How to Bet CFL: Two Top Value Plays To Bank On

Canadian Football League

David Schwab

Thursday, August 4, 2016 2:05 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016 2:05 PM UTC

CFL odds makers are still scrambling to sharpen up the betting spreads this season which has been a financial boon to anyone consistently betting on road teams and underdogs.

I came up blank in last week’s top two CFL picks with Calgary failing to cover against the spread in a victory against British Columbia and Ottawa’s straight-up loss to Toronto as a home favorite. This week, I like the Lions’ chances to cover again and I am locked into the total line in the Stampeders’ game as part of a Thursday CFL doubleheader parlay play. Here are my top two Week 7 CFL picks based on current betting lines at BetOnline.

Game 1
British Columbia Lions vs Montreal Alouettes
Pointspread: BC -2.5
Total Line: 49.5

Betting Preview
BC is coming off a tough 44-41 overtime loss to Calgary after blowing a 15-point lead heading into the fourth quarter of that game. It covered as five-point road underdogs and on the year it is 3-2 SU with a 4-1 record ATS. Prior to last week’s collapse on defense, the Lions had only allowed an average of 18.3 points over the course of their first four games and I think this unit responds by returning to form this Thursday night. One concern on offense is that BC quarterback Jonathon Jennings has been listed as questionable with an undisclosed injury.

The Alouettes ran all over Saskatchewan 41-3 in Week 6 as two-point home favorites, but they could be hard-pressed to duplicate that effort on offense again after scoring a grand total of 59 points through their first four games. Quarterback Kevin Glenn played well last week with 299 yards passing and two touchdown throws but over his entire body of work this season he has been very inconsistent from week to week.

Betting Trends
The Lions are 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games and the total has gone OVER in six of their last seven games following an SU loss.

The Alouettes have failed to cover ATS in five of their last six home games and the total has stayed UNDER in 10 of their last 12 games played at home.

Head-to-head in this interdivisional matchup, BC has a dominating 24-9 record ATS in the last 33 meetings. The total has gone OVER in six of the last eight meetings in Montreal.

Betting Prediction
If Jennings cannot go for BC it could put a crimp in the Lions’ passing offense, but I am counting on a big effort by the defense to shut down Montreal to help its team win this road game both SU and ATS.

Free CFL Pick: Lions -2.5 (-105)
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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Game 2
Saskatchewan Roughriders vs Calgary Stampeders
Pointspread: Calgary -11
Total Line: 57.5

Betting Preview
It has been another rough start for Saskatchewan at 1-4 SU (2-3 ATS). It may have hit rock bottom in last week’s ugly loss to Montreal and it is hard to see anything or any player helping to turn things around this week against the CFL’s most complete team so far. Quarterback Darian Durant could return to the lineup on Thursday night to add a spark, but is still listed as questionable on the latest injury report. The bigger concern could be a defense that has allowed an average of 35.8 points a game.

The Stampeders’ dramatic come-from-behind win last week put them in first place in the West at 3-1-1 SU, but they dropped to 3-2 ATS. The fact that this offense has been able to score an average of 34.8 points over its last four games has helped to take the total OVER the closing betting line in all four contests. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell continued to play at a very high level with 364 yards passing and three touchdown throws against BC last week. On the year, he is second in the CFL in passing yards (1,584) and tied for first in touchdown passes (11).

Betting Trends
The Roughriders are a costly 3-12-1 ATS over their last 16 road games and the total has gone OVER in their last five division games.

The Stampeders are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games at home and the total has gone OVER or ended as a PUSH in four of their last five games against a division opponent.

Calgary has a slight 3-1 edge ATS in its last six home games against Saskatchewan with the other two contests ending as a PUSH. The total has gone OVER in the last four meetings overall.

Betting Prediction
Saskatchewan could not stop Montreal last week so I cannot see this very porous defense having all that much success stopping Calgary. On the other side of the ball, there are some issues with the Stampeders’ defense that should help take this game OVER the current 57.5-point total line.

Free CFL Picks: Over 56.5 -102
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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