Week 9 in the CFL will feature two of the top teams in the West — the Calgary Stampeders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers — traveling east on a short week.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders will enjoy a much-needed bye week as several of their players are nursing injuries and still recovering from COVID-19.
Here’s a look at the latest CFL Grey Cup outright odds, followed by our Week 9 betting preview:
Winnipeg Blue Bombers +125 (opened +300)
BC Lions +325 (opened +1300)
Calgary Stampeders +475 (opened +700)
Toronto Argonauts +750 (opened +600)
Saskatchewan Roughriders +1000 (opened +450)
Hamilton Tiger-Cats +1300 (opened +500)
Montreal Alouettes +1300 (opened +800)
Ottawa Redblacks +3000 (opened +2000)
Edmonton Elks +5000 (opened +1500)
All odds in this article are via PointsBet.
It’s a two-tiered world in the #CFL currently, but lots happening in the midfield!
📊: https://t.co/p48gdg1el0 pic.twitter.com/EiOhQKpaLq
— CFL (@CFL) August 2, 2022
Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Montreal Alouettes (+5.5, over/under 47)
About the Blue Bombers (8-0 straight up, 6-2 against the spread, 3-5 O/U): Winnipeg took care of business again last week by marching into McMahon Stadium in Calgary and coming away with a 35-28 victory to improve to 8-0 on the season.
Receiver Nic Demski, who suffered an ankle injury in Week 3 and missed a handful of games, returned to action and collected a season-high seven receptions to go along with 69 yards and his first two touchdowns of the season in the win. Fellow receiver Greg Ellingson’s Week 9 status is still up in the air due to a hip injury, and defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat is also questionable with a hip ailment.
This matchup will be the first of a home-and-home series against the Alouettes, with Winnipeg making the first leg of the trip on short rest after playing Saturday.
About the Alouettes (2-5 SU, 4-3 ATS, 5-2 O/U): The Alouettes are coming off a 24-17 loss to Hamilton that dropped them to 2-5 on the season. Penalties have been an issue all season for Montreal, which was flagged for 89 yards last week, slightly below its season average of 8.7 penalties for 95 yards a game.
Alouettes owner Gary Stern took to Twitter on Tuesday to declare his team will be the first to knock off Winnipeg this season:
Game against Winnipeg coming up fast .
No one gives us a chance
I sincerely believe , we are at home , we have the talent , coaches installed great systems , we will win this game .
@MiltStegallTSN @MattDuniganTSN @DavisSanchez don’t write this team off .
— Gary Stern (@GaryS2020) August 2, 2022
But who cares about the actual game when you can eat over two pounds of Canadian poutine out of a football helmet on Thursday night in Montreal?
The new ALOUETTE poutine that will be served in a football helmet will be waiting for you on Thursday night at the stadium 🤤 Split it with your friends, your family, or try eating it all yourself 💪 More info → https://t.co/TY7aG2HUn4 pic.twitter.com/fPyV7clN8K
— Alouettes de Montréal (@MTLAlouettes) August 1, 2022
Sports betting trends:
The over is 6-0-1 in the past seven meetings between these teams in Montreal.
The Bombers are 4-0 ATS in their last four games against opponents with losing records.
The over is 3-0-1 in the last four overall meetings between the teams.
Calgary Stampeders @ Ottawa Redblacks (+5.5, 50.5 O/U)
About the Stampeders (4-2 SU, 2-4 ATS, 5-1 O/U): Calgary has a flawless record against everyone other than Winnipeg to this point after sustaining a second straight loss to the Bombers last week, even though the Stampeders had a bye week to rest up and game plan for the CFL’s best team.
Bettors will want to monitor the status of running back Ka’ Deem Carey leading up to kickoff. Currently the league’s second-leading rusher with 72 carries for 471 yards and five touchdowns, he missed practice Monday due to a hamstring injury.
Calgary has dominated Ottawa in recent years, taking eight of the past 10 meetings.
About the Redblacks (1-6 SU, 3-4 ATS, 3-4 O/U): The Redblacks are finally in the win column after knocking off the Argonauts last week to improve to 1-6 on the season.
Quarterback Caleb Evans was fabulous, completing 24 of his 29 pass attempts for 286 yards and two touchdowns. One of those passing touchdowns ended up in the hands of receiver Jaelon Acklin, who amassed 144 yards on seven catches. Acklin now leads the league with 687 receiving yards and has reached the 100-yard plateau in three straight games.
Sports betting trends:
The over is 6-1 in Calgary’s past seven games.
Stampeders are 6-2 ATS in their past eight road games.
The under is 5-1 in the past six meetings between the teams.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats @ Toronto Argonauts (-2, 45 O/U)
About the Tiger-Cats (2-5 SU, 2-5 ATS, 3-4 O/U): If you can believe it, Hamilton and Toronto will go head-to-head four times in the next five weeks. The finale of the gauntlet between the two rivals will be the Labour Day Classic in Hamilton, which is historically one of the most highly anticipated CFL games of the season.
Last week, the Tiger-Cats debuted a two-quarterback system in an attempt to boost their struggling run game. Matthew Shiltz rotated into the game at quarterback in place of starter Dane Evans at various points and ran the ball effectively. Hamilton’s offensive line has had issues protecting Evans this year, and Shiltz kept Montreal’s pass rush honest to help the Tiger-Cats to a 24-17 win.
About the Argonauts (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS, 3-3 O/U): Toronto will want to wipe a miserable effort last week against Ottawa from its memory.
The Argonauts failed to run the ball effectively with Andrew Harris, who was limited to just 17 yards on nine carries. And although McLeod Bethel-Thompson threw for 340 yards to surpass 10,000 passing yards for his career, it only resulted in one touchdown.
There hasn’t been a more Jekyll-and-Hyde team in the CFL this season than the Argos. Toronto looked solid in back-to-back wins over the Roughriders last month, but huge duds against the Lions (44-3 loss) in Week 2, and then to the lowly Redblacks (23-13 loss) last week, suggest this team still isn’t jelling.
Sports betting trends:
The over is 9-3 in the past 12 meetings between the teams.
The Argos are 0-5 ATS in their past five games against opponents with losing records.
Hamilton is 2-6 ATS in its past eight games.
Edmonton Elks @ BC Lions (-10.5, O/U 51)
About the Elks (2-5 SU, 3-4 ATS, 5-2 O/U): Edmonton had a bye last week, and its first practice this week was interesting. Members of the offensive and defensive lines got into a fight, but the coaching staff and other players downplayed the incident afterward.
Jaylan Guthrie (63) and Ese Mrabure (92) get into a fight during an Edmonton Elks practice at Commonwealth Stadium Tuesday. #yeg #elks pic.twitter.com/dfVDgHIn4l
— David Bloom (@davidbloomphoto) August 2, 2022
Quarterback Tre Ford is still not practicing due to a shoulder injury, which means Taylor Cornelius will likely make his third straight start.
Edmonton’s defense is allowing a league-worst 34.9 points per game, which is over seven points more than the Alouettes (27.6 ppg), who have the second-worst defensive unit in the CFL.
About the Lions (5-1 SU, 4-2 ATS, 3-2-1 O/U): If you thought Nathan Rourke’s red-hot start was a fluke, you should be convinced now that he’s an elite talent in the league. The quarterback led the Lions on a 28-0 run to stage a come-from-behind 32-17 victory over the Roughriders last week at Mosaic Stadium, widely regarded as the toughest venue in the league for opposing teams.
And now, Rourke could have his deadliest weapon as his disposal for this week’s showdown with the struggling Elks. Receiver Bryan Burnham returned to practice this week for the first time since suffering broken ribs in Week 3. Surprisingly, the Lions went 3-1 in the three-time All-Star’s absence.
Sports betting trends:
The over is 5-0 in Edmonton’s past five road games.
The over is 9-2-1 in BC’s past 12 games overall.
Edmonton is 1-5 ATS in its past six games against West Division opponents.
Photo: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY