CFL Week 11 Wagering Preview: Lions Surging Up Futures Boards

After opening the season with +1300 odds to win the Grey Cup, BC is now only +200
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Canadian Football League bettors are still processing the wild events from Week 10, which saw the mighty Winnipeg Blue Bombers drop their first game of the season to the Montreal Alouettes.

Bombers kicker Marc Liegghio clunked off the upright a 37-yard field-goal attempt that would have tied the game in overtime, allowing the Alouettes to escape with a 20-17 victory. It was Liegghio’s second straight miss, as he failed to convert a potential 32-yard game-winner in the final seconds of regulation.

Winnipeg entered the matchup with a perfect 9-0 record and was looking for its first 10-0 start since 1960.

The Bombers will have a chance to rest up and regroup, as they now enjoy their first bye week before returning to action next week at home against the Calgary Stampeders.

In the meantime, all eyes will be on Nathan Rourke and the BC Lions this weekend as they visit hostile Mosaic Stadium to take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Here’s a look at the latest CFL Grey Cup outright odds, followed by our Week 11 betting preview:

  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers +170 (opened +300)
  • BC Lions +200 (opened +1300)
  • Calgary Stampeders +650 (opened +700)
  • Toronto Argonauts +900 (opened +600)
  • Saskatchewan Roughriders +1000 (opened +450)
  • Hamilton Tiger-Cats +1300 (opened +500)
  • Montreal Alouettes +1300 (opened +800)
  • Ottawa Redblacks +4500 (opened +2000)
  • Edmonton Elks +10000 (opened +1500)

*All odds in this article courtesy of PointsBet.

 

Edmonton Elks @ Ottawa Redblacks (-4.5, over/under 48)

About the Elks (2-7 straight up, 3-6 against the spread, 7-2 o/u): The Elks dropped their 12th straight home game with a 34-23 loss to the Roughriders last week. They’ve also now gone 14 straight games without a win against a West Division opponent.

However, lowly Edmonton is a perfect 2-0 SU and ATS against East Division opponents this year after scoring road victories over both Montreal and Hamilton in July. One positive for the Elks has been the outstanding play of receiver Kenny Lawler. The former Blue Bomber caught six passes for 105 yards last week and now has 48 receptions for for 622 yards and four touchdowns through nine games.

About the Redblacks (1-7 SU, 3-5 ATS, 3-5 o/u): Ottawa limped into its Week 10 bye after only putting up three points in an ugly loss to the Stampeders. The Redblacks have won just one of their past 19 home games, but they’re welcoming a visiting Edmonton team that’s allowing an average of 36 points per game, the worst mark in the league.

After two productive outings, quarterback Caleb Evans stunk in the team’s Week 9 loss to Calgary, completing 10 of 21 pass attempts for just 66 yards to go along with an interception. It’s possible Nick Arbuckle gets the nod at quarterback this week, so bettors will want to monitor who gets the first-team reps at practice leading up to the game.

Sports betting trends:

  • The over is 5-0 in Edmonton’s last five road games.
  • Ottawa is 5-1 ATS in its past six meetings with Edmonton.

BC Lions @ Saskatchewan Roughriders (+5, o/u 52)

About the Lions (7-1 SU, 6-2 ATS, 5-2-1 o/u): Rourke did it again. With his team trailing 20-3 in the second quarter, the Lions QB recovered from throwing two early interceptions to lead his team to a thrilling, come-from-behind 41-40 victory over the Stampeders. Calgary kept its foot on the gas throughout the fourth quarter, but Rourke refused to let the game slip away by leading multiple scoring drives to set the stage for a game-winning field goal.

Rourke threw for 488 yards, breaking his own record for passing yards in a game by a Canadian, and two touchdowns. He also rushed for a pair of touchdowns to help BC improve to 7-1 on the season. And his teammates are now calling him “Nate Brady.”

Some sportsbooks opened this contest at Lions -2.5, and now the line has moved to around BC -5, depending on where you’re shopping. After opening the season with +1300 odds to win the Grey Cup, the Lions are now only +200.

About the Roughriders (5-4 SU, 5-4 ATS, 5-3-1 o/u): The Riders looked a little sluggish coming out of their bye week, but they were able to get the job done with a strong second half last week against the Elks.

Quarterback Cody Fajardo is still playing through a lingering knee injury that has greatly limited his ability to scramble. It also doesn’t help that the Riders have allowed 32 sacks, the most in the CFL.

This team continues to get it done on defense, though, as the unit has dished out a league-leading 32 sacks while holding opponents to an average of 23.9 points per game (third in the CFL).

Sports betting trends:

  • Saskatchewan has won eight of the past nine meetings straight up.
  • The over is 5-1 in BC’s last six road games.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats @ Montreal Alouettes (-3, o/u 48.5)

About the Tiger-Cats (3-6 SU, 3-6 ATS, 5-4 o/u): The Tiger-Cats outscored their Ontario rivals, the Argonauts, 20-6 in the second half of last week’s tilt to win 34-27 and even the season series between the two teams at one game apiece.

Matthew Shiltz filled in at quarterback for the injured Dane Evans and performed solidly, completing 73.7% of his passes for 176 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. With Shiltz under center, Hamilton’s offense was more run-centric than usual. Evans is considered day-to-day with his shoulder injury, so bettors will want to monitor his status ahead of Friday’s clash with the Alouettes.

About the Alouettes (3-6 SU, 5-4 ATS, 6-3 o/u): Montreal is riding high after knocking off the undefeated Bombers last week and, just like that, the team is right back in the playoff hunt in the weak East Division.

In their only previous matchup, the Alouettes lost 24-17 to the Tiger-Cats in Week 8 in Hamilton. Montreal was a 2.5-point underdog in that contest and failed to cover the spread. This time around, oddsmakers have the Alouettes favored by 2.5 points back at home and riding the momentum of the huge win against Winnipeg. But if Evans can suit up at quarterback in this one, the line could shift more toward Hamilton leading up to kickoff.

Sports betting trends:

  • Hamilton is 6-1 SU and 6-1 ATS in the past seven meetings in Montreal.
  • The under is 4-1 in the past five meetings.

Calgary Stampeders @ Toronto Argonauts (+2.5, o/u 50)

About the Stampeders (5-3 SU, 3-5 ATS, 6-2 o/u): The Stampeders have had issues closing out games against quality opponents this season. Last week, Calgary was up 30-18 at halftime and held a 40-31 lead with less than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter before allowing the Lions to stage a come-from-behind victory. And they found themselves in similar situations in two previous games against Winnipeg this season.

The good news for Calgary, though, has been the solid play of veteran quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, who, with his first completion of the game last week, passed Henry Burris (32,191 passing yards) to become the franchise’s all-time leader in passing yardage. He completed 18 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to BC.

About the Argonauts (4-4 SU, 4-4 ATS, 5-3 o/u): With a .500 record, the Argos still sit atop the East Division standings as they near the midpoint of their regular-season schedule.

However, the second half of the season will be much more difficult for Toronto, which may have lost star running back Andrew Harris for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. Harris will be out for at least four weeks, and there’s also a chance he’ll require season-ending surgery. The 35-year-old was averaging 4.3 yards per carry through eight games and will now be replaced by A.J. Ouellette, who joined the Argos in 2019 and has 11 carries for 57 yards in three games this season.

Even with a proven running back like Harris in the lineup, Toronto is averaging a league-low 82 yards per game on the ground to this point. It’s hard to imagine that number getting any better without Harris in the backfield.

Sports betting trends:

  • Calgary is 12-2 SU in the past 14 meetings.
  • The over is 5-1 in Toronto’s last six games.

Photo: Eric Bolte/USA TODAY

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