Posted on July 24, 2019, by Travis Pulver
Making it from the end of one NFL season to the next is tough for many football fans. But, what fans in the United States fail to realize is there is excellent football being played right now. Not the failed AAFL or the upcoming XFL—but the Canadian Football League.
The CFL season kicks off Week Seven Thursday night with a pair of games, has another on Friday, and concludes with a fourth on Saturday.
It is a smaller league with only nine teams. But it has been around for decades and does not appear to be going away anytime soon. There are several differences in the game compared to what NFL fans are accustomed to. But in the end—it’s football.
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Those having trouble bridging the gap between NFL seasons should absolutely give it a chance. The action is fast and furious and well worth your time. Put your money on the right teams, and it could be profitable, too.
So—who are the right teams this week (odds via Bovada.lv)?
Thursday, July 24
Calgary Stampeders vs. Ottawa Redblacks at T.D. Place Stadium: Ottawa started the season on the right foot with a pair of wins but have since lost three in a row. Calgary lost their opener to Ottawa but have since gone 3-1 despite injury issues at quarterback.
Both are actually dealing with injured Q.B.s, but Calgary’s backup (Nick Arbuckle) has been playing well. Jonathan Jennings got the start last week in Ottawa’s 31-1 loss to Winnipeg.
With how the Redblacks offense struggled last week, it is doubtful that it will be up to the challenge this week. Take Calgary to win (-235), straight up and against the spread (-6). As for the over/under—neither offense can be trusted to score much. Take the under (50).
Toronto Argonauts vs. Edmonton Eskimos at Commonwealth Stadium: It has not been a good season for the Argonauts. They have struggled on both sides of the ball this season and rank last in points scored (15.0 point/game) and in points allowed (37.6 points/game).
Edmonton, on the other hand, has no trouble generating yards (425 yards/game; first in the league) and has a stingy defense (244.6 yards/game). Trevor Harris has looked unstoppable this season and is having an award-worthy season.
The Eskimos had an off-game last week and will likely bounce back with a vengeance against the hapless Argonauts. Take Edmonton to win (-500), straight up and against the spread (-11). As for the over/under— since the Edmonton offense will have to do most of the heavy lifting, the under is the safe bet (51.5).
Friday, July 25
Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Tim Hortons Field: The Tiger-Cats have had two weeks to prepare for this match-up between division leaders. They will undoubtedly have their hands full against the most efficient offense in the CFL and the stingiest defense.
Matt Nichols has had an incredible season so far and is leading the league in completion percentage (among starters), touchdowns 12), and has only thrown one interception. Hamilton’s defense is going to need to do what no one else has done this season—force Nichols to make a few mistakes.
If they don’t, they will have to hope that the Blue Bombers defense doesn’t do that to their quarterback, Jeremiah Masoli. But while Masoli has feasted on weaker teams (Toronto and Montreal), he has struggled against decent defenses (Saskatchewan and Calgary).
Oddsmakers see this one as being close. However, it will be anything but that. Take Winnipeg to win (-140), straight up and against the spread (-2). As for the over/under—take the under (53.5). There is a ton of offensive potential in this game, but the Blue Bombers defense is going to shut Masoli down.
Saturday, July 26
Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. B.C. Lions at B.C. Place: Last week when these two faced off, the Lions almost looked like they were going to piece everything together finally. The defense played well in the first half, and Mike Reilly finally looked like the star the Lions thought they were getting when they signed him.
But then everything fell apart for them in the second half. The Roughriders defense started making plays, and the Lions defense couldn’t stop Cody Fajardo from making plays. In the end, B.C.’s five turnovers did them in.
Saskatchewan is not as strong on defense this year as last, so if Reilly can get off to a strong start, the Lions could stand a chance. However, the defense will have to keep Cody Fajardo from warming up. There isn’t any reason to believe they can.
Take Saskatchewan to win (-160), straight up and against the spread (-2). They won by 13 against the Lions last week. This week may be closer, but the victor will be the same. As for the over/under—they scored 63 last week; they’ll cover 52 this week.