We’re set for a four-game slate in Week 8 of the Canadian Football League season and below are our predictions for two of those contests.
Week 8 CFL betting odds and picks: Best bets for Saskatchewan at Toronto, Calgary vs. Montreal
We have just one undefeated team remaining in the Argonauts as we hit Week 8, and our first wager will involve Toronto’s matchup against the Roughriders in the annual Touchdown Atlantic extravaganza.
We also have an intriguing matchup between two competitive teams to close out the slate in Stampeders-Alouettes, a game that could certainly see two capable quarterbacks generate some strong offensive numbers.
Saturday, July 29: Saskatchewan Roughriders at Toronto Argonauts – 4:00 p.m. EDT
The Roughriders fought hard once again in Week 7 during Mason Fine’s first start in place of Trevor Harris (knee) but came up short to the Lions by a 19-9 score.
One clear aspect of that loss was that Saskatchewan’s defence remains in fine shape. The Riders have surrendered the third-fewest net offence yards per game (336.0) and have been especially proficient at making teams one-dimensional — they’re yielding just 89.8 rushing yards per game at 4.3 yards per carry, the latter the third-lowest figure in the league.
And, while the Riders have been a tad more giving against the pass, their numbers there are respectable-to-above-average as well. Saskatchewan has given up the occasional big play, but its defence is otherwise making quarterbacks work hard for their gains — the Riders are conceding the second-lowest completion percentage (62.2) and third-lowest passer efficiency (83.5).
Toronto’s weakness is pass defence (305.6 PYPG, CFL-high 70.5 completion percentage allowed), but Fine is still getting his feet under him as a starter in the professional ranks and is therefore unlikely to take full advantage.
Given the factors cited, I can see a case for the Under hitting narrowly, even with talented offensive players on both sides.
The Pick: Under 47 points (-110 or better)
Sunday, July 30: Calgary Stampeders at Montreal Alouettes – 7:00 p.m. EDT
This slate-ending matchup is one I see from an opposite perspective when it comes to potential points scored, for a number of reasons.
To begin with, the Alouettes will come into the game off a bye week, which is typically helpful in terms of offensive production due to the extra rest and practice time involved.
However, the Stamps will come in brimming with some confidence on the offensive side of the ball despite a disappointing overtime loss to the Redblacks on Sunday night in Week 7.
Jake Maier threw for a season-high 450 yards and four touchdowns against Ottawa while generously distributing the ball to his deep pass-catching corps.
The breakout of recent CFL returnee Marken Michel (4-134-2) was an eye-opener and the likes of Tre Odoms-Dukes (6-101-1), Clark Barnes (5-87-1) and Reggie Begelton (7-80) also thrived in the high-scoring loss.
And, that doesn’t even account for the explosive Dedrick Mills in the backfield, who can also contribute as a receiver when given the opportunity.
Meanwhile, Cody Fajardo has hit the ground running in Montreal, throwing for no fewer than 261 yards and as many as 292 over his first five games. Fajardo is also completing an impressive 67.6 percent of his passes and averaging a robust 9.4 yards per attempt.
His matchup is enticing, considering Calgary is allowing the second-highest completion percentage (69.8) and second-most completions (134), along with the second-most touchdown passes (nine).
Given Fajardo also has a deep air attack to rely on, I like the idea of rolling the dice on a same-game parlay that factors in plenty of overall offence and statistical success for the veteran pivot.
The Pick: SGP: Over 47.5 points and Cody Fajardo Over 259.5 passing yards (+182 or better)