The first four teams in the CFL’s West Division are separated by just one game. The two at the top will try and create some breathing room this Thursday night in one of the bigger showdowns in the first half of the regular season.
Calgary Stampeders at Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Free Pick: Take Calgary +8.5 at Winnipeg
Best Line Offered: 5Dimes
First place in the CFL West Division is on the line this Thursday night in Winnipeg. The Stampeders come into this tilt with a straight-up three-game winning streak as part of a 5-2 record overall. They covered as one-point home underdogs last week in a 24-18 victory against Edmonton. This was just the second time Calgary covered against the spread this season and the total has stayed UNDER in its last five games.
The reason for such a wide spread in this game is the team’s ongoing situation at quarterback. Bo Levi Mitchell remains sidelined due to injury and Nick Arbuckle has taken his place. Through six games of action, Arbuckle has thrown for 1,473 yards and six touchdowns against three interceptions. Calgary has not scored more than 26 points in each of the last three wins, but its defense has allowed an average of 16.7 points in the same span.
Winnipeg forged the early lead in the West with an impressive 5-0 start both SU and ATS. Following a 23-15 road loss to Hamilton as two-point favorites in Week 7, the Blue Bombers completely collapsed against lowly Toronto last week as heavy 15-point favorites on the road in a 28-27 loss. They have closed as favorites in six of their first seven games.
The betting spread suggests a much better effort at home this Thursday night where Winnipeg is 5-0 SU and ATS in its last five games at IG Field. However, there were some major concerns raised with this defense after going up 20-0 in the loss to Toronto. Matt Nichols continues to play at a high level at quarterback and Andrew Harris rushed for 152 yards and two scores in last week’s game, but that was against Toronto, not Calgary.
Head-to-Head Betting Trends
Calgary has won 19 of its last 22 games against the Blue Bombers SU. This includes a SU 9-1 record in its last 10 road games against its division rivals. The total has gone OVER in eight of the last 12 meetings in Winnipeg.
Free Betting Pick
Parity is alive and well in the CFL through the first eight weeks of the season, especially in the West Division with the exception of British Columbia. That is why I am going with Calgary and the 8.5 points on the road. This is still the reigning CFL champion and a team that is more than eager to prove its point.
CFL ‘Best Bet’ Record: 3-5
Other CFL Week 9 Games:
Friday, Aug. 9
I went against the Roughriders as my top pick in Week 8 and paid the price, but I am still going with Montreal in this game getting the two points at home.
Ottawa just snapped a SU four-game losing streak in a road win against Montreal as a 6.5-point underdog and I have the RedBlacks playing well enough to cover with the nine points on the road this week as well.
Saturday, Aug. 10
The Lions are coming off a bye week after losing six of their first seven games SU while also going 1-6 ATS. This big of a spread does raise the level of concern for betting the Tiger-Cats ATS, so I am going with the UNDER in this inter-division clash.