CFL FREE PICKS
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CFL Week 15 Preview
Week 15 of the season is here. In a nine-team league, we have six teams playing and three have the bye. Why does the league play only three games in some weeks when four should be played so that everyone except one team is in action? It’s one of the many questions I have when it comes to the off-the-field activities of the CFL. It makes no sense.
The week starts with a Friday night battle in Regina as Chris Jones returns to Mosaic Stadium for a game against the Roughriders. Being in Regina, I can certifiably say that a majority of Rider Nation did not like Jones. His gruff, all business mentality did not sit well with the watermelon on our head, Pil-drinking crowd that eats, breathes and sleeps Riders football. Despite the fact there was constant improvement under Jones, his style was something that many did not tolerate with a lot of happiness when he bolted to the NFL.
I am sure those that show up Friday night at the CFL’s nicest stadium (yeah you heard me right Winnipeg) will make sure they let Jones know how much he was missed.
This will be the third and final meeting between these two teams this year. The first two were close games with Saskatchewan winning both----26-16 on June 18 and 34-23 on August 13. In both games, Edmonton kept the game close, but Saskatchewan managed to record some double-digit victories. I see the same thing happening here. The Elks are bad, but Taylor Cornelius is showing some improvement, running back Kevin Brown made an impact against Calgary and without Kenny Lawler in the lineup, Derel Walker and Dillon Mitchell stepped up. They have had a lot of personnel changes, but they are improving. Add that to the fact that all of Edmonton’s wins this year have come on the road and they are 5-2 against the spread away from Commonwealth Stadium.
Saskatchewan is anywhere from a 7-point favorite to an 8.5-point favorite. I think that spread is a tad high. I would take Edmonton to cover in this one. If you don’t want to take that risk, feel comfortable in taking the Riders on the moneyline. There’s a little more juice on the Elks to cover so that is where I am going here.
If the line should drop to 6 or 6.5 points, I would look at taking Saskatchewan to cover, but unless the Riders score a late touchdown to fatten their lead, I see Edmonton covering that spread. Be sure to price shop.
We get a rematch of the last two Grey Cups as Winnipeg is in Hamilton. This just in, I don’t like seeing this matchup for a third straight year. The Bombers are 12-1, the Ti-Cats are 3-9. Chances are this will be the last time these two teams meet this year. Winnipeg is simply on another level. The only way Hamilton wins this game is if they catch the Bombers on an off-day. With Nathan Rourke’s season likely over, Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros is the runaway favorite to win the MOP award for the second consecutive year. Willie Jefferson is playing like Willie Jefferson and the rest of that Bomber defense is once again showing to be a tough unit, as they are stingy when surrendering both yards and points. That Bombers defence is allowing less than 20 points per game, and that trend should continue here. As I said, the only way Hamilton is going to keep this one close or win is if the Bombers stumble and bumble their way through this one. That can happen, but I feel pretty safe in taking Winnipeg
The Bombers are the best team in the CFL. I don’t think we can really argue that. The question now is who is the second best team in the CFL? If you’re not answering BC, you have to be saying Calgary. Those teams meet in Calgary as Vernon Adams gets his first start with the Lions and it comes at quite the time.
BC is trying to hang on to second place. Adams has the task of trying to keep the Lions ahead of Calgary in the fight for second spot. The Stampeders have been a different team under Jake Maier as they have rolled up some victories. This should be a very entertaining football game and I think it could be an explosive contest with a lot of big plays. The Stamps are 6.5-point favorites and I like that line. If this wasn’t Adams’ first start with the Lions, I might lean BC’s way but this is his first chance with that offense with the lights on. I just don’t know how quickly that offence will gel with Adams under centre. BC’s defense will have to keep Calgary honest and hope BC can match them and then make the plays in the fourth quarter to beat them.
Go with Calgary and take them to cover. For what it's worth, I like this to go under the 51.5 total as well
Enjoy the games!
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