CFL Betting Notes - Semis
November 12, 2019
By David Schwab
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Both road underdogs shook things up early in this season’s CFL playoffs. In the first of two division semifinal showdowns on Sunday, Edmonton upended Montreal 37-29 closing as a 2 ½-point underdog on the road. The total in that crossover matchup went well OVER the closing 49 ½-point line.
In a West Division battle later that day, Winnipeg is moving on in the playoffs with a stunning 35-14 road upset against the defending champion Calgary Stampeders. The Blue Bombers were four-point underdogs and the total slipped OVER the 48 ½-point total line.
Sunday, Nov. 17
Edmonton (9-10 SU, 6-12-1 ATS) at Hamilton (15-3 SU, 12-5-1 ATS)
Point-spread: Tiger-Cats -6
The Eskimos struggled over the second half of the CFL regular season with just two straight-up victories in their previous nine games. They went just 1-7-1 against the spread in that same span. Edmonton improved to 3-6-1 ATS on the road this season with Sunday’s upset in Montreal. The total has gone OVER in three of its last five games. It is 2-5-1 ATS in eight games this season closing as an underdog.
One of the reasons why the Eskimos struggled to win games recently was an injury to quarterback Trevor Harris. He is also the reason why they still have a chance to play in this year’s Grey Cup title game. He completed an amazing 92.3 percent of his 39 passing attempts for 421 yards and a score in Sunday’s win. Even though he missed six regular season games, Harris was second in the CFL in total passing yards with 4,027. He tossed 16 touchdowns against six interceptions.
Hamilton was probably preparing for Montreal in this division final tilt, but it now has to complete a three-game sweep against Edmonton after winning a pair of regular season matchups both SU and ATS. The Tiger-Cats rolled to a 42-12 home victory over the Eskimos on Oct. 4 as seven-point favorites. They failed to cover in a meaningless three-point win over Toronto in the season finale after covering ATS in six previous games. Hamilton brings a SU six-game winning streak into Sunday’s contest.
The Tiger-Cats lost Jeremiah Masoli at quarterback just six weeks into the season. However, Dane Evans took over the starting role in stride. He ended the year sixth on the list in total passing yards with 3,754. He also threw 21 scoring strikes against 13 picks. Another key factor in this game could be Brandon Banks as the CFL’s leading receiver in both yards (1,550) and touchdown catches (13).
-- With the two SU victories this season, Hamilton has a 4-1 edge against Edmonton SU in the last five meetings. However, the Eskimos are still 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight road games against the Tiger-Cats. The total has gone OVER in five of the last six meetings overall.
Winnipeg (12-7 SU, 13-6 ATS) at Saskatchewan (13-5 SU, 12-5-1 ATS)
Point-spread: Roughriders -3.5
The Blue Bombers came up with a stellar effort against Calgary when they needed it the most. They lost five of their last eight games SU before Sunday’s win. This was actually their third game in a row against Calgary after splitting a season-ending home-and-home series SU. Winnipeg has been able to cover the closing spread in its last four games and in eight of its previous 11 contests. The total has gone OVER in five of its last seven games.
Trailing 14-8 at halftime, the Blue Bombers own the final two quarters by outscoring Calgary 27-0. Both Zach Collaros and Chris Streveler saw action at quarterback in this game. Collaros ended the day with 193 yards passing and one touchdown throw while Streveler was used more for his running ability with a game-high 82 yards and a score on 13 rushing attempts. Winnipeg’s defense deserves a great deal of the credit after holding Calgary to just 116 yards through the air.
Saskatchewan proved itself to be the best team in the competitive West Division all season long. Going all the way back to late July, the Roughriders reeled off 12 SU wins in 14 games while going a profitable 10-3-1 ATS. They split a home-and-home series against Winnipeg SU in early September before winning the season series with a 21-6 win at home on Oct. 5 as 3 ½-point favorites. The total stayed UNDER in each of those three matchups. Saskatchewan is 9-3-1 ATS this season closing as a favorite. It went 5-3-1 ATS at home.
Cody Fajardo took over the starting quarterback position early in the season and went on to lead the CFL in passing yards with 4,302. He completed a solid 71.5 percent of his 473 passing attempts. He posted 18 passing touchdowns while getting picked off eight times. William Powell led the ground game with 1,093 yards rushing and 12 touchdown runs on 215 carries. Fajardo also showed some excellent mobility running the ball with 611 rushing yards and 10 scores on 107 rushing attempts. There is concern for this game given a strained oblique, but he is insisting he will play.
-- The Blue Bombers have the 4-1 edge ATS in their last five games against Saskatchewan. The total has stayed UNDER in each of those five meetings. The Roughriders have won 17 of their last 21 home games against Winnipeg SU.