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CFL Betting Notes - Week 1

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A brand new year of CFL action is ready to kick things off this Thursday night in Winnipeg as the 2014 regular season gets underway. The big news heading into a new season, in addition to a new labor contract between the owners and the CFL Players Association, is the expansion to nine teams with the addition of the Ottawa RedBlacks, who will be a part of the East Division.

To balance things out geographically, the Blue Bombers will now be playing out of the West Division along with the 2013 Grey Cup Champion Saskatchewan Roughriders, who will close-out the first week of action this Sunday at home against Hamilton in a rematch of last year’s championship game.

Thursday, June 26

Toronto Argonauts vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Line: Toronto -4 ½
Total: 53 ½

Toronto won the East Division last season with a straight-up record of 11-7, but it was stunned by Hamilton 36-24 in the East Division Finals as a five-point home favorite. The Argonauts finished the regular season with a 9-8-1 record against the spread overall and they were a profitable 6-2-1 ATS on the road. The total went OVER in 10 of the 18 games.

The Blue Bombers followed-up a disappointing 6-12 campaign in 2012 with a dismal 3-15 SU mark that was the worst in the league last year. They were slightly better ATS at 5-12-1, but closed things out by covering in just one of their last eight games. The total went an even 9-9 overall with six of the games going OVER at home.

The Argonauts are 3-0-1 ATS in their last four trips to Winnipeg and they are 3-1-1 ATS in the last five meetings overall. The total has stayed UNDER in 10 of the last 14 meetings at Investors Group Field. The road team has won five of the last seven meetings SU and the total has gone OVER in three of the last four games between these two.

Saturday, June 28

Montreal Alouettes vs. Calgary Stampeders
Line: Calgary -7
Total: 54 ½

Montreal remains one of the premier franchises in the CFL, but it comes into this season fresh off an 8-10 SU (11-7 ATS) losing season in 2013. The Alouettes will also start the year without long-time veteran quarterback Anthony Calvillo, who finally decided to retire after coming into the league in 1994. Despite the losing record, Montreal was a solid bet on the road last season with a 7-2 mark ATS.

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The Stampeders won the West Division last season with the CFL’s best overall record at 14-4 SU, but their run in the playoffs was cut short with a 35-13 loss to Saskatchewan as five-point favorites at home in the West Final. They went 11-6-1 ATS in 2013 with a 5-3-1 ATS record at home. The total went OVER in six of their nine games at home.

In the two meetings last season, Calgary won both ends of an early season home-and-home series both SU and ATS. The Stampeders outscored Montreal by a combined 19 points and the total went OVER the 49 ½-point closing line in a 38-27 victory as seven-point home favorites at McMahon Stadium. It stayed UNDER the 53 ½-point line in their 22-14 road victory against the Alouettes as two-point underdogs.

Edmonton Eskimos vs. British Columbia Lions
Line: BC -7 ½
Total: 52

Edmonton went in the wrong direction in 2013 with just four SU victories after posting a 7-11 SU record in 2012 that was actually good enough to make the playoffs. The Eskimos went 8-10 ATS last season and while they were just 2-7 ATS at home, they did manage to cover in six of their nine games on the road. The total went OVER in 12 of the 18 games.

The Lions won 13 games SU in 2012, but that number dropped to 11 in 2013. They faced the Roughriders in the opening round of the playoffs and came out on the wrong end of a 29-25 loss as 4 ½-point road underdogs. BC was an even 9-9 ATS in the regular season. The total also went 9-9, but it did stay UNDER in six of nine games at home.

BC won’t have the services of quarterback Travis Lulay this weekend, who is still nursing a shoulder injury. Veteran Kevin Glenn is expected to get the starting nod for the Lions while Lulay recovers.

These West Division foes met three times last season with BC sweeping the series both SU and ATS. The total went OVER in two of the three games. The average margin of victory in the three games was 12.7 points with the Lions averaging 30.3 points per game.

Sunday, June 29

Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Line: Saskatchewan -5 ½
Total: 55

Hamilton’s run all the way to the 2013 Grey Cup Championship was a bit of a shock after going just 10-8 SU in the regular season. It first knocked-off Montreal 19-16 as a 3 ½-point home favorite before upsetting Toronto in the division final. The Tiger-Cats were an even 9-9 ATS and the total stayed UNDER in 12 of the 18 games.

The Roughriders will begin the defense of their Grey Cup title fresh off an 11-7 SU record in 2013 that included eight SU victories in their first nine games. They regained their form at just the right time with a 6-2 SU run in their final eight games. The total went OVER in three of their final four contests including the 52-point closing line in their 45-23 victory in the Grey Cup as seven-point favorites.

Along with the victory in the title game both SU and ATS, Saskatchewan won a home-and-home series against Hamilton both ways in the 2013 regular season with the total staying UNDER in both games. It is now 4-1 both SU and ATS in the last five games between the two.

  
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