We are starting to see some serious separation between the haves and have-nots after seven weeks of CFL action, especially in the West Division where the top two teams (Calgary and Edmonton) are 5-2 and the bottom two (Saskatchewan and British Columbia) are 1-6. Montreal rolled over Edmonton 27-4 as a 6 ½-point home favorite this past Thursday night. Calgary outscored Saskatchewan 45-35 as a 3 ½-point road favorite in a West Division showdown on Friday night. Saturday’s early game pitted Hamilton against Toronto as a 7.5 home favorite, but the Tiger-Cats could only manage a 37-32 victory over their East Division rivals. Winnipeg maintained a one-game lead in the East over the Alouettes with a 30-17 pounding of BC as a 1 ½-point road underdog in Saturday’s finale.
Week eight marks the first round of byes in the schedule so there are only two games on tap in the CFL this week. The following is brief preview of each game along with the opening point spread and ‘over/under’ lines as provided by BetOnline.com.
Thursday, August 18
Saskatchewan Roughriders at Toronto Argonauts (-2 ½) Over/Under: 54
Saskatchewan is off to a dismal start with a 1-6 record both straight-up and against the spread. The two-time Grey Cup finalists are in danger of missing the playoffs all together if it does not turn things around. Toronto is also 1-6 SU and looks like the 2009 version that won just three games all season. The Argonauts have not been as bad ATS with a record of 3-4.
Last season these two played each other twice with each team winning on the road while covering the spread. The Roughriders came out on top 27-16 as 3 ½-point road favorites in early October, but just a week later, the Argonauts bounced back with a 24-19 victory as 11 ½ point road underdogs. The total stayed ‘under’ the identical 49-point line in both games.
Until losing that game, Saskatchewan had dominated the series by winning seven of eight SU including the last five games straight. The Roughriders are 5-1 ATS in their last six trips to Percival-Molson Stadium and the total has stayed ‘under’ in seven of the last 10 meetings there.
Saskatchewan quarterback Darian Durant is ranked sixth in the CFL in total passing yards with 1,660. He has completed 62.8 percent of his passes this season but has thrown as many interceptions as touchdowns (8). Cleo Lemon has been adequate in his relief of Steven Jyles, who remains on the Argonauts nine-week injured list with a bad shoulder. Lemon is completing a respectable 65.1 percent of his throws and has passed for 1,410 yards.
Friday, August 19
BC Lions at Edmonton Eskimos (-6) Over/Under: 50 ½
BC is also off to a dreadful start with a 1-6 record SU and a 2-5 ATS. The Lions are 1-2 ATS on the road this season. Edmonton reeled-off five straight wins to start the year, but back-to-back losses the last two weeks have dropped them to 5-2 SU (4-3 ATS). They are perfect 3-0 SU at home and 2-1 ATS. These two met earlier this season with the Eskimos racing to a 33-17 victory as a 2 ½-point home favorite. The total stayed ‘under’ the 54 ½-point line.
This was the Eskimos sixth SU win over BC in the last 10 meetings and third in-a-row. They are now 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings overall, but just 2-4 ATS in the last six games against the Lions at Commonwealth Stadium. The total has gone ‘over’ in five of the last seven meetings in Edmonton and nine of the last 12 games overall.
The Lions’ Travis Lulay comes into this matchup as the fourth-leading quarterback in the league in passing yards with 1,764, while Ricky Ray is ranked third in the league with 1,963 passing yards for Edmonton.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.