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Slam Dunk picks: Value to be had in rematch line swings

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Homefield appears to be valuable to the linemakers on the Week 5 slate.

Normally playing in familiar confines is worth three points among teams who would be equal on a neutral field, but the Redblacks and Eskimos have seen line swings bigger than a field goal.

Both teams are playing rematch games and the lines are 4.5 and 5.5 points different. Ottawa goes from 7.5-point underdogs to three and Edmonton 3.5-point favourites to nine at Commonwealth Stadium which has created some value.

(Editor’s note: if the Bombers-Lions spread gets posted check back for a possible pick as it’s currently off the board because B.C. has yet to name a starting quarterback)

Calgary Stampeders (3-0) at Ottawa Redblacks (2-1)
Thursday, July 12, 7:30 p.m. EST

Calgary has a 16-0 post-bye week streak on the go and Ottawa had a de facto bye week playing and beating the Alouettes.

Star receiver Eric Rogers, dynamic running back and returner Terry Williams and stout Canadian offensive lineman Spencer Wilson are all out of the Stamps lineup – key playmakers Bo Levi Mitchell won’t have as threats on offence.

The Redblacks get Kyries Hebert back after a one-game suspension as the same defence that slowed Mitchell and the Stampeders for three quarters in the last meeting remain intact.

If Trevor Harris (13-of-29 for 135 yards and one interception) can produce an average, by his standards, offensive output Ottawa has a chance.

Line: Stampeders favoured by 3 points
Pick: Ottawa
Bet: $11 returns $10

Toronto Argonauts (1-2) at Edmonton Eskimos (2-2)
Friday, July 13, 9 p.m. EST

Toronto got some help from the turf monster and James Franklin led a clutch late fourth-quarter touchdown drive to best the reigning MOP Mike Reilly.

Reilly and the league’s top passing game don’t have to worry about any astroturf in Edmonton. The veteran quarterback isn’t going to want his protege to get the better of him and sweep the regular season series. That said, the Argos controlled part of the game at BMO Field and know the Eskimos well, plus Reilly is just 2-6 inexplicably all-time against the boatmen.

The points are too plentiful so let’s board the double blue love boat.

Line: Eskimos favoured by 9 points
Pick: Toronto
Bet: $11 returns $10

Season record against the spread: 8-5

Money line: 2-2

Teasers: 2-1

Bankroll: $572 from $393 starting budget

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Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk is the pre-eminent CFL insider and unabashed supporter of Canadian quarterbacks. He is one of the founders of the new 3DownNation.

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