Before sharing this week's Canadian Football picks, I want to point out that in Week 1 the underdogs made a bold statement with a straight-up record of 3-1 and a clean 4-0 sweep against the spread.
Game 1: Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Pointspread: Hamilton -3
Total Line: 51
Hamilton came very close to knocking-off last season’s Grey Cup Champions, the Calgary Stampeders, in its season opener last Friday in a tight 24-23 loss as a six-point road underdog. Zach Collaros completed 27-of-38 attempts for 281 yards and Andy Fantuz was on the receiving end of nine of those throws for 83 yards. The Tiger-Cats had a total of seven different players with at least one catch on the day.
The Blue Bombers stunned Saskatchewan 30-26 in their season opener as seven-point road underdogs. It was the most points this offense had scored since Week 10 of last season and quarterback Drew Willy led the way with 325 passing yards and three scores while completing 22 of his 25 throws. Winnipeg also got a big day on the ground from Paris Cotton, who racked-up 108 yards on 13 carries.
The Tiger-Cats have covered ATS in their last five road games, but they are just 1-6 ATS in their last seven games played on a Thursday. The total has stayed UNDER in eight of their last 11 games overall.
The Blue Bombers are 6-13-1 ATS in their last 20 games following a SU win, but they have covered in 14 of their last 19 Thursday games. The total has gone OVER in five of their last seven games following an ATS win.
Hamilton 5-2 SU in the last seven meetings and it has covered ATS in four of the last five games. The total has stayed UNDER in six of the last eight games between the two.
You have to be somewhat impressed with Winnipeg’s win last week, but Saskatchewan did lose its starting quarterback in the first half. I still see Hamilton as the better overall team in this matchup and it should be able to once again cover against the Blue Bombers as a three point favorite on the road.
CFL Pick: Hamilton -2
Game 2: British Columbia Lions vs. Ottawa RedBlacks
Pointspread: BC -3.5
Total Line: 45.5
British Columbia was on the sidelines for opening day with a Week 1 bye, so you know it will be ready to go come this Saturday night. Jeff Tedford left California and the Pac-12 to take over the reins as head coach and with a healthy Travis Lulay back at quarterback, you know he is going to take his newly designed up-tempo offense for a test spin against the RedBlacks.
Ottawa has already matched half its SU win total from last season with a stunning 20-16 upset of Montreal last Thursday as an eight-point road underdog. It also benefitted from some quarterback injuries with the Alouettes’ top-two signal callers going down. Veteran RedBlacks’ quarterback Henry Burris is going to have to clean things up after getting picked-off three times in that game.
The Lions are just 1-4-1 ATS in their last six road games, but they have covered in five of their last eight games played on a Saturday. The total has stayed UNDER in five of their last seven road games.
The RedBlacks are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games following an ATS win. They have failed to cover in their last four Saturday games and the total went OVER in three of those four contests.
BC won both meetings last season SU and the series was tied 1-1 ATS. The total stayed UNDER in Ottawa and it ended as a PUSH when the two played in British Columbia.
This game is another case of the road team giving points as the better overall ball club. BC should be able to move the ball pretty well against the RedBlacks with Lulay under center and I like the Lions’ chances to rack-up some serious points as a direct result. To close-out the back end of this week’s CFL parlay, I am once again going to lay the points and take the road favorite.
CFL Pick: BC Lions -3 at BetOnline