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CFL Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends For Thursday 6/13/19

CFL Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends For Thursday 6/13/19 3 months 4 days ago #507428

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Betting news, trends, odds and predictions from various handicappers and websites for Thursday 6/13/19
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CFL Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends For Thursday 6/13/19 3 months 4 days ago #507429

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By David Schwab

Football ‘north of the border’ returns to action with Week 1 of the 2019 CFL regular season. The Calgary Stampeders finally broke through with a victory over the Ottawa RedBlacks in last season’s CFL title game in their third-straight trip to the Grey Cup Championship.

Turning to the CFL futures odds at Sportsbook.ag to win this year’s CFL title, Calgary has been opened as a 13/5 favorite. Second on the list is the British Columbia Lions at 9/2 followed by Ottawa and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at 11/2 betting odds.

Further down the list at 7/1 is the Hamilton Tiger-Cats with the Saskatchewan Roughriders at 15/2. Rounding out the nine CFL teams are the Edmonton Eskimos (10/1), Toronto Argonauts (15/1) and Montreal Alouettes (18/1).

Thursday, June 13

Saskatchewan Roughriders (12-7 SU, 10-9 ATS) at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (9-11 SU, 8-11-1 ATS)
Point-spread: OFF
Total: OFF

Game Overview

The Roughriders were one game off the pace to win the West Division last season ahead of a 23-18 loss to Winnipeg in the playoffs as two-point home underdogs. Craig Dickenson takes over the reins as head coach for the departed Chris Jones. He is likely to turn to Zach Collaros as his starting quarterback for Week 1 with the long-term hopes that he can stay healthy and return to form as a solid passer in the CFL. Saskatchewan was 6-3 straight-up on the road last year.

Expectations have been raised for Hamilton this season in light of Jeremiah Masoli’s play at quarterback in 2018. He was second in the CFL with 5,209 total passing yards while tossing 28 touchdowns against 18 interceptions. The Tiger-Cats also have a new head coach at the helm with Orlondo Steinauer taking over for the departed June Jones. Hamilton bowed out of the playoffs last season with a 46-27 loss to Ottawa as a 3 ½-point road underdog in the East Division Finals.

Betting Trends

-- Saskatchewan has won the last five meetings SU and the total has stayed UNDER in seven of the last 10 games in this inter-division matchup.

Friday, June 14

Montreal Alouettes (5-13 SU, 11-7 ATS) at Edmonton Eskimos (9-9 SU, 8-10 ATS)
Point-spread: OFF
Total: OFF

Game Overview

A front office shake-up over the weekend sent Mike Sherman packing after just one season as Montreal’s head coach. This unexpected departure less than a week before the season opener elevated offensive coordinator Khari Jones to the top spot. It was believed that Vernon Adams, Jr. would be the team’s starter at quarterback, but Antonio Pipkin was also in the mix during the preseason. Other off-field issues have the Alouettes under league ownership while the search for a buyer continues.

The Eskimos missed the playoffs last season after falling to last place in the West. Following the loss of Mike Reilly at quarterback, Edmonton will turn to Trevor Harris after playing last season in Ottawa. Harris threw for 5,116 passing yards while helping the RedBlacks get back to the CFL title game. He tossed 22 touchdowns against 11 interceptions in 2018. The Eskimos did win two of three both SU and against the spread to close out 2018 on a positive note.

Betting Trends

-- Montreal has a 6-3 edge ATS in the last nine meetings, but Edmonton has won its last five home games against the Alouettes SU. The total has gone OVER in four of the last five meetings.

Saturday, June 15

Ottawa RedBlacks (12-8 SU, 10-10 ATS) at Calgary Stampeders (15-5 SU, 11-9 ATS)
Point-spread: OFF
Total: OFF

Game Overview

The quest to win another East Division title begins with Dominique Davis as the likely starter at quarterback for this rematch of last year’s Grey Cup. Ottawa also has Jonathan Jennings on the roster as another possible option under center. The RedBlacks will also have some new faces running the ball with the departure of William Powell, who led the CFL in rushing attempts last year. Heading on the road for the season opener, Ottawa was 6-5 ATS last season in 11 games closing as an underdog.

It has been a given that Calgary would post the best SU record in the CFL after doing so the previous three seasons. However, the Stampeders lost 11 starters from last year’s championship roster. Bo Levi Mitchell was resigned at quarterback after being named the league’s Most Outstanding Player. He was third in total passing yards (5,124) while leading the way with 35 touchdown throws. Until some other team steps up its game, Calgary remains the team to beat in the CFL.

Betting Trends

-- Calgary has won its last five home games against Ottawa SU and it has a 6-1 edge ATS in the last seven meetings at McMahon Stadium. The total has gone OVER in seven of the last 10 games between the two inter-division rivals.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (11-9 SU, 11-8-1 ATS) at B.C. Lions (9-10 SU, 10-9 ATS)
Point-spread: OFF
Total: OFF

Game Overview

The Blue Bombers are another solid team stuck in the logjam that is the West Division. They made it all the way to the division finals last season before losing to Calgary 22-14 as 4 ½-point road underdogs. The total stayed UNDER in six of their final eight games after leading the CFL in scoring last season with an average of 30.6 points per game. Matt Nichols started 14 games and threw for 3,146 yards and 18 touchdowns, but he was also picked off 13 times. Winnipeg also has Chris Streveler waiting in the wings.

The Lions are among the ranks of the five teams that will start the 2019 regular season with a new head coach. With Wally Bruno calling it a career, the torch has been passed to DeVone Claybrooks. He is already facing some high expectations with Reilly returning to BC as the new starting quarterback after he began his CFL career with the Lions. In his final season in Edmonton, Reilly once again led the league in total passing yards (5,562) with 30 passing touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

Betting Trends

-- BC has won seven of its last 10 home games against Winnipeg SU in this West Division tilt, but Winnipeg has an overall 8-2 edge ATS in the last 10 meetings. The total has gone OVER in seven of the last nine matchups.
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CFL Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends For Thursday 6/13/19 3 months 4 days ago #507430

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2019 CFL Futures Preview

Since the first year of Alliance Football ended in disaster, and the XFL 2.0 is still another year away, football fans already pining for the college and NFL seasons to start can get an early fix in with the 'ol' reliable' CFL north of the border. The 2019 CFL season starts on Thursday night and with tv contracts continuing to see the sport broadcast in the US, football fans and bettors who love the game regardless of the various differences in the rules should be excited for another CFL campaign. After all, CFL coaches have had the ability to challenge pass interference for years now, and don't you think Sean Payton down in New Orleans would have liked to have that at his disposal last January?

A nine-team league does come with it's knocks as 66% of the league does find their way into the playoffs, and the overall talent level may not be NFL caliber. But followers of the college football game will recognize plenty of names across all nine teams up north, and we do have one team – the Calgary Stampeders – looking to make their fourth straight Grey Cup appearance in 2019.

The Stamps finally got over the hump last year in beating Ottawa to win the prestigious title after blowing late leads in each of the prior two Grey Cups, and with no crazy changes on their roster – other then losing their DC to a head coaching gig in BC – the Stampeders deserve to enter 2019 as the favorites once again. QB Bo Levi Mitchell has clearly defined himself as one of the best ever to man the controls for a CFL team – he is 69-15-2 SU in his career – and Calgary fans will be looking to him to take them to the promised land once again.

But the great thing about the CFL is that every year is a fresh beginning, and even though Calgary has dominated things recently, generally speaking the lead is very wide open. From the heavy focus on the aerial game, no lead in the 4th quarter ever being safe, and just the overall balance of the league being wide open enough that anyone could get hot and make a run.

With every game in the season getting a stand alone time slot in terms of viewing ability, it's a great league to be betting as you are able to never miss a down. And while futures odds don't have the variety of offerings that the NFL or even NCAAF bring, it never hurts to put down a future wager on a team or two in the CFL as like I said, there is a 66% chance that team makes the playoffs regardless, and from there who knows what happens as hedging opportunities present themselves.

And while I'll get to the future 2019 Grey Cup winner in a minute, future odds are offered inbetween each week so it's not like you have to go out and rush now to get the best price. After all, something to keep an eye on in Week 1 this weekend (and Week 2 next week for the Toronto Argonauts who begin the year on a bye) is that five of the last six Grey Cup winners have started the year with a victory. Only the Edmonton Eskimos of 2015 opened up the campaign 0-1 SU before being top dog at the end of the year.

Furthermore, only five of the last 16 teams to make a Grey Cup – going back to the 2011 game – have started the year with a loss in their season opener. Obviously a Week 1 loss is not the end of the world by any means, especially when of those five teams to lose their opener and make the big game, their record is 3-2 SU in lifting the Grey Cup, but it is something to keep in the back of your mind as football consumption begins in earnest these next few days.

So let's get right to the lone future selection for this season at this stage, and hope for the sake of those trends, that this team starts out the 2019 season 1-0 SU.

2019 Grey Cup Future Best Bet
Saskatchewan Roughriders +750

Saskatchewan is ranked 4th of the five teams in the Western Division in futures odds, with Calgary (+275) BC (+300) and Winnipeg (+500) all ahead of them. Given the resumes those respective QB's have in this league (Bo Levi Mitchell, Mike Reilly, and Matt Nichols) and that the CFL is a QB driven league, maybe even more so then the NFL, there is definitely plenty to like about all three of those franchises coming into 2019. But none of them will have the defense that the Riders bring to the table each week, as that's a very deep and talented unit from front to back that could finish 2019 as the league's best defense.

That means that the oft-injured QB Zach Collaros has to make sure that he continually stays on the field this year, as he's got plenty of talented weapons around him – Shaq Evans, KD Cannon, Naaman Roosevelt etc – to match those other QB driven teams out west score for score and let his defense shut the door late in games. Doing that will have Saskatchewan right in the thick of things from the start this year, and remember this was a team that suffered a tight home playoff loss in the Western Semis last year to Winnipeg. Going through that experience was a great learning lesson for this team, and had it been them to move on to Calgary to face the Stamps in the West Final, we may not be sitting here talking about Calgary as the defending champs.

With the Eastern Division by and large being the much weaker side once again in the CFL this year, a cross-over playoff spot is always a feasible option for this Riders team should they stumble a few times too many against Western rivals during the year, and with the defense they've got, if it stays healthy, running through the Eastern half of the bracket in the playoffs shouldn't be that hard to do.

Saskatchewan brought in new HC Craig Dickenson – older brother of Calgary HC Dave Dickenson – to take this Riders team to the next level in 2019, and his experience on the staffs of two Grey Cup winners (Calgary in 2008 and Edmonton in 2015) is something that gets lost in all the concerns of him not having previous head coaching experience. He inherits a phenomenal defense – especially up front – and how can you not figure that he's not learned a thing or two about offensive football from his younger brother (as a coach and a prominent QB in the CFL) to help Collaros and company take that next step.

The value is definitely there with this Riders team at the +750 price, and if the old adage of “defense wins championships” holds true in 2019, it's hard not to envision this Saskatchewan team being involved in the title conversation once November hits.

So get those watermelon hats carved out early and fill them with a some warm insulation, because a Grey Cup appearance in Calgary in late November is definitely a realistic expectation for your squad this year.
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