No crossover team has ever made the Grey Cup for a slew of reasons.
Travel, time zone change, unfamiliar opponents and most of all rest. The Riders are talking about wanting to make history but the Argos know the importance of continuing to create a buzz – it could be a soldout BMO Field Sunday or close to it – in Toronto.
Saskatchewan Roughriders (11-8) at Toronto Argonauts (9-9)
Sunday, November 19, 1 p.m. EST
Toronto’s defence that will line up on Sunday looks completely different than the last time Saskatchewan came to the city. Five starters were out Shawn Lemon, Cleyon Laing, Bear Woods, Cassius Vaughn and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah. A lot of talent watched from the sidelines.
Add to that, Argos defensive coordinator Corey Chamblin didn’t prepare to see Brandon Bridge who presents different challenges compared to defending Kevin Glenn, but Toronto is ready for both in the East Final.
Over on offence, two important Canadian starters, right tackle Chris Van Zeyl and versatile Anthony Coombs missed the Riders in October, boosting the Argos’ ratio and overall talent level. While Marc Trestman and his staff have had a bye week, extra time to prepare.
Line: Argos favoured by 3 points
Bet: $22 returns $20
Edmonton Eskimos (13-6) at Calgary Stampeders (13-4-1)
Sunday, November 19, 4:30 p.m. EST
Many CFL followers and fans are all over the Eskimos, but the five-point spread that’s been put out by oddsmakers should give pause.
Calgary was a dominant team for much of the regular season and only when the games meant nothing to them did the Stamps drop three straight to end the season. Bo Levi Mitchell had a week to rest his shoulder and the receiving corps is healthy for the first time since early in the schedule.
Edmonton allowed the most yards per carry (5.9) and a league-worst 13 rushes over 20 yards in the regular season, some concerning numbers with Jerome Messam and a blanketing of snow in Calgary.
Despite being favoured, the Stamps have taken on the underdog role and that’s dangerous with a team that has the talent Calgary possesses. Home side wins a close one.
Line: Stampeders favoured by 5 points
Bet: $22 returns $20
Season record against the spread: 39-28-2
Money line: 8-4
Bankroll: $264 from $100 starting budget