When it comes to handicapping the CFL, it becomes a bit too easy to get caught up in the early results in a league that has quite a bit of parity across the ranks. That was the case with last week's pick when favored Calgary actually lost to Montreal straight up. The Stampeders are still one of the top teams in the league, but Montreal proved that its new-look offense is a far cry from the one that averaged 21.3 points per game last season.
With a number of great matchups over an extended five-game CFL schedule in Week 5, I am confident that I will get it right this time around.
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CFL Week 5 Betting Overview
Week 5 got off to an early start with Montreal going on the road to face the Ottawa RedBlacks as a 4.5-point underdog on Wednesday night. Thursday night's matchup pits the Edmonton Eskimos on the road against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the only inter-division clash on this week's slate.
Edmonton has been listed as a three-point road favorite with the total set at 54. The Eskimos are off to a perfect 3-0 SU start to set the early pace in the West Division, but they have failed to cover as favorites in tight wins at home against Montreal and Ottawa. They are 0-3-1 against the spread in their last four games as favorites.
The Tiger-Cats are still looking for their first victory of the year at 0-3 both SU and ATS. They are 0-6-1 ATS in their last seven games closing as underdogs at home. Edmonton has covered in four of its last five road games against Hamilton, and the total has stayed "under" in five of the last seven meetings overall.
Friday night's CFL action features a West Division clash between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the British Columbia Lions. The Lions are set as 4.5-point home favorites with a total line of 56.5 points. Winnipeg is 2-1 (SU and ATS) this year and 5-0 ATS in its last five road games. BC is off to a 3-1 start (SU and ATS) and it comes into this game with a 2-5 record ATS in its last seven games against a SU winning team. The Blue Bombers have gone 5-1 ATS in their last six road games against BC.
Week 5 extends to Monday night with Ottawa back in action against the Toronto Argonauts as a slight 1.5-point road underdog. The total line for this East Division tilt has been set at 54. The RedBlacks will be playing their second game in six days. However, they do have a 5-0 record ATS in their last five games as underdogs.
Toronto is just 2-5 ATS in its last seven games closing as a favorite. The Argonauts won the first meeting this season 26-25 as a four-point road underdog, and the total went over the 54.5-point closing line.
CFL Free Pick of the Week: Saskatchewan Roughriders at Calgary Stampeders
Saskatchewan heads into McMahon Stadium as 10-point road underdogs for Saturday night's 9 p.m. (ET) start against West Division rival Calgary. The betting line for the total in this game is set at 58.
The Roughriders went 1-2 SU in their first three games heading into last week's bye with a 2-1 record ATS. In a 37-20 Week 3 victory against Hamilton as one-point home underdogs, they continued to move the ball down the field behind Kevin Glenn's arm and Cameron Marshall's legs. Glenn has thrown for 1,055 yards and seven touchdowns in his first three games as Saskatchewan's new starting quarterback, and Marshall is fifth in the CFL in rushing with 166 yards.
Calgary will be looking to bounce back from that stunning 30-23 loss to Montreal as a four-point road favorite. The loss dropped the Stampeders to 2-1-1 SU on the year with a 1-3 mark ATS. The total has gone over in three of the four games behind an offense that is averaging 31.5 points per game complementing a defense that has allowed 30 or more points in three of the four games. Bo Levi Mitchell continues to light things up through the air with 1,382 passing yards and seven scoring strikes, and Jerome Messam is the third-leading rusher in the league with 188 yards on 48 carries.
This should be a great matchup featuring two teams with a balanced attack
on offense. That should serve the Roughriders well as they try to keep
things close for all four quarters. Saskatchewan is 5-1 ATS in its last six
road games and it has been able to cover ATS in eight of its last 10 games
closing as an underdog. Calgary has dominated this series in the past with
six SU wins in a row while going 5-1 ATS, but covering a double-digit
spread against a bitter division rival is a tough thing to do. The SU
winning streak will probably continue, but give me
the road team and the 10 points on Saturday night.
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