WEEK 20 CFL ANALYSIS AND A BEST BET

By Ian Cameron  () 

Calgary Stampeders @

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Spread: Calgary -2.5

Total: 48.5

The Calgary Stampeders rallied from an early deficit to beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 37-33, and now the Stampeders are locked into a tie with Saskatchewan at 11-5 for first in the West Division. Winnipeg is 10-7 and needs this victory to have even an outside chance to stay in the chase for first. The Blue Bombers got a solid offensive game from QB Chris Streveler and company, but the defense was their demise in the second half, when Calgary QB Bo Levi Mitchell and the offense scored a pair of TDs to win. The Stampeders are 0-3 ATS in their last three games, but from a SU perspective they are putting forth their best surge of the season at the perfect time, going 6-1 SU in their last seven games. This is a very tough game to call from a side perspective as Winnipeg is 7-1 SU on its home field. But Calgary seems to be playing a bit more of a complete brand of football than Winnipeg. Despite having the home-field edge and the revenge factor from last week’s loss, I find it difficult to bet against Calgary in this price range, laying less than a FG. The over has cashed in both head-to-head meetings, and with the total at 48.5 for this game, there is a pretty good chance we’ll see this game also reach the 50s.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats @

Montreal Alouettes

Spread: Hamilton -2.5

otal: 53.5

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats aren’t slowing down despite clinching first place in the East Division two weeks ago. They showed it in their dominating home win over the Ottawa Redblacks last week, suffering no letdown despite playing their first game after clinching. Hamilton doesn’t have much on the line in its remaining regular-season games, but coach Orlondo Steinauer doesn’t seem interested in resting his starters. It will be worth monitoring the starting lineup for the Ticats to see if anything changes, but from everything I’ve seen and heard, Hamilton doesn’t plan to let up late in the season. On the other side, Montreal is locked into second place in the East Division and will host the East semifinal against Edmonton, so the Alouettes have little motivation to bring their best either. As a result, this game is really tough to bet and handicap and appears to be best left alone.

Ottawa Redblacks @

Toronto Argonauts

Spread: Toronto -5

Total: 52.5

I simply can’t back an Ottawa Redblacks squad that is 0-9 SU, 2-7 ATS in its last nine games as it plays out the string of a dismal season. The offense has moved on to its third starting QB of the season with Will Arndt, but the results and production haven’t been much better as the Redblacks have exceeded 20 points only once in those last nine games. Like Ottawa, Toronto is out of the playoffs, but the Argos have been more competitive in recent weeks. They just beat this same Ottawa team on this field 28-21 a couple of weeks ago in Arndt’s first start, and they followed that with a hard-fought 27-24 loss to the Montreal Alouettes. Toronto has shown a high enough level of compete in the last few games to make me think it can do enough to win and cover against a hapless Ottawa squad. However, I’m only going to lean that way and do not expect to get involved in this game either.

Saskatchewan Roughriders @

Edmonton Eskimos

Spread: Saskatchewan -1.5

Total: 47.5

We have seen a flip of favorites here, with Edmonton opening at -1.5 and now Saskatchewan laying that number on the road. I understand why the line has moved. Saskatchewan is still battling Calgary for first in the West Division, so it needs every win it can muster down the stretch. Edmonton is locked into third in the West and will head to Montreal next month for the East semifinal. Edmonton will get No. 1 QB Trevor Harris back from injury, and that certainly will boost an offense that has really struggled in recent weeks. On the other side of the equation, Saskatchewan is entering this game on a strong 8-2 SU, 7-3 ATS streak in its last 10 games. The only defeats were a narrow 30-28 loss at Calgary and a 35-10 loss to Winnipeg, latter being the only truly bad game Saskatchewan has played during that span. QB Cody Fajardo and the offense get better each week, scoring 27-plus points in four of their last five games. I’m on Saskatchewan at this price and also think the over is in play as well at 47.5, with Saskatchewan’s offense surging and Edmonton’s offense likely to get a major boost from the return of its top QB. Best Bet: Calgary/Winnipeg Over 48.5 -110

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