CFL Free Picks for
Posted at 10:15 AM EST.
8:30 PM EST. Winnipeg is 4-0 and they just beat Toronto last week 48-21. The week prior, the Blue Bombers went into Ottawa and beat the Redblacks 29-14. By contrast, Ottawa is sinking with two losses in a row to go along with an injured QB, meaning they’ll start its backup QB here, Jonathan Jennings. Not only did the Redblacks lose to Winnipeg two weeks ago and get destroyed on the stat sheet but as an 8½-point favorite over Montreal last week, the Redblacks got buried again, 36-19. Ottawa now goes from being an 8½-point favorite to a 11-point underdog over the span of one week in a nine-team league. That’s a 19½-point swing, which is something you see in college football and rarely in a pro-league. Also remember that Ottawa was a -3½-point favorite over this same Winnipeg team two weeks ago in Ottawa.
When discussing over and underreactions and/or recency bias, we can’t overstate enough how much this one sticks out. Winnipeg is getting far too much credit in the line while the Redblacks are being greatly disrespected. It’s also reasonable to assume that Ottawa, after being embarrassed in back-to-back weeks, will be the more motivated squad here. Ottawa is being written off by the market and the media and they’ll play this week with that chip on its shoulder. As for its backup QB, Jennings is no stranger to this league. He joined the Redblacks as a free agent after four seasons with British Columbia. In 2016, Jennings threw for 5,226 yards and 27 TDs with the Lions. He’s an experienced CFL QB that has thrived coming off the bench before.
Winnipeg won last week 48-21 but if you watched that game then you’re aware that Winnipeg took the opening kickoff for a TD to go up 7-0 10 seconds in. About a minute later after a two-and-out, the Blue Bombers ran back a punt 65 yards to the Argos six-yard line and the next play went up 14 points roughly two minutes into the game. The ball was bouncing Winnipeg’s way for 60 minutes but it may surprise you to learn that the Argos had more first downs than Winnipeg and more yards. In fact, Toronto destroyed the Blue Bombers through the air by passing for 388 yards while Winnipeg threw for just 238. When Winnipeg beat Edmonton three weeks ago, 28-21, the Blue Bombers were outgained by 200 yards and once again got every bounce. Living a charmed life and very likely feeling somewhat complacent, the Blue Bombers could easily get caught here by a hungrier intruder in a game that does not mean a damn thing to the favorite.
If you watch the CFL, then you’ve probably watched the TSN panel discuss games prior to the start or at halftime. You’ll often hear them refer to one or more of these early games as “hugely important” or something along those lines. There is no such thing as important this early in the year in the CFL. Six of nine teams make the playoffs. These teams play 18 games a year so a team can start 0-9 and still make the playoffs. It has been said for years that the “real season” doesn’t start until Labour Day weekend, which is actually true. Winnipeg is cruising with a 4-0 record and will travel to Hamilton next week to play the Eastern Conference favorite to represent that side in the Grey Cup. A lot of these very early games mean jack. All players and teams are excited to kick off the year in Week 1 but by Week 4, a team like Winnipeg, that is overvalued to begin this week, is very vulnerable to get caught playing with little intensity. So, not only is Winnipeg in an extremely vulnerable spot against an opponent with back-to-back embarrassing weeks, they are being asked to cover a massively inflated price. That’s not likely happening.
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Ottawa +11 -110 (Risking 2.2 units - To Win: 2.00)
CFL Historical - Totals
|Last 30 Days||6||5||0.00||+1.68|
|Season to Date||8||6||0.00||+3.48|