If you’re looking to bet on a decent football game on a late Sunday afternoon for a change, you may want to look north this weekend.
The 105th Grey Cup goes in Ottawa at 6:30 p.m. ET and bettors will want to tune in for two reasons: 1. These games are usually exciting and 2. I think we have some solid betting value here.
The Calgary Stampeders are 7-point faves over the Toronto Argonauts and the total is 53.
“The public usually leans to the favorite and I think they will here as well but just slightly,” says Randall The Handle, the oddsmaker who originates the CFL line in the betting world. “The West was obviously the stronger division and Calgary was a monster before their end-of-year drop-off. Stampeders also won both meetings this year by 17 and 16 respectively so those results have some influence on this number.”
This is where I see betting value on the Argos. Calgary is slightly shaded and that’s hard to argue with because that’s how the public will see it. The Stamps have won eight straight meetings with the Argos, covering the last five of those, and they were the Grey Cup faves all season long, opening at +350 to win it.
But Grey Cups tend to be close. Calgary lost in OT to Ottawa last season 39-33, and underdogs have covered three straight in the season finale. The dogs are also 8-3-1 against the spread in the last 12 Grey Cups and seven of those games finished within eight points.
This one will probably come down to whether the Argos offense can slow the Stampeders offense enough to cover. Calgary’s dual-threat QB Bo Levi Mitchell opened as the MVP favorite this season while Toronto’s defense is playing its best football of the year. The Argos are allowing just 221 yards passing per game over their last three games and 58 yards rushing.
By CFL standards, that’s a little mind-blowing.
The Stamps have failed to cover in two of the last three Grey Cups as faves of 10.5 and 7.5 points so they know better than anyone that dogs tend to bark in the championship. Calgary tends to be shaded in the playoffs in general at 4-10-1 against the spread in its last 15 postseason games.
Calgary has also failed to cover in five straight games coming into Sunday but you can take that one with a grain of salt because they coasted into the postseason with the league’s top record. The Argos, meanwhile, have covered six of their last eight games and are probably playing their best Silly Ball of the season.
Bundle up and tune in. I think we’re going to have a fun one.