The new season in the CFL is just two weeks old, and we have already witnessed a number of stunning upsets both straight-up and against the spread. Through the first eight games, the underdogs hold a commanding 6-1 edge both SU and ATS, with the other game closing as a push. The total has stayed "under" in five of those eight contests.
Moving on the Week 3 in the CFL for my free play for Doc's Sports, I am turning my attention to Thursday night's inter-division matchup between the Toronto Argonauts and the British Columbia Lions in what should be a close, hard-fought battle between two teams coming off big wins.
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CFL Week 3 Betting Overview
Thursday's action in the CFL gets started with another inter-division tilt between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Winnipeg has picked up from where it left off from a 5-13 campaign in 2015 with two losses out of the gate both SU and ATS, while Hamilton is coming off a stunning 28-3 loss to BC as a 5.5-point home favorite after pounding Toronto 42-20 in Week 1 as a five-point road underdog.
The Tiger-Cats come in as nine-point home favorites against the Blue Bombers, with the total set at 52.5. They have a 6-1 edge ATS in the last seven meetings, and the total has stayed under in eight of their last nine home games against Winnipeg.
Friday's CFL double-header opens with Calgary going on the road against Ottawa in a game that is currently listed as a "pick". The total line in this inter-division clash has been set at 52.5. The Stampeders bounced back from a stunning loss to BC in Week 1 by covering as 11-point home favorites in a 36-22 win against Winnipeg.
Ottawa has opened the new season a perfect 2-0 both SU and ATS while leading the CFL in points scored with 73. The big story for the RedBlacks has been the play of quarterback Trevor Harris, who is filling in for the injured Henry Burris. He currently leads the league in both passing yards (687) and touchdown throws (6).
In the only head-to-head division matchup in Week 3, Saskatchewan will renew its long running rivalry against Edmonton. The Roughriders come into Commonwealth Stadium as 10-point underdogs following a 30-17 loss to Toronto last week in their season opener as 3.5-point home favorites. The total stayed under 51.5 points in that game, and it has been set at 52.5 points for Friday night.
The Eskimos are coming off a bye following the loss to Ottawa. They have won six of the last seven games in this series SU and they hold an 8-1 edge ATS in the last nine meetings. The total has stayed under in 17 of the last 23 meetings in Edmonton.
CFL Free Pick of the Week: Toronto Argonauts at British Columbia Lions
Following that disappointing loss to Hamilton at home, Toronto got its game in gear with a complete effort against Saskatchewan in Week 2, especially on the defensive side of the ball. It held the Roughriders to just seven points in the second half of that game with Ricky Foley and Keon Raymond leading the way.
The Argonauts have been listed as 6.5-point road underdogs for Thursday night's game, with the total line set at 50. The total has now stayed under in their last three road games, and it has stayed under in seven of their last eight games overall.
BC has been the biggest surprise in the CFL so far after dropping six of its final nine games last season SU to finish 7-11 on the year. Jonathon Jennings has played well at quarterback with 476 yards passing with one touchdown pass, but the Lions' running game could be in trouble on Friday night with its leading rusher Jeremiah Johnson listed as "questionable" with a bad ankle.
The main reason that BC has gotten such a fast start out of the gate has been a stifling defense that has only allowed a total of 21 points. Last week against Hamilton, this unit held the potent Tiger-Cats' offense to 296 total yards including just 48 yards on the ground. Loucheiz Purifoy has already posted two forced fumbles and an interception with Adam Bighill leading the team in tackles (14) and Alex Bazzie recording two sacks on the year.
I like the Lions at home in this one, but my top pick is the "under 50" on the total line. The total has stayed under in 17 of their last 24 games against Toronto, and with the way this defense is playing right now I am looking for that trend to continue.
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