CFL Week 3 Betting News and Notes

CFL Week 3 Betting News and Notes

Canadian Football League Week 2 Betting Recap
By Ian Cameron
Sportsmemo.com

Teams that have won straight up have covered every single game after the first two weeks of the CFL season. The SU winner is a perfect 8-0 ATS so far this season based on the closing number. Here is my recap of Week 2 and quick hitter team-by-team analysis of this week’s action…

Montreal Alouettes (1-1 SU/ATS)

Who would ever think that Montreal’s offense would be the source of their problems? But it was just that in their awful 19-11 home loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Quarterback Anthony Calvillo played possibly the worst game I’ve seen him play in his CFL career and certainly since he’s been in Montreal. It raises questions about whether the game has finally caught up to the 40-year-old veteran despite his sure fire future CFL Hall Of Fame status. The offensive line was just as inept though as the Alouettes failed to protect Calvillo throughout the game as Winnipeg registered seven sacks. The Montreal defense forced five Winnipeg turnovers and played a very strong game which goes to show just how pathetic things were for Montreal on the offensive side of the football. There have been rumors that Calvillo and new head coach Dan Hawkins are not on the same page and the awful showing in their home opener last week against one of the worst teams in the CFL is strong evidence that rumor is true. Montreal gets to stay at home as it plays their second straight home game against Calgary in Week 3 and even though Calgary may be relegated to their backup quarterback Kevin Glenn, it won’t be an easy game for the Alouettes who are facing some early season adversity.

Toronto Argonauts (1-1 SU/ATS) 

My clients and I cashed a ticket against Toronto last week in its 24-16 road loss to the BC Lions. The defending Grey Cup champions are a good football team but I had my doubts they could go on the road against BC who was off a very rare bad performance after Toronto barely escaped with a win at home in Week 1 against a rebuilding Hamilton team. The Argos offense was impressively shut down by BC’s vaunted defense as Ricky Ray was out of sync all night and unable to get much going in the passing game. Chad Kackert didn’t do much doing running the football and the defense played well enough but couldn’t match BC. Chad Owens was held in check and when that happens, Toronto finds it much more difficult to win games and cover pointspreads. The Argos are now 1-1 SU and ATS after Week 2 and they easily could be 0-2. They will now return home to face the only undefeated team in the CFL entering Week 3 – the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (0-2 SU/ATS)


Hamilton took a major step backward in Week 2. In last week’s column I noted how I liked the energy and effort the Tiger-Cats played with under new head coach Kent Austin in their opener against Toronto despite falling short. But I saw too many mental mistakes and a very disappointing “throw in the towel” attitude near the end of the game when it looked like they couldn’t come back. It was a missed opportunity to gain the much needed confidence that Austin is trying to instill in this group. They forced a fumble by Edmonton on the opening kickoff but failed to cash in and that set the tone for the rest of the game. It’s back to the drawing board for Hamilton and with injuries mounting and an 0-2 start, the Ticats are facing an early season near must-win in Week 3 as they stay in Guelph to host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Winnipeg played well enough to win last week in Montreal but it was far from a great performance. This could be Hamilton’s last winnable game for some time especially with a back-to-back set of games against Saskatchewan upcoming.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1-1 SU/ATS)

Winnipeg somehow managed to survive five turnovers to win in Montreal last week. It was as ugly a performance in a win as any team can have but when you are a team like the Blue Bombers who are coming off a dismal 6-12 season, you won’t critique the win. Winnipeg’s offense is still a concern as quarterback Buck Pierce had trouble making downfield throws and the run game was stifled but because their defense was absolutely dominant, they are still able to win despite scoring just 19 points. The defense is the clear strength of this football team and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them continue to rely on that unit to give them a chance to win games. Betting Winnipeg games Under the total should generate some profits in the short term until the Blue Bombers can show some kind of consistency on offense.

Saskatchewan Roughriders (2-0 SU/ATS)


I said last week that Saskatchewan was easily the most impressive team in Week 1. Ditto for Week 2. The Roughriders had a very good test in their home opener against last year’s Grey Cup finalists the Calgary Stampeders and Saskatchewan passed the test with flying colors. The game went back and forth in the first half with Calgary leading 21-14 at half but it was all Saskatchewan from that point forward. Quarterback Darian Durant played a heck of a game from start to finish completing 76% of his passes going 26-for-34 for 258 yards and two touchdowns. I mentioned before the season this was a big “make or break” season and so far he is doing his part to fulfill that prophecy. Kory Sheets has been phenomenal carrying the football for 6.1 yards per rush and the defense has been much improved after that side of the football was rebuilt in the offseason. There is not a lot to be said negatively about this team…yet but they will receive a very tough test in their next game in Week 3 as they travel east to take on the defending Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts.

Edmonton Eskimos (1-1 SU/ATS) 

Edmonton had the worst Week 1 showing of any team but bounced back with the effort, intensity and execution necessary to go on the road and beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Week 2. Edmonton’s offense looked inept in Week 1 but took some steps forward this week as quarterback Mike Reilly had a solid game connecting on 64% of his passes while throwing two touchdowns – and more importantly no picks after tossing three in Week 1. Hugh Charles got going on the ground with 119 yards and the defense played outstanding and looked a lot more like the Eskimos D that was among the best defenses in the CFL last year. It was a much improved performance all around but at the same time, we can’t give them all the credit because Hamilton is going to need some time to get better. Edmonton will get a true measuring stick game in Week 3 when they host the BC Lions.

Calgary Stampeders (1-1 SU/ATS)

Calgary lost its Week 2 showdown of 1-0 teams against Saskatchewan by a score of 36-21 but that wasn’t the biggest story for the Stampeders. It was another potential long-term injury to quarterback Drew Tate who left the game in the fourth quarter after suffering a strained forearm muscle. Tate has shown so much potential but staying on the field has become an issue. He suffered a separated shoulder after Week 2 last season and missed the rest of the regular season before returning for the playoffs. He played in their West semifinal win against Saskatchewan but suffered another injury that forced him out of the West finals and the Grey Cup which Calgary lost to Toronto. Now here we are in 2013 with Tate once again off to a great start only to suffer another injury. As of this writing, he’s questionable to suit up for Week 3 in Montreal against the Alouettes. The defense for Calgary was simply on the field for way too long as Saskatchewan put on a clinic in ball control in the second half to pull away for the win. Calgary will have a solid chance to bounce back from the loss against Montreal but the status Tate is obviously hanging over this team like a black cloud.

BC Lions (1-1 SU/ATS)

The BC Lions shook off a bad outing in Week 1 by controlling the game from start to finish and defeating the defending Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts, 24-16. BC was a victim of circumstance in Week 1 to some extent as they were playing an emotional Calgary team who were playing with incredible intensity and passion for their home fans in the week following the devastating flood. The Lions got back to business last week though as quarterback Travis Lulay was sharp and the defense looked shut down a very potent Toronto offense. The news wasn’t all good for BC however as they lost all-star linebacker Adam Bighill to an ankle injury – he has already been ruled out for Week 3 when BC travels to Edmonton. BC also has a few questionable players for this week with receivers Nick Moore and Shawn Gore both dealing with minor injuries. It’s one thing to be able to beat Edmonton on the road when you are healthy as most wouldn’t dispute that BC is the better of those teams but with some key injuries it will be a tougher challenge.

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SASKATCHEWAN (2 - 0) at TORONTO (1 - 1) - 7/11/2013, 7:30 PM

Top Trends for this game.
SASKATCHEWAN is 111-73 ATS (+30.7 Units) as an underdog since 1996.
SASKATCHEWAN is 21-9 ATS (+11.1 Units) in dome games since 1996.
SASKATCHEWAN is 46-25 ATS (+18.5 Units) in July games since 1996.

Head-to-Head Series History
TORONTO is 2-2 against the spread versus SASKATCHEWAN over the last 3 seasons
TORONTO is 2-2 straight up against SASKATCHEWAN over the last 3 seasons
3 of 4 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


CALGARY (1 - 1) at MONTREAL (1 - 1) - 7/12/2013, 7:30 PM

Top Trends for this game.
CALGARY is 17-7 ATS (+9.3 Units) when playing with 6 or less days rest over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
CALGARY is 4-0 against the spread versus MONTREAL over the last 3 seasons
CALGARY is 3-1 straight up against MONTREAL over the last 3 seasons
3 of 4 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


WINNIPEG (1 - 1) at HAMILTON (0 - 2) - 7/13/2013, 6:30 PM

There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
WINNIPEG is 5-2 against the spread versus HAMILTON over the last 3 seasons
WINNIPEG is 6-1 straight up against HAMILTON over the last 3 seasons
5 of 7 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


BRITISH COLUMBIA (1 - 1) at EDMONTON (1 - 1) - 7/13/2013, 9:30 PM


There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
BRITISH COLUMBIA is 5-3 against the spread versus EDMONTON over the last 3 seasons
BRITISH COLUMBIA is 6-2 straight up against EDMONTON over the last 3 seasons
4 of 7 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons



SASKATCHEWAN vs. TORONTO
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Saskatchewan's last 13 games when playing on the road against Toronto
The total has gone UNDER in 15 of Saskatchewan's last 23 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Toronto's last 8 games
Toronto is 3-7 SU in its last 10 games when playing Saskatchewan

CALGARY vs. MONTREAL
Calgary is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing Montreal
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Calgary's last 6 games when playing Montreal   
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Montreal's last 6 games when playing Calgary
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Montreal's last 5 games at home

WINNIPEG vs. HAMILTON

The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Winnipeg's last 5 games when playing on the road against Hamilton
Winnipeg is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing Hamilton   
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Hamilton's last 5 games when playing Winnipeg
Hamilton is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games when playing Winnipeg

BRITISH COLUMBIA vs. EDMONTON
British Columbia is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games when playing on the road against Edmonton
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of British Columbia's last 5 games when playing on the road against Edmonton   
Edmonton is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing British Columbia
Edmonton is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games when playing British Columbia

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CFL Betting Notes - Week 3
By David Schwab
VegasInsider.com

While the favorites went a perfect 4-0 against the spread in Week 1 of the 2013 CFL regular season it was a mixed bag last week with a 2-2 ATS split. Winnipeg avenged an opening-day loss to Montreal at home with a 19-11 road victory last Thursday night as a seven-point underdog. The night-cap saw British Columbia cover by the tightest of margins with a 24-16 win over Toronto as a seven-point home favorite.

Last Friday night, Saskatchewan improved to 2-0 with a 36-21 romp over Calgary as a 2 ½-point home favorite. Edmonton closed-out Week 2 on Sunday with an impressive 30-20 win over Hamilton as a seven-point underdog on the road.

The following is a brief betting preview for Week 3 of the CFL regular season with the opening pointspread and 'over/under' lines provided by TopBet.

Thursday, July 11

Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Toronto Argonauts


Pointspread: Pick
Total Line 53½

The Roughriders are the only unbeaten team left in the CFL after hammering Edmonton 39-18 in their season opener as 2½-point road favorites. The total has gone OVER in their first two games and has now gone OVER in six of their last seven games. Saskatchewan has scored the most points in the league while allowing the fewest.

Toronto's six-game winning streak both straight-up and ATS that included a Grey Cup Championship and a 39-34 win over Hamilton as a 3½-point home favorite on opening day finally came to an end with the loss to BC. Ricky Ray has picked-up where he left off last season with 583 passing yards and four touchdown throws.

Saskatchewan has gone 6-2 ATS in its last eight trips to Toronto and the total has stayed UNDER in nine of the last 12 games played there between these two teams. The home team in this series is 4-6 SU in the last 10 meetings.

Friday, July 12


Calgary Stampeders vs. Montreal Alouettes

Pointspread: Montreal -2
Total Line: 53

Calgary opened the season with a solid 44-32 victory over BC as a 3½-point home favorite to grab the early edge between the two preseason favorites to win the West Division this season. The total has gone OVER in its first two games and it has now gone OVER in its last nine games dating back to mid-October of last season.

Montreal opened the season as a slight favorite to win the East Division and immediately notched a division win by beating Winnipeg 38-33 as a 3½-point home favorite. The total went OVER the 49½-point line in that game, but it stayed UNDER the 55½-point line in Thursday's rematch.

Calgary is 3-1 SU against Montreal in the past four meetings and a perfect 4-0 ATS. The total has gone OVER in five of the last six games between the two. The home team in this matchup is 7-3 SU in the last 10 games.

Saturday, July 13

Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Pointspread: Hamilton -4½
Total Line: 54

The Blue Bombers will stay in the East Division for the third-straight week. They went 5-5 SU in division play last season, but they were just 2-7 SU on the road. The total has been split this season, but it has stayed UNDER in six of their last eight division games. Buck Pierce is ranked fourth in the CFL in total passing yards with 515 in his first two games.

Hamilton knows it cannot afford to fall into an early 0-3 hole in the standings after missing the playoffs last season with an overall record of 6-12 SU. It was 4-6 SU in division play and over .500 at home SU at 5-4 in 2012. The Tiger-Cats have allowed the most points so far in the league; giving-up a combined 69 points in two games.

Winnipeg is 6-1 SU in the last seven meetings and 5-2 ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in four of the last five games. The home team is 5-1 SU in the last six meetings and 4-2 ATS. The average margin of victory in the last five contests has been 14.2 points.

British Columbia Lions vs. Edmonton Eskimos

Pointspread: BC -3½
Total Line: 49

The Lions covered for just the second time in their last five games in Thursday's victory over Toronto, but the three losses both SU and ATS came at the hands of Calgary. BC won the West last season at 13-5 SU, but it went just 6-4 SU in division play. The total has gone OVER in four of its last six games.

Edmonton's 10-point win this past Sunday snapped a five-game losing streak SU, but it is 5-5 ATS in its last 10 games. The total has gone OVER in seven of its last nine games. Eskimos' linebacker JC Sherritt has been a force so far with a league-high 15 tackles in his first two games.

BC is 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings and it has scored 30 points or more in four of those games. The total has stayed UNDER in five of the last eight games between the two.

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Alouettes' Home History Tested Versus Stampeders
By Sean Murphy
Covers.com

If you're a believer in the Montreal Alouettes, you might want to load up your bankroll for Friday's matchup with the Calgary Stampeders.

Off a shocking home-opening loss to the Blue Bombers, Montreal will be in rebound mode this week. And if history is any indication, the Als should be in excellent position to do just that.

The Alouettes hadn’t lost a home opener since the 2007 season, when they fell 16-7 to Saskatchewan. They went on to lose their next home game that year as well but haven't dropped their first two home games in any season since.

In fact, since 2008, the Als haven't suffered a second home loss any earlier than September 18, nor have they dropped more than two regular season home games in any of their last five seasons, even going undefeated at home in one of those years (2009).

Obviously, things are a little different in Montreal these days, with Dan Hawkins taking over from long-time head coach Marc Trestman. It's far too early to hit the panic button. After all, the Als still sit in a three-way tie atop the East Division at 1-1.

Still, this is about as strong of a motivational spot as you'll see in Week 3 of the regular season.

The Als opened as high as 5-point home favorites but have been bet down to -2 after last week’s loss. The Stampeders are coming off a discouraging loss of their own in Saskatchewan. Montreal opened as -135 moneyline favorites for Week 3.

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CFL Week 3

Saskatchewan (2-0) @ Toronto (1-1) --
Road teams won 10 of last 14 series games, with Riders winning six of last seven visits to Rogers Centre; underdogs are 6-3-1 vs spread in last ten series games, 5-3 in last eight played here. Riders ran ball for 144-151 yards in winning first two games, took ball away five times (+5) in wins by 21-15 points, scoring 34-36 points in wins over divisional rivals. Toronto split its first two games, winning 39-34 in only home game after they trailed by 6 at half; Argos allowed 160 rushing yards last week in Vancouver, a red flag. Five of last six series games stayed under the total.

Calgary (1-1) @ Montreal (1-1) -- Stampeders lost three of four visits here since winning Grey Cup in Montreal in 2008; they lost here 33-32 (+7) LY, snapping three-game win streak vs Alouettes. Calgary has been hit hard by flooding, so life hasn't been normal for Stampeder players; they allowed 34 ppg in first two games, getting outscored 48-13 after halftime. Montreal split its first two games, both vs Winnipeg; Calvillo had one of worst days of his excellent career last week, getting sacked seven times and passing for only 121 yards. Six of last seven series games went over the total.

Winnipeg (1-1) @ Hamilton (0-2) -- Blue Bombers won six of last seven series games, as seven of last ten series games stayed under total; Winnipeg was 3-4 in last seven visits to Hamilton. Winnipeg split its first two games this year despite turning ball over nine times (-5); they've got 11 sacks in two games (+3)TiCats allowed 69 points in losing first two games, giving up 149 ypg on ground; they've been outscored 28-10 in second half of their games. Underdogs covered six of last eight series games; dogs are 4-3-1 vs spread in last eight series games played in Hamilton. TiCats are playing in college stadium this season while their new stadium is being built.

BC Lions (1-1) @ Edmonton (1-1) -- Lions won six of last seven games against Eskimos, winning five of last six visits here (won 19-18 here LY); under is 7-4 in last eleven series games. Underdogs covered six of last eight series games played here. Both teams are off to 1-1 start; Lions were down 31-6 at half in only road game, at Calgary. Eskimos won on rainy field on road vs TiCats last week, running ball for 177 yards, after losing at home to Roughriders week before; they've turned ball over five times (-2) in two games. Home underdogs are 0-2 so far this season; five of eight games went over.

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Roughriders at Argos: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

Saskatchewan Roughriders at Toronto Argonauts (-1.5, 53)

After two weeks of regular-season action, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are the only team in the CFL without a loss. The Roughriders look to extend their hot start Thursday when they visit the defending Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts. After winning their home opener, the Argonauts dropped a road decision to the BC Lions in Week 2 and will need to recover quickly if they hope to contain Saskatchewan’s potent offense.

The Roughriders lead the league with 75 points through two weeks - 10 more than the second-place Calgary Stampeders, who lost 36-21 at Saskatchewan in Week 2. Saskatchewan’s defense, which has allowed a league-low 39 points, held Calgary running back Jon Cornish to 50 yards on eight carries. Those are concerning numbers for Toronto, especially for running back Chad Kackert, who was limited to 20 yards on eight carries against BC.

ABOUT THE ROUGHRIDERS (2-0): RB Kory Sheets leads the league with 264 rushing yards and 292 total yards from scrimmage. Sheets, who ran for 133 yards and one touchdown against Calgary, is the catalyst in Saskatchewan’s offense, attracting the attention of opposing defenses and opening the field for quarterback Darian Durant to connect with slot backs Chris Getzlaf and Weston Dressler. In two games, Getzlaf has already matched his touchdown total from last season (two) and looks poised to eclipse his career mark of 10 set in the 2011 season.

ABOUT THE ARGONAUTS (1-1): QB Ricky Ray is off to an excellent start, completing 71.2 percent of his passes for 583 yards, four touchdowns and a career-high 113 passer rating. Ray’s favourite target - slot back Chad Owens - leads the league with 206 receiving yards. Ray and Owens will need to take advantage of the Roughriders’ mediocre pass defense (601 yards allowed) if Toronto wants to keep pace with Saskatchewan’s potent offense. Linebackers Robert McCune and Marcus Ball are setting the tone on defense with 14 and 12 tackles, respectively, while defensive back Jamie Robinson has 11.

TRENDS:

* The Argonauts are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall.
* The Roughriders are 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine road games.
* The under is 9-3 in the last 12 meetings in Toronto.
* The Roughriders are 6-2 ATS in their last eight meetings in Toronto.

EXTRA POINTS:

1. Saskatchewan SB Geroy Simon - the league’s all-time receiving yards leader - has yet to make his debut with the Roughriders after missing the first two games with a leg injury. He remains day-to-day.

2. Owens, named CFL's Most Outstanding Player last year after setting a professional football record in total yards, has 434 combined yards to start this season.

3. Veteran Argonauts K Noel Prefontaine performed admirably in his season debut replacing the injured Swayze Waters in Week 2, finishing 3-for-3 in field goal attempts. Prefontaine has recorded 1,558 points in his CFL career.

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Stampeders at Alouettes: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

Calgary Stampeders at Montreal Alouettes (-3, 54)

After allowing 11 sacks in two games, the Montreal Alouettes will need to do more to protect quarterback Anthony Calvillo when they host the Calgary Stampeders on Friday. Calvillo appeared frustrated after being sacked seven times in a Week 2 home loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, calling the performance “disgusting” and raising questions about the offensive schemes instituted by new coach Dan Hawkins and his staff. Calvillo later backtracked on his comments, reiterating his confidence in his coaches and teammates, but the questions will continue to mount unless the 40-year-old pivot sees more protection in the coming weeks.

Calgary has its own problems at quarterback as starter Drew Tate is day-to-day with a forearm strain suffered in a Week 2 road loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Tate, who missed significant time last year because of injuries, left last week’s game in the fourth quarter and was replaced by veteran Kevin Glenn, who completed 4-of-7 passes. With no clear starter for Friday, the Stampeders will need a strong showing from running back Jon Cornish, who was limited to 42 yards at Saskatchewan after running for 172 in the season opener.

ABOUT THE STAMPEDERS (1-1): Glenn has more than 36,000 passing yards in his CFL career, including 4,220 for Calgary last year while filling in for an injured Tate. Glenn also started for the Stampeders in last year’s 100th Grey Cup final, when they lost to the Toronto Argonauts. As someone who knows Calgary’s offence well, Glenn should have no problem connecting with wide receivers Joe West (148 yards, three touchdowns) and Maurice Price (77 yards, touchdown in Week 1) if he needs to start. Defensive back Jonathan Hefney leads the team with 14 tackles and will have his hands full with Montreal’s versatile receiving corps.

ABOUT THE ALOUETTES (1-1): Because of the increased defensive pressure, Calvillo has thrown for only 385 yards in the first two weeks, which is concerning for a team without a reliable running back. Noel Devine leads the team in rushing yards with 65 but is primarily a kick returner, posting 296 combined return yards. Calvillo’s favourite target in a new offensive playbook is a familiar face in slot back S.J. Green, who has 150 receiving yards after topping 1,100 in each of the last two seasons. Green, along with slot backs Jamel Richardson and Arland Bruce, form a formidable trio that will be key to getting Montreal’s offence moving after a lacklustre Week 2.

TRENDS:


* Over is 5-1 in the last six meetings.
* Stampeders are 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Under is 5-0-1 in the Alouettes’ last six home games.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Alouettes’ rookie KR Tyron Carrier, who returned a punt 78 yards for a touchdown in Week 1, was at practice this week after missing last game with a shoulder injury.

2. Calgary was 5-3 against East Division opponents last year, while Montreal went 6-2 against the West.

3. Montreal RB Brandon Whitaker made his season debut in Week 2 after suffering a torn ACL last year, running for 33 yards and adding 23 receiving yards. Whitaker cracked the 2,000 combined yards plateau in 2011.

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CFL Doubleheader: Bombers at Ticats, Lions at Eskimos
By Covers.com

Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (-5, 54.5)

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ defense made a statement with 11 sacks in two games against the Montreal Alouettes to start the season. Winnipeg will try to apply the same pressure to quarterback Henry Burris and the host Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday in Guelph, Ont. The Blue Bombers will be the second team to visit Hamilton at its temporary home - the Tiger-Cats lost to the Edmonton Eskimos in heavy rain in Week 2 and are the only team without a win.

Burris, who leads the CFL in passing yards with 595, believes his offence has to get better, but the problem with Hamilton is defense. The Tiger-Cats allowed a league-high 69 points through two games and look especially vulnerable against the run after surrendering 298 total rushing yards. Winnipeg running back Chad Simpson, limited to 90 yards, will look to exploit the same holes Edmonton and the Toronto Argonauts found in Hamilton’s porous secondary.

ABOUT THE BLUE BOMBERS (1-1): Defensive tackles Bryant Turner and Zach Anderson and defensive ends Kenny Mainor and Alex Hall combined for nine of the 11 sacks against Montreal, forming the core of Winnipeg’s intimidating defensive line. Veteran quarterback Buck Pierce has struggled to start the season, completing 38-of-65 passes and throwing four interceptions. Pierce’s favorite target has been slot back Cory Watson, who is on pace to surpass his 2011 career-high 793 receiving yards with 143 in two games.

ABOUT THE TIGER-CATS (0-2): Burris connected with wide receiver Andy Fantuz for 155 yards and one touchdown in the season opener, but Fantuz missed Week 2 with an injury and was not at practice Tuesday. To help bolster their depleted offense, the Tiger-Cats called up wide receiver Glenn MacKay, who is from nearby Burlington, Ont., and resides in Hamilton. MacKay made 18 receptions for 196 yards with the Tiger-Cats in 2011 but has never scored a touchdown during stints for three different CFL teams.

TRENDS:

* Blue Bombers are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Under is 5-0 in the last five meetings in Hamilton.
* Blue Bombers are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 July games.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Hamilton’s loss to Edmonton drew 12,612 fans at Alumni Stadium, which hosted its first CFL game.

2. Tiger-Cats Rookie RB C.J. Gable, who has scored three touchdowns, was also absent from practice Tuesday.

3. Winnipeg SB Kito Poblah remains week-to-week with an injury suffered in preseason.


BC Lions at Edmonton Eskimos (3.5, 49.5)

After dropping its season opener to the Calgary Stampeders, the BC Lions return to Alberta with a home victory under their belts and a winning record in their sights when they visit the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday. Led by running back Andrew Harris, who recorded 152 combined yards, BC handled the Toronto Argonauts in Week 2, shutting down Toronto’s run game one week after surrendering 172 rushing yards to Calgary running back Jon Cornish.

Edmonton is returning home where it lost to the Saskatchewan Roughriders 39-18 to open the season. Quarterback Mike Reilly looked much better in Week 2, throwing for two touchdowns and running for another in a road victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Reilly and running back Hugh Charles combined for 173 rushing yards, a trend that will need to continue in order to open up defenses for Reilly’s developing passing game.

ABOUT THE LIONS (1-1): BC’s defense will be without linebacker Adam Bighill for at least two weeks after he suffered an ankle injury against Toronto. Bighill, who led the team with 104 tackles last year, will be replaced by veteran linebacker Anton McKenzie. With slot back Shawn Gore also expected to miss time because of a head injury, quarterback Travis Lulay will lean heavily on slot back Nick Moore (162 receiving yards) and wide receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux (153). Two games into his first CFL season, cornerback Cord Parks leads BC with 10 tackles and one interception.

ABOUT THE ESKIMOS (1-1): Reilly’s favorite target is veteran slot back Fred Stamps, who has 150 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Stamps has 6,278 receiving yards in his seven-year CFL career - all with Edmonton. Linebacker JC Sherritt, who set a CFL record with 130 tackles last year, has a team-leading 15 tackles and one sack. Aside from Sherritt, the Eskimos’ defense has been questionable as four of their five sacks (and both interceptions) came against a Tiger-Cats team that struggled to control the ball in heavy rain.

TRENDS:

*Over is 4-0 in the Eskimos’ last four home games.
* Lions are 1-6 ATS in their last seven road games.
* Eskimos are 5-1 ATS in their last six Week 3 games.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Lions have won five of seven games against the Eskimos over the last two seasons.

2. Edmonton OL Cliff Louis was fined an undisclosed amount for a dangerous block on Tiger-Cats DL Eric Norwood in Week 2.

3. BC is second in the CFL power rankings following Week 2; Edmonton is seventh.

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