The CFL's Geographical Imbalance Problem

Oh-Canada Jun 25, 2022

Saturday night features two CFL games and we have an opinion on both.

So far, our picks are 4-1 in the 2022 CFL season. We won Thursday night's pick easily, with Montreal winning outright as a +3 dog. Then, we split Friday night's picks with Winnipeg covering easily, but the total falling short on our over wager.

We have two more picks for Saturday night:

Edmonton Elks at Calgary Stampeders
Line: CGY -9
O/U: 49.5

Week 3 in the CFL features the Battle of Alberta on Saturday night as the Calgary Stampeders host the Edmonton Elks at McMahon Stadium.

The Elks started the year looking bad, with a pair of double-digit losses. Meanwhile, the Stamps are looking to win their third game in a row. This is the most lopsided matchup on the CFL betting board this week with Calgary opening as an 8.5-point home favorite.  That number has since increased to -9.

Stamps have opened their season with back-to-back wins but they needed to mount comebacks in both contests. In Week 1, they had to fight back from a 10-point halftime deficit and eventually won on a late field goal. Last week, they were down 24-3 points in Hamilton but scored 27 points in the second half to push the game into OT where, once again, they won the game once again with a late boot.

On paper, Calgary should have a much easier time this week against a rebuilding Edmonton side. However, the Stamps won't take this opponent lightly. The Elks beat the Stamps 32-20 in Calgary as 5-point dogs last season.

The problem for Edmonton is -- they simply lack talent, especially on defence. The Elks were blown away in Week 1 when they went to Vancouver and were destroyed 59-15 by the Lions. They were much more competitive last week, losing to the Riders 26-16. But that's still a 10-point loss.

The Elks are easily the worst team in the league and really struggle to stop the opposition. Tonight, they'll face a potent Stamps offense led by two-time MOP winner Bo Levi Mitchell and 2021 West Division All-Stars Kamar Jordan and Ka'Deem Carey.

We like Calgary to roll to an easy win, go to 3-0, and cover the spread.

Toronto Argonauts at British Columbia Lions
Line: BC -3.5
O/U: 50

The Toronto Argonauts will travel across the country to take on the British Columbia Lions at BC Place on Saturday night.  This line looks a little high.  In fact, we believe the market has overreacted to BC's easy victory in Week 1 when they whipped Edmonton by 44 points.

Both teams have already had their first bye weeks of the season and should be well-rested.  Both are 1-0 entering this matchup, having both won their respective first regular-season game.  The Argos had their season opener against Montreal last Thursday and escaped with a 20-19 victory, thanks to a missed field goal attempt from the Als. The Lions are coming off a bye week after stomping the Elks 59-15 in Week 1. They dominated every aspect of that contest with their offense rolling up 469 yards and controlling the clock for more than 34 minutes, while the defense picked off four passes, racked up four sacks, and held Edmonton to just 316 yards.

It's strange how much one game can change public perceptions -- which is reflected in the odds. Entering the season, the Argos were listed at +600 to win the Grey Cup and had a win total O/U of 10.5. The Lions were tied with Edmonton for the worst Grey Cup odds in the league at +1,600 and had a win total of 6.5. After beating the worst team in the CFL, do the Lions really deserve to be 3.5-point faves for this matchup?

The home-field advantage is certainly a factor in that line with the Argos making the trip to the West Coast for a late-night matchup. However, it still seems like a bit of an over-reaction towards one week of action from both of these sides. Give us the dogs plus the points.

Note: Both writeups relied heavily on information from COVERS.COM.  However, the predictions and picks are our own.