Immediately following the final whistle of the West final, the Calgary Stampeders were taking on the “Calgary vs Everybody” mantra as they head back to the Grey Cup for the fourth time in five years and will look to avenge their 2016 loss to the Ottawa Redblacks on Sunday in Edmonton. Calgary opened as 4-point betting favorites with the total at 53.5 points.
Both head coach Dave Dickenson and star quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell had the same message for assembled media: “We’re the big dogs on the block every year and everybody gets tired of seeing us in the big game, so nobody wants us to be successful.”
Different Location, Different Result?
The last two Grey Cup losses for the Stampeders have come in the buildings of East Division teams – cruelly losing to Ottawa in Toronto in 2016 and then losing to Toronto in Ottawa last season. The Stampeders’ last Grey Cup win came in 2014 at B.C. Place.
This will be the fifth Grey Cup to be hosted at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton but neither Calgary nor Ottawa has participated in any of the previous four. It will be interesting to see how the crowd contributes to Calgary’s game just two hours north of the Stamps’ home stadium. Calgary is 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS in its last six games at Commonwealth Stadium. It’s possible that Edmontonians will turn up just to cheer against their hated rivals.
Speaking of the location, Ottawa has had a terrible time in its nine trips to Commonwealth Stadium over the years. Ottawa, as both the Rough Riders and Redblacks, is 1-8 SU and 2-7 ATS in nine games at Commonwealth. Not that it has a lot of bearing on this week’s game, but it’s an interesting trend, no doubt.
How Did The Games Go This Year?
Through these CFL playoffs, we’ve seen the oddsmakers give the benefit of the doubt to the teams that had regular-season success against their opponents and that hasn’t changed for the title game.
It should be noted that both head-to-head matchups were early in the season, on June 28 and July 12. Calgary won both games, 24-14 and 27-3 respectively. Since that time, Ottawa is 10-5 SU and 8-7 ATS while Calgary is 10-5 SU and 6-9 ATS.
|Regular Season Statistics||Calgary||Ottawa|
|Points Per Game||29.0 (2nd)||25.8 (5th)|
|Points Against Per Game||20.2 (1st)||23.3 (T-2nd)|
|Passing Yards Per Game||294.7 (4th)||309.9 (3rd)|
|Passing Yards Against Per Game||251.9 (3rd)||275.2 (7th)|
|Rushing Yards Per Game||99.4 (6th)||94.0 (9th)|
|Rushing Yards Against Per Game||86.5 (1st)||101.9 (5th)|
|Field Goal Percentage||91.1 (2nd)||98.1 (1st)|
My Bet for This Game
The Ottawa Redblacks have been one of the hottest teams in the CFL in the second half of the season and Trevor Harris exploded for six passing touchdowns in the East final vs Hamilton. Things will be a lot tougher for Harris against a Calgary defense that was the best in the CFL this year and kept Matt Nichols to 159 yards in the West final.
The Ottawa defense hasn’t been nearly as good and gave up 315 yards in the air to Jeremiah Masoli. Every time I’ve counted the Stampeders out this season, they’ve proven me wrong and maybe I’m just the demographic that Dave Dickenson is talking about.
So with that, I’m going to take UNDER 53.5 points for my best bet for the 2019 Grey Cup for the following reasons: the Calgary defense will be tough to score on, cold conditions in Edmonton will make the ball hard to catch and both teams played to well under that total in both previous meetings this season.
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