CFL Week 19 Predictions
CFL Today’s Games
The uncertainty about who plays who in the upcoming playoffs still is out there, but after Week 18′s results, the six CFL teams that will have an opportunity to play for the Grey Cup have already been determined. Saskatchewan was the last team to get in thanks to their victory a week ago, but whether or not they head to the East Semi-Final or stay for the West Semi-Final remains to be determined. Jockeying for positioning while staying healthy is the goal for the playoff teams now.
Given the structure of the CFL playoffs and how important winning your division is to your chances – you only need to win two playoff games to win the Grey Cup rather then three – all eyes over the final two weeks will be on the race between Ottawa and Toronto for the East Division crown. Toronto is off this week so they’ll known what they need to do in Week 20 to clinch the division – they are currently up 1 point on Ottawa – but the Redblacks are going to be out giving it their all this week as this is actually the last game of the year for the Redblacks.
Ottawa is hosting a feisty Hamilton team this week and the Tigercats have been a much better squad over the latter half of the year. Hamilton could be problematic for this Redblacks team this week, and given all the pressure is on Ottawa this week, this is exactly the type of “must-win” game I discussed in the opening. Ottawa is likely going to be the side that gets plenty of betting support from the masses given what’s at stake for them, but by no means does it mean they’ll be an easy cash on the betting line.
Canadian Football League Picks Week 18
- BC at Winnipeg: *Winnipeg -6 (-115) at Sports Interaction
BC had their slim playoff hopes dashed with thier OT loss at home against Edmonton. The Lions were outscored 17-7 in the final frame to blow their lead, and that loss combined with Saskatchewan’s win has BC beginning plans for 2018 already. Having their hopes end the way they did was a real blow to this BC Lions squad and you’ve got to believe they’ll simply be going through the motions here with very little interest in playing spoiler.
Conversely, Winnipeg is still fighting for that 2nd place finish in the West and home field advantage in the West Semi-Final. A win by any number would accomplish that for the Blue Bombers as only Edmonton can catch them and they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Eskimos. Winnipeg does not want to leave that opportunity up to chance in Week 20 and I expect them to clinch that 2nd seed with a win this week.
Winnipeg is already 2-0 ATS against BC this year (1-1 SU), but their outright win at home was by a 26-20 score with a similar point spread. The Bombers are also 401 ATS inn their last four at home, 5-1 ATS after an outright loss, and 6-1 ATS in their last seven against a losing team. With BC unlikely to put up much of a fight in this one knowing their season is done.
- Calgary at Edmonton: *Edmonton +3.5 (-110) at Sports Interaction
While Winnipeg is playing for that 2nd seed in the West, Calgary has the luxury of sitting back and resting guys with 1st place already wrapped up. That 1st place finish means Calgary will be off on a bye for the first week of the playoffs and it’s a similar situation they found themselves in a year ago when they decided to rest some of their big name stars down the stretch. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Stamps go in a similar route this week (and next), but after last week’s ugly performance at home in losing to Saskatchewan, I do expect the starters to try and at least play well for a half.
Edmonton still has their sites set on a possible 2nd place finish (with help), but more importantly, they need to prove to themselves that they can beat this Calgary team – backups or not. The Eskimos have lost both meetings with Calgary this year, and the 25-22 loss at home on Labour Day was excruiating. Edmonton took the lead in the final minute only to watch as Calgary stormed back to win it late, and if for nothing else then confidence purposes, Edmonton needs to close the deal this time around against the Stampeders.
I believe they will as they’ve got everything to play for here while Calgary doesn’t, and knowing that the road to the Grey Cup likely has to go through the Stampeders at some point this year, expect Edmonton to show up and keep this game within a FG at worst.
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