Ron Raymond's CFL Previews Week 10

CFL Week 10 Previews

By CFL Handicapper Ron Raymond of www.Phoenixsports.com
August 27, 2008

One of the best kept secrets in football is the CFL Labor Day Classic games, as these are the Canadian Football League’s most popular double-header matches of the year and they carry many memories to long living CFL fans. Week 10 will kick off in Montreal with the Lions travelling to face the surging Alouettes. On Sunday, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers travel to Mosaaic Stadium for a showdown with the first place Roughriders. Then on Labor Day Monday, the Edmonton Eskimos and Calgary Stampeders will headline the Game of the Week; as both teams are 5-3 SU and depending on the Roughriders outcome on Sunday, could be sharing the top spot in the west with Saskatchewan. Finally, the other game on Monday is the showdown in Steel town, the 3-5 SU Argonauts travel down the QEW to face the 2-6 SU Tiger Cats. Both games on Monday will have plenty of energy in the stands and should deliver great memories. Enjoy the Classic CFL fans!

BC Lions (58.5) vs. Montreal (-4)
Lions vs. Alouettes History: The Lions are 10-3-0 (ATS), 3-10 (SU) and the O/U is 7-6-0 since 1996 in Montreal.

The BC Lions have been in some ways the Argos of the West at 4-4 SU on the season. In fact, when you look at it from an “us and them? situation, they have a QB controversy with Jarious Jackson and Buck Pierce. The Lions don’t have an established running game and this Logan or Joe Smith situation smells like “what the hell is this all about?? Seriously, Joe Smith was a dominating factor for the Lions last season, why has he fallen in Wally’s dog house? The defense is probably a touch better then the older looking Argos and the kicking game is a coin flip. However, the Lions are in a tougher division and the teams ahead of them are playing consistent football. In fact, the Lions can easily be a 6-2 SU football team, but they need more consistency at the QB position. The Lions are coming off a tough 32-29 lost toe the Stampeders and have allowed 35 points against in their last 3 games. All of the Lions last 4 games have gone OVER the total and they average 28 points for on the road this season. Montreal on the other hand, must be considered the current favorites to represent in the East for the Grey Cup. The Alouettes are doing everything right these days and head coach Marc Trestman must be given a ton of credit for getting this team back on track. The Alouettes were always a power house offense with Calvillo at the helm, but it’s their defense which deserves the credit for helping this team gets to the top in the East. They’ve only allowed 19 points against in their last 3 games and have been solid on the road in their last 2 wins. Montreal is on a 3 game winning streak, but will have a tough task vs. a Lions team who will be looking to stay out of the losing column. From a point spread point of view, the Lions are 11-0-1 ATS on the road in August vs. a non-division opponent and that’s going back to 1996. Another tough stat going against BC, Montreal is 14-2 SU at home in August during Week 8 to 12 of a CFL season. When it’s all said and done, I believe this game will be decided by a big play on special teams and look for a long punt return or a missed field goal return for a TD to be the main reason for the win!

Ron’s forecast: Montreal 29 BC Lions 18

ATSDatabase.com Stat of the Game: When MONTREAL team played as Home team as a Favorite -During the month of August -Before a division game; The Alouettes are 11-0 SU in this role since ’96.

Winnipeg (51) vs. Saskatchewan (-3)
Blue Bombers at Roughriders History: The Bombers are 7-9-0 (ATS), 6-10 (SU) and the O/U is 10-5-1 since 1996 in Saskatchewan.

What looked like a team that was flirting with perfection through six week is now a team who will face their biggest game of the year and here’s the reason why I’m stating this fact. When the Riders lost their first game of the year 30-25 to Calgary a few weeks back, it was a close game that could have went either way. However, they got man handled last week in Edmonton 27-10 and lost by 17 points. Now, this third game will be major challenge for the boys from Regina on how this story plays out the rest of the year. If the Riders win in a convincible fashion, they are for real and just went through a hiccup stage the last few weeks. However, if they lose and lose bad, then it’s the law of averages taking care of business on the back side. The Bombers remind me of a dysfunctional family who have all the right pieces to the puzzle, but can’t find the corner pieces to lay the foundation. Winnipeg is only as good as when Charles Robert is playing dominating football, and he’s yet to find his form this season. In the meantime, it’s the QB position who is accepting all the mud being slung their way. Until Roberts gets his act together, the QB position will be the person getting all the blamed or all the glory for wins and loses. The Bombers have a chance to start a good streak in the second half of the season and be the Argos of the 2007 season. Winnipeg won 37-29 last week to Hamilton and is coming off a 2 game home stand. If you’re thinking this game might be decided by defenses, there’s a good chance you are right! The UNDER is 8-2-0 for Winnipeg when they are a road team after a division game and the total is between 49.5 and 51.0. However, if you’re backing up the Riders this Sunday, they are 7-3 SU and 6-4-0 ATS as a Home Favorite during Week 8 to 12 vs. these same Bombers. Defense will be the story of this game in my view.

Ron’s forecast: Saskatchewan 19 Winnipeg 17

ATSDatabase.com Stat of the Game: When ANY CFL Team played as a Road team -Before a non division game - Coming off a 2 game Home stand - Allowed scored 24 points or less against - Coming off a game scored 35 points or more; The UNDER is 12-6-0 for the Road Team in this position.

Edmonton (57) vs. Calgary (-5.5)
Eskimos at Stampeders History: The Eskimos are 9-14-0 (ATS), 10-13 (SU) and the O/U is 8-15-0 since 1996 in Calgary.

What a great way to start the Labor Day classics with a good old fashion shootout at the Calgary “ok coral?! The Eskimos and Stampeders could switch players and you wouldn’t know the difference, that’s how identical these two Alberta teams have been this season. Both teams are 5-3 SU on the season and both are averaging 32 Points For on offense this year. However, the Stampeders have been the better defensive team and the kicking game is pretty much a coin toss too with DeAngelis and Prefontaine having great seasons! Edmonton is coming off a nice butt kicking last week, as they smoked the Roughriders 27-10 at home, but when an away underdog has allowed 10 points or less in their last game, they are only 19-35 SU in their next game. Therefore, this will be a big statement game for Ricky Ray and the Eskimos to prove they are true contenders of the Western Division and look for Henry Burris to outshine Ricky Ray on Monday. Calgary is coming of an emotional road win in BC, where they scored in the last minute of the game to steal a win. The last two games for the Stamps have gone OVER the total and expect another sell out at McMahon Stadium in this “Battle of Alberta? on Monday. Another betting angle that supports the Stampeders; the Eskimos are only 4-11 SU as a +3.5 to +6.5 point underdog vs. a division foe and they are coming off a division opponent. Plus, here’s a CFL trend that goes back to 1996 that supports the Stamps this week; when any CFL team is a Home Favorite during a Monday game in September, they are 12-3 SU in this betting spot. I see this being a classic shootout game, but Calgary and the home crowd goes home happy! But not ATS Happy…

Ron’s forecast: Calgary 31 Edmonton 30

ATSDatabase.com Stat of the Game: When ANY CFL Team played as Home team as a Favorite -During the month of September -Before a conference game -During Week 8 to 12 - Allowed scored 30 points or less against; The Home Fave is 10-2 SU in this position since ’96.

Toronto (54.5) vs. Hamilton (-3)
Argonauts vs. Tiger Cats History: The Argos are 11-11-1 (ATS), 12-10-1 (SU) and the O/U is 10-13-0 since 1996 in Hamilton.

Well, this is too easy to start ripping the Argos and where they went wrong from training camp to where they are at today. If anything, I’m very disappointed in Michael “Pinball? Clemons for letting Rich Stubbler take most of the heat for the Argos struggle this season. Let’s focus on the main reason why the Argos are in this 3-5 SU situation and it starts with leadership. Who is the leader on this team? The defense is getting old, some veteran players don’t have the football speed to attack the holes, and they can’t establish a running game on offense and nobody knows for sure who’s calling the offense. I’m a handicapper and I can see this from my living room, which makes me wonder what the hell they do all week in practice? The Bishop thing was a given and should have been rectified weeks ago, but you can’t be averaging 18 Points For on offense and expect to win football games in a pass happy league like the CFL. The Argos are coming off a 32-14 lost to Montreal and they’ll be facing a Hamilton team who are loose, but will be keeping a close eye on Casey Printers who’s coming back from a thumb injury. I think this is a marketing move by the Tiger Cats, because Richie Williams is the real deal and I haven’t seen a Tiger Cats offense score so many points in 3 consecutive games since the Danny Mac days. Hamilton has been averaging 34 points per game in their last 3 outings, but they still need to find a way to tighten it up on defense, because 32.67 Points Against in their last 3 games is the main reason why they are not 3-0 in their last 3 games. Well, when it rain it pours as they say and here’s more ammunition for the media to beat up Toronto; the Argos are in a horrible position on Monday, they are 1-11 SU as a Road Underdog vs. division foes during Week 8-12 of a CFL season. Hamilton on the other hand are perfect in September as a home favorite during week 8 to 10; like 9-0-1 SU perfect since ’96. The bookmakers have this number right, I like the Tabbies to win by a field goal!

Ron’s forecast: Hamilton 27 Toronto 24

ATSDatabase.com Stat of the Game: When ANY CFL team played as Road team as a Underdog -During the month of September - Allowed score 31 points or more against; The Road Dog is 8-25 SU in this role since 1996.