Slam Dunk picks: Makin’ money on the 2018 CFL season

Let’s make some bank.

For the last three seasons, I’ve been delivering against the spread picks and 2017 was the best year yet with a 42-28-2 record. It was capped off with a money line winner in the Grey Cup – thank you Argos and more specifically, Cassius Vaughn – to take the money line record to 9-4. Overall the budget started at $100 and grew to well over $300 by the time the season ended, tripling the dollar bills.

Time to kick-off the season and get the money.

B.C. Lions over/under 7.5 wins

The Leos had a bad season in 2017 and even then managed to win seven games. Ed Hervey has taken over as general manager and worked to improve the offensive and defensive lines. If Jon Jennings plays somewhere in the middle of his 2016 and 2017 performances, B.C. can easily get eight wins.

Pick: Over
Bet: $22 returns $20

Edmonton Eskimos (0-0) at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (0-0)
Thursday, June 14, 8:30 p.m. EST

Five first-time starters at their respective positions are set to take the field for the Eskimos defence. Exhibit A: Maurice McKnight went from getting released by the Eskimos on Sunday to starting Thursday.

Tommie Draheim, playing for his third CFL team, has been tasked with protecting Mike Reilly’s blindside. That could be dangerous, especially in a hostile road environment.

Line: Eskimos favoured by 7.5 points
Pick: Winnipeg
Bet: $11.50 spread returns $11 and $5 money line $12

Toronto Argonauts (0-0) at Saskatchewan Roughriders (0-0)
Friday, June 15, 9:00 p.m. EST

Nick Marshall is going to get tested at the boundary corner spot by one of the greatest quarterbacks in CFL history, Ricky Ray. That should concern bettors.

What works in the favour of the Riders, the green and white are at ear-splitting loud Mosaic Stadium, Charleston Hughes and Willie Jefferson are unleashed for the first time and the offensive line can’t play any worse than the final pre-season game.

Saskatchewan beat the Argos twice during the regular season in 2017 and had Toronto on the ropes in the East Final until Ray converted third-and-five by finding James Wilder Jr. for a 22-yard gain on the game-winning touchdown drive.

Riders as a home dog.

Line: Argos favoured by 2 points
Pick: Saskatchewan
Bet: $10.50 returns $10 and $5 money line $5.75

Bonus: two-team, six-point teaser

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (0-0) at Calgary Stampeders (0-0)
Saturday, June 16, 7:00 p.m. EST

Line: Stampeders favoured by 8 points

Montreal Alouettes (0-0) at B.C. Lions (0-0)
Saturday, June 16, 10:00 p.m. EST

Line: Lions favoured by 7.5 points

The Stampeders are nearly unbeatable at McMahon Stadium and Mike Sherman is welcomed to the CFL with a cross-country trip to the Left coast. Two ideal scenarios for the home sides.

The Stamps are often large favourites but even though the 60-1 drubbing over the Ticats is top of mind for the public, it’s long been forgotten by Hamilton players. Calgary has been slow out of the start gates in recent years in terms of not covering big spreads.

Veteran coach Wally Buono will have his squad ready to roar after barely purring at the end of last season.

Pick: Calgary and B.C.
Bet: $20 returns $18.18

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