What the Canadian Football League has over its southerly neighbor is a history of gripping storylines around this time of year.
While the NFL constantly clutch at straws to build-up their often-unfamiliar foes, the best part of the CFL playoffs is that you regular season tales to tell; to analyse and use as comparison points when it comes down to the biggest games of the year.
This is one such occasion – momentum and statements might seem like two overused clichés in professional sport, but they’re certainly applicable here as we’re down to four in Canada.
How about a little wager to whet your appetite?
Edmonton Eskimos @ Hamilton Tiger Cats (-4.5): -110
Sunday 17th November 1PM
Here is the age-old debate coming up: would you prefer to be rested or battle tested? For Edmonton, they’ve gone on the road to Montreal and blitzed them into oblivion.
Regardless of what time of year it is, putting up 37 points against anyone in this league is impressive, let alone doing it against a well-drilled Alouettes unit in November.
While their conversion success was poor on the night, they were readily able to march down the field every time they had the ball, boasting a pair of rushing touchdowns from C.J. Gable. At 32, you might find it hard to see this California native playing a big part during this time of year, but he’s gone from strength to strength – and they’ll need to lean on him to control time of possession.
Hamilton may say they won their last six on the bounce coming into this game, but an off week can stem momentum rather than harvest it, more often than not.
But the fact remains that they’re the best team in Canada, and while their 451 points wasn’t even in the top four scoring offences in the country, their stingy defensive record, especially when broken down against the run, means they’re going to be a tough nut to crack with home advantage.
Back the Hamilton Tiger Cats (-4.5) at -110 with CanPlay.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Saskatchewan Roughriders (-4): -110
17th November 2019 4:30PM
The brand-spanking new Mosaic Stadium in Regina will play host to not only the 2020 Grey Cup – the 108th such matchup in the competition’s history – but also a Divisional Final featuring their very own Roughriders.
Home advantage in Canada is important for a number of reasons – travel certainly not being forgotten, especially at this time of year, but also due to snap counts. Teams that have come on the road to Regina this year have been sent packing. At least, all but the Stampeders.
But the noise in this place will be deafening. And while that unique two-headed monster at quarterback may create some confusion, switching them out at any given time basically acts as a tell that Streveler will be running the ball.
It will be tough enough for Zach Collaros to deal with the crowd noise when he’s changing plays at the line, let alone when you’re substituting your signal-caller mid-game. This piece of smug foolery may have landed them here, but I hope for Winnipeg’s sake that Mike O’Shea realises it can’t be what they lean on in such an environment.
Bet on the CFL Divisional Finals with CanPlay Sports!