If you don’t get a chance to see much CFL you may not know that this week is a pretty big deal in the big-ball league.
It’s Canada Day, which falls on Friday this year, and so the games will be held on Thursday and Friday instead of being spread out over the weekend. It’s as much a part of the tradition north of the 49th as fireworks and grills are south of it for July 4th.
So why not bet a little Silly Ball this weekend? I break down the lines the way I see them below. You may want to note that underdogs went 4-0 straight up and against the spread last week.
(If you followed my plays on Twitter @JonnyOddsShark last week, you went 3-1 with your Silly Ball. These are my thoughts on this week).
Toronto Argonauts at Saskatchewan Roughriders
This line opened at -2.5 and some lines moved up to -3 early but I was surprised it didn’t move more. On Wednesday night the line spiked to -4 and I fully agree with the steam here.
The Argos’ problems reside mostly on their lines, especially their offensive line. Last week the Ticats made the Argos’ O-line look about as strong as wet paper, which is a residual problem from last year for Toronto.
Ricky Ray is getting the attention in his return to health for Toronto as one of the CFL’s all-time great QBs. But that won’t mean shit if he doesn’t even have time to get a 3-yard button hook pass out of his hands.
Far too often bettors ignore the line of scrimmage in football, which is where just about every game is ultimately won and lost. Blame it on Daily Fantasy but that oversight can often provide betting opportunities.
In this case, we have a porous Argos O-line against a Sasky squad that started with a bye and should be well prepared. The Roughriders also have the luxury of starting on home field in front of what should be a great crowd the evening before the holiday Friday.
I probably would have put this line at -6.5 at the least if it were me and I don’t think bettors have jumped on it like they should, even by driving it to four points.
British Columbia at Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Hamilton showed me two key things last week that I don’t feel were fully factored into the spread this week: 1. The defense looks every bit as good as last year despite some key departures on defense and 2. This offense could be very efficient this year, even with No. 2 QB Jeremiah Masoli starting in place of still injured Zach Collaros.
Great defense plus efficient offense equals a team that could cover a lot of spreads and I think this line is going the wrong way. It opened at Hamilton -7.5 and moved to -6 by Thursday morning.
Receiver Chad Owens is a fantastic addition to this offense and the way Hamilton can spread the ball around now is going to make the Ticats tough to defend.
I like Hamilton in its home opener here in front of a sauced-up crowd on the holiday Friday.
Beware of the letdown with an Ottawa team coming off a Grey Cup revenge game on the road last week. This is Montreal’s home opener and the Als have moved to become a home dog as of Thursday morning. I wrote that home dogs are great bets early in the CFL season historically.
The spread moved to double digits by Thursday in the Winnipeg-Calgary game. Feels like a big number to me after Sportsbook at 8.5.
Happy long weekend no matter where you live and good luck with your Silly Ball selections.