsmakers have tabbed the Blue Bombers as 4-point home underdogs for Thursday's Week 1 opener.

ABOUT THE ALOUETTES: QB Anthony Calvillo is returning for his 20th CFL season. The 40-year-old threw for more than 5,000 yards three times during Trestman’s tenure. With his receiving corps - led by veterans Jamel Richardson and S.J. Green - largely intact, and RB Brandon Whitaker set to return from last year’s season-ending knee injury, Calvillo has all the tools at his disposal for another successful season.

ABOUT THE BLUE BOMBERS: Construction delays pushed the opening of Investors Group Field - Winnipeg’s new home - back a full year, but the 33,422-seat stadium is finally ready to replace Canad Inns Stadium, the home of the Blue Bombers for the last 60 seasons. The change of scenery might do well for a Winnipeg squad that is largely unchanged from last year. The Blue Bombers allowed 531 points in 2012 and will have to be stronger on defence as long as their offensive struggles continue.

TRENDS:

* Over is 5-2 in the last seven meetings in Winnipeg.
* Alouettes are 2-7 ATS in their last nine meetings.
* Alouettes are 1-5 ATS in their last six meetings in Winnipeg.
* Over is 21-8 in Alouettes last 29 road games.

EXTRA POINTS:

1. Montreal posted a losing record on the road (4-5) in each of its last two seasons.

2. Despite Grey Cup appearances in 1992, 1993, 2001, 2007 and 2011, the Blue Bombers have not won a championship since 1990 - the longest drought in the CFL.

3. Calvillo holds the professional football record for career passing yards with 78,494 and has thrown a record 449 touchdown passes.

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CFL Doubleheader: Tiger-Cats at Argos, Lions at Stamps
By Covers.com

Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Toronto Argonauts (-3, 54.5)

The Toronto Argonauts will look to start their quest for a repeat as Grey Cup champions on the right note when they host the provincial rival Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Friday. Toronto defeated the Calgary Stampeders 35-22 at home for its league-record 16th title despite posting a 9-9 record during the regular season. The Tiger-Cats struggled mightily on defence last season, finishing 6-12 in large part because they allowed a league-worst 32 points per game.

The Argonauts defeated Hamilton in three of four meetings last year, including both games at Rogers Centre. The Tiger-Cats hired coach Kent Austin, who led the Saskatchewan Roughriders to a Grey Cup championship in 2007 and spent the last three seasons coaching at Cornell University. Austin was 11-19 in his three seasons with the Big Red. Hamilton is vying for its first winning season since 2004, when it finished 9-8-1.

ABOUT THE TIGER-CATS: In an effort to improve their defence, the Tiger-Cats drafted defensive tackle Linden Gaydosh with the first overall pick in this year’s draft. Gaydosh, however, decided to sign with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers instead. Veteran quarterback Henry Burris threw for 43 touchdowns and a career-high 5,367 yards last year in his first season with Hamilton. The 38-year-old looked strong in the preseason, completing 13 of 17 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns in a 52-0 rout of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

ABOUT THE ARGONAUTS: Weeks after signing quarterback Ricky Ray to an extension that carries through 2015, Toronto reached an agreement with last year’s Most Outstanding Player Chad Owens for two more years. The move helps secure the offence that helped the Argonauts to their first Grey Cup in eight seasons. Toronto cut veteran defensive tackle Kevin Huntley last week, showing confidence in linebackers Robert McCune and Marcus Ball. McCune registered 86 tackles and Ball added 73 last season.

TRENDS:

* Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
* Tiger-Cats are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
* Argonauts are 5-2 ATS in their last seven Week 1 game.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Members of last year’s Argonauts squad will receive their championship rings prior to the start of the game.

2. Owens set the professional football record for all-purpose yards last season, finishing with 3,863.

3. The Tiger-Cats will open their season at home against Edmonton on July 7. They will play in Guelph, Ont., while their new stadium is under construction.


BC Lions at Calgary Stampeders (-3, 51.5)

The BC Lions finished last season with a league-best 13-5 record and looked poised to repeat as Grey Cup champions, only to drop a 34-29 decision to the Calgary Stampeders in the West Division final. The Lions will have a chance to avenge that loss as they open their season with a visit to Calgary on Friday. The Stampeders suffered a 35-22 setback to the Toronto Argonauts in the Grey Cup final and enter their sixth campaign with coach John Hufnagel, who sports a 59-30-1 regular-season record.

The Lions defeated Calgary twice in the regular season last year, but the Stampeders won 41-21 at home in the last meeting before the West final. That victory marked the return of injured Calgary quarterback Drew Tate, but veteran Kevin Glenn would start both the West final and the Grey Cup. A healthy Tate is expected to guide the Stampeders in 2013, while BC signed quarterback Travis Lulay to a two-year extension after he recorded his first season with a passer rating over 100 (100.7) in his fourth year with the squad.

ABOUT THE LIONS: Defence was key for BC last year, as the team finished with 354 points allowed - 55 fewer than any other team in the league. Linebacker Adam Bighill registered 104 tackles, nine sacks and four interceptions while defensive end Keron Williams led the league with 12 sacks. Veteran Paul McCallum recorded a league-high 187 kicking points last year. The Lions traded slotback Geroy Simon, the league’s all-time receiving leader, to Saskatchewan for wide receiver Justin Harper and a third-round pick in 2014.

ABOUT THE STAMPEDERS: Jon Cornish led the league in rushing last year with 1,457 yards - a record for a non-import player - and won the award for Most Outstanding Canadian. Calgary’s offence should run smoothly with Tate and Cornish in the backfield, while its defence - led by linebacker Charleston Hughes (11 sacks) - remains largely intact. The Stampeders added defensive tackle Kevin Huntley to their practice roster less than a week after he was cut by the Toronto Argonauts. Huntley played against the Stampeders in last year’s Grey Cup final.

TRENDS:

* Lions are 1-5 ATS in their last six road games.
* Under is 14-2 in Lions’ last 16 road games.
* Lions are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings in Calgary.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Lions were 5-4 away from BC Place last year. Calgary finished 7-2 at home.

2. Despite widespread flooding in Calgary last week, McMahon Stadium escaped damage and will be ready to host Friday’s contest.

3. The Lions defeated the Stampeders 29-27 in preseason action.

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Roughriders at Eskimos: What Bettors Need to Know
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Saskatchewan Roughriders at Edmonton Eskimos (+1.5, 49)

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are hoping their prized acquisition Geroy Simon will be ready when they open their regular season by visiting the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday. The veteran slotback and all-time CFL career receiving yards leader suffered a leg injury during the preseason but is considered probable to start alongside Weston Dressler in what should be a fearsome offence for the Roughriders. Edmonton allowed a West Division-worst 25 points per game last year, but the team addressed the issue by acquiring free agent Odell Willis while defensive end Marcus Howard is now healthy.

Saskatchewan finished last season on a four-game losing streak and fell 36-30 to Calgary in the playoffs. Edmonton will have its third different opening-day quarterback in three years as former BC Lions backup Mike Reilly will get the start with Matt Nichols suffering from an ACL injury. Reilly has two previous CFL starts in his career. Pivot Darian Durant is entering his fifth season as the starter for the Roughriders, who posted a 31-24 victory over the Eskimos to open the preseason.

LINE MOVES: Saskatchewan opened as a 1-point road underdog but action in the Riders has swayed the line to Saskatchewan -1.5. The total opened at 50 and has moved to 49 with money on the under.

ABOUT THE ROUGHRIDERS: Saskatchewan is starting its season with eight players on the injured list, including veteran fullback Neal Hughes, wide receiver Kierrie Johnson and linebacker Abraham Kromah. Along with the injuries, the team will also be without defensive lineman Tearrius George, who will serve a one-game suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit against Calgary in the playoffs last year. Durant had the most efficient season of his career in 2012, throwing 20 touchdowns and completing a career-high 64.4 percent of his passes while recording his lowest interception total (12) since becoming a starter.

ABOUT THE ESKIMOS: Linebacker JC Sherritt was named Most Outstanding Defensive Player after setting a league record with 130 tackles last season. Sherritt was also tied for second on the team with five interceptions, one behind league leader Joe Burnett. Reilly fared well in his two previous career starts with the Lions, throwing for 682 yards and completing 69.3 percent of his passes. The 28 year old’s main target will be veteran slotback Fred Stamps, who finished second in the league with 1,310 receiving yards last year.

TRENDS:

* Under is 14-4 in the last 18 meetings in Edmonton.
* Roughriders are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
* Roughriders are 1-5 ATS in their last six meetings in Edmonton.
* Eskimos are 1-4 ATS in their last five games in June.
* Roughriders are 37-17-1 ATS in their last 55 games in Week 1.

EXTRA POINTS:

1. Edmonton, which finished last season with a 7-11 record, was 3-7 against West Division opponents.

2. Stamps is expected to play on Saturday despite sitting out much of Edmonton’s preseason due to soreness.

3. Roughriders RB Kory Sheets completed a mediation course last month after facing charges of battery domestic violence filed in January. The charges were dropped following the completion of the course and Sheets has been cleared to play by the team.

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