Grey Cup Preview
November 19, 2019
By David Schwab
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Playoff Results | Grey Cup History
Heading into Sunday’s 107th Grey Cup Championship, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will try and end a 20-year CFL title drought as East Division Champions. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will be looking for their first league championship going all the way back to 1990 after winning the West Division title.
Hamilton rolled to 36-16 victory on Sunday against Edmonton as a 6 ½-point home favorite in the first of two division final showdowns. The total stayed just UNDER the 52 ½-point closing line. Out West, Winnipeg stunned Saskatchewan 20-13 closing as a 2 ½-point road underdog. The total in that game stayed UNDER 45 ½ points.
Sunday, Nov. 24
Hamilton (16-3 SU, 13-5-1 ATS) vs. Winnipeg (13-7 SU, 14-6 ATS)
Point-spread: Hamilton -3 ½
The Tiger-Cats posted the best straight-up record in the CFL this season and they now have a chance to prove they are the best team with one final victory on Sunday. This was their first East Division title since 2014 and the win was paced by a defense that added two interceptions and one fumble recovery to the winning cause. This unit also posted three sacks while limiting Edmonton to just one offensive touchdown.
Dane Evans played one of his best games of the season at quarterback. He completed 21-of-36 passing attempts for 386 yards and one score against one interception. His top target was Bralon Addison with seven receptions for 130 yards. The Tiger-Cats added 50 yards running the ball on 14 carries. David Watford’s two rushing attempts went for four yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Hamilton is 7-1 against the spread in its last eight games. This includes a 33-13 road win against Winnipeg on Sept. 27 as a five-point underdog. The Tiger-Cats won the first meeting 23-15 in mid-July as two-point underdogs at home. The total stayed UNDER in both contests.
The Blue Bombers started the season with five wins both SU and ATS. A second-half swoon resulted in a SU 2-4 record over their last six regular season contests while going 3-3 ATS. They beat Calgary on the road 35-14 as four-point underdogs to advance to the division finals round. The total went OVER in their previous four games before staying UNDER on Sunday.
This will be Winnipeg’s first appearance in the Grey Cup since 2011. One of the big reasons for the West Division crown was Zach Collaros at quarterback. He got a second chance this season to show he can play at a high level after missing most of the year due to injury. On Sunday, he put the ball up 25 times with 17 completions for 267 yards and a score. He completed passes to six different receivers.
Andrew Harris was the CFL’s leading rusher this season with 1,380 yards and four touchdowns on 225 carries. He added 41 yards running the ball on 10 attempts in Sunday’s win. The Blue Bombers’ defense also rose to the occasion by holding Saskatchewan to just nine points in the second half. It also closed out the game with crucial goal-line stand.
-- Hamilton is riding a SU five-game winning streak and the total has stayed UNDER in five of its last six contests. The total has also stayed UNDER in five of its last seven games played away from home.
-- Winnipeg has covered ATS in its last five games with the total going OVER in four of those five games.
-- Head-to-head in this inter-division matchup, the total has stayed UNDER in the last nine meetings. Over the past 10 matchups, the Tiger-Cats have the slight 6-4 edge SU with a 6-3-1 record ATS.