The CFL schedule rolls on with another three games from Week 4 on Friday and Saturday. The resurgent Argonauts host British Columbia, Edmonton and Winnipeg will get together with each team trying to end losing skids, and Saskatchewan, the league’s lone remaining unbeaten team, will be in Calgary for a tough contest versus the 2-1 Stampeders. Let’s take a look at the games, and the current prices according to Bookmaker.com. Football Betting Lines
British Columbia (-2, 47) at Toronto, Friday, 5:30 p.m., TSN
Seems strange to think about now, but just a few short weeks ago, oddsmakers had Toronto (2-1) as 13.5-point underdogs in the season opener at Calgary. The Argos’ lines have dropped in each successive week since, as they’ve managed to put together upset wins over Winnipeg and Calgary. The latter was a home game and they’ll be back in Toronto for a second straight week with this game against B.C. (1-2)
The Argos still aren’t getting a whole lot of respect from the oddsmakers though. They’re at home and riding a two-game winning streak, while the Lions have lost two in a row. Yet, it is the Lions that are the favored team.
With the total set at 47, it could be a low-scoring game as neither team has been able to move the ball, the Argos are last with 287 yards of offense per game and Lions aren’t much better with just 330. In addition, the B.C. defense ranks at or near the top of the league in scoring allowed (21.0) and yards per play allowed (6.7). Football Spreads
Most of the trend angles seem to favor B.C. here, as the Lions have been very good against opportunistic teams and bouncing back from losses…
BRITISH COLUMBIA is 19-6 ATS (+12.4 Units) against teams with a turnover margin of +0.75 per game or better since 1996. The average score was BRITISH COLUMBIA 29.7, OPPONENT 26.6 – (Rating = 1*)
Buono is 16-3 ATS (+12.7 Units) in road games after 1 or more consecutive straight up losses as the coach of BRITISH COLUMBIA. The average score was BRITISH COLUMBIA 33.5, OPPONENT 26.7 – (Rating = 4*)
Toronto has forced nine turnovers in the first three games and if it can continue that pace has a good shot at winning this one as well.
Edmonton at Winnipeg (Pk, 54), Saturday 4:30 p.m., TSN
The biggest story surrounding the Edmonton-Winnipeg game is on the injury front for the Blue Bombers. Steven Jyles will start at quarterback for Winnipeg (1-2), with Buck Pierce out with a knee injury. Jyles didn’t look out of place last week against Hamilton, but Pierce’s experience will be missed. This will be Jyles’ second career start in five seasons in the CFL.
The Eskimos (0-3) failed to close out their past two games and have yet to score a single fourth-quarter point this year, this coming despite the fact that they are outgaining opponents by 15 YPG.
Arguably, the Eskimos have faced the three toughest teams in the league up till this point, and seem to be ready to break out on Saturday. The ball hasn’t exactly bounced their way this season yet either, as they are minus-5 in turnover ratio after three games.
There is one key thing to watch regarding the line for this game, since it has moved towards Edmonton since opening at Winnipeg favored by two. If it moves any further before kickoff to where the Eskimos are favored, this trend will be in place:
WINNIPEG is 18-5 ATS (+12.5 Units) as a home underdog of 3 points or less since 1996. The average score was WINNIPEG 29.8, OPPONENT 23.7 – (Rating = 2*)
Edmonton is 3-1 SU & 2-2 ATS in its L4 games vs. Winnipeg.
Saskatchewan at Calgary (-1, 56.5), Saturday 7:30 p.m., TSN
The Saskatchewan Roughriders are the only undefeated team in the league, yet are road underdogs against a Stampeders’ team that looked awful in Toronto last week.
Still, this game pits the league’s best offense (Saskatchewan) against the best defense (Calgary). The Roughriders lead in eight major offensive categories, while the Stampeders are ranked No. 1 in six defensive categories.
Oddsmakers are giving defense the edge, or perhaps home field, installing Calgary as the 1-point favorite.
Saskatchewan quarterback Darian Durant is the league’s MVP to this point and is leading an offense that has been both potent and balanced. The Roughriders are gaining 523 YPG on offense, 200 on the ground, 323 through the air. The 38.3 PPG they are averaging are reflective of that potency. However, the Saskatchewan defense has had a world of trouble stopping teams and is allowing a brutal 8.2 yards per play. That sets up Calgary for a nice opportunity according to this StatFox Power Trend:
CALGARY is 11-3 ATS (+7.7 Units) versus poor defensive teams – allowing >=7.2 yards/play over the last 3 seasons. The average score was CALGARY 33.3, OPPONENT 20.1 – (Rating = 0*)
However, head-to-head history is on the side of the visitors here, as Saskatchewan is 7-2-1 SU & 7-3 ATS in the L10 meetings with Calgary. NFL Spreads
The StatFox Power Ratings indicate the wrong team is favored here, showing Saskatchewan should be minus-2.
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