Last weekend’s start to the CFL Grey Cup Playoffs was incredible.
The Montreal Alouettes managed to beat a tough Hamilton Tiger-Cats team that almost had a late comeback, and the BC Lions easily handled a difficult Calgary Stampeders team. This weekend, we shockingly have an even better CFL slate with two great division semi-final games.
Both games will be played on ESPN networks as the Montreal vs Toronto game is on ESPN 2, followed by the BC vs Winnipeg Game on ESPN News. Call me crazy, but I am watching both games even with the NFL on.
Below, read about my best CFL bets for the Division Finals.
Kevin Davis’ Record (Tracked by BetStamp App): 50-49, -0.1% Return on Investment, +3% Closing Line Value
All CFL odds are current as of 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the CFL sportsbooks listed.
CFL Division Finals Best Bets: Montreal vs Toronto
Montreal +3.5 (-110) at BetRivers Sportsbook
WAGER: 1.5 Units
Montreal Moneyline (+150) at PointsBet Sportsbook
WAGER: 0.5 Units
Over the last two years, Toronto has not given me much confidence as a bettor. Toronto has a 20-12 win-loss record over the last two regular seasons, but an average scoring margin of only +0.28.
That was not a typo.
Despite winning 62.5% of their regular season games over that stretch, Toronto wins each game on average by less than a point.
Montreal started off the season with a 1-3 record and then fired their head coach Khari Jones. The other change the Alouettes made was dumping their starting quarterback Vernon Adams Jr., and replacing him with Trevor Harris.
Both changes resulted in Montreal finishing the rest of the season with an 8-6 record and home-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs.
In last week’s playoff game against Hamilton, Montreal had a strong lead that Hamilton almost overcame. What helped the Alouettes win that game in the fourth quarter was their defense, which had some key plays.
Hamilton started their comeback when they put in backup quarterback Matthew Shiltz, who briefly made it a one-score game after turning a 16-point deficit to only an eight-point deficit.
Then, in the fourth quarter, Montreal began to learn from their mistakes holding the Ti-Cats to only a field goal, an interception, and a fumble on their final three drives.
Toronto won both games against Montreal during the regular season by only one point, including a game three weeks ago where Toronto won off a game-ending missed 61-yard field goal that Montreal couldn’t return (remember the CFL has rouges or singles).
Montreal should cover a +3.5 spread against Toronto, and they could even win. I like the spread the most and would bet it up to +3, but the +150 moneyline is worth a bet, as well.
CFL Division Finals Best Bets: BC vs Winnipeg
Winnipeg -4.5 (-110) at PointsBet Sportsbook
Under 49.5 Points (-110) at BetRivers Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit Each
The two best CFL teams this season are playing this weekend in Winnipeg, as the Blue Bombers host the Lions. How this game is on ESPN News in the states and not on broadcast television is criminal.
Winnipeg is the two-time defending Grey Cup champions, and they led all CFL teams this season with a 15-3 regular season record. This includes an 8-1 home record and a 10-1 record against West Division opponents.
(Winnipeg also remains the favorite in the 2022 Grey Cup odds as of Wednesday.)
BC, after years of mediocrity, was indisputably the second-best regular season team this year. With a 12-6 record, when quarterback Nathan Rourke was healthy, they were arguably the best team in the country.
The Lions also decisively beat a tough Calgary Stampeders team 30-16 last weekend to start the playoffs.
Knowing all this about BC, why would I bet on Winnipeg?
In both games where Winnipeg faced Rourke, the Blue Bombers won decisively. In July, Winnipeg won 43-22 in a performance where they held Rourke to a 64% competition percentage, 278 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, and two interceptions.
That doesn’t look like a great defensive performance, but that was probably the best defensive performance against Rourke leading up to his injury.
To end the season, the BC Lions played Winnipeg again and lost 24-9 despite the return of Rourke, who was a shadow of his old self. BC is a strong team, but Winnipeg is that much better than the whole league.
Getting the Blue Bombers at less than -6.5 is a steal, and the Under at 49.5 is another great bet make to make based on the strength of the Blue Bombers’ defense.