CFL Previews Week 5 - ATS Style!

CFL Week 5 Previews
By CFL Handicapper Ron Raymond

Calgary (-6) vs. Winnipeg (54.5)
Stampeders at Blue Bombers History: When Calgary travels to Winnipeg, they are 6-6-1 ATS, 7-6 SU and the O/U is 7-6-0 since 1996.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are going to shuffle the deck this week vs. the Calgary Stampeders and start ex-Boise State QB Ryan Dinwiddie. Kevin Glenn seems to be in a funk to start the 2008 campaign and one has to wonder if it’s the arm injury he suffered in the Eastern Final last year vs. Toronto setting him back, or the fact his favorite receiver Milt Stegall has been out of the line up the first four weeks of the season. The Stampeders are coming off a 43-16 blow out win over Hamilton and are currently riding a 2 game winning streak SU & ATS. The Stamps have seen their last 2 games go over the posted total and they’ve been averaging 32.3 Point For and 23 Points Against in their last 3 games. Winnipeg are looking for their first win of the season and when a CFL team starts the year 0-4 on the season, they are 3-3 SU and 4-2-0 ATS in their 5th game of the year. The UNDER is 4-2-0 in this situation as well. As for the Blue Bombers, they need to establish a running game and if Charles Roberts can’t get going, then it’s time for Doug Berry to bring in a new running back to kick start this offense. The Calgary Stampeders aren’t use to being a Road Favorite the last few years and it will be interesting to see how they respond in this situation, they are 0-5 SU and ATS as a Road Favorite the last 2 years and average 18.33 Points For and 22.67 Points Against in this role. The Bombers gave the Lions a feisty test last weekend at BC Place and if they can play hard like they did last Friday, they should have a better outcome. However, starting an inexperience QB in this role might be too much of an experiment for the veterans on offense who might get impatient and look for Calgary to win a nail bitter.

Ron’s Forecast: Calgary 24 Winnipeg 21 Stat of the Game: When WINNIPEG team played as a Home team - Coming off a Score 18 - 20 POINTS FOR in last game; The Blue Bombers are 9-1 SU and 8-2-0 ATS in this spot since ’96.

Edmonton (-2.5) vs. Hamilton (52)
Eskimos at Tiger Cats History: When Edmonton travels to Hamilton, they are 4-8-0 ATS, 5-7 SU and the O/U is 7-5-0 since 1996.

If the Hamilton Tiger Cats are going to be successful this season, they will need Jesse Lumsden to stay healthy and in the line up every week or else this season will be just another right off. The time has come where the Hamilton Tiger Cats need to fish or cut bait with Lumsden, because dressing him 40% of the time will not do the Tabbies any good in their rebuilding process. Hamilton fans are starting to have a “Love/Hate? relationship with their football team and how do you expect Charlie Taaffe to be successful if he can’t get any consistency with his starting players. However, the good news for Taaffe this weekend, Lumsden will be in the line up and what’s even better from a betting perspective, the Ticats are in their normal home underdog role. In fact, I didn’t like Hamilton as a -3.5 point home favorite in week 3 vs. Saskatchewan, but I can stomach them much easier this week as a +2.5 point home dog vs. the Eskimos. Edmonton is coming off a 35-31 lost to Toronto this past Sunday and they have one of the softest defenses in the league, so I expect Casey Printers in company to have some success marching down the field. The key to this game for the Tiger Cats is to make sure Ricky Ray stays on the sideline, as he’s looking more and more like the gunslinger from previous season. The Eskimos are averaging 37.3 Points For on offense, but their defense is one of the worst in the league giving up 31.3 Points Against. The OVER is 3-0 for both teams in their last 3 contest and the Eskimos are 0-3 SU and ATS as a Road Favorite the last 2 years. Even though it looks like the sky is falling right now for Hamilton fans, with Lumsden in the line up this weekend, expect the offense to burn the Eskimos defense on numerous occasions and look for allot of 20+ yard plays against Maciocia’s defense.

Ron’s Forecast: Hamilton 29 Edmonton 23 Stat of the Game: When ANY CFL team played as Home team as a Underdog - After a non division game - Coming off a 4-7 point Road loss; the Home Dog (Hamilton) is 12-3-0 ATS in this role since ’96.

Montreal (53) vs. BC Lions (-6.5)
Alouettes at Lions History: When Montreal travels to BC, they are 5-9-0 ATS, 4-10 SU and the O/U is 8-6-0 since 1996.

The last time the Montreal Alouettes won in BC was Week #9; the year was August 31st 2000. In fact, it was the same year the St.Louis Rams won the Super Bowl vs. Tennessee in what many described as the greatest finish of a Champion ship game, when the Rams defensive player (Mike Jones) tackled the Titans receiver (Kevin Dyson) at the 1 yard line to seal the deal. The Alouettes are 0-9 SU vs. the BC Lions at BC Place in their last 9 encounters and that includes regular and playoff games. Actually, the last time Montreal won in BC was Aug 31st 2000 and the Als won 35-25 and the line was a Pick’em and the total was 54.5. If the Alouettes should falter the rest of the season, I would say looking back a few weeks ago vs. Winnipeg, where they let a 31-7 lead slip to a 31-24 comeback from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, teams must of picked up something on that game and for some reason, they haven’t been the same since. However, it’s only Week 5 and they have a big task at hand this weekend vs. Wally Buono and the Lions. Montreal is coming off a heartbreaking lost to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, a game they seem to be in control until Anthony Calvillo threw that interception deep in their offensive zone and never recovered after this point. In fact, on the next kick off, Jason Armstead fumbled the football and this sealed the win for the Green Riders. On a side note, Armstead was released the next day from the Alouettes for his 2 costly fumbles in the game, but one has to wonder had Calvillo not thrown that interception late in the game, would Armstead still have a job today? The Lions are coming off a tough and emotional 27-18 win over the Winnipeg Lions, as the Lions celebrated Bob Ackles life after the game. The Lions are enjoying a 2 game winning streak and are averaging 28.3 Points For a game, while giving up 22.67 Points Against in their last 3 contest. It’s just a matter of time before the Lions start averaging over 33 PF a game, but until they do, their defense will carry them in those close games.

Ron’s Forecast: BC Lions 26 Montreal 21 Stat of the Game: When ANY CFL Team played as Road team as a Underdog -Total is between 51.5 to 54 -Vs Non Division Opponent -Playing on Friday - Coming off a game scored 34 points or less; The UNDER is 17-4-1 for the Road Dog in this role since ’96.

Toronto (54) vs. Saskatchewan (-4.5)
Argonauts at Roughriders History: When Toronto travels to Saskatchewan, they are 6-6-0 ATS, 6-6 SU and the O/U is 8-4-0 since 1996.

Kerry Joseph returns to his old stomping grounds this Sunday and the Boatmen are a +4.5 point Road Underdog vs. the 4-0 Saskatchewan Roughriders. However, if Joseph is looking for his old #4 in the Green and White dressing room, seems there’s a new sheriff in town and his name is not Reggie Hammond, but Darian Durant! Durant has shown great poise and maturity as the new signal caller for the Roughriders and it’s going to force head coach Ken Miller to make a wise and educated decision when Marcus Crandell is ready to come back. The Riders are coming off a exciting 41-33 win over the Montreal Alouettes this past Sunday and they are averaging 33.3 Points For a game. The Argos are 2-2 SU on the season and their second win of the year came from a 109 yard drive last week vs. the hapless Eskimos defense. The Argonauts looked old on defense last week, as veterans like O’Shea, Wheaton and Fletcher were starting to look a bit slow and when was the last time the Argos were involved in 3 straight games that went OVER the posted total? You would have to go back to Week #9, August 17th 2003 to find the answer and that 4th game went under the total vs. Edmonton in an 18-15 lost. Plus, Toronto will be without their middle linebacker, as Kevin Eiben will be out a few weeks with a MCL tear.

The Argos are allowing 31.5 Points Against a game and having your old defensive coordinator as your new head coach is one major reason why the Argos are allowing so many Points Against.

Every team has an identity, right now I’m still trying to figure out what makes the Argos tick and what will be their bread and butter the remaining games of the season. If Kerry Joseph can get a reliable go to receiver he can trust and the Argos defense can get their Points Against Average down to 27 or lower a game; they could be the team to beat in the Eastern Division, as nobody really wants to win this division!

Ron’s forecast: Saskatchewan 33 Toronto 17 Stat of the Game: When TORONTO team played as a 3.5 to 6.5 Underdog - Coming off a Home win as a Favorite; The Argos are 3-7 SU and ATS in this spot since ’96.

Trend analysis is one way of handicapping games but there are others. Intuitive people that watch games may not believe in Winnipeg+6. In every game, there is a key reason for the outcome. But we won't know for certain until after game is over.