The CFL playoff picture is clear. Six teams will be in the postseason, and it’s apparent that Hamilton, Ottawa, and Edmonton will be the three teams that miss out.
Even though the games aren’t as consequential as they appear, there is an important battle for the second seed in the West Division. The BC Lions are ahead of the Calgary Stampeders by 0.5 games in the standings.
BC and Calgary are heavy favorites this weekend, but it’s the CFL, so anything can happen.
Below, read about my best CFL bets for Week 17.
Kevin Davis’ Record (Tracked by BetStamp App): 38-37, -1.5% Return on Investment, +3.6% Closing Line Value
All CFL odds are current as of Tuesday, Sep. 27, at 4 p.m. ET at the CFL sportsbooks listed.
Toronto vs Calgary Best Bet
Under 55.5 Points (-110) at BetRivers
WAGER: 2 Units
Why on Earth is the total for this week’s Toronto/Calgary game set at 55.5 points? For a CFL game, this is far too high of a total, let alone a game between two strong defensive teams in Calgary and Toronto.
Toronto has allowed the fewest points per game in the East Division, and Calgary has a tough group as well. Additionally, the average Toronto game this year has had only 48.1 combined points scored.
Toronto’s offense runs through McLeod Bethel-Thompson, who is one of the more aggressive quarterbacks in the league. Sometimes he has a big game, and other times he is prone to committing turnovers.
This is where Calgary comes in. They have a passing defense that is third in the league in yards allowed per pass and second in interceptions. Offensively, Calgary quarterback Jake Maier should have a hard time, as Toronto has the best passing defense in the league.
Take the Under at 55.5 points, and I would bet this down to 52.5 points.
Saskatchewan vs Winnipeg Best Bet
Over 47.5 Points (-110) at BetRivers Sportsbook
WAGER: 0.75 Units
During the CFL season, I have made 23 Over/Under bets. Only five of those bets have been Overs.
Why am I betting a rare Over this week in a game between two strong defensive teams in Winnipeg and Saskatchewan?
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have a 12-2 record, which is good enough for a 2.5-game lead for first place in the West Division. Barring a disaster, Winnipeg should get a first-round playoff bye and be favored in the West Division Finals and in a potential Grey Cup game.
To put it simply, the Blue Bombers don’t need to win again until the playoffs.
As a result, their defense — which is normally the best in the league — has been slipping. Last week against an underperforming Hamilton offense, the Blue Bombers allowed 48 points.
Additionally, Winnipeg’s offense is starting to fire. In that same game against Hamilton, the Blue Bombers scored 31 points thanks to a strong performance from quarterback Zach Collaros. In their previous game against Saskatchewan, Winnipeg scored 54 points.
At 47.5 points, the Over is worth a play, and I would bet it up to 49 points.
Ottawa vs BC Best Bets
Ottawa +8.5 (-115) at FanDuel Sportsbook
Ottawa Moneyline (+260) at FanDuel
WAGER: 0.5 Units Each
Ottawa plays in the weakest CFL division, and they have the worst record. BC plays in the toughest CFL division, and they have a half-game lead for second place in the division.
With BC being the better team and having more of an incentive to win, why would I back Ottawa this week? Well, 8.5 points is a lot to lay, even at home against the RedBlacks.
The Redblacks have an average scoring margin of -5.5, which isn’t great, but it is a field goal less than this 8.5-point spread. Additionally, when you comb through Ottawa’s recent scores, they’ve been competitive.
In their last four games, they beat Edmonton 25-18 on the road, a playoff-bound Montreal team 38-24, and lost to a first-place Toronto team by only five points. Their only blemish is losing 15-45 last week against Toronto at home.
BC is certainly the better team, but I don’t see them covering. Their play has declined with the absence of quarterback Nathan Rourke.
Not only should Ottawa cover, but they might win as well, which is why I’m taking the moneyline, too.
Montreal vs Edmonton Best Bet
Montreal -3.5 (-106) at BetRivers
WAGER: 1.5 Units
I don’t care if Edmonton has the second-worst record. They are clearly the worst team in the CFL. They have an average scoring margin of -12.8, surrender the most points on defense, and score the second-fewest points on offense.
Montreal, on the other hand, is cooking up their opponents like escargot. The Alouettes have a lock on the second seed in the East Division and are a .500-level team.
Despite this, Montreal is favored by only 3.5 points.
The Alouettes have been playing well recently, as they are 4-1 over their last five games. They beat the league-leading Winnipeg Blue Bombers 20-17, Hamilton (twice), and BC.
Even though I was able to grab Montreal -3 when they opened, I would still recommend betting them up to -5 this weekend against Edmonton.