We’re now approaching the business end of the CFL season, and so far, we’re four-for-six on these suggestions, and a half-point off another.
Not to curse this, but there’s a couple of real value plays on the handicaps this week, and after Week 17, I think we’ll start configuring that playoff picture in our heads.
The Grey Cup starts to become more realistic for some teams, and usually those in pursuit play a small bit looser, with those in pole position abandoning their identities and playing conservative.
Fasten your seatbelts, folks – Week 17 is coming at you quicker than Diontae Spencer.
Edmonton (+6) @ Hamilton: -110
Not to be overly cynical here, but the East Division must be taken with a pinch of salt. I’d probably take the BC Lions over the Alouettes at this moment in time, and the three-game swing between them is a bit of a red herring.
Hamilton therefore know that their postseason position is secure and they need not worry about even winning games, let alone games by a big margin.
Six points in generous for a team heading into a bye – they’re usually battle-worn rather than exhausted and they could even win this game, let alone cover the spread.
There was just three points between the sides in their previous meeting, which, given the three-point home advantage rule, explains the line somewhat. But there’s plenty of contextual factors coming into play here, as well as considering the fact that 21 of Hamilton’s 30 points came in a freak five-minute spell.
Take the points.
Calgary (-2) @ Montreal: -110
Umm, yes please.
The advantage of taking a team from the West is that the division is going to be competitive right until the end, because of home-field advantage.
The Stampeders sit atop the division by the narrowest of margins, while the Alouettes, who lost last week, truly have nothing to play for.
So, that’s one pro. The next being that there’s no chance of the Stampeders taking the foot off the gas, because Montreal beat them in double overtime back in Week 10.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, they’ve just come off a bye week, meaning that the travel is a non-factor.
Montreal? Well, this is their fifth game in a row and fatigue will start to become an issue.
This is my lock of the week.
Toronto @ BC Lions (-9.5): -110
The line is probably about right, but I can’t back against these BC Lions now.
They’ve won three straight and an East Division to feast on sounds just about right for them, as they’ll eventually look to take their first win in the West next week.
The defensive transformation this team has seen since Week 11 is astonishing, Toronto were the only side against whom they had conceded less than 32 points.
They’ve conceded just 56 points in the last four weeks; they gave up 45 points to the Roughriders in Week 7.
Back the Lions on their whirlwind journey to the unlikeliest of turnarounds.