We’re set for a four-game slate in Week 9 of the Canadian Football League season and below are our predictions for two of those contests.
Week 9 CFL betting odds and picks: Best bets for Toronto vs. Calgary, Ottawa vs. Saskatchewan
The Argonauts may be on their way to proving their 2023 squad could be even better than their 2022 championship unit, as they take their unblemished record into Calgary on Friday night.
We’ll also break down one wager for a Redblacks-Roughriders slate-closing game that sees both teams trying to reach the .500 mark.
Friday, August 4: Toronto Argonauts at Calgary Stampeders – 9:00 p.m. EDT
As just mentioned, the Argos are inching toward the halfway point of their season without a loss on their resume, the byproduct of what’s been stellar play from new starting QB Chad Kelly and the rest of his offensive teammates.
The strong play on that side of the ball has helped cover up some of the weaknesses of Toronto’s defence. The numbers reveal that the Argos are conceding the third-most net yards per game (359.2) with the majority of that production coming through the air.
The defending champs are giving up a CFL-high 321.7 passing yards per game and a CFL-high 70.8 percent completion rate. What’s more, Toronto has also yielded a league-high 11 touchdown passes despite already having had two bye weeks.
The Stampeders are only 2-5 but can score plenty of points, which is evidenced by their No. 4 ranking with 23.4 offensive points per game. Calgary is well-equipped to take advantage of the Argos’ porous secondary as the Stamps average 276.5 passing yards per contest and are behind only the Blue Bombers with 14 completions of 30 or more yards.
Given the Stamps have surrendered the second-most points per game (27.4) and Toronto has plenty of offensive weapons, it’s conceivable that the Argos will carry a lead throughout most or all of the second half and Calgary is in chase mode.
In such a scenario, I like the chances of more scoring piling up after halftime, especially considering the game carries the highest projected total of the week (51 points).
The Pick: 2nd Half as Highest Scoring Half (+105 or better)
Sunday, August 6: Ottawa Redblacks at Saskatchewan Roughriders – 7:00 p.m. EDT
The Redblacks were riding high on offence during Dustin Crum’s first two games as starter before surprisingly grinding to a halt against the Tiger-Cats in Week 8.
Nevertheless, Crum continued to wreak havoc on the ground against Hamilton with 82 rushing yards on 13 carries. His dual-threat capabilities have helped open up Ottawa’s offence overall.
The Roughriders do present a stiff challenge on defence, though Saskatchewan has still been susceptible to giving up points, allowing 25.4 per game, including 22.7 offensive points per contest.
Big plays through the air have been part of the problem. The Riders have yielded the third-most completions of 30 or more yards (12).
On the other side, Ottawa has been generous overall on defence, surrendering 354.6 net offensive yards per game, including the second-most passing yards per contest (317.3).
This could create plenty of opportunities for Saskatchewan quarterback Mason Fine, who’s actually piled up 586 yards through the air over the last two games despite both contests ending in defeat.
The total here is understandably low based on the fact the Riders have scored 22 combined points in the last two games, while Ottawa managed just 12 last week. Yet, for the reasons already outlined, I believe this game could at least slightly exceed offensive expectations.
The Pick: Over 44.5 points (-110 or better)