AlMacs Best Bets: CFL Week 11 Edition

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Image result for edmonton vs hamilton

This is one of those games where you look at the line and ponder to yourself, should these two teams really be measured vs expectation the way they are being measured this week ?? The answer is not an easy one to find. So let’s dive in.

Edmonton scores more on avg points than Hamilton, but the Eskis give up more pts than what the Ti-Cats give up on avg per game. Edmonton ‘s 6-3 record vs Hamilton’s 3-5 record makes this line seem like a total mis-pricing, but don’t be so fast to judge this one. These two teams are almost identical when it comes to ‘Yards Per Point’ both teams needing to gain 15+ yards for each point accumulated – the Eskis have a slightly better pt percentage average than Hamilton, but Edmonton has faced a lighter schedule than Hamilton. Edmonton has the biggest week to week upgrade in the Yards Per Game category, moving up 15 yards per game on average. As for ‘Yards Per Play’, the Ti-Cats out gain the Eskis per play on offense and do infact allow less yards per play than Edmonton as well. Both teams out gain on offense what they give up on defense, so neither team is trending downwards at this moment. The Ti-Cats surprisingly do have the edge in this one, but with the line where it is at -150, and the Eskimos coming off a stellar performance vs the Al’s and Hamilton coming off a bye week – this line seems like a mistake at -3 favoring Hamilton, even if they are at home. Edmonton is the better team here – even on paper they seem equal. The eye test proves Edmonton is better. I just don’t trust these numbers enough to take a shot at them just yet.

So here’s what I am going to do. Rather than take the EDM +3; I am going to take the Edmonton team total over 26.5, as well as the Hamilton team total under 30.5, I am also going to take a shot with the Under 57. Hamilton coming off a bye-week will naturally start slow, and Edmonton coming off a game vs a much lesser opponent, both teams are going to start slow and the ground will not be able to be made up here. I expect a classic CFL game in this one. Something like a 28-24 Edmonton final is what I am expecting.

Best Bets
($100) – EDM Eskimos (Over 26.5) -120,
($100) – HAM Tiger-Cats (Under 30.5) -120
$100 – EDM/HAM u57 (-108) 8.24

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Image result for argonauts at alouettes
The Al’s have lost 6 in a row going back to Week 4, but have covered the spread in 3 of their last 5 games. However with Johnny Football now in concussion protocol and his start on Friday in doubt; the Al’s could find themselves on the end of a 7 game losing streak when this one is all said and done. However, do not sleep on the fact that the Argos are a bad football team, even though they are improving slightly – they are still statistically worse than the Al’s in a number of different statistical categories this season.

This is a short underdog line for a team that – probably gives the impression – of being much much worse than what this +5.5 point spread reflects. However, the uncertainty of Johnny Manziel’s status and considering the Argos are starting a CFL rookie under center in this one – the line may actually be more fair than one may have first considered.

Here’s a few reasons why…

Montreal out gains the Argos by a small margin in ‘yards/play’ avg and gives up less ‘yards against/game’ by an even smaller margin. With that, the Al’s are actually spared being the worst in every power rating category this week, as the Argo’s are actually 2pts worst than the Al’s. The Argos are rated -8.05 in NetYPP as the Al’s are rated -6.

Although, the Argos do score more points per game and allow less points per game than the Alouettes. The Argos have a better yards per game avg, but only by a small margin.

The Al’s even with their blow out loss to the Eskis last week, were still able to gain +0.25 power rating points in the effort – and the Argos gained a half point in their late come back vs the BC Lions at BMO field.

Montreal’s YPP regression was the most of any CFL team this week, however they did gain 4% in their point efficiency rating.

Either way – both teams are last and second last overall in NetYPP power rating – and by a large difference. This some what evens the playing field in my opinion. The Argos – who have been alot better lately than what should be expected – are in reality – a sneaky bad team. So don’t let these last few games fool you, this team is a few bumps away from a full trainwreck.

I am however; willing to take a small shot on the Al’s here simply because this may be a let down spot for the Argo’s who have won both of their last 2 games by a combined 2 pts. Although, they did cover the spread in both those games; it still lends to the idea that even if this Argos team is slightly improving week to week, they are not immune to human factors like overlooking this match verses a – perceived – lesser opponent.

Best Bets
($50) – MTL Alouettes +5.5 (-110),
($100) – MTL/TOR Under 52 (-110) 8.25

If anything, as strictly a value play – I will likely parlay the Argos moneyline with the Stamps ml as a hedge opportunity.


Image result for winnipeg at calgary cfl
The Bombers score more points per game than the Stamps, but the Stamps allow 8 less points than the Bombers do per game. Winnipeg is however the most efficient team in the CFL when it comes to point percentage. The Bombers lead the league with 11.87 yards per point, Calgary directly behind them with 13.52 avg yards per point. Winnipeg’s YPP avg was the highest upgrade this week, however their PPG avg and efficiency rating were the largest downgrades of the week. Calgary’s Yards Per Game avg dropped by -3.3, which was the largest down grade of the week in that stat category. Calgary out gains the Bombers in Yards Per Play avg by a small fraction, but they give up on avgerage almost a full yard less per play than what the Bombers do. However, Calgary all across the board in every stat category of the Net YPP model – were the biggest downgrades of the week. That’s yards per play, yards against per play, net yards per play and overall spread rating. I think Calgary can beat Winnipeg, but it wont be a thrashing or anything like that – I can see another tight CFL style game here. I really like the under at 53, I like Calgary team total under at 31.5 and I like the Bombers to go over their total at 21.5,

Best Bets
($100) – WPG Bluebomers (Over 21.5) -120,
($100) – CGY Stampeders (Under 31.5) -120,
$100 – WPG/CGY u53 (-108)

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Image result for saskatchewan at bc
These two teams are incredibly similar statistically, Sask scores just over 1pt more than BC on avg per game and gives up just under 1pt on average per game as well. The Riders are slightly more efficient with the football – even with less yards per game than the Lions. The Riders PPG avg went up +2.3 pts this week, which was the largest upgrade of that stat category. The Riders were also the 2nd overall upgrade of the week in overall offensive efficiency with a +2.8% growth to their average. The Lions on the other hand out gain the Riders on avg yards per play – but they allow half a yard more per play than the Riders. Watch for this to be another very tight game. Saskatchewan is coming off probably the biggest win of their season, and the Lions are coming off a heart breaking 4th Q melt down at the hands of the Argos. One team may be more motivated than the other, we will see which one’s which. With the 3 bets I am making, I don’t see how more than 1 of them could be a loser. BC either gets the job done, may go over the total – otherwise – they lose and are kept off the score board by the surging Riders D. Either way, I have a very hard time seeing the Riders repeating the defensive scoring performance they pulled off vs Calgary last week – so the total of 51 is a generous one from a team that is typically very defensive at it’s core. Love this trio of bets.

Best Bets
($100) – BC Lions (Under 26.5) -120
$100 – SASK/BC u51 (-108)
$100 – BC Lions (-137)

Bonus Parlay
($200) – TOR Argonauts, CGY Stampeders (Parlay) -124

Follow all my plays on Twitter @AlMacSportsTO

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