Free CFL Week 8 Picks from Expert Canadian Football Handicapper
Favorites were the best bet last week in the CFL, with three of the four teams laying points covering the closing spread. One of those teams was Winnipeg as my top CFL play for Doc's in Week 7. The Blue Bombers made short work of Toronto in a 40-14 romp as 10-point favorites at home.
For this week's top pick, I am looking to once again go against the defending CFL champs in an East Division clash as underdogs on their home track at BMO Field.
CFL Week 8 Betting Overview
In other CFL betting action on Thursday night, the Saskatchewan Roughriders go on the road as eight-point underdogs in a West Division battle against the Edmonton Eskimos. The total line for this 10 p.m. kickoff has been set at 53. Edmonton has gone 4-1 straight up in its last five games against the Roughriders, but it is 1-4 against the spread in those five meetings.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats go on the road to face the Montreal Alouettes this Friday night as 6.5-point favorites with the total set at 49.5 for the 7:30 p.m. start. Reports out of Montreal point to Johnny Manziel getting the start at quarterback for the Alouettes after coming to Montreal in a recent trade with Hamilton.
The Calgary Stampeders are looking for their seventh SU win in a row this Saturday night as 11.5-point home favorites against the British Columbia Lions with the total set at 51.5. Calgary has gone 5-1 ATS in those first six wins with a double-digit margin of victory in every contest.
CFL Free Pick of the Week: Ottawa at Toronto
Week 8 of the 2018 CFL regular season gets underway Thursday night at 7 p.m. in Toronto with the Ottawa RedBlacks rolling into town as five-point road favorites. The total for this divisional matchup has been set at 48 points.
Ottawa has been able to open an early two-game lead in the East Division at 4-2 SU with an even 3-3 record ATS. Last Saturday night, it pulled off the only upset of the week with a 21-15 victory against Hamilton as a six-point road underdog. Each of the two losses this season came against Calgary, and this will be the first meeting against Toronto this season. The RedBlacks have gone 2-1 SU and ATS in three previous road games, with the total staying "under" in all three outings.
Trevor Harris played one of his better games of the season against the Tiger-Cats with 228 yards passing while completing an efficient 23 of his 35 passing attempts. Brad Sinopoli was his top target in the passing game with nine receptions for 82 yards. The defense gave up 352 yards through the air, but it allowed only one passing touchdown.
Toronto sunk to 1-5 SU and 2-4 ATS with last week's loss to Winnipeg. It is 1-2 SU and ATS in its first three home games, and the total has stayed under in two of those three contests. The Argonauts have now lost their last two games by a combined score of 78-34. Overall, their offense is averaging just 15.8 points, and it has failed to score more than 20 points in any of its first six games.
The loss of Ricky Ray at quarterback early in the season is a big part of the reason for the unexpected slow start. James Franklin has gotten the call in his absence, and he has completed 92 of his 141 passing attempts for 967 yards, but he has only thrown two touchdowns against six interceptions. Toronto's top runner this season has been James Wilder Jr. with 301 rushing yards and three scores on 66 carries.
Head-to-head in this division matchup, the Argonauts have won seven of the last nine meetings SU and they are 9-1 in their last 10 home games against Ottawa. Despite those past trends, I am going with the RedBlacks on Thursday night as road favorites both SU and ATS as a much better team than Toronto overall.
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