CFL East Division Preview

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In classic Canadian fashion, the football season is set to begin exactly one day after the Stanley Cup is awarded (pending game 6) and we have a quick breakdown on the league’s Eastern divisional with betting tips, Grey Cup odds and Season Win Totals


MTL QB CAlvillo sneak

Calvillo led the CFL with an average 299 passing yards in 2012 and 31 touchdown passes to 14 interceptions

The 2013 CFL season will get underway Thursday when the Montreal Alouettes play their first game with new head coach Dan Hawkins and according to CFL futures, the Als are still the team to beat.


Montreal is a 5 to 1 favorite to win the Grey Cup this year, second in the East to the Toronto Argonauts (+450) but the season win total for the Alouettes suggests they will once again win double-digit number of games and capture the division title.


Stalwart QB Anthony Calvillo will have a new weapon with Arland Bruce III and there’s little question the offense will put points on the board but the defense gave up 27.2 points per game (PPG) last season and posted the worst red zone numbers in the league. Even in the CFL, that’s not what championships are made of.


Toronto (+450) has the most complete look on offense and the Argos will play six of their first nine games this season at the Rogers Centre, giving them a good chance to continue on last year’s late success which eventually led to the team’s 16th Grey Cup title. RB Chad Kackert is the true No. 1 tailback and QB Ricky Ray has the necessary tools to push this club to the top of the scoring ranks for 2013 but bettors need to be wary of inflated pointspreads that often come attached to championship rings.



British Columbia Lions: +350 and 11.5 OV -115

Edmonton Eskimos: +1400 and 7.5 UN -130

Calgary Stampeders: +400 and 11 OV -115

Saskatchewan Roughriders: +450 and -9 OV -115

Winnipeg Blue Bombers: +1500 and 6.5 OV -115

Hamilton Tiger-Cats: +700 and 8.5 OV -125

Toronto Argonauts: +450 and 9 OV -115

Montreal Alouettes: +500 and 10 UN -130



Hamilton will play the 2013 season in new surroundings (Guelph) with a new head coach (Kent Austin) and possibly without star receiver Chris Williams but if the 52-0 preseason shellacking of Winnipeg was any indication, things are just fine.


The problem is that Winnipeg’s entire roster for that game resembled a varsity team and unless Hamilton can improve on the league’s most porous defense from a year ago (32.0 PPGA) they will have a hard time keeping pace. 2012 draft pick Frederic Plesius was signed to shore up the linebacking corps but as we shift into regular season mode the gameplan for betting the Ti-Cats remains unchanged: Take the Over


– In 2012, Hamilton produced 13 overs, 4 unders and 1 push (77-percent “Over”)


Winnipeg will also play in a new stadium for 2013 but the team could be hard pressed making it past .500 in Tim Burke’s first full season at the helm. QB Buck Pierce’s health will get more press time by the TSN panel than the Roberto Luongo vs. Cory Schneider debate and when Pierce does eventually go down there is no guarantee Justin Goltz can effectively play at the pro level. Burke’s defense should be stable up front but the loss of Ian Logan and Jonathan Hefney could really hurt the secondary when matched against top passing attacks.


It looks as if short totals and big pointspreads will be the order of the from online sportsbooks in a majority Blue Bomber games this year but when it comes to divisional games we want to circle the dog and the “Under”. Winnipeg was 2-6 O/U in its final eight games of 2012 after starting 7-2 O/U and 5-2 ATS in the club’s final seven divisional contests.


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