The dogs were barking loud in Week 1 of the new CFL regular season, with three road teams and one home team winning their opener both straight up and against the spread. The top favorite to win this year's Grey Cup went down in defeat when the defending champion Edmonton Eskimos lost to Ottawa 45-37 in overtime as six-point home favorites in a rematch of last season's title game.
Turning my attention to this week's action to come up with my CFL free pick of the week, I have my eyes set on a matchup between Ottawa and East Division rival Montreal, which also came out on the winning end of its opener as a road underdog.
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CFL Week 2 Betting Overview
The Toronto Argonauts came up flat in their season opener at brand new BMO Field in a 42-20 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as five-point favorites. They will now have to go on the road to face the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who will be making their season debut. BetOnline has the Roughriders favored by four points, with the total set at 51.5 points for Thursday night's game.
Toronto is just 2-5 ATS in its last seven games following a SU loss, and the Roughriders are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 homes games, so something is going to have to give in this one. Head-to-head in this interdivision clash, the Argonauts have gone 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 road games against Saskatchewan.
Friday's CFL action kicks things off with another interdivision matchup between the British Columbia Lions and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. BC was on the winning end of a tight 20-18 decision against the Calgary Stampeders as a 2.5-point home favorite in Week 1. However, the Lions come into this game with a 1-5 record ATS in their last six games following a SU win.
The Tiger-Cats have been opened as six-point home favorites for this contest with the total set at 50.5. They have gone 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games following a SU win. The home team in this matchup has won the last six meetings SU with an even 3-3 split ATS.
The backend of Friday's doubleheader sends the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on the road as heavy 10-point underdogs to square off against Calgary. The betting line for the total in this West Division tilt has been set at 49. Winnipeg was on the wrong end of a 22-14 loss to Montreal in its opener as a two-point favorite at home.
Both teams will try and bounce back from Week 1 losses in a series that has been dominated by the Stampeders with a 9-1 SU record in the last 10 meetings. The Blue Bombers have the recent edge ATS at 3-1-1 in the last five games.
CFL Free Pick of the Week: Ottawa RedBlacks at Montreal Alouettes
Ottawa is flying high after successfully avenging last season's loss to Edmonton in the Grey Cup, but that victory came at a steep price with a hand injury to veteran quarterback Henry Burris. He has been put on six-game injured reserve list, so in his place Trevor Harris will get the start. Harris looked sharp in relief last week with 292 yards passing and three touchdown throws, but he will be facing a Montreal defense that only gave up one touchdown last week while sacking Winnipeg's Drew Willy five times and forcing one interception.
The RedBlacks swept last season's series both SU and ATS, so I am looking for the revenge factor to come into play in this East Division clash with the Alouettes looking for a strong effort in their home opener. I also like the fact that Montreal is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games in Week 2.
While Montreal's defense was outstanding last week, you have to also be impressed with the play of quarterback Kevin Glenn as a key offseason acquisition. He came out and threw for 332 yards and a touchdown while completing 30-of-42 passing attempts. Duron Carter was on the receiving end of eight of those passes for 96 yards.
This game has been opened as a "pick'em" with a total line of 53.5 points. While Ottawa did surprise me with its 45-point outburst last week, it will now be playing its second straight game on the road, and this helps sets the stage for a letdown after a big emotional win. Montreal is well aware of what a 2-0 start would do to help erase the memory of last season's disappointing six-win campaign, and this translates to another victory on Thursday night.
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