I was on the wrong side of both CFL Division Semi-Finals games last week, taking the losing side on both games, which were each basically pick’ems. Ottawa gave up 3 touchdowns in the first half and were never able to reel the Roughriders back in, while the Edmonton vs Winnipeg game was a barn burner that could have went either way, but the Eskies were able to get the win outscoring the Bombers by a second half TD.
Those semi-finals games set up the Roughriders vs Argos in the East Final, and the Eskimos vs Stampeders in the West. I will be using the odds from SportsInteraction.com for my playoff picks below. They’re our top rated sportsbook and they are an in-game sponsor of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats this season, which shows their commitment to the CFL. You can check out our full SIA review here.
Saskatchewan Roughriders @ Toronto Argonauts
- Saskatchewan +1.5
- Toronto -1.5
Kevin Glenn played a near perfect game in Ottawa last week and if he can run this Roughriders offense as efficiently this week in Toronto, I don’t see any reason why Saskatchewan won’t get this win and make it to the Grey Cup game from the cross over position.
Saskatchewan came into Toronto and beat the Argos 27-24 in week 16, and although the Argos played fairly well down the stretch to lock up the bye in the East, I still don’t consider them one of the top teams in the CFL. Toronto only went 3-7 against the stronger West Division competition this year, while winning the East with only a .500 record. After their win over Ottawa, Saskatchewan is now 7-2 against East Division teams on the season.
I still believe that Ottawa had the better shot at knocking off the Roughriders in this post season, and I believe that Saskatchewan should actually be the favourite in this game. I handicap this game with the Roughriders as around 3 point favourites, so I will take the +1.5 points all day long and expect Kevin Glenn and company to put up 30+ points on the way to a spot in the Grey Cup.
Play: Roughriders +1.5
Edmonton Eskimos @ Calgary Stampeders
- Edmonton +5.5
- Calgary -5.5
If you read my semi-finals predictions last week, you will know that I was down on both the Eskimos and Blue Bombers heading into that game, so the win by the Eskies has not swayed my opinion too much.
Even though the Stamps lost their final three games of the season, and really haven’t looked good since week 15, I have to think they will be able to shake off the poor play and have a big game in front of their home fans this week.
Edmonton has now won 6 games in a row, so perhaps I should start to give them respect for having turned around their season, but I just can’t make myself believe that these Eskimos are a talented team. They finished the season with a +15 point differential, compared to +174 for the Stampeders, and the fact that this game is in Calgary, should be a big factor as well.
As good as the Eskies offense has looked of late, I still give the edge to the Stamps defense, which is the best in the league. I think this will be the most important battle in the game. If the Stamps are able to keep the Eskimos to 2 or fewer offensive TD’s, I think they cover this spread with ease.
Play: Stampeders -5.5