Calgary Stampeders open as three-point favourites over Riders in battle for playoff berth

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The Calgary Stampeders have opened as three-point favourites for their upcoming game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The matchup, which set for Friday night at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, will go a long way to determining the third and final playoff spot in the West Division. Saskatchewan can clinch it with a victory, while Calgary would earn the season series with a win and draw within two points of the Riders in the standings. The Stampeders, who had their third and final bye of the season this past week, currently have one game in hand on Saskatchewan.

The clubs split their first two meetings of the season as the Riders won 29-26 in overtime at McMahon Stadium on June 24 and Calgary won 33-31 at Mosaic Stadium on July 15. It’s been almost three months since the teams played, though the two clubs have had similar trajectories since then.

The Stampeders have lost six of their past seven games with the lone win coming against the Edmonton Elks in the Labour Day Classic. Saskatchewan, meanwhile, is 0-5 since defeating the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Labour Day Classic and are coming off a 38-13 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, a defeat running back Jamal Morrow called “disgusting.”

Saskatchewan missed the playoffs last year, while the Stampeders haven’t done so since 2004. Calgary is already guaranteed to finish the season with a losing record for the first time since 2007.

Two other games can affect the CFL’s postseason this week as the Montreal Alouettes can clinch second place in the East Division if the Hamilton Tiger-Cats lose to the B.C. Lions in Friday’s early game. B.C. will be looking to get the victory as it would allow their faint hopes of finishing first in the West Division to remain alive. If they lose, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will host the West Final for the third straight year.

Montreal will be eligible to clinch second place in the East Division even if the Tabbies win, provided they are able to beat the Edmonton Elks on Saturday afternoon. If they are unable to do so and Hamilton wins on Friday, the clubs would face off against one another on Saturday, Oct. 28 in the final week of the regular season with second place in the East Division standings on the line.