Expert Betting Advice CFL: How to Bet Canadian Football in 2018
The newest season of the Canadian Football League gets underway this weekend. Nine teams will play 18 games over 21 weeks seeking out six playoff spots. And the final two teams will fight to be the 106th team awarded the Grey Cup. I live about a mile from a CFL stadium, so I have a soft spot for the league. It's not the best football out there, but it is unique, often entertaining, and there is a surprising amount of talent on the field. And it's a league that can be pretty fun and fruitful to bet on as well . To get you into the mindset of betting on the league, here are four good storylines to pay attention to ( Odds are from Bovada ):
That whole Johnny Football thing: The regular season hasn't even started yet, and I'm already sick of the coverage of Johnny Manziel in Hamilton. I know how obsessed people are with the bad boy, but the coverage of this story is silly. Hamilton's starter is Jeremiah Masoli, the former Oregon QB who resurfaced at Ole Miss after getting kicked off the Ducks. He is established in the league and has played very well. Manziel did not beat him out, so he will be the backup. Hamilton should be reasonably solid this year - they are the fifth choice in the nine-team leagues in futures action, but at +700 they are still very competitive, and their win total is set at 10.5 for the 18-game season - which means that in the short term Manziel will have to content himself with garbage time. One of the most frustrating narratives for CFL fans is the idea that guys will come up here and dominate because of what they did in college or their reputation. It's not that easy - this is a very different game. The best QB up here is Bo Levi Mitchell, who started at SMU for two years before transferring to Eastern Washington. The NFL wasn't exactly clamoring for him, but he is a perfect fit in the CFL. Manziel could find his way in the CFL, or he could flame out spectacularly. But right now he is just the backup QB for a mid-level CFL team, and he should get discussed as much as that position suggests.
Can Calgary get their act together?: The Stampeders have been the most consistent, well-run franchise in the league for at least a decade. But they don't have nearly enough to show for it. They won the Grey Cup in 2008, and again in 2014, and that's it. The last two years have been particularly frustrating for fans of this, my hometown team. In 2016 they made the Grey Cup as heavy favorites only to lose in overtime. Last year they were rolling in the Grey Cup through three quarters only to collapse and lose on a last-minute field goal. They had the league's best record both times, so it just wasn't acceptable. The team has made significant changes in the offseason, sending several key veterans packing, going younger and faster and generally overhauling the team. And Mitchell, the QB who struggled late in the Grey Cup last year, has lost weight and toned up, and he seems readier than ever. They are the strong +200 favorites to win the Cup this year, and their season win total is set at a league-high 12.5, so there is optimism around the team again. The regular season is totally irrelevant to the team this year, though - they could go 18-0 and the season would be a disappointment if they didn't win the title.
How bad will Montreal be?: Through the end of last decade and the start of this one, the Alouettes, led by QB Anthony Calvillo, were the class of the league. They won titles in 2009 and 2010 and were always strong. And they led the way in attendance and fan experience, too. But ever since Marc Trestman left the team in 2012 to take over as head coach of the Chicago Bears they have been on a decline. And there has been too much drama - Mike Sherman is the seventh head coach since the start of the 2013 season. That's not good. The team was a pathetic 3-15 last year, and while Sherman could bring some stability he still doesn't have a whole lot to work with. The team's win total is at a league worst 5.5, and even that feels a little optimistic. The league is better off when Montreal is good, but it's going to be a long trip back to relevance.
Will B.C. win one for Wally?: Don Shula and George Halas. Those are the only two guys in the entire history of professional football who have had more career wins than B.C. head coach Wally Buono's 273. Bill Belichick is the next-most-successful active coach, and he has only 250. Buono knows his stuff. He won three Grey Cups as the head coach in Calgary and two more in B.C. He's 68 now, though, and has announced that this will be his final season. He's retired before, moving to the B.C front office as GM for four years before returning to the sidelines in 2016. But this time feels permanent. The team is not great on paper - they have a win total of just 7, and they are the seventh choice in the league at +1000 to win the title. But they have a rallying point in the popular coach, and that could lead them to better things than we might otherwise expect.
Doc's Sports expert handicappers will have Canadian Football League picks every week of the 2018 season. Our experts that will offer picks are: Doc's Sports , Indian Cowboy , Raphael Esparza , Vernon Croy, Scott Spreitzer , Alan Harris, and Strike Point Sports . CFL is one of the easiest sports to beat as the sportsbooks just don't spend much time setting the lines. But our experts do take the time needed to beat the books on a weekly basis. Get $60 worth of premium members picks free .
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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