CFL Point Spreads Week 1: Best Football Picks Against the Spread

Ricky Rothstein | Updated Jun 20, 2017

argos ti cats

Welcome back, football odds and point spreads! While the 2017 NFL regular season is still about 80 days from starting, the CFL campaign kicks off around Canada this weekend.

CFL Betting Odds

Saskatchewan Roughriders at Montreal Alouettes

When: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET

Spread: Alouettes -6.5

Total:  50.5

Both franchises missed the playoffs in 2016 with the Roughriders tying for the worst mark in the league at 5-13 and last in the West Division. No team scored fewer than their 350 points. Montreal was 7-11 and third in the East Division. These teams made a big trade in January as Saskatchewan sent long-time starting quarterback Darian Durant to the Als for a fourth-round pick in the 2017 CFL Draft and a second-rounder in 2018. Durant joined the Roughriders prior to the 2006 season, won two Grey Cups and finished with 2,186 completions, 3,519 attempts and 28,136 yards (all second in team history) along with 149 passing touchdowns (third). Durant gives the Als with their most experienced quarterback since Anthony Calvillo in 2013. Saskatchewan brought in former University of Texas star and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Vince Young to compete for the starting QB job this offseason, but Young suffered a torn hamstring and has been released. Veteran Kevin Glenn, 38, is the starter.

Pick ATS: Alouettes

Calgary Stampeders at Ottawa Redblacks

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET

Spread: Stampeders -3

Total: 55.5

We previewed the coming seasons of the Stampeders and Redblacks here at Sports Interaction this week after they met in last year’s Grey Cup, with Ottawa pulling off one of the biggest upsets in the game’s history, 39-33 in overtime.  However, quarterback Henry Burris is now retired. And the guy who caught the winning TD pass from Burris, All-Star receiver Ernest Jackson, is now with Montreal. The Stamps nearly set the CFL mark for best regular-season record ever last year but lost their finale 17-8 in Montreal with nothing to play for and star QB Bo Levi Mitchell held out. Calgary tied in Ottawa last regular season, 26-26. Mitchell completed 29 of 43 passes for 368 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, while Redblacks QB Trevor Harris (Burris was injured) threw for 396 yards and three touchdowns. It was the second straight regular-season game between the two in Ottawa to go to overtime. The Redblacks won 29-26 in 2015.

Pick ATS: Redblacks

Edmonton Eskimos at BC Lions

When: Saturday, 10 p.m. ET

Spread: BC -3

Total: 58

BC finished second in the West Division behind Calgary last year with a 12-6 record, while Edmonton was fourth at 10-8 – which would have been good enough to win the East. These were the second- and third-best offenses in the CFL last year. Edmonton’s Mike Reilly led the league with 5,554 yards passing and was second with 28 passing TDs and nine rushing scores. The Eskimos’ Adarius Bowman (1,761) and Derel Walker (1,589) were No. 1 & 2 in receiving yards. Walker, however, was released to pursue an NFL career. The Eskimos are hoping former Auburn star D’haquille ‘Duke” Williams can make up for Walker’s loss. In two preseason games, Williams had six receptions for 182 yards and a TD. BC quarterback Jonathan Jennings was third in passing yards (5,226) and in TD passes (27) last year. Emmanuel Arceneaux led the CFL with 13 TD catches and was third with 1,566 yards. Edmonton and BC split in 2016-17, each winning a close game at home.

Pick ATS: Lions

Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Toronto Argonauts

When: Sunday, 4 p.m. ET

Spread: Ticats -3.5

Total: 54

Hamilton was a playoff team last year by finishing second in the East despite a 7-11 record, while the Argos tied with Saskatchewan for the CFL’s worst mark at 5-13. Toronto’s defense allowed a league-high 568 points. It’s the third time in five years these rivals open the regular season against one another. Hamilton won at BMO Field in Week 1 last year, 42-20. Jeremiah Masoli was 27 of 37 for 318 yards and three scores in place of injured starter Zach Collaros, who missed the first six games of the 2016 season recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament but is healthy now. Ticats slotback Andy Fantuz was named the East Division’s Most Outstanding Canadian in 2016 after recording 101 receptions for 1,059 yards and five touchdowns. But he’s rehabbing a torn ACL and currently in the team’s front office. This will be the Argos’ head-coaching debut of Marc Trestman, the former Grey Cup-winning coach of Montreal. Toronto surprised many by releasing expected backup QB Drew Tilly among the club’s final cuts. The Argos acquired Willy last September for a 2017 first-round selection to Winnipeg. That pick ended up being the first overall. Cody Fajardo will now back up Ricky Ray.

Pick ATS: Argos