The 2011 CFL regular season got under way last week with all eight teams playing their season opener. It was a week of upsets as all four favorites lost against the spread and three lost their games straight-up. The defending Grey Cup Champion Montreal Alouettes kicked things off last Thursday with a 30-26 victory over British Columbia, but failed to cover as a five-point home favorite. On Friday, Hamilton lost to Winnipeg 24-16 as an 8.5 point home favorite and the 2010 West Division champion Calgary Stampeders were beaten by Toronto 23-21 as an eight-point home favorite. Sunday night’s Week 1 finale saw Saskatchewan fall to Edmonton as a six-point home favorite.
The following is brief preview of Week 2 in the CFL along with the opening point spread and ‘over/under’ lines as provided by BetOnline.com.
Friday, July 8
Toronto Argonauts at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (-1.5) Over/Under: 48
Toronto went 3-0 against Winnipeg last season both SU and ATS after losing four of the previous five games to the Blue Bombers dating back to the 2008 season. The Argonauts won 36-34 as a 10.5 point road underdog in a Week 2 clash with the total going ‘over’ the 46.5-point line. They beat Winnipeg 27-8 for the second time on the road in Week 17 as a six-point dog. This time the total stayed ‘under’ the 49.5-point line.
Toronto has now won four of the last six meetings ATS overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in nine of Winnipeg’s last 11 home games overall, but has stayed ‘under’ the total in seven of the last nine meetings with the Argonauts at Canad Inns Stadium. Blue Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce was lucky to come away with the win over Hamilton last week after completing just 46.2 percent of his passes for 151 yards.
Calgary Stampeders at BC Lions (-2) Over/Under: 53
These West Division foes played each other four times in 2010 with each winning both games on the road SU and ATS. Calgary won 27-22 as a two-point road favorite in Week 6 and 48-35 three weeks later as a 5.5 road favorite. The total was a ‘push’ in the first game with a closing line of 49 points and it went ‘over’ the 51-point line the second time they played at Empire Field.
The Lions lost eight games SU to the Stampeders going all the way back to November of 2008 before ending the streak with the Week 6 win. Calgary still has an overwhelming advantage ATS with a 9-2-1 record in the last 12 games against BC overall. The total has stayed ‘under’ in eight of the last 14 meetings in BC. Lion QB Travis Lulay had a huge game last week against Montreal with a CFL-high 366 yards on 26 completions. Calgary signal caller Henry Burris was also hot with a 70.3 percent completion rate on 37 attempts in the loss to Toronto.
Saturday, July 9
Montreal Alouettes (-2) at Saskatchewan Roughriders Over/Under: 54
Montreal will try to make it seven of eight SU against the Roughriders including the last two Grey Cups. They also met twice last year in the regular season with Saskatchewan winning in overtime 54-51 as a 3.5-point home underdog on opening day. The Roughriders tied the 54-point total line all on their own.
The Alouettes are 6-1 SU against Saskatchewan in the last seven games overall but just 2-5 ATS. The total has gone ‘over’ in seven of the last eight meetings at Mosaic Stadium but has stayed ‘under’ in five of the last seven games of this series overall. Montreal QB Anthony Calvillo threw for 312 yards last week to continue his quest to be the CFL’s all-time leader in terms of total passing yards.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Edmonton Eskimos (-1.5) Over/Under: 52
These teams played each other twice last year with each team getting the win SU at home. The Eskimos beat the Tiger-Cats 37-35 as a 1.5 home underdog in Week 14 and the total went ‘over’ the 50-point line. They have evenly split their last 10 games SU, but Hamilton is 8-2 ATS. The total has stayed ‘under’ in six of those 10 games.
The Tiger-Cats are actually 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games against the Eskimos and the total has gone ‘over’ in six of the last eight meetings in Edmonton. Hamilton sustained a number of injuries on opening day but none appear to be too serious as all eight players that went out are listed as questionable for this game. QB Ricky Ray looked sharp on opening day for the Eskimos; completing 77.8 percent of his passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns in the victory over Saskatchewan.
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