CFL Betting Recap - Week 1

CFL Betting Recap - Week 1

CFL Betting Recap - Week 1
VegasInsider.com

League Betting Notes

Favorites went 4-0 straight up in Week 1
Favorites went 4-0 against the spread in Week 1
Road teams notched a 2-2 record in Week 1
The 'over' went 4-0 in Week 1

Team Betting Notes

Toronto (1-0) started its defense of the 2013 Grey Cup with a 39-34 victory over Hamilton (0-1) at Rogers Centre. In Week 2, they travel cross country to meet the BC Lions (0-1). The Argos are 1-4 ATS in the past five meetings, and the under is 14-4 in the past 18 meetings between the two.

Calgary (1-0), which came up just short in that loss to Toronto in the Grey Cup, dispatched BC with relative ease in their opener. The Stamps will hit the road for Saskatchewan (1-0) in Week 2. The Stamps are 4-1 ATS in their past five meetings at Saskatchewan, and 5-2-1 ATS in the past eight meetings overall.

In the first game of the season Thursday night, Montreal (1-0) picked up a road win against Winnipeg (0-1). As was the case in each of the four games in Week 1, the 'over' connected. Last season, the 'over' was just 6-11-1 in games for the Blue Bombers.

As mentioned, Hamilton lost their opener up the QEW in Toronto, but the 'over' did cash. Last season, the Ti-Cats led the way with 12 'overs' in 18 games.

In the lowest scoring game of the weekend, Saskatchewan dealt Edmonton (0-1) a home loss, with the Eskimos coming up with just 18 points. The Esks were the lowest scoring team in the West Division last season, and they apparently did not rectify their offensive woes in the offseason. The next lowest total of Week 1 was the 32 points posted by BC in their loss.

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Re: CFL Betting Recap - Week 1

Canadian Football League Week 1 Betting Recap
By Ian Cameron
SportsMemo.com

The 2013 Canadian Football League season got off to an exciting start which provided what would be the NFL equivalent of a bookmaker’s nightmare. All four Week 1 games went over the total and all four favorites (Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Saskatchewan) got the win and pointspread cover. The 4-0 O/U mark and the 4-0 SU and ATS mark for favorites obviously won’t last but it will be interesting to see how quickly things change entering in Week 2. In watching all four games last week, the major thing that I noticed was a major bias towards offenses from the officials who had a tendency to award the majority of “50/50” calls for infractions taking place on passing plays down the field to the offense. I definitely noticed a major spike in pass interference and illegal contact penalties on the defense last week and those penalties combined to not only keep drives alive for the offensive units but also moved the football significantly toward the opposing end zone. Aside from the Saskatchewan Roughriders, defenses were owned by opposing offenses but neither that nor the officiating are identifiable traits that we should automatically assume will continue and become a trend this season. The four Week 1 games had 71, 73, 76 and 57 points scored yet the highest posted total for Week 2 is currently 55.5 for Edmonton vs. Hamilton. Do the oddsmakers know something we don’t and are just chalking up last week’s results as an anomaly or will this be another chance for over bettors to continue cashing in? Week 2 will paint a much clearer picture in that regard.

Here are some quick thoughts on each team following Week 1…

Montreal Alouettes – An overall mediocre effort despite the win against Winnipeg. The defense was not good and that was against arguably the worst offense in the league. QB Anthony Calvillo responded in the fourth quarter with his team trailing to rally for the win but he was inconsistent and the Montreal offensive line was a problem area. Calvillo is 40 years old and simply doesn’t have the foot speed to avoid pressure. He must be protected well and Montreal didn’t go a good job in that regard up front. Special teams allowed a punt return touchdowns in the preseason and they gave one up last week to the Blue Bombers. Winnipeg found a way to lose last week as much if not more than Montreal finding a way to win. Consider me not sold just yet on the new look Alouettes. It’s also worth noting new Montreal head coach Dan Hawkins allowed his team to be outscored 20-1 in the third quarter which indicates that he might be a good bet against coach coming out of halftime because clearly Montreal wasn’t ready to play.

Toronto Argonauts – They escaped. That pretty much sums up their 39-34 win over Hamilton. The Argos defense was torched early in the game by Hamilton’s offense. They didn’t get pressure nor could they stop the run and there were receivers running wide open against their secondary. The good news is their offense looked just as good as it did during their run to the Grey Cup last year. However, this defense is most assuredly a work in progress and they may need to outscore their opponent. Hamilton had problems finishing games last year and Toronto was able to take advantage by coming from behind to win in the fourth quarter but escaping with a narrow win at home against Hamilton is nothing to pat yourself on the back about. Toronto will have a real tough challenge on their hands traveling to the west coast this week to face the BC Lions who will be looking to avoid an 0-2 start to the season.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats – I liked the energy and effort the Tiger-Cats played with under new head coach Kent Austin and in the long run, I think he will turn this team around. However it was proven last week that the turnaround is going to take some time. The defense still gave up far too many big plays especially in the secondary as Toronto QB Ricky Ray picked that group apart – although an in-game injury to arguably their top corner, Dee Webb, didn’t help the Hamilton pass defense. QB Henry Burris and the offense put up 31 points in the first half but just 3 in the second half and while they looked incredibly sharp early in the game, the fact remains that in crunch time the offense stalled and that can’t happen if you want to be a winning team. I think the defense is the primary concern because you simply can’t expect to win games by allowing 39 points on nearly 500 yards of total offense. The defense should get a bit of a reprieve this week as they go from the high powered Argos offense to the dismal Edmonton Eskimos offense in Week 2.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers – Effort? Check. Emotion? Check. Intensity? Check. Execution? Sometimes. Making plays with the game on the line? No. That was essentially Winnipeg’s first game of the season in a nutshell as they opened their brand new Investors Group Field against Montreal. The Blue Bombers clearly were inspired to play hard in the opening of their new stadium but the problem was they didn’t play well when they had to. This team still lacks game breaking talent on both sides of the football – the kind of players that can make a big play at a critical time. The fourth quarter should have been a chance for the Blue Bombers to try to show they are a different team in 2013 as they entered the fourth with a 33-24 but things fell apart as the offense bogged down and the defense couldn’t get a stop when it needed one in the last 15 minutes. In the end, Montreal shutout Winnipeg 14-0 in the fourth for a come-from-behind 38-33 victory. I’m worried about the fragile state of this team which was desperate for a win and looked so close to getting it but couldn’t close the deal. They will get another crack at the Alouettes in Week 2 as they will head to Montreal for the second game of their home-and-home series.

Saskatchewan Roughriders – Easily the most impressive team in Week 1. Saskatchewan loaded up the roster with offseason additions on both sides of the football in their quest to win a Grey Cup in the same year they are hosting the big game. QB Darian Durant looked very comfortable in the new George Cortez offense as he spread the ball around to a bevy of his receivers and picked apart what was a very good Edmonton defense last season. The defense shut down QB Mike Reilly who was making his first ever start as a #1 QB in the CFL. The Eskimos mustered a Week 1 low 18 points. Saskatchewan was a team that I thought could be a darkhorse in the West and they will face another good early season test in their home opener on Friday against a Calgary Stampeders squad that laid a beating on a great BC Lions team in Week 1.

Edmonton Eskimos – Edmonton had the worst Week 1 showing of any team and it wasn’t really that close. Their offense looked borderline inept; unable to do much either on the ground or through the air. QB Mike Reilly clearly struggled with the spotlight of making his first start with a brand new team and new offense but the most alarming aspect of their 39-18 loss to Saskatchewan was their defense. Edmonton’s defense was right next to BC as the best defensive squad in the CFL last season but they looked awful in Week 1. It is the CFL and sometimes an poor showing in Week 1 doesn’t necessarily mean problems moving forward but there is more than enough reason to be concerned in Edmonton especially with a tough road trip on the way to face the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Calgary Stampeders – So much for those preseason struggles? Calgary QB Drew Tate was publicly urged by head coach John Hufnagel to step his game up in the middle of a mediocre preseason showing and there was some question as to whether Tate would be ready to start out of the gate strong in Week 1. He wiped away all doubts with a strong game against BC as Tate threw for 237 yards and 3 TDs in their 44-32 win at home against BC. The Stamps also got a terrific game from RB Jon Cornish who rushed for 172 yards and picked up right where he left off after his magical 2012 season where he led the league in rushing. The defense did a terrific job stifling a very good BC offense in the first half which allowed Calgary to get out to a big lead early in the game. Calgary should be right in the thick of the race to represent the West Division in this year’s Grey Cup but will once again be facing one of their key roadblocks when they travel to the 2013 Grey Cup host city to face the Saskatchewan Roughriders in a key early season Western showdown with both teams looking to start the season 2-0.

BC Lions – BC was caught in a tidal wave last week in Calgary. The Stamps played with a ton of intensity and emotion for the people of Calgary who had just suffered through a devastating flood. The Lions fell behind early and simply couldn’t get it back. It’s easy to chalk BC’s 44-32 loss up to Calgary playing their asses off for their city but much of it was just a bad performance all around by the Lions. QB Travis Lulay struggled in the passing game and the usually stout BC defense was gashed throughout the game, allowing over 430 yards of offense. I’m not ready to downgrade BC just yet until I see them play another game. I still think they are one of the most talented teams in the CFL but they will be getting a very stern test as they host the defending Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts in Week 2. BC has the talent and the track record of bouncing back strong after a bad loss but this is a new season and this game will determine if there will be any reason for concern about the Lions moving forward.

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