We are five weeks into a new season in the CFL, and the overall betting trends continue to heavily favor the road teams as they have compiled a 16-4 record against the spread. The British Columbia Lions have been the surprise team in the West Division with a 3-1 start both straight up and ATS, and Ottawa's first loss of the season last week combined with Toronto's win this past Monday night has tightened things up in the East.
I had Calgary as a five-point road favorite against Winnipeg is last week's free CFL pick for Doc's Sports, and the Stampeders easily covered in a 33-18 win. This week I am turning my attention to that big matchup in the East between Toronto and Ottawa on Sunday night for this week's top play.
CFL Week 6 Betting Overview
Action in Week 6 gets underway on Thursday night with a West Division tilt between Winnipeg and Edmonton. The Blue Bombers have lost four of their first five games SU, and they are 1-3-1 ATS. Following last week's 33-18 loss to Calgary as five-point home underdogs, look for them to turn to Matt Nichols as their starting quarterback in place of a struggling Drew Willy.
Edmonton is an even 2-2 on the year while going 1-3 ATS. It comes into this game as a heavy 9.5-point home favorite, with the total set at 56. Head-to-head in this matchup, the Eskimos have won the last seven meetings SU, and they are 6-1 ATS.
Saskatchewan is coming off its first SU win of the season following three losses, and it is 2-2 ATS. The Roughriders head into this Friday's interdivision clash against Montreal as slight 1.5-point underdogs, and the total for that game has been set at 49.5. The total has gone "over" in their last three games behind a defense that is allowing an average of 34.5 points a game.
Montreal is also 1-3 both SU and ATS. The total went over 46 in this past Monday's 30-17 loss to Toronto as a four-point road underdog after staying under in its first three games. The Alouettes have really struggled on the other side of the ball with an offense that has scored a total of just 59 points in four games.
First place in the West will be up for grabs on Friday night when the British Columbia Lions (3-1 SU) head into Calgary (2-1-1 SU) as 4.5-point underdogs. The betting line for the total in this matchup has been set at 48.5. The Lions struck first blood in the season series with a 20-18 victory in Week 1 as 2.5-point underdogs at home.
This should be a great matchup between a Lions' defense that is allowing an average of only 18.3 points a game facing a Stampeders' offense that has scored an average of 31.7 points over its last three games.
CFL Free Pick of the Week: Toronto Argonauts at Ottawa RedBlacks
I am saving the best for last in this week's free pick for Doc's. The 3-2 Toronto Argonauts will go on the road this Sunday night as nine-point underdogs against the 3-1-1 Ottawa RedBlacks in a showdown for the top spot in the East Division. The total line for this game has been set at 50.
Toronto will be going with Logan Kilgore at quarterback for an injured Ricky Ray, which is one of the reasons why this spread is so high. Kilgore is a capable backup that is surrounded by some quality players at the skill positions such as running back Brandon Whitaker, who is second in the league in rushing yards (224). If the Argonauts can establish the ground game early, it will go a long way towards keeping Ottawa's red-hot passing game off the field.
Another key for the Argonauts in this matchup is on defense. They could not contain the RedBlacks in the fourth quarter of a 30-20 loss in Week 4, but I am looking for a much better effort this time around following last week's strong showing against Montreal, I also like the revenge factor to play a role in the final outcome of this game.
Ottawa is coming off a 30-29 loss to Saskatchewan as a 6.5-point road favorite in a game that exposed some of the RedBlacks' issues on defense. This unit has now allowed an average of 25.3 points over its last three games, and on the year it is giving up over 375 yards of total offense a game.
Head-to-head, the Argonauts have won four of the last five meetings SU, and they have a 3-2 edge ATS. While they may not come away with the SU win on Sunday night, I really like their chances to cover with what I believe to be a very generous nine-point spread.
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