CFL Betting Notes - Semis
November 8, 2017
By David Schwab
Hamilton failed to qualify for this year’s CFL Grey Cup Playoffs, but it ended its season on a high note with Friday’s 33-0 shutout of Montreal as a heavy 15-point home favorite. Later that night, Winnipeg sealed the No. 2 spot in the West Division by beating Calgary 23-5 as a 7 ½-point underdog on the road.
Saturday’s betting action starting with Edmonton grinding out an 11-7 win on the road against Saskatchewan as a 3 ½-point underdog on the road. Toronto locked up the East Division title with a 40-13 romp over British Columbia as a slight two-point road favorite.
Sunday, Nov. 12
East Division Semifinals (ESPN2, 1:00 p.m. ET)
Saskatchewan Roughriders (10-8 SU, 10-8 ATS) at Ottawa RedBlacks (8-9-1 SU, 12-6 ATS)
Point-spread: Ottawa -1
The Roughriders finished the regular season on a straight-up 4-2 run while going 3-3 against the spread. They went 5-4 ATS this year on the road and the total stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in their last four road games. Over the course of its final five games, Saskatchewan was able to post at least 27 points in four of those games to end the season scoring average to 28.3 points per game.
Kevin Glenn led the ‘Riders offense at quarterback with 4,038 passing yards and 25 passing touchdowns. His top target in the passing game was Duron Carter with 73 receptions for 1,043 yards. Cameron Marshall was the team’s leading rusher with 543 yards on 101 carries, but he remains questionable for Sunday with a bad knee. Saskatchewan’s defense was second in the CFL in points allowed (23.9).
Ottawa finished its regular season on a SU three-game winning streak and it covered the spread in three of its last four games. The total went OVER the closing line in those last three games after staying UNDER or ending as a PUSH in its previous eight contests. The RedBlacks posted a 2-4 record ATS in their last six home games.
The big question heading into this inter-division matchup is the health of quarterback Trevor Harris, who left his last start with a hand injury. He was fourth on the list in passing yards this season with 4,679 and tied for the lead in touchdown throws with 30. If for some reason he cannot go, look for William Powell to get the call.
-- Ottawa has a 5-2 edge ATS in its last seven games against Saskatchewan with the total going OVER the closing betting line in four of the last five meetings. The road team won each of the two matchups this season SU with the RedBlacks covering the spread both times. Both games were decided by a single point.
West Division Semifinals (ESPNNews, 4:30 p.m. ET)
Edmonton Eskimos (12-6 SU, 8-10 ATS) at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (12-6 SU, 13-5 ATS)
Following Edmonton this season was a crazy ride with a SU seven-game run to start the year followed by a six-game slide. The Eskimos were able to regain that winning form with a SU five-game winning streak to close out the year. While they were not one of the best betting teams in the CFL this year, they did close things out with a 4-1 record ATS in their last five games. The total went OVER in 10 of their last 14 games.
Led by the CFL’s most prolific passer in Mike Reilly, Edmonton averaged 28.4 PPG. This was the third-highest scoring average in the league. Reilly threw for 5,830 yards and 30 touchdowns this season with Brandon Zylstra hauling in 100 receptions for 1,687 yards as the CFL top receiver in that category as well.
The Blue Bombers’ upset victory against Calgary in Week 20 was just their third SU win in the last five games following a run of eight victories in their previous nine contests. They still managed to post a 6-2 record ATS in their final eight games with the total staying UNDER in five of their last seven outings. Winnipeg was 5-3 ATS this season when closing as a favorite.
This is another team that knew how to put points on the board this season with an average of 30.8 PPG that was tops in the CFL. Matt Nichols had the fifth-most passing yards with 4,472 and he was tied for second in passing touchdowns with 28. Winnipeg also had one of the best ground games in the league led by Andrew Harris’s CFL-high 1,035 rushing yards.
-- The road team has won five of the last six meetings SU with Winnipeg holding a 4-2 edge ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in six of the last 10 games between the two. As far as this season’s series, the Blue Bombers won both meetings SU and ATS.
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