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  1. #26  
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    CFL Betting Recap - Week 2
    July 2, 2016



    League Betting Notes



    -- Favorites/underdogs went 2-2 SU in Week 2


    -- Favorites/underdogs went 2-2 ATS in Week 2


    -- Road teams posted a 3-1 SU record in Week 2


    -- Road teams posted a 3-1 ATS record in Week 2


    -- The 'Under' went 3-1 in Week 2


    Team Betting Notes


    -- Ottawa (2-0) have opened with two impressive road victories. Last week they won a Grey Cup rematch on the road, this week it was a 28-13 dismantling of Montreal (1-1). The RedBlacks are 2-0 SU/ATS, cashing as a one-point favorite in Montreal. Ottawa has won four straight in this series, and they have covered five in a row against the Alouettes dating back to Sept. 26, 2014.


    -- The Alouettes are 0-4 SU/ATS in their past four home games dating back to a win and cover against the Blue Bombers Sept. 20, 2015. They'll try to rectify that when Hamilton (1-1) pays a visit Friday.


    -- The Tiger-Cats were humbled at home by a 28-3 count, as the BC Lions (2-0) have fired out of the chute. Hamilton is 1-4 SU/ATS over their past five regular season home outings.


    -- The Lions are averaging 24.0 points per game on ofense, and allowing just 10.5 points per game allowed on defense. The 'under' has hit in each of their two games, and they have won straight up and covered despite being underdogs in both.


    -- Canada Day was very enjoyable if you are a fan of Calgary (1-1) or a side bettors for the Stamps. They rebounded after their road loss in Week 1 to pound Winnipeg (0-2) by a 36-22 count. The game was actually a bit closer than the final score might indicate, too, as the Bombers outscored the Stamps 15-0 in the final quarter.


    -- Saskatchewan (0-1) was tripped up at home by Toronto (1-1), as the Roughriders fell 30-17. Saskatchwan is 0-3 SU/1-2 ATS against the Argos dating back to July 26, 2014. Keep that in mind for later in the season when the sides meet again in Toronto Oct. 15.
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    CFL
    Dunkel


    Week 3




    Thursday, July 7


    Winnipeg @ Hamilton


    Game 121-122
    July 7, 2016 @ 7:00 pm


    Dunkel Rating:
    Winnipeg
    106.688
    Hamilton
    113.654
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Hamilton
    by 7
    56
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Hamilton
    by 10
    51 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Winnipeg
    (+10); Over


    Toronto @ BC Lions


    Game 123-124
    July 7, 2016 @ 10:00 pm


    Dunkel Rating:
    Toronto
    109.775
    BC Lions
    121.870
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    BC Lions
    by 12
    45
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    BC Lions
    by 5
    50
    Dunkel Pick:
    BC Lions
    (-5); Under


    ------------------


    CFL
    Long Sheet


    Week 3


    Thursday, July 7


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    WINNIPEG (0 - 2) at HAMILTON (1 - 1) - 7/7/2016, 7:00 PM
    There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.


    Head-to-Head Series History
    HAMILTON is 3-1 against the spread versus WINNIPEG over the last 3 seasons
    HAMILTON is 3-1 straight up against WINNIPEG over the last 3 seasons
    2 of 4 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    TORONTO (1 - 1) at BRITISH COLUMBIA (2 - 0) - 7/7/2016, 10:00 PM
    There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.


    Head-to-Head Series History
    BRITISH COLUMBIA is 2-2 against the spread versus TORONTO over the last 3 seasons
    BRITISH COLUMBIA is 2-2 straight up against TORONTO over the last 3 seasons
    2 of 4 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons




    ------------------
    CFL
    Armadillo's Write-Up


    Week 3


    Winnipeg (0-2) @ Hamilton (1-1)-- Bombers allowed 29 ppg in losing first two games; they've lost 8 of last 9 games with Hamilton, losing four of last five visits here, with three of four losses by 10+ points. TiCats split pair of one-sided games to open season, with road team winning both. they're 3-5 in last eight home games. Under is 12-6 in last 18 series games.


    Toronto (1-1) @ BCLions (2-0)-- Lions allowed 10.5 ppg to win its first two games, upsetting Calgary in its home opener. after going 4-5 at home LY. Argonauts lost eight of last 11 games with BC, with visitors winning last four; Toronto won 40-23/30-27 in last two visits to Vancouver. Argos also split pair of one-sided games to open season, with road team winning both.


    -------------------


    CFL


    Week 3


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trend Report
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Thursday, July 7


    7:00 PM
    WINNIPEG vs. HAMILTON
    Winnipeg is 1-8 SU in its last 9 games on the road
    Winnipeg is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games on the road
    Hamilton is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games
    Hamilton is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games at home


    10:00 PM
    TORONTO vs. BRITISH COLUMBIA
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Toronto's last 6 games when playing on the road against British Columbia
    Toronto is 2-9 SU in its last 11 games when playing on the road against British Columbia
    The total has gone UNDER in 17 of British Columbia's last 25 games when playing Toronto
    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of British Columbia's last 5 games


    ---------------------


    CFL


    Thursday, July 7


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thursday's CFL doubleheader betting preview and odds
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    The Lions hope to stay hot by opening the season with three consecutive victories for the first time since 2007.


    Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (-9, 52)


    The Hamilton Tiger-Cats look to bounce back from a humbling Week 2 loss when they host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Thursday. The Tiger-Cats failed to score a touchdown in the 28-3 defeat to BC and were held to their lowest point total at home since a 20-2 setback to Toronto on Aug. 12, 2006.


    Hamilton has dropped five of its last seven home games since winning its first nine contests at Tim Hortons Field - which opened on Sept. 1, 2014 - and hopes to get back on track by beating the Blue Bombers for the fourth consecutive time in the series. Winnipeg is still searching for its first win of the campaign following a 36-22 loss to Calgary. The Blue Bombers loaded up on free-agent talent during the winter and expectations were sky high heading into the season, but they have failed to deliver any on-field results and head coach Mike O'Shea is starting to feel the heat. Winnipeg is 12-26 since O'Shea took the top job in 2014 and he hopes to turn things around in a hurry with a daunting top-heavy schedule, which includes meetings with Calgary and defending Grey Cup champion Edmonton (twice) over the next three weeks.


    TV: 7 p.m. ET, TSN, ESPN2


    LINE HISTORY: There have been no line moves on this game at the time of publication of this preview. Hamilton opened as 9-point favorites and the total opened at 52. Check out the complete line history here.


    ABOUT THE BLUE BOMBERS (0-2, 0-2 ATS, 1-1 O/U): Defensive back Johnny Adams, who recorded six interceptions in his rookie season in the CFL, is likely to make his first appearance of 2016 after recovering from an undisclosed injury and provide a much-needed boost to a defence that gave up over 500 yards in the loss to Calgary. "We weren't playing football out there," O'Shea told reporters. "We didn't tackle at all and we weren't swarming to the ball." Drew Willy threw for 358 yards and two touchdowns but a huge chunk of his production came in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach.


    ABOUT THE TIGER-CATS (1-1, 1-1 ATS, 1-1 O/U): Jeremiah Masoli struggled against a fierce BC pass rush as he was sacked four times and threw his first two interceptions of the season while Brett Maher missed three field goals in the loss to the Lions. "I have to do better with the guys as we made a lot more mistakes than we've probably had in a long time," Hamilton coach Kent Austin admitted to reporters. "The good news is that it's all correctable and it's also early in the season so we have time to correct it." Veteran Geoff Tisdale, who was an all-star in 2013, was released to make room for fellow defensive back Chris Davis on the practice squad.


    TRENDS:


    * Blue Bombers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
    * Tiger-Cats are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 3.
    * Under is 6-1 in Tiger-Cats last 7 games following a straight up loss.
    * Under is 8-1 in the last 9 meetings in Hamilton.


    CONSENSUS: At the time of publication of this preview, Winnipeg is picking up 52 percent of the wagers and Over 52 is grabbing 51 percent of the action.








    Toronto Argonauts at BC Lions Lions (-5, 50)


    The BC Lions look to continue their strong start to the season when they host the Toronto Argonauts on Thursday. The Lions came from behind to beat Calgary 20-18 in Wally Buono's return to the sideline in Week 1 before shutting down Hamilton 28-3 on Friday, and they hope to stay hot by opening the season with three consecutive victories for the first time since 2007.


    "Other people are surprised but we're not surprised as we know we have a good team and it's just a tipping point," star linebacker Solomon Elimimian told reporters. "We're going to keep getting better, stay humble, stay hungry and just keep getting better." The Argonauts notched their first victory of the season after downing Saskatchewan 30-17 on the road in Week 2. Ricky Ray rebounded from a subpar showing against Hamilton by throwing two touchdown passes and he hopes for a repeat performance against a ferocious Lions defence that tops the league in fewest points allowed at 10.5 per game. Toronto split the season series with the Lions last year but have had some recent success at BC Place as the Argos hope to win three consecutive games in Vancouver for the first time since the late 1990s.


    TV: 10 p.m. ET, TSN, ESPN2


    LINE HISTORY: The spread for this one opened with the Lions pegged as 4.5-point favorites and by Tuesday afternoon the line had been bumped up to -5 at most books. The total opened at 49 and was nudged up a point to 50. Check out the complete line history here.


    ABOUT THE ARGONAUTS (1-1, 1-1 ATS, 1-1 O/U): Toronto acquired defensive end Shawn Lemon, who recorded six sacks in nine games with Ottawa last season, from Saskatchewan in return for offensive lineman Matt Sewell and quarterback Mitchell Gale. Vidal Hazelton continues to make big plays as he caught two passes for 69 yards and a touchdown while Andre Durie added a TD reception in the win over the Roughriders. "Great teams rebound properly and that's what we did," Durie told reporters. "We eliminated our mistakes and we took advantage of our opportunities."


    ABOUT THE LIONS (2-0, 2-0 ATS, 0-2 O/U): Jonathon Jennings had his most productive game of the young season, throwing for 228 yards and a touchdown while Shawn Gore continued his impressive start as he hauled in four passes for 116 yards in the win over Hamilton. Ryan Phillips recorded the 47th interception of his career against the Tiger-Cats and needs four more picks to equal the franchise record. Elimimian had six tackles and looked like his pre-injury self in his first game in Hamilton since rupturing his Achilles in the 52-22 loss at Tim Hortons Field last season.


    TRENDS:


    * Argonauts are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 3.
    * Under is 7-1 in Argonauts last 8 games overall.
    * Under is 8-2 in Lions last 10 games in July.
    * Under is 17-7 in the last 24 meetings.


    CONSENSUS: At the time of publication of this preview, the Lions are picking up 54 percent of the wagers and Over 50 is grabbing 53 percent of the action.
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    STANDING


    WEST DIVISION


    RK TEAM GP W L T PTS F A HOME AWAY DIV


    1 BC 2 2 0 0 4 48 21 1-0-0 1-0-0 1-0-0


    2 Calgary 2 1 1 0 2 54 42 1-0-0 0-1-0 1-1-0


    3 Edmonton 1 0 1 0 0 37 45 0-1-0 0-0-0 0-0-0


    4 Saskatchewan 1 0 1 0 0 17 30 0-1-0 0-0-0 0-0-0


    5 Winnipeg 2 0 2 0 0 36 58 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-1-0




    EAST DIVISION


    RK TEAM GP W L T PTS F A HOME AWAY DIV


    1 Ottawa 2 2 0 0 4 73 50 0-0-0 2-0-0 1-0-0


    2 Hamilton 2 1 1 0 2 45 48 0-1-0 1-0-0 1-0-0


    3 Montreal 2 1 1 0 2 35 42 0-1-0 1-0-0 0-1-0


    4 Toronto 2 1 1 0 2 50 59 0-1-0 1-0-0 0-1-0
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    ELIMIMIAN ON THE 2-0 LIONS: ‘WE’RE NOT SURPRISED’


    HAMILTON – If you haven’t bought stock in the 2016 BC Lions yet, you may just be running out of time.


    The Lions continued their hot start to the season on Friday night, not just defeating but dominating the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 28-3 at Tim Hortons Field in a Canada Day showdown.


    Don’t look now but the Lions are 2-0 and sit atop the CFL West Division through two weeks, something almost no one could have seen coming – almost no one.


    “We’re not surprised,” linebacker Solomon Elimimian, who made six tackles in the win, told BCLions.com. “Everybody else is surprised, but we’re not surprised.


    “We know we have a good team and this is just the tipping point.”


    The Lions were at the top of their game in every facet, holding the Ticats to just three single points while winning the time of possession battle by a 35:53 to 24:07 margin.


    Winners of just seven games last season, the Lions may have been the least-talked about team in the West Division coming into this year.


    The Stamps and Eskimos both went 14-4 last season while Riderville was rocked by the addition of Grey Cup-winning coach Chris Jones, who wasted little time knocking down the foundation and rebuilding the Riders. Then there were the Bombers, projected to improve after the additions of Weston Dressler, Andrew Harris and Ryan Smith, among others.


    But the Lions made some key changes as well, including bringing Wally Buono, the CFL’s all-time leader in wins, back to the sideline. So far the early returns couldn’t be better.


    “It was huge,” said Jonathon Jennings, who protected the football in throwing for 228 yards and a touchdown on 16-of-27 passing. “It was huge for our offence. It all starts with the offensive line, we always talk about it and we were intense in practice all week and they came out and busted their tails and got it done.”


    An electrifying player in his rookie 23-year-old season a year ago, Jennings hasn’t been flashy but has done all of the little things, including sustaining drives and avoiding turnovers. The Lions managed only seven points and a five-point lead through the first 30 minutes but their patience on offence allowed them to pull away later.


    Shaq Murray-Lawrence and Emmanuel Arceneaux scored second-half touchdowns as the Lions’ offence continued pressing. Meanwhile, Elimimian and his battery mate Adam Bighill wouldn’t give the Ticats’ anything, stopping the run and throwing different looks at Jeremiah Masoli all evening.


    “I don’t want to talk about the defence, I want to talk about the whole team,” Buono said afterwards. “This was a great team victory and the offence did a great job of possessing the football, giving us momentum.


    “It was a combination of all three facets of our team and to come on the road and win, to come into Hamilton and win is always very impressive.”


    If one thing’s certain it’s that no one will take the Lions lightly – not after the last two weeks. The Lions didn’t just beat anyone, they beat a Stampeders team that has lost only seven games over the last two seasons and a Ticats team that is next to impossible to topple at home.


    Another test comes back at home next week against Ricky Ray and the Argos.


    “To battle another undefeated team this early in the season – we were both 1-0 – but to beat a team like this at their place is huge,” said Jennings. “It makes a statement and allows everybody to know, we’re here for real.”


    “There’s lots to build on, but a lot of people are on the fence wanting to see what kind of football club this is,” added Buono. “Hopefully they’ve seen that this club’s going to play hard, it’s going to play physical and hopefully it’s going to play enough exciting football to get BC Place full again.”
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    NYE: ARGOS BOND, MAKE THEMSELVES AT HOME IN RIDERVILLE


    TORONTO – What do you do when your team takes a week long pit stop in Regina?


    Get better, that’s about all there is to do in the eyes of Toronto Argonauts tackle Bryan Hall.


    The Argos beat Saskatchewan last Thursday and then stayed put. They hung out in the locker room waiting for the Riders to finish their practice, and at night stayed in the hotel room bonding over film.


    It was literally eat, practice, eat, film, eat, more film, sleep for the team.


    “The coolest thing I did was walk over to the mall that closed at 6 o’clock,” chuckled Hall, who came over to Toronto in free agency after spending his first couple of years in the league in Hamilton.


    However, the lack of entertainment in Regina may have been a blessing in disguise for a team still trying to get to know one another.


    “Especially in the CFL when training camps are three weeks. That’s not enough time to really gel and bond so any opportunity you can be on the road with your brothers and mesh and really understand what we’re thinking — what Keon’s thinking, what Ricky Foley’s thinking, Justin Hickman’s thinking and how are coaches are thinking. And being locked in to Regina, Saskatchewan what better opportunity are you going to get.”


    So you get the picture, Bryan Hall won’t be vacationing in Regina any time soon but we’ll have to wait and see if their business trip actually turns out to be as productive as he believes it was.


    The Argonauts are a team that needs better from their defence if they want to improve on last season.


    It won’t be easy. They lost some top players from Chad Owens and Trevor Harris on offence to Euclid Cummings, Greg Jones, Tristan Okpalaugo on defence.


    Changes also came in the coaching staff defensively as Rich Stubler returned to Toronto for his third stint as the team’s defensive coordinator.


    Hall’s biggest adjustment with Stubler is the fact the coach doesn’t use a playbook but the veteran CFLer is adapting well.


    “We’re structured but we definitely have freedoms to make plays and that’s what it’s about, to put players in position to make plays. He allows players to make plays and that’s what the game comes down to and he’s going to put is in position to make those plays every time.”


    And making plays was lacking last year for the Argonauts defence. They were a group who had the second fewest takeaways in the league and the lowest amount of points off turnovers in the league. If the Argonauts can help out the other side of the ball with more takeaways that will be a good thing.


    They appear ready to do so with a fumble return for a touchdown that actually provided the game’s winning points in last week’s win over Saskatchewan.


    The other thing Hall has taken away from the long-time coach is how to watch film and how to prepare for each and every opponent.


    “It’s just an open concept so you understand football because a lot of coaches become really [particular] when it comes to Xs and Os and that’s just not good for players sometimes when you sort of force the Xs and Os rather than understand the game of football and understand what the offence is doing out there.”


    Hall isn’t the only new face. Keon Raymond has come over from Calgary with Stubler; Justin Hickman came up the QEW with Hall from Hamilton.


    Other players are getting either bigger roles on the team because of the departures or there are rookies trying to make an impact.


    The one thing Hall believes they all need to understand is a lot can happen in 18 games and they just have to build towards the playoffs.


    “Our goal is to be playing our best ball by the end of the year. We understand we’re going to have a lot of growing pains but we just have to stay together and believe in the process that (Rich Stubler) has in front of us.”


    Come the end of the season, Hall hopes they are making an impression like the BC Lions are at the beginning of the season on the defensive side.


    His specific description of the future reputation for the Argos defence, “the most ferocious defense, nobody wants to play us and you can’t really get a beat on us because we’re doing so much stuff, it looks very similar, but it’s totally different.”


    They’re a long way from being that, but with time and possibly thanks to the hospitality of Saskatchewan, the Argonauts will want to spend a week in Regina every year.
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    PREVIEW


    BOMBERS, TICATS KICK OFF WEEK 3 AT TIM HORTONS FIELD



    HAMILTON — The urgency will be turned up a notch heading into a CFL Thursday Night Football double-header, which starts in Hamilton with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.


    It’s a game both teams feel they need, the Bombers heading into Week 3 action on the heels of an 0-2 start and the Ticats coming off a 28-3 loss to BC in which they managed to score only three single points.


    With that said, Ticats head coach Kent Austin isn’t worried about his team overlooking the Bombers.


    “We’ve got our own issues,” Austin told Ticats.ca. “We’ve got our own things to correct.”


    The Tabbies were toothless in last week’s loss to the Lions, a disappointing follow-up to a thunderous season-opening victory against the Toronto Argonauts in the first game at BMO Field. Outplayed by the Lions in nearly every aspect of the game, from total yards gained (355-297) to time of possession (35:53-24:07), the Ticats are focused more on themselves than the Bombers anyway.


    “Any football team in this league, they can beat you if you don’t play well,” said Austin. “It doesn’t matter who they are.


    “We’re focused on ourselves and making sure that we’re well prepared to play and that we make the proper adjustments to the game and that our guys are focused on the right things – and that’s their own performance.”


    In a windy home-opener at Tim Hortons Field, the ‘Cats never really found their footing against the Lions. Brett Maher missed three field goals in the game while the Ticats’ defence stood its ground in the first half, keeping Hamilton within five points at halftime.


    But against a Lions defence that has seemingly re-invented itself under the CFL’s all-time wins leader in Wally Buono, who’s back on the sideline for the first time since 2011, Jeremiah Masoli and the offence had no answers. Masoli was intercepted twice and threw for 248 yards on 26-of-39 passing while failing to muster more than a single point any time out on the field.


    The Lions pulled away with a pair of second-half touchdowns, leaving the Ticats wondering what went wrong between Week 1 and Week 2. Austin and linebacker Simoni Lawrence see it as an opportunity to learn and get better.


    “We were having too many mental errors and we were not lining up and it just didn’t look like us on tape,” said Lawrence. “But it’s something you can learn from as well, because we can look at the Week 1 tape and see what we all did to be successful, and then look at the Week 2 tape, you’re not just going to be able to walk on the field and be a good player. You have to put the same work in, the same preparation in and the same attention to details to be successful.”


    The Ticats shook up their defence a little bit this week, shipping linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis to Edmonton in exchange for a conditional eighth-round pick in 2018. An off-season free agent signing, Hoffman-Ellis never made it onto the field for the Ticats as Larry Dean took a stranglehold on the position from the outset of camp.


    The team also announced the release of Geoff Tisdale, brought in to start at corner after early-season injuries had the Ticats shuffling the depth chart. Travis Lee will get his first career start for the Ticats at corner opposite fellow rookie Quinton Pointer.


    For an early-July clash against a cross-division opponent, Thursday’s matchup at home is as important as you’ll find for the Ticats. They’ll want to get back to being dominant at home having lost five of their last seven games at Tim Hortons Field following a perfect 9-0 start there.


    The Ticats are also looking to start a season 2-1 and above .500 through three games for the first time since 2009 – something they’ve done only once since 2005.


    The Bombers won’t have any sympathy on Thursday night. Just like they’ve had trouble starting strong in recent seasons, Mike O’Shea’s team has had trouble out of the gate in its first two games of 2016.


    Winnipeg is 0-2 despite ranking third in the CFL in net yards, although the numbers are misleading considering most of them have been put up in the second half with the game nearly out of reach.


    Of the 777 yards of net offence the Bombers have gained thus far, only 190 (24 per cent) have come in the first half. Of their entire offensive output, 509 yards (66 per cent) have come in the fourth quarter.


    It was more of the same against the Stampeders, as the Bombers fell into a 36-7 hole in the third quarter before scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter on the way to a 36-22 loss.


    Quarterback Drew Willy said there’s no doubt a greater sense of urgency will be there for the Bombers in Hamilton.


    “There’s got to be urgency, for sure,” Willy told BlueBombers.com. “We need to go out to Hamilton and play a good game. That’s the key and that’s everything we’re focusing on: to go out there and make plays.”


    While that offence has generated just four touchdown drives this season, including one from a yard out thanks to a blocked field goal return, optimism is still high in Bomber camp that the team can turn it around.


    Part of it has to stem from the fact that the unit has mostly been without the services of Weston Dressler, who exited during the first quarter of the season-opener against Montreal and missed Week 2. Dressler had three catches in less than 15 minutes of action alone and is set to return to the lineup on Thursday.


    Along with other off-season adds Andrew Harris and Ryan Smith, Dressler helps make up what should be one of the league’s more explosive offences – on paper.


    “He adds so much to our offence,” Willy said of Dressler. “Explosion. The ability to get open. He knows the offence – he’s the ultimate pro. He’s seen it all.”
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    CFL.CA GAME NOTES: A LOOK AT WEEK 3


    TORONTO — Two teams are looking to stay perfect and two are looking for win number one of 2016, as Week 3 in the Canadian Football League brings Thursday and Friday night double-headers.


    It all starts in Hamilton, where the Ticats will look to restore their dominance at Tim Hortons Field a week after scoring just three single points in a 28-3 loss to the BC Lions. It won’t be easy for the Ticats despite the fact that the Bombers are 0-2 — Drew Willy and co. are hungry for their first win of the season and will get a major reinforcement in Weston Dressler.


    The Thursday Night Football double-header then shifts across the country to the west coast, where the Lions are a red-hot 2-0 to open the season and will look to remain one of two undefeated teams in a duel against the Toronto Argonauts. Wally Buono and the Lions’ defence have turned back the clock to 2011 with a dominant defence that’s allowed very little through two weeks, while the Argos will debut defensive end Shawn Lemon after acquiring him through a trade.


    A little Friday Night Football action starts in the nation’s capital, where the Ottawa REDBLACKS play their home-opener against the Calgary Stampeders. The REDBLACKS have been hit hard by the injury bug, losing Henry Burris, William Powell and now Travon Van to injury, but so far it’s had no ill-effect as Trevor Harris and Chris Williams lead the CFL’s number one offence. Watching Bo Levi Mitchell put on an air show for the Stamps a week ago and Jerome Messam dominating on the ground, the Stamps look like they should have no problem putting up a challenge.


    Finally, Chris Jones and the Riders are right back in action in the final game of Week 3 as Jones visits his former team, the Edmonton Eskimos. One of these teams will get their first win of 2016 as both have had a bye week and lost their season-opener. It’s hard to know what to expect between two new-look teams, but know that Darian Durant and Mike Reilly should put on an exciting show in a battle of the veteran pivots.
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    CFL-WIDE TRENDS


    Road warriors: The visiting team has won six of the eight games thus far and that is a first since 2003. That year however, home teams came back to win 51 of the final 73 games and rebound from the slow starts at home. Away clubs have outscored home teams by an incredible 235 to 160.


    Scoring and offence up: Both remain up after a strong rebound in 2015 over the standout defensive 2014 season. Net offence is up to 739 yards per game based primarily on a nine per cent increase in passing yards over last year’s 677 mark. CFL passers lead a record quarterback rating as through two weeks that statistic sits at an al-time high of 102.3.


    No close games: Only one game thus far has been decided by fewer than four points (BC 20, CGY 18 in Week 1) and just one by even a touchdown or less. Six road clubs have dominated their trips, winning by margins of 22, 15, 13, 13, 14 and a high of 25 points by BC at Hamilton last week.


    Penalties way down (YTD): There has been an average of just 19.1 penalties per game through Week 2 and in fact the four games last week averaged only 18.3 calls. Those cover accepted penalties only and comparing Week 2 totals: 19.13 in 2016 versus 25 per game over the first eight games of 2015.


    Offside-procedure: Through eight games there have been 58 total calls for this penalty type compared to 71 last year through Week 2.


    Struggling kickers: Last week’s BC at Hamilton game affected the season field goal percentage profoundly as Brett Maher (0/3) and Richie Leone (3/5) combined to miss five attempts. For the year, CFL kickers are at 70.6 per cent, the lowest league-wide rate since 2004 (70.1 per cent). The one point convert rate is up to 93.3 per cent at 28-of-30. Only Calgary’s Rene Paredes has missed in 2016.


    RELATED: The latest news and notes for Week 3 in Checking Down


    Running backs down: There have been four starting running backs go down already this year with Ottawa losing both William Powell and Travon Van. The CFL’s leading rusher for 2015 was Tyrell Sutton and he was lost to injury (along with receiver S.J. Green) last week. BC’s Jeremiah Johnson left the game and Anthony Allen is expected to start.


    Ricky Ray: Needs just 46 passing yards to reach 53,000 for his career and 302 yards to pass Danny McManus (53,255) for No. four all-time.


    Nine starting QBs: Seven out of eight clubs have started the same QB so far and only Ottawa has split games (Henry Burris and Trevor Harris). Last year, 26 different starters were used across the CFL.


    WEEK 3 GAME NOTES


    Harris on fire: Through two games, Trevor Harris has completed 82.2 per cent of his passes, on pace to beat the previous record of 77.2 set by Ricky Ray in 2013. He has led Ottawa on 11 scoring drives (six TDs, three FGs).


    Almost perfect: Chris Williams and Brad Sinopoli have been a major part of Harris’ success, catching 29 of 31 combined targets (93.5 per cent). Williams’ 218 all-purpose yards per game put him on pace to surpass a single-season record of 3,863 set by Chad Owens in 2012. Williams is also on pace for 2,414 yards from scrimmage with 181 yards per game through two weeks.


    256 regular season victories: After returning to the sidelines this season and quickly posting back-to-back wins, the BC Lions’ Wally Buono now has 256 regular season victories – the most in league history. It certainly appears it will be a long time before anyone catches him: the next active coach on the all-time list is the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ Kent Austin, with 42 wins.


    A sign of things to come? The 2012 season was last time that BC started out 2-0 and the Lions went on the finish at 13-5 for that year. They will be looking to go 3-0 off the top for the first time since 2007.


    Two games, 21 points against: The Lions are tops in the CFL after two weeks having allowed just 21 points for an average of 10.5 per game. Opponents have generated just two touchdown drives thus far and none in their last 18 straight possessions. The three single points allowed to Hamilton marked BC’s lowest opponent total in the last 23 games (41-3 over Ottawa on Oct 11, 2014).


    Plays from scrimmage and TOP edge: BC has run off a total of 126 plays from scrimmage in two games compared to just 102 by the opposition – a gap of 12 additional offensive plays for the Lions per game. Among teams that have played two games, the Lions lead the CFL in time of possession at 33:32 – BC finished last in 2015 at an average TOP of 27:56.


    Winning any way you can: The Argos recorded a 13-point win at Regina last week despite some statistical disadvantages. The Riders ran off 69 offensive plays to Toronto’s 41, a gap of 28 plays. Saskatchewan outgained the Argos 382 yards to 241 and had more than double the number of first downs at 24 to 11. Toronto won on the strength of a plus-three turnover edge that accounted for 14 points, one more than the winning margin.


    Scott Milanovich career milestone: Milanovich has now led his club to 39 regular season victories and looks to make it 40 this week. He is 39-35 heading into his 75th regular season head coaching appearance and with a win this week will become the 40th head coach in CFL history to record 40 wins.


    Ticats leveling off at home (11-5)? The Tiger-Cats opened their new stadium on Sept. 1, 2014 and won their first nine games there. But since then they have leveled off as BC defeated them last week on their home turf. Including that loss to the Lions they are now just 2-5 at THF since winning nine in a row.


    Simoni dominant: Simoni Lawrence leads the CFL in “total defence,” a compilation of defensive plays, with 20. Lawrence is second in the CFL with 14 defensive tackles and has added an interception, a fumble recovery, two sacks, a knockdown and
    a tackle for loss.


    Slow starts: The Tiger-Cats have been notoriously slow starters in recent seasons as reflected by their record after three games. They have been above .500 after three games only once since 2005. Over their first three games of the season (including a 1-1 start in 2016) their combined record is just 9-26 (.257) since 2005. A 2-1 mark in 2009 is the only time they have been above .500 after three games across that stretch. They can get to 2-1 with a win this week and snap the run.


    Slow starts II: The first two games have been a challenge to come back from early deficits for the Blue Bombers. They fell behind Montreal by 18 points and to Calgary by 29 points and were able to make both games close with late rallies.


    First half vs Second half (fourth-quarter offence): The Bombers have gained 777 yards of net offence thus far to Week 2. Of that, only 190 (24 per cent) have come in the first half. Their second half net offence of 587 yards accounts for 76 per cent of the total, but in the fourth Quarter alone, they have gained 509 yards – an incredible 66 per cent of their entire offensive output.


    Quincy McDuffie: Had a very productive game returning kicks in Week 1 with a league-high 176 yards overall (61 on five punt returns, three kickoff returns for 88 yards, and 27-yard return of a missed field goal attempt). He added 108 more return yards last week and through two games ranks second in the CFL with 279 total return yards.
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    PREVIEW


    JENNINGS, LIONS EYE 3-0 START WITH HOME MATCHUP VS. ARGOS



    VANCOUVER — If the Lions claim a victory on Thursday night they will improve their record to 3-0 – something that hasn’t been done to start the season in BC since 2007.


    But, before that can happen, they’ll have to get through a Toronto Argonauts team that’s feeling pretty good about itself.


    While it might be tempting for the Lions to waltz into the match up with confidence – they did beat two of last year’s top seeds in Calgary and Hamilton to start their campaign – the players seem to be preaching Wally Buono’s message.


    “We’re happy to be 2-0 but (we’re) trying not to be complacent,” quarterback Jonathon Jennings told BCLions.com. “That’s what Wally brought to the table this morning (at team practice). He told us we learn how to win and we learn how to lose. We just have to make sure that we’re not complacent and we come out every week with that same hunger.”


    BC will hope to bring momentum to B.C. Place in the wake of a thunderous 28-3 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Week 2, when the Lions’ defence gave Jeremiah Masoli and the Ticats’ offence little room to breathe.


    That unit, including veteran defensive back Ryan Phillips and linebackers Solomon Elimimian and Adam Bighill, sits on top of the league, only allowing 21 points total and forcing six turnovers in their first two games of the season.


    “We’re a multiple defence, we rely on more than just our twelve starters,” said Buono. “We have different packages with different personnel groupings and the guys have really, really taking a liking to it. The other thing is they play with speed and they play with aggression and when you have those two combinations on defence it usually bodes well.”


    When Ricky Ray hits the field on Thursday, BC’s defence will have to contain an offence that was instrumental in the Argo’s 30-17 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Ray’s numbers weren’t flashy, but a quick start against the Riders with two touchdown passes on the first two drives of the game were enough to power the Argos to their first victory of the season.


    The veteran pivot finished the night throwing 13-of-22 passes for 186 yards and seems to be shaking off the rust after missing the majority of the 2015 CFL season.


    “Ricky was very, very good last week,” said Buono. “You could see the confidence that he has and you can see the football knowledge that he has. He was very sharp. His reads were excellent and he has a great ability to get the ball into open space.”


    If the Lions want to ensure the Boatmen stay out of the end zone, they’ll have to make Vidal Hazelton and Brandon Whitaker their top priority. Hazelton leads the CFL in touchdowns in the first two weeks with three. Two of those scores came in just 46 seconds in Week 1 against Hamilton. Whitaker led the Argos ground game last week with 11 carries for 40 yards and is a central part of the Argo offence, whether he’s running the ball, catching it or keeping defenders’ hands off the quarterback.


    Jennings will be without running back Jeremiah Johnson on Thursday after he suffered an ankle injury last week against Hamilton. Instead, he’ll have Anthony Allen in the back field and will try to find instant chemistry with the running back. Allen will hope to continue the strong running game the Lions have been playing when he slots in on Thursday night.


    So far the Lions’ rushing attack has seen little drop-off since the departure of Andrew Harris, as the O-line has opened up holes while the backs have managed to churn up the yards, helping to win the time of possession battle both weeks.


    “They’re (Toronto) a good team and they’re coming into our house,” Allen said.“This is going to be our second game of the season in the crib and we have to keep it undefeated there.


    “It’s going to be a good game. I’m excited. It really doesn’t matter what they bring to us though because we’re going to come out with the win.”


    Also out for the Lions are 2016 first round pick Charles Vaillancourt and defensive tackle Mich’ael Brooks, both of whom have been instrumental to the Lions’ early success. Vaillancourt’s right guard position is in good hands with the veteran Kirby Fabien stepping in while Bryant Turner Jr. will make his 2016 debut along the D-line for the Lions.


    For the Argos, Tracy Robertson is replaced by Ken Bishop on the interior D-line while newly-acquired Shawn Lemon is listed behind Justin Hickman on the depth chart. Josh Rankin is out at defensive back along with the injured Jermaine Gabriel, making Matt Black the veteran in the middle of a young Argos’ secondary.


    Black, Lemon and the rest of Toronto’s defence will be looking to make Jennings’ night as tough as possible, which means not losing containment on the electrifying second-year quarterback who has a penchant for making plays outside of the pocket.


    Jennings is 5-3 in his career as a starting quarterback while the Lions have won his last four regular season starts. Beating the Ticats at Tim Hortons Field last weekend was as impressive as anything.


    “We’re going to have to find ways to make him uncomfortable and not let him outside of the pocket,” Black told Argonauts.ca. “That’s one of his strengths that he has. He can make throws on the run, he’s accurate, he’s got a pretty strong arm and he extends plays. His receivers do a good job of getting open for him when he scrambles. We’re going to have to be disciplined on the D-line.”


    For BC, keeping the Argo offence at bay is essential to stop history from repeating itself. The last time the Argos visited B.C. Place, they came back from a 21-0 deficit to win 30-27, handing the Lions their largest blown lead in history.


    As for the Argos, Head Coach Scott Milanovich opted to keep his team out west in between matchups in Regina and Vancouver, giving the Argos some welcomed early-season bonding time.


    Feeling refreshed and confident after win number one of 2016, they’re just looking forward to the challenge of taking on the league’s best defence.


    “They’re a great defensive team,” wide receiver Tori Gurley said. “We feel like we’re very balanced on offence and we’re just ready to go out and compete and may the best team win.”


    Kickoff is at 10 p.m. ET and can be seen live on TSN or followed online via CFL.ca GameTracker
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    CHECKING DOWN: THE LATEST ON HENRY BURRIS AND MORE WEEK 3 NOTES


    TORONTO — While everyone’s talking about Trevor Harris, it appears Henry Burris is still a few weeks away so put the quarterback controversy on hold for now.


    Plus, could Anthony Allen be set to make his first start at running back for the BC Lions?


    That and much, much more in the latest Checking Down:


    – The BC Lions have turned back the clock both on the sideline and on the field, as Ryan Phillips credits Wally Buono for the team’s strong start in 2016 (Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press).


    – Speaking of Phillips, the longest-serving Lion is chasing club history this season (Cam Tucker, Vancouver Sun).


    – With Jeremiah Johnson sidelined due to injury, it’s Anthony Allen’s turn to step into the BC backfield. What’s he expecting from his first start? (Mike Beamish, Vancouver Province)


    – The Lions made some major gains in the Nissan Titan Power Rankings, but is a 2-0 start enough for a top-three spot?

    EDMONTON ESKIMOS



    – What does the recently-acquired Alex Hoffman-Ellis bring to the Eskimos? Depth and the ability to play special teams, says Head Coach Jason Maas (Edmonton Journal).


    – Speaking of Hoffman-Ellis, Maas says he’s picked up the system quickly and he could be in the lineup on Friday (Dave Campbell, CHED Edmonton).


    – Maas says it’s up to the Esks’ offence to establish better field position earlier in the game, something the team struggled with in a Week 1 loss (Dave Campbell, CHED Edmonton).

    CALGARY STAMPEDERS



    – Stamps defensive lineman Quinn Smith is doubtful to play on Friday vs. Ottawa, the team has announced.


    – Return specialist Roy Finch has a chip on his shoulder ahead of his return to the nation’s capital this weekend (Scott Mitchell, Calgary Herald).


    – There’s nothing wrong with the Stamps’ running game, while Joe West figures to be in for a big season by early indications (Scott Mitchell, Calgary Herald).


    – The Stamps are in hostile territory this week for Ottawa’s home-opener. Can they pick up their first road win of 2016?


    – A leader off the field and a playmaker on it, Zach Minter offers plenty of upside for his new team in Calgary (Max Campbell, Stampeders.com).

    SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS



    – After having to watch the Riders’ home-opener as a spectator, enough was enough for first overall pick Josiah St. John, who’s finally got a contract (Ian Hamilton, Regina Leader-Post).


    – The Riders were hit with some bad news on Tuesday according to Rod Pedersen, who reports that Jonathan Williams will not play vs. Edmonton while Brendon Labatte is considered day to day. Meanwhile, recently-acquired Matt Sewell has reportedly retired (Rod Pedersen).


    – On a defence with 12 new starters in all, Justin Capicciotti likens the Riders to the 2014 Ottawa REDBLACKS, stressing the need to gel quickly (Ian Hamilton, Regina Leader-Post).


    WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS


    – With Weston Dressler officially set to return to action on Thursday night, the Bombers’ offence should have a different look (Paul Friesen, Winnipeg Sun).


    – Defensive back Bruce Johnson will not suit up for the Bombers in Week 3 and according to Gary Lawless will be replaced by Travis Hawkins, who started 15 games with the Argos last season (Gary Lawless, TSN).


    – Also missing action will be Trent Corney, which means international Adrian Hubbard could draw into the fold opposite Jamaal Westerman on the Bombers’ D-line (Ted Wyman, Winnipeg Sun).


    HAMILTON TIGER-CATS


    – How the O-line responds will be key to the Ticats bouncing back Thursday night vs. Winnipeg (Steve Milton, Hamilton Spectator).


    – Brett Maher had his struggles in his windy Tim Hortons Field debut, but doesn’t have long to think about it before getting a chance for redemption on Thursday night (Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press).


    – Andy Fantuz says he’s particularly impressed by this year’s receiving corps in Hamilton (Terry Koshan, Chatham Daily Press).


    TORONTO ARGONAUTS


    – Joining his former defensive coordinator in Rich Stubler in Toronto, newly-acquired Shawn Lemon and the Argos are a natural fit (Chris O’Leary, The Toronto Star).


    – Cory Greenwood could a one of the league’s leaders in tackles when all is said and done this season. Why he’s a perfect fit for Rich Stubler’s defence (Frank Zicarelli, Toronto Sun).


    – Containing one of the CFL’s most dangerous return men will be a difficult task for James Yurichuk and the Argos in Week 3 (Frank Zicarelli, Toronto Sun).


    OTTAWA REDBLACKS


    – While the Ottawa REDBLACKS continue to deal with injuries, Mossis Madu and Kienan Lafrance appear next in line to get carries out of the backfield (Tim Baines, Ottawa Sun).


    – Henry Burris says he can grip a football but is still a few weeks away from returning for the REDBLACKS (A.J. Jakubec, TSN 1200).


    – On the topic of Burris, the veteran QB knows getting his job back is far from guaranteed when he returns from injury (Tim Baines, Ottawa Citizen).


    – Every time the REDBLACKS score a touchdown, a tree will be planted (Tim Baines, Ottawa Sun).


    MONTREAL ALOUETTES


    – While Duron Carter has been the centre of discussion this week, there were a lot of other things that happened in Week 2 in Ottawa (Matthew Cauz, CFL.ca).


    – Remembering back to two years ago when John Bowman was benched for two games, it’s amazing to think how fast things have changed for the veteran pass rusher (Herb Zurkowsky, Montreal Gazette).


    – The Alouettes are a pretty big underdog in CFL Pick ‘Em this week, but after being the king of underdogs in 2015, can they come through with another upset on Thursday night in the Marquee Matchup?
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    7/1 - Yesterday's Results: 0 - 4


    July Results - 0 - 4


    Overall: WLT PCT UNITS RANK


    ATS Picks 3-5-0 37.50% -1250


    O/U Picks 4-4-0 50.00% -200







    THURSDAY, JULY 7


    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


    WPG at HAM 07:00 PM


    HAM -8.5


    O 52.5





    TOR at BC 10:00 PM

    BC -6.5


    U 50.0
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    Friday, July 8


    Calgary Stampeders (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. Ottawa RedBlacks (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS)

    Point-spread: PICK
    Total: 53


    Game Overview


    Calgary was stunned by BC as a slight road favorite in Week 1, but it quickly got things turned around against Winnipeg in Week 2. Bo Levi returned to form at quarterback with 309 yards passing and two touchdown throws while connecting on 24 of his 37 attempts. Jerome Messam tore things up on the ground with 137 yards rushing on 16 carries. The Stampeders scored 30 unanswered points in that game after trailing 7-3 midway in the second quarter.


    No Henry Burris; no problem for the RedBlacks with Trevor Harris at the helm. Making his first start in place of Ottawa’s injured signal caller, Harris had a field day against Montreal with 395 yards passing and three touchdown throws. He connected on 20-of-26 attempts to average a solid 19.8 yards per completion. He currently leads the CFL in passing with 687 yards and six touchdown throws despite only playing a little over a quarter in the RedBlacks’ opener.


    Betting Trends


    Calgary is 3-1 both SU and ATS in its previous four games against Ottawa as the RedBlacks. The total went OVER in three of the four meetings.





    Saskatchewan Roughriders (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Edmonton Eskimos (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)

    Point-spread: Edmonton -11
    Total: 49

    Game Overview



    Saskatchewan had to wait an extra week to get things started, but the extra time off did not help its cause. Darian Durant returned to the lineup after missing just about all of last season with a torn Achilles heel. He ended the game against Toronto with 310 passing yards and one touchdown throw, but his team was just about doubled-up on the scoreboard. Another bright spot in the passing offense was Naaman Roosevelt with nine catches for 113 yards.


    The Eskimos had last week off to reflect on what went wrong in a wild overtime loss to Ottawa at home in their season opener. Quarterback Mike Reilly completed 28-of-40 attempts for 383 yards and a score in that loss with Adarius Bowman on the receiving end of nine of those completions for 106 yards. Derel Walker was also a force in the passing game in Week 1 with seven catches for 149 yards to average 21.3 yards a reception.

    Betting Trends



    The Roughriders have lost their last three road games against Edmonton both SU and ATS and they are just 1-8 ATS in the last nine meetings overall. The total has stayed UNDER in 17 of the last 23 meetings in Edmonton.
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    Friday, July 8




    Calgary @ Ottawa


    Game 125-126
    July 8, 2016 @ 7:00 pm


    Dunkel Rating:
    Calgary
    118.667
    Ottawa
    115.217
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Calgary
    by 3 1/2
    48
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Calgary
    Pick
    53
    Dunkel Pick:
    Calgary
    Under


    Saskatchewan @ Edmonton



    Game 127-128
    July 8, 2016 @ 10:00 pm


    Dunkel Rating:
    Saskatchewan
    104.353
    Edmonton
    125.803
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Edmonton
    by 21 1/2
    58
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Edmonton
    by 9 1/2
    50
    Dunkel Pick:
    Edmonton
    (-9 1/2); Over



    ------------------

    Friday, July 8



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    CALGARY (1 - 1) at OTTAWA (2 - 0) - 7/8/2016, 7:00 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    OTTAWA is 17-5 ATS (+11.5 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
    OTTAWA is 17-5 ATS (+11.5 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
    OTTAWA is 12-3 ATS (+8.7 Units) as an underdog over the last 2 seasons.
    OTTAWA is 16-5 ATS (+10.5 Units) in games played on turf over the last 2 seasons.
    CALGARY is 118-88 ATS (+21.2 Units) when playing with 6 or less days rest since 1996.


    Head-to-Head Series History
    CALGARY is 3-1 against the spread versus OTTAWA over the last 3 seasons
    CALGARY is 3-1 straight up against OTTAWA over the last 3 seasons
    3 of 4 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    SASKATCHEWAN (0 - 1) at EDMONTON (0 - 1) - 7/8/2016, 10:00 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    SASKATCHEWAN is 5-13 ATS (-9.3 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
    SASKATCHEWAN is 5-13 ATS (-9.3 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
    SASKATCHEWAN is 0-6 ATS (-6.6 Units) when playing on a Friday over the last 3 seasons.
    SASKATCHEWAN is 5-13 ATS (-9.3 Units) in games played on turf over the last 2 seasons.
    SASKATCHEWAN is 26-45 ATS (-23.5 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a losing record since 1996.
    SASKATCHEWAN is 119-87 ATS (+23.3 Units) as an underdog since 1996.
    SASKATCHEWAN is 50-31 ATS (+15.9 Units) in July games since 1996.


    Head-to-Head Series History
    EDMONTON is 5-1 against the spread versus SASKATCHEWAN over the last 3 seasons
    EDMONTON is 5-1 straight up against SASKATCHEWAN over the last 3 seasons
    5 of 6 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


    --------------------


    CFL
    Armadillo's Write-Up


    Week 3



    Calgary (1-1) @ Ottawa (2-0)-- RedBlacks scored 36.5 ppg in winning its first two games, including an OT win in Edmonton- this is their home opener. Calgary won three of four games with Ottawa, losing in OT here LY; three of four series games went over. Stampeders bounced back from Week 1 loss at BC with 36-22 home win over Winnipeg last week; they're 5-3 in last eight road games.


    Saskatchewan (0-1) @ Edmonton (0-1)-- Eskimos lost home opener in OT to Ottawa, anding 10-game win streak, then had the bye last week; Roughriders had Week 1 bye, then lost 30-17 to Argonauts at home last week. Eskimos won six of last seven games with Roughriders, beating them 30-5/35-24 LY. Saskatchewan lost its last three visits to Edmonton, by 24-8-25 points.


    -------------------


    CFL


    Week 3



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trend Report
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    Friday, July 8


    7:00 PM
    CALGARY vs. OTTAWA
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Calgary's last 5 games when playing Ottawa
    Calgary is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Ottawa
    Ottawa is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Calgary
    Ottawa is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Calgary


    10:00 PM
    SASKATCHEWAN vs. EDMONTON
    Saskatchewan is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games
    Saskatchewan is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games when playing on the road against Edmonton
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Edmonton's last 5 games when playing at home against Saskatchewan
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Edmonton's last 6 games


    -------------------


    CFL


    Friday, July 8



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Friday's CFL doubleheader betting preview and odds
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Eskimos' Mike Reilly was sharp in his first game of 2016 as he threw for 383 yards and a touchdown.

    Calgary Stampeders at Ottawa Redblacks (-1, 52.5)



    The Ottawa Redblacks look to continue their winning ways when they welcome the Calgary Stampeders to the nation's capital in their home opener Friday. Ottawa has shot out of the starting gates, beating the Edmonton Eskimos 45-37 in an overtime thriller in Week 1 before downing the Montreal Alouettes 28-13, and has won six straight regular-season games dating back to last season.


    The Redblacks' offence hasn't skipped a beat with star quarterback Henry Burris sidelined with a pinky injury as free agent acquisition Trevor Harris has thrown for 687 yards and six touchdowns in Burris' absence. Calgary picked up its first win of the Dave Dickenson era following a 36-22 triumph over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The Stampeders were held to under 300 yards in the loss to the BC Lions in Week 1, but sprang to life against Winnipeg as they racked up over 500 total yards and they look to create some more offensive fireworks to keep pace with the CFL's highest-scoring team. "To me it's being able to go out there and make a statement," Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell told reporters. "My favourite things to is go beat people on the road in their own house so that's what we'll be looking to do."


    TV: 7 p.m. ET, TSN


    LINE HISTORY: The spread for this one has been all over the place this week. The game opened as a pick before Calgary was pegged as a one-point favorite Wednesday morning. By lunch time the game was back to a pick and Thursday afternoon the line was moved to -1 in favor of the home team from Ottawa. The total opened at 53 and came down 1/2 point to 52.5. Check out the complete line history here.


    ABOUT THE STAMPEDERS (1-1, 1-1 ATS, 1-1 O/U): Mitchell threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns and Marquay McDaniel was the main beneficiary as he caught seven passes for a game-high 116 yards and a score in the win over the Blue Bombers. Calgary's already-thin offensive line suffered a setback when Quinn Smith injured his left arm against Winnipeg and he could miss Friday's game while Pierre Lavertu is nearing a return after missing the past month with a neck problem. Jerome Messam had his best game since joining the team in trade late last season as he rushed for 135 yards on 14 carries to earn one of the CFL Top Performers of the Week honours.

    ABOUT THE REDBLACKS (2-0, 2-0 ATS, 1-1 O/U):
    Travon Van rushed for 86 yards before sitting out the second half with a leg injury in the win over Montreal and his status is unknown for Friday while Olivier Goulet-Veilleux will likely miss the rest of the season after fracturing his leg on a kick return in the third quarter. "There's only a certain number of guys we've got around town but that's football," Ottawa head coach Rick Campbell told reporters. "You've got to have someone step up and get it done." Chris Williams was named one of the CFL Top Performers of the Week after catching seven passes for 187 yards and a touchdown to bring his season total to 363 receiving yards and three scores.


    TRENDS:


    * Stampeders are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in July.
    * RedBlacks are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
    * Under is 5-1 in Stampeders last 6 vs. a team with a winning record.
    * Over is 4-1 in RedBlacks last 5 home games.

    CONSENSUS:
    The home favorite Redblacks are picking up 54 percent of the spread picks while Over is grabbing 58 percent of the totals wagers.








    Saskatchewan Roughriders at Edmonton Eskimos (-10, 52)


    The Edmonton Eskimos are set to welcome back a familiar face to Commonwealth Stadium when they host the Saskatchewan Roughriders Friday. Chris Jones, who led the Eskimos to their first Grey Cup victory in 10 years in 2015, will return to Edmonton for the first time in the regular season since bolting in the winter to take a dual head coach/general manager role with the Roughriders.


    The Eskimos dropped a 45-37 overtime decision to the Ottawa Redblacks in their season opener before having a bye week and hope to hand new head coach Jason Maas his first win by beating Saskatchewan for the third straight time at Commonwealth Stadium. Jones failed to secure a win in his Roughriders' debut as they fell 30-17 to the Toronto Argonauts. Saskatchewan has dropped 21 of its last 26 regular-season games, including a 1-12 road record during that span - and the Riders hope to turn their fortunes around and notch their first victory in Edmonton since a 30-27 triumph on Aug. 24, 2013. "We definitely have to be better because we didn't do enough," Saskatchewan quarterback Darian Durant told reporters. "As a whole and as a unit we have to be better."

    TV:
    10 p.m. ET, TSN, ESPN2


    LINE HISTORY: The Eskimos opened as lofty 10.5-point favorites and the spread came down to -10 on Tuesday morning. The total opened at 48.5 and consistantly went up 1/2 at a time all week to settle (at the time of publication of this preview) at 52. Check out the complete line history here.

    ABOUT THE ROUGHRIDERS (0-1, 0-1 ATS, 0-1 O/U):
    A.C. Leonard, who Jones converted to a defensive end after spending last season at wide receiver with the BC Lions, recorded two sacks and was in the backfield all evening long in his first start at his new position. Offensive lineman Josiah St. John - the first overall pick in the 2016 CFL Draft - ended his month-long holdout and completed his first practice Monday. Durant looked steady in his first game since suffering a season-ending Achilles injury on opening day in 2015 as he completed 31-of-48 passes for 310 yards and a touchdown against the Argonauts.


    ABOUT THE ESKIMOS (0-1, 0-1 ATS, 1-0 O/U): Mike Reilly was sharp in his first game of 2016 as he threw for 383 yards and a touchdown while John White, who missed the entire 2015 season with an Achilles injury, caught a touchdown pass and ran for another in the loss to Ottawa. Edmonton acquired Alex Hoffman-Ellis from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in return for a conditional eighth-round pick in an attempt to add depth to the linebacker corps. "We're an injury away from where a young man straight out of college is playing and that's not where we want to be," Edmonton defensive coordinator Mike Benevides told reporters. "He has played in the league and can play both outside positions."

    TRENDS:



    * Roughriders are 2-11-1 ATS in their last 14 road games.
    * Eskimos are 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games following a bye week.
    * Over is 7-1 in Roughriders last 8 games following a ATS loss.
    * Roughriders are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 meetings.


    CONSENSUS: At the time of publication of this preview, the Eskimos are picking up 56 percent of the wagers and Over is grabbing 53 percent of the action.


    ---------------------


    CFL


    Friday, July 8




    Eye-popping start to CFL season for football bettors:


    Underdogs 8-1 SU & ATS (88.9%)
    Road Dogs 7-1 SU & ATS (87.5%)


    Under 7-3 (70%)
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    7/7 - Yesterday's Results: 1 - 3


    July Results - 1 - 7


    Overall: WLT PCT UNITS RANK


    ATS Picks 3-7-0 30.00% -2350


    O/U Picks 5-5-0 50.00% -250







    FRIDAY, JULY 8


    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


    CGY at OTT 07:00 PM

    CGY +1.5


    O 52.0





    SSK at EDM 10:00 PM


    EDM -10.0


    U 53.0
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    7/8 - Friday's Totals: 1 - 2 - 1


    June July Totals
    WLT PCT UNITS RANK



    ATS Picks 4-8-0 33.33% -2400


    O/U Picks 5-6-1 45.45% -800
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    CFL Betting Recap - Week 3
    July 10, 2016

    League Betting Notes



    -- Underdogs went 2-1-1 SU in Week 3
    -- Underdogs went 4-0 ATS in Week 3
    -- Road teams posted a 2-1-1 SU record in Week 3
    -- Road teams posted a 4-0 ATS record in Week 3
    -- The 'Under' went 2-1-1 in Week 3




    -- Ottawa (2-0-1) and Calgary (1-1-1) battled to a 26-26 tie in a great game in the nation's capital. It was the first non-cover for the RedBlacks all season, while the Stampeders covered for the second consecutive weekend. The Stamps are 0-2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS in their past three games away from home including last season's playoffs.


    -- After an impressive opening week win, Hamilton (1-2) tumbled into the basement with a surprising 28-24 setback against Winnipeg (1-2). The Tiger-Cats have averaged just 13.5 points per game after posting 42 in the opener, and they have allowed 28.0 PPG in the past two with the 'under' cashing in each game.


    -- The Blue Bombers picked up their first win and cover, and their offense continues to improve each week. After opening with 14 points, they posted 22 points in Week 2 and 28 in Week 3. The 'under is 2-1 heading into their showdown with Edmonton (1-1).


    -- Saskatchewan (0-2)'s rough ride continued in Edmonton Friday night, narrowly missing out on a breakthrough victory. While they covered against the Esks, the Roughriders haven't won in regulation in their past 15 road games, including the playoffs.


    -- The BC Lions (2-1) tasted defeat for the first time this season, tumbling at home against Toronto (2-1). However, for the third straight week the 'under' cashed for the Lions.


    -- After an opening week defeat, the Argos have won and covered in their past two games, both on the road. The 'under' also hit after an 'over' result in Week 1. Toronto covered has won and covered four straight regular season games on the road, and the 'under' is 5-1 in their past six away games including the postseason.
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    WEEK # 4 SCHEDULE


    WEEK 4


    Wednesday, July 13, 2016
    Time (ET) Away Home
    7:30 PM Ottawa Redblacks Toronto Argonauts


    Thursday, July 14, 2016
    Time (ET) Away Home
    8:30 PM Edmonton Eskimos Winnipeg Blue Bombers


    Friday, July 15, 2016
    Time (ET) Away Home
    7:30 PM Hamilton Tiger Cats Montreal Alouettes


    Saturday, July 16, 2016
    Time (ET) Away Home
    7:00 PM British Columbia Lions Saskatchewan Roughriders
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    WEST DIVISION


    RK TEAM GP W L T PTS F A HOME AWAY DIV


    1 BC 3 2 1 0 4 62 46 1-1-0 1-0-0 1-0-0


    2 Calgary 3 1 1 1 3 80 68 1-0-0 0-1-1 1-1-0


    3 Edmonton 2 1 1 0 2 76 81 1-1-0 0-0-0 1-0-0


    4 Winnipeg 3 1 2 0 2 64 82 0-1-0 1-1-0 0-1-0


    5 Saskatchewan 2 0 2 0 0 53 69 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-1-0





    EAST DIVISION



    RK TEAM GP W L T PTS F A HOME AWAY DIV


    1 Ottawa 3 2 0 1 5 99 76 0-0-1 2-0-0 1-0-0


    2 Toronto 3 2 1 0 4 75 73 0-1-0 2-0-0 0-1-0


    3 Montreal 2 1 1 0 2 35 42 0-1-0 1-0-0 0-1-0


    4 Hamilton 3 1 2 0 2 69 76 0-2-0 1-0-0 1-0-0






    y - Clinched Division
    x - Clinched Playoff Berth
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    CFL Betting Notes - Week 4


    Week 3 Betting Recap



    The new CFL regular season continues to heavily favor the underdog with a straight-up record of 8-2-1 and a very profitable 10-1 record against the spread through the first three weeks of play.


    Last week’s action started with Winnipeg upsetting Hamilton 28-24 as a 10-point road underdog on Thursday night. Toronto followed suit later that night as a 4 -point underdog on the road in a 25-14 victory against British Columbia.


    In a rare tie in the CFL, Calgary and Ottawa ended their Friday inter-division showdown knotted at 26 with the Stampeders covering as slight one-point road underdogs.


    Also on Friday night’s slate, Edmonton was able to get past Saskatchewan 39-36 in overtime, but it could not cover the spread as a heavy 11 -point home favorite.


    Wednesday, July 13[/B]

    Ottawa RedBlacks (2-0-1 SU, 2-1 ATS) vs. Toronto Argonauts (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS)

    Point-spread: Ottawa -1
    Total: 53

    Game Overview



    RedBlacks’ quarterback Trevor Harris leads the CFL in both passing yards (1,083) and passing touchdowns (9) and a big part of his early success in place of an injured Henry Burris can be attributed to the play of wide receiver Chris Williams. With 10 catches for 130 yards in last week’s loss, he has set a new CFL record for the most receiving yards in three games to start a season with 493.


    Toronto got another solid effort from its quarterback Ricky Ray in its recent win against BC with 283 yards passing and a score. Ray completed 23-of-32 attempts in that game and on the year he has 751 passing yards and five scoring strikes behind an impressive completion percentage of 68.9 percent. Brandon Whitaker has done a good job on the ground with 139 rushing yards on 27 attempts for an average of 5.2 yards per carry.


    Betting Trends


    In four previous games against the expansion RedBlacks, Toronto holds a 4-1 edge SU with a 3-2 record ATS. The total has gone OVER in the last three meetings.
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    CFL
    Dunkel


    Week 4




    Wednesday, July 13


    Ottawa @ Toronto



    Game 301-302
    July 13, 2016 @ 7:30 pm


    Dunkel Rating:
    Ottawa
    120.383
    Toronto
    118.516
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Ottawa
    by 2
    57
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Toronto
    by 1
    52 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Ottawa
    (+1); Over



    ------------------


    CFL
    Long Sheet



    Week 4


    Wednesday, July 13


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    OTTAWA (2 - 0 - 1) at TORONTO (2 - 1) - 7/13/2016, 7:30 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    OTTAWA is 17-6 ATS (+10.4 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
    OTTAWA is 17-6 ATS (+10.4 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
    OTTAWA is 12-3 ATS (+8.7 Units) as an underdog over the last 2 seasons.
    OTTAWA is 9-1 ATS (+7.9 Units) versus division opponents over the last 2 seasons.
    TORONTO is 4-13 ATS (-10.3 Units) in home games over the last 3 seasons.
    TORONTO is 4-13 ATS (-10.3 Units) in home lined games over the last 3 seasons.
    TORONTO is 18-33 ATS (-18.3 Units) in a home game where the total is greater than or equal to 52 since 1996.


    Head-to-Head Series History
    OTTAWA is 3-2 against the spread versus TORONTO over the last 3 seasons
    TORONTO is 3-2 straight up against OTTAWA over the last 3 seasons
    3 of 5 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


    -------------------

    CFL
    Armadillo's Write-Up


    Week 4



    Ottawa (2-0-1) @ Toronto (2-1)-- Argonauts won last four series games, scoring 34.3 ppg LY in wins vs Ottawa by 6-7-3 points. RedBlacks are 0-3 in Toronto, losing by 18-6-3. Ottawa tied Calgary in its home opener last week- they scored 36.5 ppg in winning first two road games by 15-8 points- the win at Edmonton was also in OT. Toronto won its last two games, in Vancouver/Regina, after losing home opener to Hamilton. Road teams are 9-2-1 vs spread in CFL this year.




    ---------------------


    CFL


    Week 4



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trend Report
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Wednesday, July 13


    7:30 PM
    OTTAWA vs. TORONTO
    Ottawa is 7-17 SU in its last 24 games on the road
    Ottawa is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Toronto
    Toronto is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games at home
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Toronto's last 5 games at home
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    PREVIEW
    HARRIS RETURNS; FIRST PLACE ON THE LINE FOR ARGOS, REDBLACKS


    TORONTO — At first glance, notching win number one at BMO Field on Wednesday night seems like a tall task for the Double Blue.


    The Ottawa REDBLACKS airshow is in town this week, bringing with it the CFL’s only undefeated team, the league’s number one offence and the CFL-leading passer and receiver.


    But while former Argo Trevor Harris and his go-to target Chris Williams are coming in hot, the Boatmen have built some momentum of their own. The Argos are one of the hottest teams in the CFL after sweeping a two-game set out west, teeing up a Week 4 mid-week duel for first in the East.


    “It means a lot,” rookie defensive tackle Ken Bishop told Argonauts.ca of the Argos’ successful trip to the west coast. “It shows our comaraderie; it was good to get away from Toronto for a minute and get to know all the guys a little better.


    “It was good for the team.”


    After falling 42-20 in a long-anticipated season-opener at BMO Field, the Argos, in essence, went away early in July and have returned a changed team.


    A 30-17 win in a highly-charged atmosphere for the Riders’ season-opener at Mosaic washed away that bitter taste from Week 1. Against the Lions, meanwhile, the Argos did everything right, staying patient throughout the first half and then striking in the second half with turnovers, timely scores and five field goals from Lirim Hajrullahu on the way to a 25-14 victory.


    Suffice to say Head Coach Scott Milanovich got what he wanted out of his team after a season-opener to forget.


    “That’s what I was looking for,” said Milanovich. “Some fight, some pride, some determination that we’re not going to let this thing linger; we’re going to get it turned around.”


    The Argos scored two touchdowns early and never looked back against the Riders, then hit the Lions right where you’d least expect – on the ground. Brandon Whitaker rushed for 97 yards on 13 carries (7.5 per carry) and added 55 through the air on seven catches.


    “Our coaches did a great job scheming the run game and our run game was getting a hat on a hat and blocking up some pretty good football players,” said Milanovich. “That should give us a lot more confidence in the run game – we were struggling a little bit.”


    They’ll look to establish the ground game again against a REDBLACKS team that’s lost roughly half of its defence since appearing in the 103rd Grey Cup against the Edmonton Eskimos. They’ll also look to attack an Ottawa secondary that’ll be without veterans Forrest Hightower and Jerrell Gavins, who were both placed on the one-game injured list.


    Still, even with Ricky Ray starting to settle into form (he threw for 283 yards and a touchdown in the win over BC), trying to keep up with the REDBLACKS’ high-octane offence is a losing cause. Rich Stubler’s defence will have to do something no other team has done this season: slow down Williams.


    Williams is on pace to break records for receiving and all-purpose yards in a season, as his 164.3 yards per game put him on pace for 2,958 receiving yards. He seems to be finding his feet in his second season back in the CFL, last week burning the Stampeders’ secondary three times en route to a 26-26 tie.


    Pressure on Harris key for Argos


    Williams outruns Stamps’ defence for six


    After their best defensive effort of the season against BC, the Argos know the key to stopping Williams is disrupting Harris.


    “For us it’s all about communicating and knowing where [Williams] is at all times,” said cornerback A.J. Jefferson, who will make his first start of 2016 after being activated from the six-game injured list.


    “Obviously Trevor is the guy that’s gonna get him the ball, so if we can put pressure on Trevor and make him make some bad decisions I don’t see why it would be a problem.”


    Added Bishop: “I have faith in our corners, but as long as we get pressure on their quarterback – if he can’t get the ball to him then he can’t be effective.”


    For the fans, Wednesday’s matchup brings plenty of on-field drama. It pits Harris against Ray for the first time after they were teammates last season, when Harris went 9-7 as a starter and led the league in touchdown passes before being sat in favour of Ray.


    The Argos re-signed Ray in the off-season and according to all accounts also tried to re-sign Harris, who they say would’ve been given the opportunity to compete to start. But in the end the 30-year-old Harris signed a deal with Ottawa on the first day of free agency.


    An injury to Henry Burris in Ottawa’s season-opening win put Harris in the spotlight and so far he’s thrived, leading the league with 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns to just one interception. His 80 per cent completion rate puts him at a record-breaking pace, while he’s thrown three touchdown passes in each of his last three games – a feat accomplished only eight times over the last 11 years.


    “When you get put in a game with a bunch of thoroughbreds that we have up front and the receivers that are so dynamic like we have, it’s just one of those situations where the quarterback is playing really well but it’s a product of everything around me,” Harris told OttawaREDBLACKS.com. “I’m just grateful to be here with such a great group.”


    Ottawa stormed out to a 2-0 start with a thrilling overtime win over Edmonton in Week 1 followed by a gutsy road win in Montreal in Week 2. The REDBLACKS couldn’t capitalize on multiple opportunities to win late in Week 3, including a late fumble on the goal line by Nic Grigsby and a dropped interception in overtime which forced them to settle for the first CFL tie since 2009.


    “It is awkward, I think everybody in the stadium – the fans, the media, the coaches, the players – it kind of left you wanting more and more of a resolution,” said Campbell of the REDBLACKS’ home-opener.


    “Guys were disappointed we didn’t make some plays to close out the game, but at the same time that point could be a factor, especially the way this league is playing out where everybody is going to be close in the standings – that point could be valuable for us so we’ve got that in our pocket.”


    A short week and a road trip to Toronto makes for a tough Week 4 matchup, something the REDBLACKS have had to prepare for mentally more than anything.


    “It’s more of a mental thing,” said SirVincent Rogers. “Just making sure we’re mentally in tune and we’re sharpening all the edges. We have to show up ready to compete.”


    “We feel good on a short week,” added Damaso Munoz. “We did a lot more mental work this week getting our bodies ready for this game – it’s a big game.”


    While Campbell acknowledges everyone could be close in the standings come late October, the REDBLACKS have a chance on Wednesday to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the East.


    That’s what’s at stake in this one.


    “We’re moving onto Toronto,” Campbell said. “We break our season down into phases and after this game it’s a natural cutoff for us as far as our first four games.


    “If we can find a way to get this done and be 3-0-1 after four games it’d be a pretty good deal for us but it’s going to be tough.”


    Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. ET and can be seen live on TSN or followed online via CFL.ca GameTracker.
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    CFL.CA GAME NOTES: A LOOK AT WEEK 4


    TORONTO — Football almost every day of the week. That’s what’s on the table Week 4, with one game every day from Wednesday through Saturday.


    It starts Wednesday night when Trevor Harris makes his highly-anticipated return to Toronto. There’s plenty of history between Harris and the Argos after the league-leading passer’s off-season departure to Ottawa, and the duel between him and Ray in this mid-week matchup at BMO is must-see TV.


    On Thursday night a crucial early-season all-West affair kicks off in Winnipeg, where the Bombers and Eskimos are both coming off their first win of the season in Week 3 and looking to sustain some momentum. This exact point in the season is particularly important for Winnipeg, a team looking to establish itself as one of the big horses in the West.


    Friday Night Football hits Montreal this week as a familiar rivalry between the Ticats and Alouettes unfolds for the first time this season at Percival-Molson Stadium. The Alouettes pulled off two of the bigger upsets in 2015 against the Ticats, while Hamilton looks to get back on track on the road following back-to-back losses at Tim Hortons Field.


    Last but not least, the Lions and Riders square off in what’s been deemed this week’s marquee matchup. All eyes will be on the quarterbacks in BC, as Travis Lulay pushes Jonathon Jennings for playing time in the wake of the Lions’ first loss of the season to Toronto. Darian Durant meanwhile has shown little rust for the Riders, who many believe have played much better than their 0-2 record indicates under the direction of Chris Jones.


    CFL-WIDE TRENDS


    Airing it out: This year’s average of just 166 rushing yards per contest is the lowest rushing total per game in CFL history – over 79 per cent of total yards gained in 2016 have come by the pass. The rushing average has fallen by 23 per cent from 216 yards per game a recently as 2014.

    Setting the pace:
    This year the REDBLACKS lead the CFL with 520.0 yards per game on offence. Only the 1956 Montreal Alouettes have averaged more net yards in a single season in CFL history – an average of 532.6 per game.


    Setting the pace II: The single-season record for yards from scrimmage is held by Mike Pringle at 2,414 yards, or 134.1 per game (Baltimore 1994, Montreal 1998). Chris Williams is averaging 164.3 yards per game, all from his 25 catches. He is on pace for 2,958 receiving yards – well above the 2,036 yard record set by Allen Pitts in 1994. Williams is on pace for 150 receptions which would be 10 behind the record set by Derrell Mitchell in 1998 with 160.

    Home vs Away wins:
    The visiting team has won eight of the 11 games thus far (72.7 per cent excluding the tie) and that is an unprecedented winning percentage by the visitors. Long-term visiting clubs have tended to win 40 per cent of the time.

    TIE #100
    : Last week’s tie between Calgary and Ottawa was the 100th in league history dating back to the roots of the CFL in the east in 1907. In 5,403 games there had been 99 heading into 2016 with the last on Oct. 17, 2009 between Calgary and Saskatchewan at McMahon Stadium. It was Calgary’s 20th tie and for all Ottawa clubs their 18th.

    Scoring, offence continue to rise:
    Both remain up after a strong rebound in 2015 over the standout defensive 2014 season. Net offence is up to 764 yards per game (13 per cent higher) based primarily on a 20 per cent increase in passing yards over last year’s 533 yards per game mark. Scoring on offence sits at 47.8 points per game, up 7.4 per cent over the 44.5 points per game mark in 2015.

    Healthy quarterbacks:
    10 different quarterbacks have started for nine different clubs this season, as eight out of nine clubs have started no more than one different QB so far and only Ottawa has split games (Henry Burris and Trevor Harris). Last year, 26 different starters were used across the CFL.


    Reaching 120: Linebackers Ian Wild and Adam Bighill have each made 20-plus tackles thus far with Wild on top at 22.
    Each is on pace to go 120-plus in 2016. Keon Raymond of Toronto has made a terrific all-round defensive contribution with 18 tackles, an interception and fumble return, two sacks and a pass knockdown.
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    ARGOS SEE STEADY PROGRESSION IN RICKY RAY


    It was midway through the second quarter of the Toronto Argonauts’ game against the BC Lions last week when quarterback Ricky Ray made his familiar drop into the pocket and threw a dart to wide receiver Tori Gurley.


    The play went for 28 yards and helped set up a tying field goal. In the fourth quarter Ray again found Gurley, this time hitting him with a 15-yard touchdown in the end zone, giving the Argos a 21-6 lead.


    Neither pass will be remembered as the most spectacular in the CFL this season. But they were throws Ray used to wonder if he would ever make again as he battled to recover from a shoulder injury.


    “The last couple of years have been tough, just trying to overcome some of the injuries,” said Ray, who completed 23 of 32 passes for 283 yards and a touchdown in Toronto’s 25-14 win over the previously unbeaten Lions.


    “It’s nice to go out there and not have to deal with having the soreness and the pain I’ve had in the past. Just go out there and throw without any thinking of that.”


    Gurley has seen a steady progression in Ray’s throwing.


    “Whatever he did in the off-season is paying dividends,” said Gurley. “He is able to drive the ball and make every throw.


    “He’s back.”


    Ray has lived in a twilight zone the last three years. Many wondered if the 36-year-old from Happy Camp, Calif., would ever be the player that led teams to three Grey Cup Championships, most recently in 2012 with Toronto.


    Ray played through shoulder pain for two seasons before surgery in November 2014 to repair a torn labrum in his right throwing shoulder and a small tear in his right rotator cuff. He missed most of last season recovering from the procedure before starting Toronto’s final two regular-season games and the 25-22 loss to Hamilton in the Eastern Semi-Final.


    This off-season Ray spent time working with Tom House, a former major league pitcher who now tutors quarterbacks. The list of NFL quarterbacks House has worked with includes Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, Matt Cassel and Tim Tebow.


    “He teaches mechanics, how to use your body in sequence, different drills,” said Ray.


    One of the lessons Ray learned is how to properly warmup his shoulder prior to practice or a game.


    “Before I had the shoulder problems you’d just pick up the ball and start throwing,” said Ray. “Now I have to try and get my shoulders warmed up a little bit before I even pick up a ball.


    “That’s just a product of getting older and having some shoulder problems. It just takes a little bit longer to get through that routine and get warmed up.”


    Travis Lulay, the veteran Lions’ quarterback who came on in relief of starter Jonathan Jennings against Toronto, understands better than most the challenges Ray has faced.


    Lulay, who has dealt with shoulder problems of his own the last two years, has also worked with House and follows a similar warmup regime as Ray.


    “If I didn’t think it helped I wouldn’t do it,” said Lulay, who completed 12 of 15 passes for 156 yards, a touchdown and an interception against Toronto. “It’s part of my regular routine. I believe it’s been part of my shoulder coming back.”


    Lulay is pleased to see Ray being productive again.


    “I don’t think he’s fully comfortable yet,” he said. “It’s good to see him make the throws that he wants to make.


    “I know all too well the path he has walked. It really is a physical grind (and) mentally it’s challenging. There are times you question if you will ever be able to do what you’ve always known how to do. “


    In three games this season Ray has completed 62 of 90 passes for 751 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. Against the Lions he became the fifth CFL quarterback to pass 53,000 yards in his career. He needs just 120 yards to pass Danny McManus’s 53,255 and move into fourth place in the CFL’s all-time passing list.


    Toronto coach Scott Milanovich said Ray is improving every week. He chuckled when asked if it’s fair to expect the 2016 edition of Ricky Ray to be the same player that was the MVP of 2005 Grey Cup game.


    “It’s probably unfair but I expect it too,” he said. “When he doesn’t play nearly perfect football we’re shocked, I’m shocked, he’s shocked.


    “It’s because he has set the bar so high and we know what he is capable of. I still think he’s that guy. We will see it again.”


    There’s still a lot of football to be played this year. The Argos (2-1) will face another challenge when they host the Ottawa REDBLACKS (2-0-1) this week at BMO Field.


    Athletes often talk about focusing only on what they can control. So far this season Ray can focus on playing the game without spending time worrying over the health of his shoulder.


    “It’s not that I don’t worry about it now,” he said. “It’s always something I’m going to have to get warmed up and makes sure I am doing all my pre-hab, taking care of it a little bit better at this point of my career.


    “I haven’t had any problems. It’s been feeling good all through training camp and even into this part of the season. I am hoping it will continue to get better as the season goes along.”
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  24. #49  
    RX Local
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    WEST DIVISION


    RK TEAM GP W L T PTS F A HOME AWAY DIV


    1 BC 3 2 1 0 4 62 46 1-1-0 1-0-0 1-0-0


    2 Calgary 3 1 1 1 3 80 68 1-0-0 0-1-1 1-1-0


    3 Edmonton 2 1 1 0 2 76 81 1-1-0 0-0-0 1-0-0


    4 Winnipeg 3 1 2 0 2 64 82 0-1-0 1-1-0 0-1-0


    5 Saskatchewan 2 0 2 0 0 53 69 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-1-0




    EAST DIVISION


    RK TEAM GP W L T PTS F A HOME AWAY DIV


    1 Ottawa 3 2 0 1 5 99 76 0-0-1 2-0-0 1-0-0


    2 Toronto 3 2 1 0 4 75 73 0-1-0 2-0-0 0-1-0


    3 Montreal 2 1 1 0 2 35 42 0-1-0 1-0-0 0-1-0


    4 Hamilton 3 1 2 0 2 69 76 0-2-0 1-0-0 1-0-0
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  25. #50  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,783
    7/8 - Friday's Totals: 1 - 2 - 1


    June July Totals


    WLT PCT UNITS RANK


    ATS Picks 4-8-0 33.33% -2400


    O/U Picks 5-6-1 45.45% -800





    WEDNESDAY, JULY 13


    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


    OTT at TOR 07:30 PM


    OTT +0.0


    U 52.5
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