CFL BETTING PREVIEW 2019 – WEEK 2
Saskatchewan Roughriders @ Ottawa RedBlacks – Thursday June 20
After having their starting QB injured in week 1, the Roughriders will begin their 6-week ride without Zach Collaros by splitting time between back-up quarterbacks Cody Fajardo and rookie Isaac Harker. And while Saskatchewan features a solid running game care of former NFL RB William Powell, as well as one of, if not the, top defenses in the league, they’re in for an uphill battle playing their second consecutive road-game against an Ottawa team that just handed the 2018 Champs Calgary Stampeders a big fat L on their home turf even with starting QB Dominique Davis throwing not 1, not 2, not 3, but FOUR picks (yikes). To be fair, Davis did also rush for 3 TDs (yup!) making it one of the strangest opening games from a QB I’ve ever witnessed, likely more the mark of a nervous starter than something more sinister.
However, with the betting line getting pushed from the opening Ottawa -6 to the current -4.5, as well as the heavy total push from 49 to 44.5, sharps appear to be looking for a close, low-scoring affair between two teams still working out the kinks and trying to find their way through the early-season gauntlet, a game-script that matches up well with what I would have expected based on a simple eye-test.
That’s why, with both lines having already made their primary moves and taking most of the value along with them, I’d prefer to look to tease either of these bets (Ottawa -4.5 and Under 44.5) with each-other, or one of the other bets discussed below. In fact, by teasing each line 6 points on Pinnacle, we can actually surpass the opening over/under line while gaining a +1.5 on the favorite, all for the low-low cost of even money. This price-point offers a significant advantage over the -110 line offered by other books, requiring a winning percentage of only 50% compared to 52.3%, a massive edge in a game where even the smallest edges can have huge repercussions on your long-term bottom line (and this 2.3% advantage is by no means “small”).
EDGE: Ottawa Spread + Total Under used as a two-play teaser with one-another or another CFL (or WNBA) bet.
NOTE: Although we’re not following it to a T today, this short ebook by legendary sports-bettor Masaru Kanemoto offers an incredible introduction to football teasers that I’ll be relying on heavily come NFL season and whenever I can during CFL betting as well (the much smaller schedule makes it tough to use as religiously there).
BC Lions @ Edmonton Eskimos – Friday June 21
My home-team (Lions) face off against the team I grew up cheering for (Eskimos) in the much anticipated return of all-star QB and former Grey Cup MVP Mike Reilly, who left Edmonton this off-season to sign with BC for a whopping 14% of their salary cap, by far the highest such mark in the league. However, the signing did not manage to pay immediate dividends, with the Lions dropping their home-opener as the favorites against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
For their part, Edmonton softened the blow of losing their franchise QB by immediately signing fellow all-star and Grey Cup winner Trevor Harris, who led the league in both completions and completion percentage in 2018 while throwing for more than 5,000 yards and leading his team back to the Championship game.
And if week one, which saw the Eskimos put up the 7th most yards in CFL history with 607 yards – led by Harris’ 447 yards through the air, is any indication, this transition may go much smoother for the replacement than the departed star. That’s why I expect to see fireworks in both directions in this one, with Edmonton using their home-field advantage and high-flying offense to come out in the end.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats @ Toronto Argonauts – Saturday June 22
Rounding out the weekend, the Toronto Argonauts will be coming off a week 1 bye (lol?) to host a Hamilton Tiger-Cats team that led the league in Yards and Yards/Play last season while essentially finishing tied for 2nd place in total points (4 points short). However, this one seems much closer than the other games, so much so that it’s debatable whether edge even exists here. With a whole host of new players on both sides of the action, there just doesn’t seem to be enough data to gauge whether the Argos preseason win over the Tiger-Cats (thanks to 4th quarter circus-catch pictured below) was indicative of the real makeup of these two teams.
And while teams with a first-week bye are 2-3 in week 2 since 2014, they have won back to back games, so not much to go on there either. However, with a gun to my head, I’d trust the aggressive line-movement in this one – which saw Toronto go from a 2-point-dog at open to a 3.5-point-dog at the time of writing – and take Hamilton as part of a two-team teaser.
EDGE: Hamilton spread used as a two-play teaser with another CFL/WNBA bet
That’s it for today, bet safe out there and make sure to DM me on Instagram for an invite to join our free sports-betting community on Discord, where 250 members are talking picks and strategies around the clock.
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