As we march into the final six weeks of the CFL regular season, the Grey Cup begins to loom large and the contenders are mounting to tackle the firm hold the Stampeders have on the fabled trophy.
Now, it’s worth noting that Toronto are all but out of playoff contention with six games to go, as are the Lions and the Redblacks – but Edmonton are perhaps the team that need wins the most now, if they’re to grab onto the tails of the Roughriders and grab that final playoff spot.
This is set to be an intriguing weekend in the CFL as the Stampeders still have questions to answer, despite rattling off three in a row, while the Alouettes will have their mettle tested against a playoff bound team and the Redblacks and Lions vent their season-long frustrations in TD Place Stadium. And yes, I understand how ironically named that place is.
Stampeders @ Argonauts (+7): -110
Friday 20th September, 7PM
As of right now, the Stampeders are 200 points shy of their regular season total from last year. Admittedly they’ve lost some key pieces but play-calling has left a lot to be desired. There was a brief display of defiance as the three-game streak suggests there’s life in the old dog yet to come out as the #1 seed, but as of right now, they’ve some ground to make up on the Blue Bombers.
Toronto are leaking points, but they are coming in fresh off a bye and this could vey easily refocus the minds. They’ve had a long time to think on the 46 points they put against Ottawa, but more importantly, they had time to reflect on the season-low 17 points they gave up. If you forgive the Hamilton loss, and you should, there’s real signs here that Corey Chamblin is figuring out how to maximise his unit.
Blue Bombers @ Alouettes (+2.5): -110
Saturday 21st September, 4PM
The Blue Bombers have undoubtedly been the standout performers in the CFL to date, but they’ve been in a lot of close games on the road.
Perhaps this is factored into the spread, but there does seem to be a huge disparity in the home and road performances when considering Winnipeg. Geographically, that makes a tonne of sense – and Montreal is no easy-going road trip.
William Stanback can control the clock and without Matt Nichols to dig them out of a hole, Chris Streveler could really struggle to force the ball down the field.
If the Alouettes are clever here, they can take a sizeable lead in at the half and watch Winnipeg rue the loss of Nichols to IR.
Lions (-3) @ RedBlacks: -110
Saturday 21st September, 7PM
It’s not hard to separate the Lions and the RedBlacks in your head. One is better than the other, despite the win-loss record reads.
In a way, it looks far worse for BC simply because they’re trying to swim up in a division considerably tougher, but any analytics will show you that these Lions, on their day, have something about them.
If you take their last two road games for example – they’ve fallen by five to Montreal and just three to the East-leading Tiger-Cats.
It always felt like they just need that win (they hadn’t won since Week 4) to spur them into life. They got that in some fashion over Ottawa last week – and the 24-point differential tells the full story, no matter the clichés.
Expect this game to be tighter, but the RedBlacks haven’t put up 20 points in a home game since Week 2.
BET: BC Lions (-3) @ -110