104th Grey Cup Point Spread and Pick: Stampeders vs. Redblacks

Ricky Rothstein | Updated Nov 23, 2016

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The Calgary Stampeders look for their second Grey Cup title in three years and eighth overall on Sunday when they face the Ottawa Redblacks, who were 26-20 losers to the Edmonton Eskimos in last year’s Grey Cup. The 2016 CFL season comes to an end in Toronto — the first Grey Cup held at BMO Field — and the Stampeders, the best team in the regular season, are solid favourites on Sports Interaction CFL odds.

Calgary Stampeders vs. Ottawa Redblacks

Point spread: Stampeders -9

Over/under: 54.5

Date: Sunday, Nov. 27, 6 p.m. ET

Location: BMO Field, Toronto

Calgary Stampeders

The Stampeders were favourites to win the Grey Cup after finishing with the best record by far in the CFL in the regular season in taking the West Division title. The Stamps’ 16-game winning streak came to an end in the regular-season finale, a 17-8 loss to Montreal. But as the game  meant nothing in the overall scheme of things, Calgary coach Dave Dickenson rested star quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell.

Calgary then had two weeks off before facing the BC Lions in the Western Final. The Stamps had little trouble in a 42-15 victory. Mitchell was 21-for-28 for 365 yards and three touchdowns. Marquay McDaniel caught four passes for 131 yards and a touchdown, and DaVaris Daniels had four catches for 107 yards and a score. BC had played Calgary tough early in the regular season, beating the Stamps 20-18 in Week 1 and losing 44-41 in Week 6.

History favours Calgary on Sunday, as in this century 12 times the Grey Cup has been won by the team with the better regular-season record. A victory on Sunday would see Calgary finish at 17-2-1 overall and in the conversation of the best CFL teams ever.

Sunday’s game is a homecoming of sorts for Calgary’s Jerome Messam, the CFL’s leading rusher this season. He had 1,198 yards and was one of just two players to surpass 1,000. Messam also threw for 485 yards and totalled 12 touchdowns rushing and passing. Messam is a top candidate for the CFL’s Outstanding Canadian award for a second time in his career. Mitchell, meanwhile, should win the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player Award.

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Ottawa Redblacks

Ottawa finished just 8-9-1 in the regular season but that was enough to finish atop the mediocre East Division. It got payback on Edmonton for last year’s Grey Cup loss with a 35-23 victory in a snowy Eastern Final. Running back Kienan Lafrance chose a good time to have a career game as he had 25 carries for 157 yards. He took over when Mossis Madu went down early with a fractured scapula that will keep him from playing in the Grey Cup.

Quarterback Henry Burris, a CFL legend and two-time winner of the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player Award (2015, 2010), threw for 246 yards and two scores in the Eastern Final. This could be the 41-year-old Burris’ final career game. He’s third on the all-time CFL passing yards list with 63,227, behind only Anthony Calvillo and Damon Allen. B

Receiver Ernest Jackson, who had 1,225 yards and 10 touchdowns during the season, is the other nominee for the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player. And Rich Campbell, named the league’s top coach in 2015, is once again up for the award alongside Calgary’s Dave Dickenson, who is the likely winner. The awards will be announced Thursday.

The Redblacks led the CFL in total and passing yards during the season but were only sixth in scoring because they scored touchdowns on just 48.3 per cent of their red-zone opportunities. By comparison, Calgary led the CFL in scoring and scored touchdowns on 57.8 per cent of trips to the red zone.

Stampeders vs. Redblacks Prediction

Ottawa hosted Calgary in Week 3 and the game finished in a 26-26 tie. Trevor Harris was the Redblacks’ quarterback with Burris out and threw for 396 yard and three scores — all the TDs to Chris Williams. Mitchell threw for 368 yards, two scores and a pick. In Week 13, Calgary routed visiting Ottawa 48-23. Mitchell threw for 361 yards and two scores, while Harris threw for 289 and two TDs.

Calgary wins the Grey Cup, but take the points as Burris will keep things close. Go under the total.

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