Week 17 features a pair of home-and-home matchups on Friday night in both the East and West Division that could have a big impact in the playoff picture in each of those divisions. Ottawa will look to build on its slim half-game lead in the East when it goes on the road to face Hamilton, and later that night Winnipeg will be going for the series sweep against British Columbia on the road after beating the Lions at home last Saturday.
I have focused my attention on Saturday's mismatch between 4-10 Montreal and 13-1-1 Calgary for this week's free CFL pick for Doc's Sports. The Stampeders with take a straight-up 12-game winning streak into this inter-division clash, while going a very profitable 10-2 against the spread.
CFL Week 17 Betting Overview
Even though Ottawa is in first place in the East, it is headed in the wrong direction with just two wins in its last seven games both SU and ATS. The RedBlacks (6-7-1 SU, 5-9 ATS) come into this Friday's matchup against Hamilton as 2.5-point road underdogs, and the total for the game has been set at 52.5.
The Tiger-Cats have also been struggling during the stretch run to the playoffs with a SU 2-4 record in their last six games while going 1-5 ATS. They are coming off a bye with an overall record of 6-8 SU (5-9 ATS). This will be the first meeting this season as part of a home-and-home series, with Ottawa holding a 4-1 edge ATS in the last five meetings.
In the second game of a West Division home-and-home series on Friday night, Winnipeg goes on the road as a five-point underdog against the BC Lions, and the total for that game has been set at 55.5 points. The Blue Bombers (9-6 SU, 8-6-1 ATS) squeaked out a tight 37-35 victory last Saturday against the Lions as slight 1.5-point home favorites. The total easily went "over" the 54-point closing line.
BC quarterback Jonathon completed 28-of-38 attempts for 422 yards, but two interceptions proved to be costly. Winnipeg jumped out to an early 21-point lead in that game, and it held off a late rally by the Lions to secure the win. BC is now 9-5 SU on the year with a 10-4 record ATS.
In Saturday's first matchup, the Saskatchewan Roughriders (4-10 SU, 8-6 ATS) will look to stay hot against the Toronto Argonauts in a game that is now listed as a "pick" with BetOnline. They have won their last three games SU and they have covered in each of their last six contests. The total for Saturday's inter-division clash has been set at 51, and it has stayed under in three of the Roughriders' last four games.
Toronto has been on a steady decline since early August with just one win in its last nine games both SU and ATS. The total has gone over or ended as a push in five of its last six games. The Argonauts have scored an average of just 18 points in their last four games while allowing 40.3 points on the other side of the ball.
CFL Free Pick of the Week: Montreal Alouettes at Calgary Stampeders
Despite the fact that all four teams in the East have posted an extended losing record, the Alouettes still have the dubious distinction of being last in the standings at 4-10 SU (5-9 ATS). With last week's 40-20 loss to Edmonton as a three-point home underdog, Montreal is now 1-5 SU in its last six games while going 2-4 ATS. It is no big surprise that it comes into this game as a heavy 15-point underdog on the road. It is hard to see the Alouettes keeping things that close with an offense that is averaging 21.9 points a game.
At the complete opposite end of the spectrum is the Calgary Stampeders. They have basically stampeded their way through the entire league since an opening-day loss to BC. Calgary has actually even gotten more dominant in its last four games with a scoring average of 42 points while holding opponents to 23.5 points a game.
Bo Levi Mitchell has been a force at quarterback with 4,871 passing yards and a league-high 29 touchdown throws. Running back Jerome Messam has anchored the ground game with 1,002 yards, which is also the most in the CFL. I fully expect that both of these players will be able to pad their numbers on Saturday night.
Laying 15 points in any CFL matchup comes with some level of risk. However,the gap between these two teams is so wide that the risk in this matchup is extremely low, so I am going with Calgary in another romp.
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