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CFL Week 9 Betting News and Notes

CFL Week 9 Betting News and Notes

Canadian Football League Week 8 Betting Recap
By Ian Cameron

Here is my recap of Week 8 in the Canadian Football League as I provide a quick hitter, team-by-team analysis of the four teams that were in action…

Montreal Alouettes (2-5 SU, 3-4 ATS) 

Give the Montreal Alouettes credit for fighting their asses off against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Alouettes stepped up and showed some pride after a miserable effort at home in a 38-13 blowout loss to Toronto the previous week. Montreal’s defense played by far its best game of the season. They were dominant by getting pressure on quarterback Darian Durant and doing an admirable job against the explosive running of Kory Sheets who for the first time this season was held below 100 yards. Quarterback Anthony Calvillo suffered a concussion late in the first half and didn’t return. That forced backup Josh Neiswander into the game and he didn’t move the football much at all in the second half against Saskatchewan’s staunch defense. Montreal only a scored one field goal and a fumble return touchdown in the second half. The offense couldn’t generate very much and that allowed the Roughriders to escape with a 24-21 win. It’s difficult to classify a loss as something positive but Montreal’s defense played terrific and gave them a chance to win and the effort and intensity was much higher this week. However, the injuries continue to mount with wide receiver Jamel Richardson and running back Brandon Whitaker already missing the last two games. Wideout Brandon London and specialist Noel Devine got injured last week and are questionable to play this week. They may be forced to rely on that defense one more time.

Toronto Argonauts (5-2 SU, 4-3 ATS)

Toronto has a big game on deck against Calgary and one has to wonder if maybe they were caught looking ahead on Sunday when the red hot Argos did just enough to get past the struggling Edmonton Eskimos, 36-33. Toronto’s defense had some trouble against what had been a very anemic Eskimos offense allowing quarterback Mike Reilly to pile up 511 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. Although the defense took a step back, Toronto’s offense led by quarterback Ricky Ray was razor sharp once again. Ray completed 30-of-35 passes for 413 passing yards and 3 touchdowns in the win. Three different receivers – Josh Chiles, Andre Durie, and Chad Owens – all had five or more receptions. There are too many receiving weapons right now for opposing defenses to shut down. Toronto did what good teams do despite not playing its best and that is finding a way to win. The Argos now enjoy a two-game lead over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East Division and have a tough game at home against the Calgary Stampeders on Friday night – a game that will require a higher level of execution on both sides of the football if Toronto hopes to win its fifth game in a row.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3-4 SU and ATS)

Two weeks ago I wrote this about Hamilton: “Hamilton will have back-to-back games against Winnipeg after its bye. They should be healthier by that time and with both games being winnable affairs, Hamilton could get back to .500. I like this team’s talent level when they are healthy and I still think Austin will be the right guy for the job.” Well they won the first half of their back-to-back set against Winnipeg in convincing fashion 37-18 against a dysfunctional and reeling Blue Bombers squad. Hamilton’s offense has suddenly become explosive once again with quarterback Henry Burris making good decisions with the football, running back C.J. Gable making plays on the ground and catching the ball out of the backfield, and a slew of receivers all getting the job done. The use of backup quarterback Dan LeFevour in Hamilton’s last two games has kept opposing defenses off balance. On defense, they are much healthier and are getting great contributions from Brian Bulcke and Eric Norwood up front. Simoni Lawrence also showed his talent at linebackers after making his first start for the Ticats last week. The secondary is getting better each week with Dee Webb and Delvin Breaux playing solid and their best defensive back Evan McCollough is not that far from returning from injury. I think the best it yet to come for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. They face Winnipeg again this week at home and this is a glorious opportunity to put the foot on the throat of a lifeless, struggling team.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1-6 SU, 2-5 ATS)

All the front office and off-the-field drama that has taken place with the Blue Bombers over the last week is well documented. They seemingly change quarterbacks on a weekly basis after committing to Justin Goltz “for the rest of the season” only to change their minds and go with Max Hall against Hamilton. The front office management team including GM Joe Mack was fired. They also canned offensive coordinator Gary Crowton and replaced him with former Hamilton head coach and Montreal OC Marcel Bellefeuille. The organization is clearly in panic mode and trying to create short term fixes for long term problems. The fan base is disgruntled and I’m not sure Winnipeg can do anything to climb out of its funk. The Blue Bombers have announced in a shocking move, they are sticking with Hall for a second straight week when they travel to Guelph to face Hamilton. With having to learn a completely different offense with an inexperienced quarterback making only his second start on a 1-6 team I’m not going to expect dramatically different results. The way to bet Winnipeg games is very simple – either you bet against them or you leave the game alone.

Saskatchewan Roughriders (6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS)

In what was expected to be a cakewalk for Saskatchewan against Montreal after suffering their first loss of the season in Calgary, the Roughriders were out of sync all game. Darian Durant struggled mightily to make plays in the passing game while Kory Sheets was held to below 100 yards rushing for the first time this season.  The good news was the play of their defense as it completely stifled Anthony Calvillo and the Alouettes before eventually knocking the aging quarterback out of the game. The stop unit then feasted on backup Josh Neiswander during the second half and came away with a 24-21 win. Saskatchewan’s offense had just 343 total yards but Durant finally stepped up and made the big plays with the game on the line leading Saskatchewan on a game tying touchdown drive with three minutes left. He then got them into field goal range in the final seconds for the win. Even the best teams in the CFL like Saskatchewan are going to look flawed at time and this was certainly one of those games. They face another struggling opponent this week when they battle the 1-6 Edmonton Eskimos on the road. After three straight Overs to start the season, Saskatchewan has seen its last four games go 3-1 to the Under.

Calgary Stampeders (5-2 SU and ATS)

Calgary displayed the intensity of a playoff game when it beat undefeated Saskatchewan at home 42-27. The Stampeders however were clearly lacking that same intensity and focus when they played BC this past week. Calgary’s offense never got going against as quarterback Kevin Glenn was mediocre and running back Jon Cornish was held to just 73 yards. They also lost receiver Nik Lewis to a leg injury. He will be out indefinitely and it’s a big injury loss because it really took away the intermediate passes that Glenn relies on for success. The defense played solid but didn’t get enough stops to get them a win. I’m noticing a pattern with Calgary – they win games when they can run the football effectively regardless of how well they perform in other phases of the game. That isn’t unlike a lot of teams but it’s especially true with the Stampeders. Calgary will face a Toronto Argos team in their next game that struggles against the run so there may be daylight for Cornish to get going on the ground. The Stampeders are a good team but Glenn needs to make more plays because Cornish and the ground attack won’t be able to bail them out every single game.

Edmonton Eskimos (1-6 SU, 2-5 ATS)

Edmonton played a LOT better but the little things continue to haunt this squad – most notably bad penalties and mistakes in the secondary. I’ve had my issues with Edmonton’s head coach Kavis Reed although it’s clear the Eskimos haven't quit on him. The Eskimos lost in Montreal by just 5 points. They lost to Hamilton by a single point and last week they hung tough with a really good Toronto team despite being down 17 in the third quarter. The problem is despite the effort level, Edmonton just isn’t very good and they do not have great depth to survive injuries in many of the key positions especially at quarterback. That being said, there is reason for optimism. Edmonton's lifeless offense had a great game scoring 33 points against a Toronto defense that had allowed 44 points in its last three games combined. The problem was they couldn't stop Ricky Ray who has had a ridiculous 64 completed passes on 73 pass attempts in his last three games for an 88% completion rate. Ray has also yet to throw an interception and he was just too much for Edmonton's defense – especially without all-star linebacker JC Sheritt. I’m very interested to see how Edmonton responds this week. Even though they lost, they hung tough against a red hot team that is also the defending champs. Now they face arguably the best team in the CFL with Saskatchewan at home. Saskatchewan blew out Edmonton 39-18 in Week 1.

BC Lions (5-2 SU, 4-3 ATS)

It was a great and boisterous crowd at BC Place Stadium on Saturday night. The BC Lions players were given awesome looking new “third jerseys” to wear right before the game. There wasn’t any way they could lose this game after all that! BC played with the intensity level that Calgary played with last week in Saskatchewan as the Lions came away with a hard fought 26-22 win to pull even with Calgary at 5-2 for second place in the West Division. Quarterback Travis Lulay is still not playing at the level we’ve come to expect from him. He had just 1 touchdown pass but 3 interceptions in this game but BC’s defense helped offset it. However, the offense remains a point of concern for BC as the running game with running back Andrew Harris which has been very strong in past seasons hasn’t always clicked here in 2013. Lulay has yet to throw for 300 passing yards in any game this season and hasn’t had as many big plays. The Lions defense is good enough to carry them but the emphasis in practice this week has already been improving their offensive production both on the ground and through the air. On a short week, BC will travel to Montreal to face the reeling and injury riddled Alouettes on Thursday night. BC’s offense may find the going tough once again if the Montreal defense can bring the same kind of effort and performance they gave last week against the Roughriders.

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CFL Betting Recap - Week 8

League Betting Notes

Favorites went 4-0 straight up in Week 8
Underdogs went 2-1-1 against the spread in Week 8
Home teams went 3-1 record in Week 8
The 'over/under' went 2-2 in Week 8

Team Betting Notes

Toronto (5-2) continues to trend upward. The Argonauts have won four in a row straight up, although their bid for a fourth straight cover was thwarted when Edmonton (1-6) picked up a back-door cover late in Week 8.

Calgary (5-2) suffered their first loss since Week 2, dropping a 26-22 decision on the road against the BC Lions (5-2). It doesn't get any easier for the Stamps, as they head east in Week 9 to face those red-hot Argos.

Saskatchewan (6-1) got back on track with a 24-21 win over Montreal (2-5). After covering their first five games, the Roughriders have failed to cover in each of their past two.

The Alouettes came close on the road in Regina, covering a double-digit spread. They have now covered two of their past three after going 1-3 ATS through the first four games.

Winnipeg (1-6) has dropped five consecutive games straight up, and they have failed to cover in three of their past four games. The 'over' has also cashed in three of those four contests, as the defense has failed to show up for the Blue Bombers.

After failing to cover in their first five games, Hamilton (2-5) has now posted two straight covers. The 'over' has also hit in each of the past two games for the Ti-Cats after the 'under' cashed in four straight from Week 2 through 5.

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CFL Betting Notes - Week 9
By David Schwab

The 2013 CFL regular season enters Week 9 with a tight three-way race in the West Division and just one team in the East with a winning record. This past Friday night Hamilton rolled over Winnipeg 37-18 as a three-point road favorite to move to 3-4 straight-up which is good enough for second place in the East.

In the first of two Saturday games, Saskatchewan squeezed-out a 24-21 victory over Montreal as a 10½-point home favorite to lay claim to the best record in the CFL at 6-1. Later that day, British Columbia tightened things up in the West with a 26-22 win over Calgary as a three-point favorite at home. Both teams are now 5-2 SU on the year. Toronto closed-out Week 8 by edging-out Edmonton 36-33 as a 7½-point home favorite on Sunday to open a two-game lead in the East at 5-2.

The following is a brief betting preview for the two games in the CFL this week with the opening pointspread and 'over/under' lines provided by TopBet.

Thursday, Aug. 22

British Columbia Lions vs. Montreal Alouettes

Pointspread: OFF
Total: OFF

The Lions' victory over Calgary this past Saturday not only moves them into a tie with the Stampeders in the West at 5-2 straight-up, it avenges an opening day loss to their rivals. They improve to 4-3 against the spread this season and the total has gone OVER in three of their previous three road games. BC has given-up the second fewest points in the CFL (23.4 points a game).

It has been a very disappointing 2-5 SU start for the defending East Division champs. Montreal had already fired its head coach five weeks into the season and may be without the services of quarterback Anthony Calvillo for this contest after leaving last week's game with a head injury. The Alouettes are 3-4 ATS overall and 1-3 ATS at home. The total has stayed UNDER in three of four home games.

BC is 15-8 SU in the last 23 meetings between these two, but just 1-6 SU in its last seven road games against the Alouettes. The total has gone OVER in four of the last five meetings in Montreal. The last time these two met, the Lions rolled to a 43-10 victory as six-point home favorites in early September of last season. The total went OVER the 53½-point line.

Friday, Aug. 23

Calgary Stampeders vs. Toronto Argonauts

Pointspread: Toronto -3
Total: 58

Calgary has to be thinking about last November's 35-22 loss to Toronto as a two-point favorite in the 2012 Grey Cup Championship heading into this Week 9 matchup. The Stampeders are 5-2 both SU and ATS this season behind an offense that is cranking-out an average of 32.3 points a game. The total has gone over in five of their first seven games.

The Argonauts fought off a slow start out of the gates and now bring a four-game winning streak SU (3-1 ATS) into this contest. They are 3-1 SU (2-2 ATS) at home this season and the total has gone OVER in all four games. Behind quarterback Ricky Ray, Toronto is averaging 32.9 points a game.

The Stampeders have lost their last five games against Toronto SU and ATS and they are 2-11 SU in their last 13 road games against the Argonauts. The total has gone OVER in four of the last six meetings overall and in six of the last seven meetings in Toronto.

Saturday, Aug. 24

Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Pointspread: Hamilton -10
Total: 51½

The Blue Bombers will be looking to snap an extended losing streak that started with a 25-20 loss to Hamilton in Week 3 as six-point underdogs on the road and reached five games with last week's 19-point loss at home. Winnipeg is 1-6 SU overall and 3-3 ATS. It is a perfect 3-0 ATS on the road this season and the total has stayed UNDER in all three games.

Hamilton's victory over the Bombers in Week 8 was its second in-a-row both SU and ATS. This followed a shaky 1-4 SU start and a costly 0-5 run ATS. The total has gone OVER in its last two games after staying UNDER in four of its first five games. The Tiger-Cats have scored a total of 67 points in their last two games.

Winnipeg comes into the back-end of this home-and-home series with a 6-3 SU record in its last nine games against the Tiger-Cats despite the two SU losses this season. The Blue Bombers are 6-2-1 ATS in those eight games and the total has stayed UNDER in five of the last seven games between the two.

Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Edmonton Eskimos

Pointspread: Saskatchewan -3½
Total: 55

The Roughriders fast start at 6-1 SU has also been a profitable run for anyone wagering on this team with a 5-2 record ATS. They are 3-1 ATS on the road this season and the total has gone OVER in three of the four games. Saskatchewan remains the highest scoring team in the CFL (33.4 points) and the stingiest on defense; allowing an average of just 21.4 points a game.

Edmonton's losing streak has now reached five games SU, but it snapped a four-game losing streak ATS by covering against Toronto last week. It all adds up to a 1-6 record SU and a 2-5 record ATS. The total has gone OVER in five of its first seven games. The Eskimos remain the second-lowest scoring team in the league with an average of 23 points a game.

Saskatchewan hammered Edmonton 39-18 on opening day as a 2½-point road underdog with the total going OVER the 51-point line. It was just its second SU win over the Eskimos in the last seven meetings. The total has gone OVER in four of the last six meetings in Edmonton.

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Week 9 CFL

BC Lions (5-2) @ Montreal (2-5) —
Alouette QB Calvillo left with concussion last week; with this game on short week, unsure if former Ohio State/Ravens backup QB Troy Smith will start or Neiswander, who was 12-30/147 with two INTs subbing for Calvillo in last week’s 24-21 loss to Riders. Lions won five of last six games since losing opener in Calgary, but they’re 1-2 on road, scoring 17-12 points in last two road tilts (average 27 ppg at home)- their only road win is 17-3 at Edmonton. Montreal has interim coach, backup QB and five losses in last six games; they’re 1-3 at home, with all three losses by 8+ points. Teams split season series each of last five years (home teams 9-2 SU), with Lions losing five of last six visits here, last two by 30-26/30-25 scores. Four of last five series games went over total, as have three of last four Alouette games.

Calgary (5-2) @ Toronto (5-2) — Argonauts beat Calgary six times in a row, despite being underdog in all six games; they beat Stamps three times LY, last of which was 35-22 (+1.5) in Grey Cup on this field. Toronto survived wild 36-33 shootout with Eskimos last week, winning despite allowing O’Reilly to pass for 511 yards. Argos didn’t have takeaway last week, after having 14 (+11) in previous five games. Calgary is 2-9 in last 11 visits here, losing last four by 3-2-3-13 points, with all four of those games going over total. Argos won last four games overall, scoring 35+ points in all four; they’re 3-1 at home, with only loss to 6-1 Roughriders. Calgary is 2-2 on road loss at BC last week, which snapped 4-game win streak. Last five Toronto games and five of seven Stampeder games went over the total. 

Winnipeg (1-6) @ Hamilton (3-4) — TiCats (-3.5) won 37-18 in Winnipeg last week, outgaining hosts 456-321; Bombers then fired OC Crowton after game, week after they canned their GM. New guy calling plays makes this harder game to call; road team is 7-0 vs spread in Winnipeg games this year. Bombers are 3-0 as road dogs, losing by 5-7 points and winning SU at Montreal. Hamilton is 0-3 vs spread in its temporary home this year; they beat Winnipeg 25-20 (-5.5) here in Week 3, its only win in three games at Guelph- they’ve won last three series games vs Bombers, by 10-5-19 points- five of last seven series games stayed under total. Winnipeg allowed average of 32.2 ppg last five weeks, with three of their last four Winnipeg games going over total. Hamilton is 3-1 when it scores 25+ points, 0-3 when it doesn’t.

Saskatchewan (6-1) @ Edmonton (1-6) — Roughriders (-2.5) snapped 6-game skid on this field with 39-18 win Opening Day, just their third win in last ten series games. After scoring 36.6 ppg in 5-0 pre-bye start, Riders split last two games, scoring 27-24 points, narrowly surviving Alouettes last week in game Calvillo left early (concussion). Saskatchewan is 3-1 on road, winning by 21-11-17 points, losing at Calgary. Eskimos passed for 511 yards last week, still lost 36-33 at Toronto (+9), its fifth straight loss; Argos were 31-36/458 passing, a ridiculous 12.7 yards/attempt. Edmonton is 0-3 at home, allowing 28.7 ppg in losses by 1-14-21 points. Last week was first time this year Roughriders ran ball for less than 145 yards (93). Six of last nine series games went over total, as have six of seven Edmonton games and three of four Roughrider road games.

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Thursday, August 22

BRITISH COLUMBIA (5 - 2) at MONTREAL (2 - 5) - 8/22/2013, 7:30 PM

Top Trends for this game.
BRITISH COLUMBIA is 0-7 ATS (-7.7 Units) in road games after 2 or more consecutive straight up wins over the last 2 seasons.
BRITISH COLUMBIA is 74-51 ATS (+17.9 Units) as an underdog since 1996.
BRITISH COLUMBIA is 56-35 ATS (+17.5 Units) in road games off a division game since 1996.
BRITISH COLUMBIA is 22-7 ATS (+14.3 Units) in road games in August games since 1996.
BRITISH COLUMBIA is 35-20 ATS (+13.0 Units) in road games off a win over a division rival since 1996.
BRITISH COLUMBIA is 25-11 ATS (+12.9 Units) in road games in weeks 5 through 9 since 1996.
MONTREAL is 16-28 ATS (-14.8 Units) in games played on turf over the last 3 seasons.

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

Friday, August 23

CALGARY (5 - 2) at TORONTO (5 - 2) - 8/23/2013, 7:30 PM

Top Trends for this game.
CALGARY is 9-1 ATS (+7.9 Units) when playing on a Friday over the last 2 seasons.
CALGARY is 19-7 ATS (+11.3 Units) when playing with 6 or less days rest over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
TORONTO is 5-0 against the spread versus CALGARY over the last 3 seasons
TORONTO is 5-0 straight up against CALGARY over the last 3 seasons
3 of 5 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

Saturday, August 24

WINNIPEG (1 - 6) at HAMILTON (3 - 4) - 8/24/2013, 1:00 PM

Top Trends for this game.
WINNIPEG is 99-72 ATS (+19.8 Units) revenging a loss versus opponent since 1996.

Head-to-Head Series History
WINNIPEG is 6-3 against the spread versus HAMILTON over the last 3 seasons
WINNIPEG is 6-3 straight up against HAMILTON over the last 3 seasons
6 of 9 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

SASKATCHEWAN (6 - 1) at EDMONTON (1 - 6) - 8/24/2013, 4:00 PM

Top Trends for this game.
SASKATCHEWAN is 0-8 ATS (-8.8 Units) in August games over the last 3 seasons.
SASKATCHEWAN is 1-10 ATS (-10.0 Units) in weeks 5 through 9 over the last 3 seasons.

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

The total has gone OVER in 4 of British Columbia's last 5 games when playing on the road against Montreal
British Columbia is 15-8 SU in its last 23 games when playing Montreal
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Montreal's last 9 games at home
Montreal is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games at home

Calgary is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Toronto
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Calgary's last 6 games when playing Toronto
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Toronto's last 5 games at home
Toronto is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games at home

Winnipeg is 6-3 SU in its last 9 games when playing Hamilton
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Winnipeg's last 7 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Hamilton's last 5 games when playing at home against Winnipeg
Hamilton is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Winnipeg

The total has gone OVER in 6 of Saskatchewan's last 9 games when playing Edmonton
The total has gone UNDER in 12 of Saskatchewan's last 17 games when playing on the road against Edmonton
Edmonton is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing Saskatchewan
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Edmonton's last 5 games

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Lions at Alouettes: What Bettors Need to Know

BC Lions at Montreal Alouettes (7, 47.5)

The bad news keeps piling up for the Montreal Alouettes as they try to turn their season around. The Alouettes, who are already missing all-stars such as  offensive lineman Scott Flory and slotback Jamel Richardson, will likely be without quarterback Anthony Calvillo when they host the BC Lions on Thursday. Calvillo underwent further concussion testing Monday after leaving last week’s 24-21 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the second quarter and if he is unable to play, Josh Neiswander may start his first CFL game under center.

The Lions travel east after a strong two-game homestand that saw them fend off the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Calgary Stampeders. BC won both games despite quarterback Travis Lulay throwing three interceptions against the Stampeders. Lulay has yet to throw for more than 300 yards in a game this year, leaving the Lions to lean on running back Andrew Harris - third in the league with 765 yards from scrimmage - and their defense to give them a chance to win.

ABOUT THE LIONS (5-2): BC’s defense is led by linebackers Solomon Elimimian (37 tackles, one interception) and Adam Bighill (31 tackles, two sacks). Wide receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux is Lulay’s favorite target for big plays, recording 440 yards on 22 catches - 20 yards per catch - to go with three touchdowns. Arceneaux had 1,972 yards in his first two CFL seasons before leaving in a failed bid to make the NFL.

ABOUT THE ALOUETTES (2-5): Neiswander did not impress when he replaced Calvillo against the Roughriders, completing 12-of-30 passes and throwing two interceptions, meaning Montreal could turn to Troy Smith on Thursday. Smith, who signed a two-year deal with the Alouettes last week, won the Heisman Trophy in 2006 and was named an NFL offensive player of the week while playing for the San Francisco 49ers during the 2010 season. Linebacker Chip Cox leads the league with 56 tackles and also has an interception and two sacks, while fellow linebacker Kyries Hebert has 42 tackles and a team-leading seven sacks.


* Lions are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
* Under is 7-1-1 in Alouettes last 9 home games.
* Under is 12-3-1 in Lions last 16 games in August.
* Alouettes are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games.


1. BC has allowed 23.4 points per game - second-best in the league to Saskatchewan (21.4).

2. The Lions released K Hugh O’Neill last week, electing to stick with 43-year-old Paul McCallum, who has kicked for BC for the last four games.

3. Montreal is 1-3 at home; BC is 1-2 on the road.

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Stamps at Argos: What Bettors Need to Know

Calgary Stampeders at Toronto Argonauts (-2.5, 58)

A nagging knee injury has not stopped Toronto Argonauts quarterback Ricky Ray from running the most efficient offense in the CFL. Ray, who has completed 143-of-183 passes for 14 touchdowns and no interceptions, will try to lead the Argonauts to their fifth straight victory when they host the Calgary Stampeders on Friday. Ray’s record-pace completion rate is a large part of Toronto’s recent dominance, but the defense has done its share as well, limiting opponents to five touchdowns in the last four games.

Calgary slotback Nik Lewis, who leads the team in receiving yards with 400, will miss at least six weeks after suffering a fractured fibula in last week’s 26-22 loss to the BC Lions. Lewis has been a stalwart of the Stampeders’ offense, recording at least 1,000 receiving yards in every season since joining the team in 2004, but Calgary has adjusted to big injuries successfully. The best way to shut down the Stampeders seems to be through running back Jon Cornish, who was limited to a combined 115 rushing yards in Calgary’s two losses.

ABOUT THE STAMPEDERS (5-2): Veteran quarterback Kevin Glenn has been a solid replacement for injured starter Drew Tate and will look to slotbacks Marquay McDaniel and Jabari Arthur to fill Lewis’ void. Calgary’s defense recorded three interceptions against BC, including one by defensive lineman Charleston Hughes, who also leads the team in sacks with five. Cornish is second in the league with 916 yards from scrimmage.

ABOUT THE ARGONAUTS (5-2): Slotback Chad Owens remains a favorite target for Ray with 572 receiving yards as part of a league-leading 1,395 total combined yards for last year’s Most Outstanding Player. Running back Curtis Steele is a little banged up after filling in for the injured Chad Kackert as he was limited to 27 yards on five carries last week - his lowest totals in the three games he has played. First-year linebacker Shane Horton has a team-leading three sacks to go with three fumble recoveries, while linebacker Robert McCune leads the team with 43 tackles.


* Stampeders are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games in August.
* Argonauts are 4-1 ATS in their last five Friday games.
* Over is 14-3 in Stampeders last 17 games overall.
* Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings in Toronto.


1. Calgary is 3-0 against East Division opponents.

2. Toronto’s winning streak is its longest since 2007, when it won seven straight to finish the regular season.

3. McCune, who joined the league in 2010, recorded 90 tackles, eight sacks and one interception over two seasons with Calgary before signing with Toronto.

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CFL Saturday: What Bettors Need to Know

Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (-10.5, 51.5)

Quarterback Henry Burris and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats looked firmly in control last week when they won their second straight game and second of four contests against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The Tiger-Cats will try to defeat Winnipeg for a third time when they host the Blue Bombers on Saturday. Burris, who leads the league with 2,136 passing yards, welcomed wide receiver Andy Fantuz back from injury with four passes for 29 yards in the 37-18 victory over Winnipeg, while Hamilton also recorded its second straight game with more than 100 rushing yards.

The CFL debut of quarterback Max Hall did not turn around the Blue Bombers, who fired offensive coordinator Gary Crowton following their fifth straight loss. Hall threw for 241 yards and found chemistry with slotback Terrence Edwards (eight completions, 172 yards), but Winnipeg still trails the league in points for (153) and against (210). Hall will be under center again Saturday, this time with Marcel Bellefeuille calling plays as the Blue Bombers search for answers in what is quickly becoming a lost season.

ABOUT THE BLUE BOMBERS (1-6): Defensive end Alex Hall recorded his league-leading ninth sack last week, matching his total from 2012. Winnipeg’s defensive line has accounted for the majority of the team’s league-leading 27 sacks, but its secondary allows 298.6 passing yards per game - more than any team other than the Toronto Argonauts. Edwards leads the Blue Bombers with 290 receiving yards, but only six receivers have more than 100.

ABOUT THE TIGER-CATS (3-4): Rookie running back C.J. Gable recorded 147 yards from scrimmage last week and has established himself as Burris’ main option on the ground. Wide receivers Greg Ellingson and Bakari Grant have each recorded more than 400 receiving yards, while Samuel Giguere has 394 and Fantuz had 155 in Week 1 before getting injured. Defensive back Raymond Brown caught Hamilton’s first interception of the season in the third quarter against Winnipeg, while Rico Murray had a sack, an interception and a forced fumble in the contest.


* Blue Bombers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games.
* Tiger-Cats are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games.
* Under is 6-0 in the last 6 meetings in Hamilton.
* Under is 4-1 in Blue Bombers last 5 Saturday games.


1. Burris has thrown for more than 300 yards in four of seven starts.

2. If the Blue Bombers lose their sixth straight game, it will be their longest losing streak since they dropped seven in a row in 1999.

3. The four-game season series between Hamilton and Winnipeg concludes in Winnipeg on the final week of the regular season.

Saskatchewan Roughriders at Edmonton Eskimos (+3.5, 53)

The Edmonton Eskimos keep seeing their fourth-quarter comeback attempts fall short, while the Saskatchewan Roughriders needed 10 points in the final 62 seconds to get back in the win column last week. The Eskimos hope the luck will even out when they host the Roughriders on Saturday looking to snap a five-game losing skid. The Eskimos have dropped their last three contests by a combined nine points and managed to score a season-high 33 against the Toronto Argonauts last week on the strength of quarterback Mike Reilly’s first 500-yard game, but have not won since Week 2.

Fortune smiled on Saskatchewan last week in the form of a 65-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Darian Durant to wide receiver Taj Smith, which tied the game and set the stage for Chris Milo’s game-winning field goal, but the Roughriders have not looked as dominant over the last two games as they did in their first five. Saskatchewan running back Kory Sheets, who has a league-leading 919 rushing yards, was limited to 74 last week. Perhaps a visit to the site of their 39-18 Week 1 victory will help the Roughriders regain their early season form.

ABOUT THE ROUGHRIDERS (6-1): Wide receiver Rob Bagg, who missed the entire 2011 season due to injuries, left last week’s game in the second quarter with a knee injury and is considered day-to-day. Slotback Geroy Simon caught the 1,000th pass of his career last week and the CFL all-time receiving yards leader has 208 with Saskatchewan. Linebacker Renauld Williams is leading the defense with six sacks and also has an interception and 28 tackles. Kick returner Jock Sanders dropped a punt and a kickoff return last week, leading to two turnovers.

ABOUT THE ESKIMOS (1-6): Wide receiver Nate Coehoorn, who is on pace for a career-best season with 362 receiving yards, signed a contract extension through 2015. Slotback Fred Stamps leads the league with 573 receiving yards and wide receiver Car Koch has 360, giving Reilly plenty of options as he gets comfortable as a starter. The Eskimos are missing linebacker JC Sherritt and cornerback Aaron Grymes on defense, but defensive end Odell Willis stepped up in their absence last week, recording two sacks and forcing two fumbles.


* Roughriders are 0-9 ATS in their last 9 games in August.
* Eskimos are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games.
* Under is 14-5 in the last 19 meetings in Edmonton.
* Under is 4-0 in Roughriders last 4 games in Week 9.


1. Willis, who has five sacks with the Eskimos, had six last year as a member of the Roughriders.

2. Smith, who has four touchdowns, has caught passes of 61, 70, and 65 yards for his last three.

3. Edmonton is 0-3 against West Division opponents and 0-3 at home.

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