CFL Betting Preview: Week 4

Winnipeg QB Buck Pierce is listed as probable this week.

It should be an exciting week of CFL action as three of the four games feature point spreads of a field goal.

Here are a few things you might want to keep in mind if you’re considering betting on any of the action (all odds  provided by 5Dimes):

Hamilton at British Columbia (-3, 50.5)

Hamilton looks to build on last week’s impressive victory over the Roughriders as it travels to meet the winless B.C. Lions Friday in Vancouver.

The Tiger-Cats hammered Saskatchewan 33-3 last Saturday at Ivor Wynne Stadium, building a 23-0 lead at halftime and cruising from there. Hamilton held the Roughies to just 13 first downs and forced four turnovers in the victory.

B.C., meanwhile, dug itself a 21-3 hole to the Eskimos before half time and was lit up for 320 passing yards by Edmonton’s Ricky Ray.

History is on Hamilton’s side as it looks to pick up on the momentum gained last week. The Tiger-Cats are 4-1 against the spread in their last five trips to B.C., while the Lions are 1-4 ATS in their last five at home.

The under has also cashed in 10 of the past 14 meetings between the clubs, and in Hamilton’s last five games overall.

Our pick: Hamilton

Winnipeg at Toronto (-3, 47)

The 2-1 Blue Bombers visit the Rogers Centre Saturday afternoon as the Argos host their home opener.

Winnipeg’s strong start to the season took a hit last week with a 21-20 home loss to the Stampeders, while Toronto was blown out 40-17 in Montreal.

The Blue Bombers’ biggest concern this week is the health of often-injured quarterback Buck Pierce, who left the game against Calgary early in the second half. Pierce is listed as probable for this week (quadriceps).

The Argos’ offence continued to struggle last week in Montreal, gaining just 14 first downs — including only three through the air.

This contest features the two worst offences in the CFL so far this year. Toronto is averaging just 309.7 yards per game, while the Blue Bombers have been limited to 292.7 yards per game.

Winnipeg makes up for its offensive deficiencies on defence, however, where it is ranked first.

When you consider that the under is 35-15-1 in Winnipeg’s last 51 road games, 37-17 in Toronto’s last 54 at home and 11-2 in the last 13 meetings between the teams, we won’t be surprised to see another low-scoring battle Saturday in T.O.

Our pick: Under

Edmonton at Calgary (-3, 54.5)

Edmonton will be in tough as it attempts to maintain its undefeated record with a trip south to Calgary Saturday evening.

The Eskimos are a surprising 3-0 after defeating the Roughriders, Tiger-Cats and Lions in the first three weeks. None of those wins were flukes, either, with all three coming by 14 points or more.

Calgary hasn’t looked like the Grey Cup favourite so far this year, although the Stamps do boast a 2-1 record through three games. All three of those contests have been decided by two points or less as Henry Burris and company struggle to get their offence untracked.

The rivalry between the two Alberta squads is undeniable, and the home teams generally enjoy a significant advantage in the series. Edmonton is just 1-4 ATS in its last five games in Calgary, and the Stamps have covered the spread in six of the last seven meetings overall.

The over has cashed in 11 of the past 16 meetings in the series, while only four of Calgary’s last 17 games overall have gone under the total. We’ll ride the trend.

Our pick: Over

Saskatchewan at Montreal (-11.5, 56)

The biggest mismatch in Week 4 —on paper, at least — will take place Sunday as the 3-0 Alouettes host the winless Roughriders.

Montreal’s high-octane offence has been firing on all cylinders so far this year, scoring 30-plus points in all three of its wins. Saskatchewan, meanwhile, was embarrassed last week in Hamilton and has lost all three of its contests by two touchdowns or more.

That has forced oddsmakers to inflate the point spread on this game to double digits — something rarely seen in the CFL.

Call us crazy, but we like the Roughriders to bounce back with a much more competitive effort this week. Don’t forget that these teams have met in the last two Grey Cups (Montreal won both by a combined margin of four points) so there’s not THAT much separating these two squads.

Saskatchewan is also 13-4 ATS in its last 17 games against winning teams, 4-0 ATS in its last four games in Montreal, and 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings overall. The Roughriders were also tied with the Alouettes at halftime two weeks ago.

We’ll plug our nose and take the ugly dog this week.

Our pick: Roughriders