The Edmonton Eskimos and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers continued their early tear through the 2011 CFL regular season win a pair of victories that raised their combined record to 9-1 on the year. This is in sharp contrast to last season when both combined for 11 wins for the whole season. The Eskimos squeaked by Toronto 26-25 as an eight-point home favorite, while the Blue Bombers handed British Columbia its fifth-straight loss in a 25-20 victory as a 2.5-point home favorite. In other action, Hamilton pulled off the big upset of the week by outlasting Montreal 34-26 as a three-point home underdog and Calgary won a big West Division showdown by beating Saskatchewan 22-18 as a 1.5-point road favorite.
The following is brief preview of this week’s CFL games along with the opening point spread and ‘over/under’ lines as provided by BetOnline.com.
Thursday, August 4
Montreal Alouettes (4.5) at Toronto Argonauts Over/Under: 52.5
Montreal’s second loss in as many weeks dropped the Alouettes to 3-2 straight-up and 2-3 against the spread. Toronto has now lost four in-a-row to fall to 1-4 SU but covered to move to 2-3 ATS. These two East Division rivals squared-off in Week 3 with Montreal rolling to a 40-17 romp as a 10.5-point home favorite. The total went ‘over’ the 53.5 point line.
The Alouettes are 8-2 SU against Toronto in the last 10 meetings overall and 4-1 in the last five games at home. They are 10-2 ATS in the last 12 meetings overall and the total has gone ‘over’ in five of the last six. Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo returned to action last week after getting knocked out of a Week 4 game against Saskatchewan. He threw for 356 yards and one TD in a losing effort. Toronto QB Cleo Lemon is listed as questionable after sustaining a head injury in last week loss to Edmonton.
Friday, August 5
Edmonton Eskimos (-1) at Winnipeg Blue Bombers Over/Under: 50
Edmonton is a perfect 5-0 SU on the year and 4-1 ATS. Winnipeg is 4-1 SU, but a perfect 5-0 ATS. These two met twice last season with the Eskimos losing 47-21 as a one-point road favorite, but winning at home 16-13 as an eight-point favorite.
This series has been back-and-forth over the last 10 meetings with Edmonton holding a slight 5-4-1 edge SU. The Blue Bombers have gotten the best of things ATS with a 7-3 record. The total has stayed ‘under’ in seven of the 10 games. The current injury list for the Eskimos reads like a roster roll-call, but the majority of the players are expected to be ready to go by Friday. Winnipeg QB Buck Pierce is listed as questionable after suffering a bruised calf and a shot to the head last Thursday.
Saskatchewan Roughriders at BC Lions (-3) Over/Under: 53.5
Saskatchewan has just one win on the year SU, and is also 1-4 ATS. BC is still searching for its first win of the season and is also 1-4 ATS. These two met four times last season with the Roughriders getting the better of it SU at 3-1, but the series was tied 2-2 ATS. They split the two games at Empire Field both SU and ATS.
This series is tied 5-5 SU over the previous 10 meetings, but Saskatchewan has a 4-1 edge SU in the last five. The Lions hold an 8-3 edge ATS in the last 11 meetings. The total has gone ‘over’ in three of the five games overall, but has stayed ‘under’ in seven of the last eight meetings in BC. Lion’s QB Travis Lulay has thrown for over 1,400 yards in his first five games, but has completed just 53.6 percent of his attempts.
Saturday, August 6
Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Calgary Stampeders (-4) Over/Under: 50.5
Both teams come into this game 3-2 SU on the year, but Hamilton is 3-2 ATS, while Calgary is 2-3. The Tiger-Cats lost both games in this series last season SU and ATS. They lost 23-22 as a three-point home favorite and were hammered 55-24 as a six-point road underdog.
Hamilton has lost five of the last six matchups SU and is 1-4 ATS. The total has stayed ‘under’ in seven of the last 10 games overall and in three of the last five at McMahon Stadium. Tiger-Cat RB Avon Cobourne is currently third in the CFL in rushing with 331 yards on 63 carries.
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