Slam Dunk picks: Road dogs primed to bark

When you’re on a roll it’s easy to get cocky, so we’re taking the Ricky Ray calm, cool and collected approach even though the board has been swept two weeks in a row – 11 straight winning bets.

Road teams have caught our eye on both sides of the ledger, but two underdogs, in particular, could provide some nice value.

Toronto Argonauts (2-1) at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1-1)

Thursday, July 13, 8:30 p.m. EST

Winnipeg looked listless on offence at home in front of 30,000-plus fans a week ago, and after that poor showing the crowd won’t be as hearty when the Argos come to IGF.

The Bombers have two rookies on the field side of their secondary, plus their best pass rusher (Tristian Okpalaugo) and linebacker (Ian Wild) are out for an extended period of time with injuries. That could present issues for Winnipeg’s defence.

Ricky Ray has turned back the clock in 2017 and a large reason has been due to the spectacular play from S.J. Green. The veteran pivot should be able to take advantage of the green cover men in Winnipeg’s back end.

Line: Bombers -165 and favoured by 3 points

Pick: Toronto

Bet: $5 money line returns $7 and $10.50 spread returns $10

Calgary Stampeders (2-0-1) at Montreal Alouettes (1-2)

Friday, July 14, 7 p.m. EST

Calgary has lost three straight games in La Belle Province, that Montreal nightlife will get even the best of teams.

Remember when Rakeem Cato appeared to be the next star QB after one three touchdown game against Calgary? Darian Durant could use a breakout outing with Montreal, he’s yet to account for three touchdowns in an Alouettes uniform. If the Als as an entire team can put three majors on the board, with the way Noel Thorpe has the defence playing, that could be enough.

Line: Stampeders favoured by 4.5 points

Pick: Montreal

Bet: $11 returns $10

Ottawa Redblacks (0-2-1) at Edmonton Eskimos (2-0)

Friday, July 14, 10 p.m. EST

Everyone is on the Eskimos straight up, and likely a large number of “Peter Public” bettors like Edmonton too. Reasons behind that might be valid, Jason Maas’ group is 2-0 and coming off a bye week while Ottawa travels west on a short week.

That said, the Redblacks can put up points and Edmonton is starting a rookie at the boundary corner spot, in fact it will be Mercy Maston’s first CFL game. You can bet Trevor Harris knows.

Line: Eskimos favoured by 4 points

Pick: Ottawa

Bet: $11 returns $10

B.C. Lions (2-1) at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (0-2)

Saturday, July 15, 7:30 p.m. EST

Will Hill, who has been a pleasant surprise picking up the nuances of the tough strong side linebacker spot quickly, sits serving his one-game suspension for grabbing a referee. That means Keon Lyn who has never played in a pro football game, starts for Hill.

B.C.’s an ultra athletic group and even though it’s their third game in the eastern time zone in a row, the Lions are the prudent play.

Line: Lions favoured by 3 points

Pick: B.C.

Bet: $23 returns 20

Bonus: four-team, six-point teaser

Picks: Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and B.C.

Bet: $10 returns $30

Double bonus: four-team, spread parlay

Picks: Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, B.C.

Bet $5 returns $61.51

Season record against the spread: 7-2

Money line: 4-0

Bankroll: $175 from $100 starting budget