CFL Betting Notes - Finals
November 14, 2017
By David Schwab
CFL Playoff Results
The matchups for this Sunday’s CFL Division Finals have been set following last Sunday’s playoff action in the division semifinals.
Saskatchewan pulled off a 31-20 upset against Ottawa as a 2 ½-point road underdog in the East and Edmonton added another victory for the road team in its 39-32 win against Winnipeg in the West as a three-point favorite.
Sunday, Nov. 19
East Division Finals (ESPN2, 1:00 p.m. ET)
Saskatchewan Roughriders (11-8 SU, 11-8 ATS) at Toronto Argonauts (9-9 SU, 8-10 ATS)
Point-spread: Toronto -1 ½
The Roughriders return to the postseason was on the heels of a straight-up 4-2 run in their final six games to secure a crossover position in the playoffs. They are now just one win away from a spot in the Grey Cup Final after getting past Ottawa on the road last Sunday. Saskatchewan is 6-4 against the spread on the road this season and it has gone 7-4 ATS when closing as an underdog. The total has stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in eight of its last nine games.
In last Sunday’s victory at Ottawa, Kevin Glenn played one of his most complete games of the season as the Roughriders’ quarterback. He connected on 18 of his 28 passing attempts for 252 yards and a score against zero turnovers, while Marcus Thigpen racked-up 169 yards and a score on the ground on 15 carries. Saskatchewan averaged 28.3 points per game in the regular season.
Toronto needed a victory against British Columbia on the road as a two-point favorite in its final regular season game to clinch the East Division title. The Argonauts came through in a big way by trouncing the Lions 40-13. They went 5-2 both straight-up and against the spread in their last seven games with the total going OVER or ending as a PUSH in each of those contests. They are 4-5 ATS in nine previous home games this season.
Veteran quarterback Ricky Ray was one of the most prolific passers in the CFL this season with 5,546 yards and 28 touchdown throws against 11 interceptions. He completed an impressive 70.1 percent of his 668 passing attempts for an average of 8.3 yards a reception. His top target was SJ Green with 1,462 receiving yards and 11 scores while James Wilder led the ground game with 872 rushing yards.
-- Saskatchewan has covered in four of its last five games against Toronto and it has gone 5-1 ATS in its last six road games against the Argonauts. The Roughriders swept the season series both SU and ATS with the total staying UNDER 52 in a 27-24 road win at Toronto as two-point underdogs on Oct. 7.
West Division Final (ESPNews, 4:30 p.m. ET)
Edmonton Eskimos (13-6 SU, 9-10 ATS) at Calgary Stampeders (13-4-1 SU, 9-8-1 ATS)
Point-spread: Calgary -5
Total: 51 ½
The peaks and valleys of Edmonton’s 2017 season have been a bit extreme with a seven-game winning streak followed by six losses in a row. The Eskimos are definitely headed in the right direction at the right time of the year with a SU six-game winning streak while going 5-1 ATS. The total went OVER 55 points in Sunday’s win at Winnipeg and it has gone OVER in four of the Eskimos’ last six games.
Mike Reilly has been at the top of the list in the CFL all year long when it comes to moving the ball down the field through the air after ending the regular season with a CFL-high 5,830 passing yards and 30 touchdown passes on 447 completions. In Sunday’s division semifinal, he lit up the Bombers with 334 yards passing and three scoring strikes including a pair to wide receiver Adarius Bowman. Brandon Zylstra led the way with eight receptions for 156 yards and a score.
After dominating play for most of the season, there has to be some concern with Calgary’s three-game losing streak (SU and ATS) to close out the regular season. After failing to cover in a tight three-point win against Edmonton on Sept. 9 as six-point road favorites, the Stampeders are just 3-5 ATS over their last eight games. The total stayed UNDER in six of those eight outings. Calgary is 6-3 ATS on its home field this year.
The week off should hopefully help to get things back in order for Bo Levi Mitchell and a Stampeders’ offense that was second in the CFL in points scored (523). This unit was averaging 32.7 points per game before posting a combined 32 points in its last three contests. Mitchell was third in the CFL in passing yards (4,700) and he tossed 23 touchdowns against 11 interceptions. Jerome Messam was third in the league in rushing with 1,016 yards on 215 carries.
-- Calgary has won 13 of the last 19 meetings in this bitter West Division rivalry and it has a 5-1 edge ATS in its last six home games against the Eskimos. The Stampeders had the 2-1 SU edge in the season series, but Edmonton went 2-1 ATS. The total stayed UNDER in two of the three games.
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