Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:00 AM EST.
10:30 PM EST. The Stampeders have arguably the most balanced roster in the CFL and it starts with quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell. His numbers aren’t quite on par to last year when he won the league’s Most Outstanding Player Award, as he is fifth in passing yards and tied for third in passing touchdowns entering this week, but Calgary’s is still 5-1-1 However, Calgary’s last three victories came against Saskatchewan, Hamilton and Toronto. The Stamps have played just three road games with wins over Winnipeg and Toronto and a seven-point loss in Montreal. In their win against Toronto, Calgary only outgained the Argonauts by 30 yards. In their two games against Ottawa this season, Calgary was extremely fortunate to not go 0-2. Maybe, just maybe, the Stamps are not as good as advertised but you’ll continue to pay a premium to back them.
Additionally, there are several overreactions working here, which has created even more of an inflated line. First, Calgary has been off for 15 days while B.C. has been off for five days so the market is being fed the “rested v the unrested” angle. Secondly, Calgary has defeated B.C., 42-15 and 37-9 the past two games they have played against one another, which also has influence on the number. Finally, the Lions are coming off a 41-8 loss to Saskatchewan last week, which resonates with bettors because it’s very fresh in their minds but we’ll give the Lions a pass for that performance last week (which looks must worse on paper) because it was sandwiched between a 30-15 win over the Riders the week before and this “showdown” with their most hated rival.
What we know for sure is that B.C. is 2-1 at home this year with only loss being by three points to Edmonton in its season opener. We also know that Jonathon Jennings’ growth in 2016 was due to his ability to recover. Jennings was 3-1 last season when coming off a loss and threw for a combined 1,049 yards and seven touchdowns in those victories. The Lions competed with the Stamps in B.C. last year and were even in a position to blow them out before a series of bizarre incidents allowed the Stamps to fight back and escape with a 44-41 victory. The Lions led 34-19 at the half and were going in for a TD that would have made it 41-14 but a fumble and a TD pass three plays later turned that game around. What the market is focusing on instead of that potential B.C. blowout is that Calgary has won big over the Lions the past two games and B.C. just got smoked by the Riders. All told, the Lions are too good to be taking back this many points in their own barn and if we’re sticking to playing value, than this host must be played.
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B.C. LIONS +4½ -108 (Risking 2.16 units - To Win: 2.00)