Argonauts & Stampeders Colliding in the 105th Grey Cup in Ottawa on Sunday

Calgary Stampeders

Kevin Stott

Friday, November 24, 2017 5:39 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 5:39 PM UTC

Let’s look at all of the particulars for this big Football game for both heading in and then try to figure out if there is any discernable edge and then make a pick in this contest in which sportsbooks currently have the West Division-champ Stampeders as 7-point favorites.

Sunday, November 26, 2017105th Grey Cup — CFL Championship Game

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Free CFL Picks: Stampeders -7 & Over 53 Best Line Offered: at BookMaker

 

Toronto Argonauts vs. Calgary Stampeders: The East Division champion Toronto Argonauts face the West Division champion Calgary Stampeders at TD Place Stadium (FieldTurf) in Ottawa, Ontario on Sunday afternoon in the 105th edition of the Grey Cup, the championship game for the Canadian Football League. Offshore sportsbooks have the Stampeders as 7 to 7½-point Favorites with the Total currently in the 53 to 54 range. The Money Line market odds see Calgary priced in a -296 to -310 range with the highest Underdog price on Toronto—looking for its 17th CFL championship—is currently at +260 at SIA.

The Stampeders lost to the underdog Ottawa Redblacks in last year’s Grey Cup in OT, 39-33, at BMO Field in Toronto and heading into the season, the 2017 CFL Futures Book odds from Offshore 5Dimes had Calgary opening at a league-favorite price of +350 with Toronto actually being the sportsbooks’ longest shot to win the Grey Cup at 18/1 odds. 5Dimes Had the Stamps at 2/1 odds to win the West with the Argos priced at +475 to capture the East, so helmets off to anyone having the stones to back Toronto in the CFL Futures market this time around. Poutine and Labatt’s Blue for everyone?

 Toronto Argonauts

Head Coach Marc Trestman and the Argonauts were the longest shots to even get to this Grey Cup and finished the CFL Regular Season with a 9-9 SU record and just a +26 Point Differential, but when it has mattered most—here in the Postseason—Future CFL Hall of Famer and QB Ricky Ray, RB James Wilder Jr. and Toronto have won. After being stymied by Injuries in recent season, veteran QB Ray has started 17 games and thrown for 5,546 yards and may be named the East Division’s Outstanding Player and he may be better suited for the big game then his Stampeders counterpart. Rookie Wilder became a late-season starter for Toronto and finished 5th in the CFL overall in Rushing but the Florida State product and former Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills RB has only gained 26 yards on 6 Rushes against Calgary. Besides the creativity and heart of 37-year-old Ray in big situations, the Argonauts will have to have a strong performance from Shawn Lemon and their Defense—Defence if you’re Canadian, maple syrup breath—which ranks #1 in the CFL vs. the Rush (82.8 ypg), #3 against the Pass (254.6 ypg) and has a total of 50 Sacks. The Argonauts—who went 5-13-1 ATS in the 2015 CFL season— defeated Saskatchewan, 25-21 at BMO Field in Toronto last Sunday in the East Division Finals.

 

Calgary Stampeders

On Paper, Computers and all of your distracting and addictive Mobile Devices , Head Coach Dave Dickenson and the Stampeders (523 PF-349 PA) look like they should roll here with the Regular Season statistics and recent series Trends both strongly pointing toward taking the Stampeders and laying the Alberta lumber. The team with the best Offense and the best Defense and we’re only asked to lay 7? What gives Pierre? Well we know the oddsmakers don’t have it wrong, and it’s hard to trust Calgary after getting out to leads and then giving up the ghost like the Stampeders did in last year’s Grey Cup to Ottawa. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, and you’ve fooled me twice. This ain’t no Disco, Jaime. In the West Finals last week, Calgary actually fell behind the Edmonton Eskimos 14-0 before All-Star QB Bo Levi Mitchell (4,700 passing yards), SB Marquay McDaniel and the Stampeders rallied to a 31-28 victory, but (barely) failed to cover ATS as 5-point Favorites in the West Division Finals.

With a killer RB tandem in the speedy Roy Finch and Jerome Messam (6-3, 255), this is a team that can mix it up when they have the football and Calgary has the best Defense in CFL, allowing just 19.4 points and 314.7 yards per game, just 17 Passing TDs and 28 total TDs allowed. One extremely dangerous element for the Stamps is the punt returning capabilities of Oklahoma-product Finch who had 1,200 (yes, 1,200) yards from Punt returns averaging 16.4 yards and 3 TDs on the wider and longer CFL playing field. Finch and the Field Position he might create for Calgary could be the difference in this game and no doubt Trestman will try to be having his Punter try to kick it away from him.

 

Ottawa Weather Forecast, Series Trends Pointing to Stampeders While Recent Grey Cup Trends Point to Argonauts

The Forecast calls for Cloudy skies and Colder conditions in Ottawa on Sunday (30°, W 10 mph Winds, 66% Humidity) but this is Canada and the CFL and Ontario and the Fall brother, so the Weather will be of no concern to most involved, although anything under the freezing point (32° F) makes Life no fun for inhabitants of planet Earth, hearty football players or not. With teams having 3 plays to get a First Down (before having to punt) as opposed to 4 in the NFL, the Pace and speed of play will outweigh any Cold temperatures and the reality that this is the last game of the year and for the championship will outweigh everything. Calgary swept the 2017 CFL Regular Season series against Toronto, winning 41-24 at Toronto on Aug. 3, covering ATS as 6-point Road Favorites and winning 23-7 at Home in Alberta on Aug. 26, covering ATS as 10-point Favorites, and the Stampeders are 5-0 SU and ATS the L5 times these two have met. Finch had a 103-yard Punt return for a TD in the first meeting. But Calgary is 1-4 ATS in its L5 Grey Cups and are a money-burning 0-5 ATS their L5 overall, so don’t let the numbers fool you as this one should be competitive and last for eons.

The Stampeders are 11-1 when they lead after three quarters while the Argos are 7-1 when ahead heading into the 4th Quarter and Calgary went 10-2 when having a better TO Margin this past season while Toronto (3-9 ATS L12 vs. Teams With Winning Records) went a perfect 6-0 when winning the TO battle. These two played in the 100th Grey Cup (Nov. 25, 2012) with Toronto prevailing, 35-22, winning outright as small 1½-point Underdogs (55½), proving once again that getting hot at the right time (October-November) in the CFL is still more important than having the best overall Record and statistics.

The Over is 4-0 the L4 Stampeders Playoff games and is 6-2 the L8 Argonauts games overall, so with this baby being a do-or-die game for both, even with the great Defenses, there should be at least 20 points scored by each team here on Sunday afternoon in Ottawa. How well Stampeders QB Mitchell can play in the big game and how well the Argonauts vaunted Rush Defense can play against the dangerous two-pronged Calgary Rushing attack should be thee two biggest question here. The pressure will certainly be on Head Coach Dickenson and Calgary after cheesing it up in OT last year and coming in (again) with the CFL’s overwhelmingly best Record and if Toronto (6-2 ATS L8 overall) proves it can stop the run early, the Stampeders may end the season on a sad note again. Or maybe Finch runs wild like the horse on his helmet and makes sure the West champions and preseason league favorites don’t head home to Alberta in a foul mood this weekend. Be prepared for the two-and-outs, plenty of punting, an occasional Single or two and end zones the size of Delaware.

PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Stampeders 36 Argonauts 27
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