I am starting to heat up with my free CFL picks for Doc's Sports by sticking with the early league trends. I went with Toronto last week as a heavy 10-point road underdog against Ottawa in a key showdown in the East Division title race, and the Argonauts came through with a 23-20 win. Overall through the first six weeks of the season, road underdogs have gone 11-5-1 straight up with a highly-profitable 14-3 record against the spread.
I decided to turn my attention to the total line for my top pick in Week 7 of the CFL regular season with what I see as a golden opportunity to cash in on a West Division matchup between a very porous defense and a very potent scoring offense.
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CFL Week 7 Betting Overview
Hamilton and Winnipeg will get an early start in Week 7, with the Tiger-Cats going on the road as four-point favorites for Wednesday night's interdivision tilt. The total line for this game has been set at 49.5.
The Tiger-Cats are coming off a bye following a 3-2 start both SU and ATS, and the big news in Hamilton is that Zach Collaros is close to returning at quarterback. The Blue Bombers (2-4 SU and ATS) made some noise at the quarterback position as well with Matt Nichols replacing an ineffective Drew Willy in last week's stunning 30-23 upset over Edmonton as nine-point road underdogs. Nichols ended the game with 304 passing yards and a score while competing 26-of-33 attempts.
In the first of two Thursday night games this week, British Columbia will face Montreal as a 2.5-point road favorite in another interdivision tilt. The total for this game has been set at 49.5. The Lions (3-2 SU) lost to Calgary last week 44-41 in overtime after blowing a 15-point fourth quarter lead, but they improved to 4-1 ATS after covering as five-point road underdogs.
Montreal ran all over Saskatchewan 41-3 as a slight two-point home favorite after tallying a grand total of just 59 points in its first four games. The Alouettes are now 2-3 SU and ATS, with the total staying "under" in four of the five games.
This Saturday night, in a rematch of last year's CFL Grey Cup, Edmonton will go on the road to square off against Ottawa as a four-point underdog, with the total set at 58. The Eskimos started their title defense in Week 1 with a wild 45-37 overtime loss to the RedBlacks as six-point home favorites. The total easily went over the 55.5-point closing line in that game.
Edmonton's stunning loss to Winnipeg last week dropped its record on the year to 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS. Ottawa's loss to Toronto left the RedBlacks at 3-2-1 SU this season with an even 3-3 record ATS.
CFL Free Pick of the Week: Saskatchewan Roughriders at Calgary Stampeders
Saskatchewan has been a train wreck dating back to last season's SU record of 3-15. Following last week's ugly loss to Montreal, it is 1-4 SU with a 2-3 record ATS this year. The total has gone over in three of the five games behind a defense that has allowed an average of 35.8 points a game, including 40-plus points in two of its last three contests.
Offensively, the Roughriders are hoping to have quarterback Darian Durant back in the lineup after suffering an ankle injury in Week 1, but he is still listed as questionable on the latest injury report.
Calgary started its season with a stunning 20-18 loss to BC as a 2.5-point home favorite, but since that point its offense has been a scoring machine with an average of 34.8 points over its last four games. A big part of this success can be credited to the play of quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell. He is ranked second in the CFL in passing yards (1,584), and he is tied for first in passing touchdowns with 11.
Last week in that impressive come-from-behind victory against BC, he threw for 364 yards and three touchdowns while completing 29-of-44 attempts. Greg Wilson was a big-play threat in that game with 118 receiving yards and two scores on just three receptions.
Going back over some of the recent trends in this West Division tilt, the total has gone over in the last five meetings. The total has gone over in nine of Saskatchewan's last 12 games overall, and it has gone over in its last six games following a SU loss.
I just cannot see the Roughriders slowing down this Calgary offense, especially through the air. If Durant can go, that might help to keep things a bit closer on the scoreboard, but either way I am going with the "over 57.5" on the total line as my top pick. I liked the number when it opened at 59, so this downward trend makes this play even more attractive.
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