Yes, Ottawa was the Grey Cup champion in 2016, but the West Division was clearly superior to the East and that appears to be the case again thus far this season as every East team already has at least two losses. Only one West club does. Here’s a glance at the CFL Week 5 odds and your best football betting picks against the spread.
Montreal Alouettes at Ottawa Redblacks
When: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Spread: Ottawa -4.5
Pick ATS: Redblacks
Montreal is tied for first in the East with Toronto as both are 2-2. The Als were 5.5-point home dogs last week and upset Calgary 30-23. Darian Durant hit Ernest Jackson for an 80-yard completion on the first play of the game, which would lead to a field goal. Tyrell Sutton and backup quarterback Vernon Adams had rushing touchdowns for Montreal, B.J. Cunningham caught one and linebacker Brenden Dozier scored on a fumble recovery. It was the first time this season Montreal scored more than 19 points – it scored 14 of the game’s final 17 — and its fourth straight win over Calgary at Percival Molson Stadium.
Ottawa lost 23-21 at Edmonton. Trevor Harris hit Joshua Stangby on touchdown pass with less than 30 seconds left to bring the Redblacks within two, but the 2-point conversion try was no good. Harris threw for 284 yards but threw a backwards lateral that was picked up and returned for a touchdown. Ottawa has won five of the last six meetings with Montreal.
Edmonton Eskimos at Hamilton Tiger-Cats
When: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Spread: Edmonton -3
Pick ATS: Eskimos
Edmonton is the only team without a loss following its 23-21 win over Ottawa last week when the Redblacks’ tying 2-point try in the final seconds was no good. Travon Van, taking over as the No. 1 tailback with John White lost to a season-ending injury, rushed for 103 yards. Mike Reilly was 27-for-39 for 265 yards and a score, and Brandon Zylstra caught 10 passes for 108 yards. Brandyn Thompson‘s fumble return for a touchdown was a turning point in the game.
Hamilton lost 41-26 to BC to remain winless. The defence has been a major problem all season and was again in allowing 517 yards. Zach Collaros did his part for the Ticats with 361 yards passing and a score. Jalen Saunders had five catches for 147 yards and one touchdown. Edmonton has won eight in a row against East Division opponents, including 24-21 over Hamilton in last year’s Eastern semi-final.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers at BC Lions
When: Friday, 10 p.m. ET
Spread: BC -6
Pick ATS: Lions
No question the most unlikely star of Week 4 was Lions backup quarterback Travis Lulay. Starter Jonathan Jennings left injured after one play and Lulay came on to throw for a career-high 436 yards and three touchdowns, and adding another on the ground. The passing yardage was a CFL record for a quarterback off the bench. Nick Moore was Lulay’s favourite target with 10 catches for 220 yards and a touchdown. Jennings has a shoulder injury that isn’t considered serious, but Lulay will start this game.
Winnipeg beat Toronto 33-25. Andrew Harris rushed 17 times for 81 yards and two scores. Matt Nichols threw for 228 yards and wasn’t sacked. Ryan Lankford had a 93-yard kickoff TD just 14 seconds into the game. BC beat Winnipeg 32-31 in last year’s West semi-final.
Saskatchewan Roughriders at Calgary Stampeders
When: Saturday, 9 p.m. ET
Spread: Calgary -10
Pick ATS: Roughriders
Calgary suffered its first loss of the season in Week 4, 30-23 at Montreal. The Stamps were outscored 14-3 in the fourth quarter and allowed 439 total yards. Bo Levi Mitchell put it up 50 times and completed 34 for 379 yards and a score.
Calgary only attempted 10 rushes. It lost No. 1 running back Jerome Messam when he was thrown out of the game after he grabbed Chip Cox by the facemask and dragged him down in the second quarter. Messam had just fumbled while being tackled by Chris Ackie, and the Als’ Branden Dozier had recovered it and run for a TD. Kamar Jorden caught nine passes for 140 yards but was kept out of the end zone. Saskatchewan had last week off and got its first victory in Week 3, 37-20 at home vs. Hamilton. Calgary won the last meeting in this series 19-10 on the road.
Ottawa Redblacks at Toronto Argonauts
When: Monday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Spread: Toronto -1.5
Pick ATS: Argos
Quick turnaround game for the Redblacks so this could be a very successful or very crushing week – or something in between. That spread and total could change after Wednesday’s Ottawa game vs. Montreal depending on the result and if the Redblacks suffer any serious injuries.
The Argos lost 33-25 in Winnipeg last Thursday. They had a few dropped touchdown passes and several terrible penalties. Argonauts returner Martese Jackson was named one of the CFL performers of the week as he had 339 return yards (148 punt, 191 kickoff) and a touchdown. Jackson also had a 105-yard kickoff return TD called back due to penalty. Ricky Ray threw for 330 yards – he leads the league with 1,529 passing yards – but didn’t find the end zone and was picked off twice. Toronto won in Ottawa 26-25 in Week 3 despite trailing 12-1 at halftime. Ray threw for 366 yards and two scores, and SJ Green caught 10 for 210 and a TD. A late extra-point attempt by Ottawa was bobbled on the snap and no good. Brett Maher’s 59-yard field-goal attempt sailed wide right as time expired.