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Thread: Cnotes 2017 Canadian Football League Picks/Trends/News thru Grey Cup !!

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  1. #1 Cnotes 2017 Canadian Football League Picks/Trends/News thru Grey Cup !! 
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    WHERE TO WATCH: CFL PRE-SEASON ON TSN, ESPN


    TORONTO – The road to the 105th Grey Cup is set to begin as CFL ON TSN primes fans for the kickoff of the 2017 CFL season with exclusive live coverage of four pre-season games.


    TSN, the exclusive broadcaster of the CFL, begins its pre-season coverage with Thursday Night Football matchup featuring the Hamilton Tiger-Cats battling the defending Grey Cup champion Ottawa Redblacks, live in 4K Ultra HD, Thursday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET on TSN.

    The CFL on TSN pre-season broadcast schedule is as follows:



    DATE TIME (ET) TEAMS NETWORKS Thu. June 8 7:30pm Hamilton at Ottawa TSN3, TSN4, TSN5, TSN4K, ESPN3 Sun. June 11 7:00pm Calgary at Edmonton TSN, ESPN3 Thu. June 15 7:30pm Ottawa at Montreal TSN2, RDS, ESPN3 Fri. June 16 10:00pm Saskatchewan at BC TSN, ESPN3



    Fans can also tune in to TSN Radio stations across the country for comprehensive CFL ON TSN pre-season game coverage on-air, online, and on the go through the TSN GO and iHeartRadio mobile apps. Live radio coverage of the pre-season includes both games featuring the Redblacks on TSN 1200 Ottawa, the Lions game on TSN 1040 Vancouver, the Ticats game on TSN 1150 Hamilton, and the Alouettes game on TSN 690 Montreal.


    TSN and RDS are the exclusive Canadian broadcasters of the CFL, delivering live coverage of every regular season game, complete playoff coverage, and the 105th Grey Cup presented by Shaw live from TD Place Stadium in Ottawa on November 26, 2017.
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    Vince Young signs with CFL's Roughriders
    March 9, 2017



    REGINA, Saskatchewan (AP) Vince Young has signed with the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders.


    The 33-year-old former Texas and NFL quarterback agreed Thursday to a two-year deal - one year, plus an option. He last played in an NFL regular-season game in 2011 with Philadelphia and retired in 2014 after being released by Cleveland.


    ''I wouldn't say a comeback. I'd just say an opportunity,'' Young said. ''I always wanted to play football again, but didn't know how it was going to happen. God always works in mysterious ways.''


    The 6-foot-5, 232-pound Young was 30-2 at Texas and led the Longhorns to the national title with a Rose Bowl victory over South California. He was drafted third overall in 2006 by the Tennessee Titans and was NFL's top rookie and a Pro Bowl selection that season.


    ''It's certainly a different game,'' said Chris Jones, Saskatchewan's head coach and general manager, said about the CFL. ''It's going to be a little bit of an adjustment but again we've got mini-camp and (training) camp and I'm fully confident that he can make that adjustment.''


    Young stressed that he's not taking the Canadian league or its players for granted.


    ''It's football and when you put on that helmet you can get your head knocked off out there,'' he said. ''I always respect the game . . . because you know what players go through behind the scenes. We're human and we live life as well so I respect each and every last guy who plays this game. ... My focus is being the best teammate I can be, the best guy in the community here. I'm thinking about trying to win games and trying to win a Grey Cup.''
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    CHECKING DOWN: VINCE YOUNG TO SIT ON SATURDAY


    TORONTO — As pre-season kick off, many familiar faces are hitting the field with their teams.


    Some stars, however, will have to wait, including the likes of Bo Levi Mitchell, Zach Collaros, Darian Durant — and now, it appears, Vince Young, who suffered a hamstring injury on Tuesday.


    Who’s sitting and who’s starting? With the depth charts filtering in, CFL.ca has the latest on recent signings, injuries and position battles in this week’s Checking Down:




    JONATHON JENNINGS THREW EIGHT PASSES IN HIS PRE-SEASON DEBUT ON TUESDAY (THE CANADIAN PRESS)


    – While the Lions’ O-line struggled, Wally Buono said he was disappointed with the three backup quarterbacks in the team’s pre-season loss to Calgary Tuesday (TSN.ca).


    – According to Lowell Ullrich, the Lions are so confident in Swayze Waters that they offered backup kicker Ty Long to the Ticats in a trade last week (Lowell Ullrich, 3 Down Nation).

    EDMONTON ESKIMOS





    ESKS PIVOT MIKE REILLY LEADS WHAT’S EXPECTED TO BE ONE OF THE CFL’S TOP OFFENCES HEADING INTO 2017 (CFL.CA)


    – With the Grey Cup awarded to Edmonton, Len Rhodes says ticket prices will range from $99 to $299 for season ticket holders (Terry Jones, Edmonton Journal).


    – Mike Reilly has changed his number for Sunday’s pre-season game to honour former Eskimos legend Larry Highbaugh, who also wore #13 (CFL.ca).


    – Travon Van has returned to the practice field for the Eskimos while Marcell Young, Forrest Hightower and Shamawd Chambers remain out (Morley Scott, CHED).


    CALGARY STAMPEDERS




    STAMPS LINEBACKER JAMEER THURMAN MADE A STRONG IMPRESSION TUESDAY NIGHT IN CALGARY (STAMPEDERS.COM)


    – Jameer Thurman has transferred his techniques from wrestling to football and on Tuesday it showed as his two sacks made him a top performer (George Johnson, Stampeders.com).


    – Has Andrew Buckley taken a firm grip of the No. 2 job? CFL.ca tracks all of the quarterbacks this pre-season (CFL.ca).


    – While Roy Finch’s job doesn’t appear to be in danger, the Stamps appear to have a number of options after some strong showings in the return game Tuesday night (Daniel Austin, Calgary Herald).


    – There are areas to improve, but Stamps head coach Dave Dickenson says Tuesday night’s result was encouraging for his team (Daniel Austin, Calgary Herald).

    SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS





    VINCE YOUNG’S STATUS FOR SATURDAY IS IN QUESTION AFTER A HAMSTRING INJURY ON TUESDAY (RIDERVILLE.COM)


    – According to Rod Pedersen, Chris Jones has confirmed that Vince Young will not play in Saturday’s pre-season game (Rod Pedersen, CKRM).


    – The Riders have shipped national offensive lineman Matt Vonk to the Alouettes in exchange for defensive back Denzel Radford (MontrealAlouettes.com).


    – Could Young’s injury spell an end to his professional football comeback? Dave Campbell speculates that could be the case (Dave Campbell, CHED).


    – While he’s turned heads at camp this week, Jenson Stoshak was famous for other reasons before joining the Saskatchewan Roughriders (Murray McCormick, Regina Leader-Post).


    WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS




    MAURICE LEGGETT REMAINS QUESTIONABLE FOR THE FIRST REGULAR SEASON GAME IN 2017 (JOHANY JUTRAS/CFLC.A)


    – When he’s not officiating in the CFL, Brian Chrupalo is making split-second decisions on the streets of north Winnipeg. This fall, he’ll be taking his game to Lambeau Field (Chris O’Leary, CFL.ca).


    – The Bombers continue to be without Maurice Leggett, who Mike O’Shea says will likely sit both pre-season games. Taylor Loffler, meanwhile, has returned to practice (Ed Tait, BlueBombers.com).


    HAMILTON TIGER-CATS




    ZACH COLLAROS WILL HAVE TO WAIT TO MAKE HIS 2017 PRE-SEASON DEBUT (TICATS.CA)


    – Some key Ticats will not play in the team’s pre-season opener Thursday, including Zach Collaros, C.J. Gable, Terrence Toliver, Ryan Bomben, Simoni Lawrence, John Chick and Ted Laurent (Drew Edwards, The Hamilton Spectator).


    – Everett Golson could be next in line as the Ticats’ developmental quarterback — but first he has to earn the opportunity. Golson should get an extended look Thursday (Drew Edwards, 3 Down Nation).


    – The Ticats’ unique approach to training camp, with ‘recovery days’ built in, appears to be working — at least if you ask the veterans (Morning Scrum, TSN 1150).

    TORONTO ARGONAUTS





    MARC TRESTMAN WILL COACH HIS FIRST GAME WITH THE ARGOS ON THURSDAY NIGHT AT BMO FIELD (JOHANY JUTRAS/ARGONAUTS.CA)


    – According to Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons, the Argos’ biggest off-season addition was Marc Trestman on the sidelines (Naylor and Landsberg, TSN 1050).


    – Argos camp pivot McLeod Bethel-Thompson, originally acquired from the Bombers’ negotiation list, has impressed in training camp thus far (Justin Dunk, 3 Down Nation).


    OTTAWA REDBLACKS




    IT’S UNKNOWN HOW MANY SNAPS TREVOR HARRIS WILL TAKE IN HIS TEAM’S PRE-SEASON OPENER (CHRIS HOFFLEY/OTTAWAREDBLACKS.COM)


    – The REDBLACKS have revealed that Trevor Harris will get at least some snaps in the team’s pre-season game on Thursday, followed by Drew Tate and Ryan Lindley (OttawaREDBLACKS.com).


    – Kenny Shaw and Nolan MacMillan are among players not dressing for the REDBLACKS on Thursday (Tim Baines, Ottawa Sun).


    – For Darryl Paul, the $100 fee to attend a tryout camp in San Jose turned out to be well worth it. Now he’s in camp trying to earn a roster spot (Tim Baines, Ottawa Citizen).

    MONTREAL ALOUETTES





    VERNON ADAMS WILL GET TO RUN THE ALS’ FIRST-TEAM OFFENCE IN THURSDAY NIGHT’S GAME (DOMINICK GRAVEL/MONTREAL ALOUETTES)


    – With Darian Durant sitting, Vernon Adams will draw the start at quarterback for the Als in Thursday’s pre-season game (Herb Zurkowsky, Montreal Gazette).


    – Justin Dunk is reporting that former second round pick Mikael Charland, recently released by the REDBLACKS, has signed with the Alouettes (Justin Dunk, 3 Down Nation).


    – Former NFL receiver T.J. Graham has brought track star speed to the Alouettes this camp (Herb Zurkowsky, Montreal Gazette).


    – For past CFL first round pick Devon Bailey, he knows his grace period in the league is over — that he’ll have to produce quickly with the Als (Herb Zurkowsky, Montreal Gazette).
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    I see 5dime has -120 line on these games, can't find them in Vegas though.
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    Future Best Bets
    June 15, 2017



    2017 CFL Futures

    Now that the NHL and NBA playoffs have concluded, and the MLB season is entering the dog days of summer, many bettors are shifting their focus to the upcoming football season. 99% of that is NFL based, but for those up in Canada (or fans of the CFL anywhere), they'll be quick to tell you that the 2017 CFL season gets going in a week and it can be great for those who want to scratch that itch of watching/betting on football games.


    Last year it was the underdog story of the Ottawa Redblacks who came away with a Grey Cup victory in an all-time classic championship game with Calgary, but the defending champs from Canada's capital lost their starting QB Henry Burris to retirement and have turned things over to the very capable Trevor Harris.


    Currently it's those Calgary Stampeders who are favorites to claim the title this year (+325) and that shouldn't be too surprising given the core of their roster is back and they were nearly double-digit favorites in that Grey Cup vs. Ottawa.


    But will the Stampeders get redemption this year, or should bettors set their sites on other squads that could very well make a run just like the Ottawa Redblacks did in 2016?


    CFL Grey Cup Odds - per Sportsbook.ag


    You can find the full list of Grey Cup odds for the nine teams in the CFL here, but there are two teams – one from each division that I want to focus on today.


    BC Lions (+500) – The Lions come in right behind Calgary as the favorites to go all the way in 2017 and rightfully so. BC made it to the Western Final last year against those Stampeders, but a 1st half blitz by Calgary turned that game into a blowout rather quickly. There is no chance that BC has forgotten about how their 2016 season ended, and with all their key contributors suiting up in the orange and black this year, we could see 2017 turn out to be a year of redemption for this team out West. Things won't be easy for them as they've still got to find a way to get through Calgary, and the two teams behind them in the odds for the Grey Cup – Edmonton (+550) and Saskatchewan (+600) – are in the West as well.


    Yet, what may be interesting to note here is the fact that the last three Grey Cup champions all lost in the Grey Cup or Conference Final the year before – typically in blowout fashion – and that's a scenario the Lions fit exactly in 2017. Come playoff time in November, you can expect the Lions to be making a lot of noise.


    Montreal Alouettes (+750) – Unlike BC, Montreal did not have much success a year ago, but they were still a win away from getting into the playoffs where anything can happen. It's been a few down years in a row for the Alouettes as they've transitioned to the post-Anthony Calvillo era, but they hope to rectify that in 2017.


    Montreal made the biggest move of the off-season when they acquired former Saskatchewan QB Darian Durant from the Roughriders, hoping that Durant can stay healthy and recapture his past glory. Durant and Calvillo were epic rivals in 2009-10 when Saskatchewan and Montreal met in consecutive Grey Cups against one another. Calvillo and Montreal came out on top in both instances, but now with Calvillo on the sidelines as an Alouettes coach and Durant on the field, those two great QB minds are working together to turn this thing around in Montreal.


    In general, the East is going to be the weaker of the two divisions this year and that is good news for Montreal. They've still got a deep stable of talented receivers Durant can use at his disposal, and after consecutive years of battling one another for a championship, you know Calvillo and Durant are excited to work together towards that same goal. East teams aren't getting that much respect to begin the year, but as we saw with Ottawa in 2016, anything can happen in a one-game playoff contest and 2017 could very well be the Alouettes time to re-assert themselves as the best organization in the league.
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    QB Young released by CFL's Roughriders
    June 17, 2017



    Former NFL quarterback Vince Young's tenure in the Canadian Football League has been derailed by a torn hamstring.


    Young was released by the Saskatchewan Roughriders, his agent, Leigh Steinberg, announced Saturday via Twitter.


    The injury was sustained by Young during a practice session and the team said earlier this week that he was expected to miss four to six weeks.


    However, Steinberg tweeted Saturday that the hamstring was torn and his client was waived because of the time it will take to heal.


    The 34-year-old Young signed a two-year, non-guaranteed contact with the Roughriders three months ago. He was expected to compete for a backup job behind starting quarterback Kevin Glenn.


    The last time Young played in a game was during the 2013 NFL preseason with the Green Bay Packers, who released him before the regular season started. Young's last regular-season game was in 2011 for the Philadelphia Eagles. He retired from the NFL after the Cleveland Browns released him in 2014.


    Young was the No. 3 overall pick by the Tennessee Titans in the 2006 NFL Draft. He played in the Pro Bowl in 2006 and 2009.


    At Texas, Young led the Longhorns to the national championship, scoring the winning touchdown in the final seconds of a 41-38 win over USC on Jan. 4, 2006.
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    CFL Betting Notes - Week 1
    June 19, 2017



    Football is back ‘north of the border’ with the start of the 2017 CFL regular season. Week 1 is highlighted by a rematch of last season’s Grey Cup title game between the Calgary Stampeders, out of the West Division and the East’s Ottawa RedBlacks. Calgary cruised through the regular season right to the title game, but the Stampeders were stunned by Ottawa in overtime 39-33 as 9 ˝-point favorites.


    CFL futures are backing Calgary again as a 13/4 favorite to win the 2017 Grey Cup followed by British Columbia at 4/1 and the Edmonton Eskimos as 9/2 third favorites. It is time to get things started with the following Week 1 matchups (all records listed are from the 2016 regular season).


    Thursday, June 22


    Saskatchewan Roughriders (5-13, 9-9 ATS) vs. Montreal Alouettes (7-11 SU, 9-9 ATS)
    Point-spread: Montreal -6
    Total: 50 ˝



    Game Overview


    It was a rough year for Saskatchewan in 2016, but it did show some positive signs for the future with a four-game winning streak towards the end of the season both straight-up and against the spread. Veteran CFL quarterback Kevin Glenn joined the Roughriders this past offseason and if he can remain healthy for an entire 18-game schedule they should be able to improve on a very disappointing five-win season. Defense could still be an issue after allowing an average of 29.4 points per game in 2016.


    The outlook for Montreal is also trending up after missing the playoffs last season in the East Division. The Alouettes did take some steps to build on a defense that allowed an average of 23 PPG, which was ranked second only to Calgary. The biggest change for this season is at the quarterback position with another CFL veteran switching uniforms. Darian Durant will take over as the team’s starter with Vernon Adams Jr. waiting in the wings. The addition of Earnest Jackson along with last season’s leading receiver Nik Lewis gives Durant some solid options in the passing game.


    Betting Trends


    -- Montreal has a 8-2 edge ATS in the last 10 meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in 16 of its last 21 home games against Saskatchewan.


    Friday, June 23


    Calgary Stampeders (15-2-1 SU, 13-5 ATS) vs. Ottawa RedBlacks (8-9-1 SU, 7-11 ATS)
    Point-spread: Calgary -2 ˝
    Total: 55



    Game Overview


    Calgary remains loaded on both sides of the ball heading into this Grey Cup rematch and it is probably chomping at the bit to avenge that loss after clearly establishing itself as the best team in the league. Bo Levi Mitchell is back under center after leading the CFL in touchdown throws in 2016 with 32 against just eight interceptions. Also returning are most of his top weapons in receivers DaVaris Daniels, Marquay McDaniel and Kamar Jordan while Jerome Messam is back to anchor the ground game.


    The RedBlacks won the CFL title in 2016 with losing record in the regular season and their futures odds to repeat at 8/1 suggest a step backwards this year. Trevor Harris is firmly established as Ottawa’s starting quarterback and getting this team off to a fast start with another upset against Calgary could rest squarely on his ability to put some points on the board early and often.


    Betting Trends


    -- Calgary has covered ATS in five of its last seven games against Ottawa and the total has gone OVER or ended as a PUSH in the last five meetings.


    Saturday, June 24


    Edmonton Eskimos (10-8 SU, 9-9 ATS) vs. British Columbia Lions (12-6 SU, 13-5 ATS)
    Point-spread: BC -2 ˝
    Total: 58



    Game Overview


    Edmonton was a crossover team in the playoffs last season and after getting past Hamilton in the East Semifinal it came up short against Ottawa in the East Division Final. Mike Reilly is back at quarterback after leading the league in total passing yards with 5,554. He was second on the list in touchdown throws with 28. Adarius Bowman still figures to be one of his top targets in the passing game, but age becomes a concern at 32-years old. The loss of wide receiver Derel Walker could be an even bigger concern for the Eskimos.


    BC made it all the way to the West Finals as the second-best team in that division and it should be right in the mix again this season with quarterback Jonathon Jennings leading the way. The one concern with him is turnovers after throwing a league-high 15 interceptions to go along with his 27 touchdown throws last year. The big plus for the Lions this season is the addition of Chris Williams, who was with Ottawa last season.


    Betting Trends


    -- BC has covered the spread in five of its last six home games against Edmonton and it holds a 4-1 edge ATS in the last five meetings overall. The total stayed UNDER in both meetings last season.


    Sunday, June 25


    Hamilton Tiger-Cats (7-11 SU, 6-12 ATS) vs. Toronto Argonauts (5-13 SU, 5-13)
    Point-spread: Hamilton -4
    Total: 53



    Game Overview


    Hamilton had won six previous matchups against its bitter division rivals (both SU and ATS) until suffering a 33-21 loss last season in early September as a 6 ˝-point road favorite. The Tiger-Cats will look to a healthy Zach Collaros to avenge that loss and get this season off to a strong start. If Collaros can stay off the injured list in 2017, this team has the talent to win the East, but given his recent history that could be a big if. Jeremiah Masoli has already proved that he can also run this offense after throwing for 2,695 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2016.


    The Argonauts slipped to last place in the East and the chances of turning things around are not all that promising with the longest odds on the board to win a CFL title at 15/1. Ricky Ray is another veteran quarterback that needs to prove that he can stay on the field, but Toronto’s lack of quality receivers could be an even bigger concern for this offense. The Argonauts could also take their lumps on the other side of the ball with a defense that dead last in the league in 2016 when it came to total points allowed (568).


    Betting Trends


    -- Hamilton has gone 6-1 ATS in its last seven road games against Toronto and the total has gone OVER or ended as a PUSH in four of the last five meetings overall.
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    JUNE 19, 2017


    MAKING MOVES: TEAMS MAKE FINAL CUTS AS CAMPS BREAK



    TORONTO — CFL.ca is tracking all of this weekend’s roster moves as teams are required to reduce their roster to 46 active players. Today and tomorrow officially marks the transition from training camp to regular season prep. Stay linked throughout the weekend for updates as team rosters get fine-tuned.


    Here are a few notable stipulations regarding the roster moves for today:


    – All teams need to have their active rosters down to 46 players by 10:00pm ET on Saturday, June 17th.
    – The 46 contract players excludes any players on the 6-game injured list and 1-game injured list
    – A total of 3 of the 46 players identified must be quarterbacks
    – Of the remaining 43 players, a club must carry a minimum of 21 National players
    – Up to 10 Practice roster players can be added at any time as of Sunday.


    MONTREAL ALOUETTES


    After a number of releases on Friday night, the Alouettes made their final cuts on Saturday with a list that includes Jovon Johnson, Don Unamba and Wayne Moore.


    Released: RB Dillon Campbell, LB Josh Furman, FB Isaac Lauzon, OL Aundrey Walker, WR Danny Anthrop, LS Chad Bushley, OL Quinterrius Eatmon, DB Tyran Finley, OL Mathu Gibson, RB Jonah Hodges, DB Jovon Johnson, LB Tabari McGaskey, DB Jalen Rogers, DB Donald Unamba, RB Wayne Moore.


    Practice Roster: DT Daniel Awoleke, WR Malcolm Carter, WR T.J. Graham DB Travis Hawkins, OL Sean Jamieson, OL Kyler Kerbyson, DL Ventral McMillan, WR Deandre Reaves, FB Oumar Touré, WR Eugene Lewis


    Players added to the six-game injured list: TBA


    WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS


    The Winnipeg Blue Bombers made a few cuts on Friday and then followed with another round Saturday afternoon. The most notable being Kenny Stafford who was let go by the blue and gold after signing as a free agent in the off-season. Later in the afternoon he signed with the Eskimos.


    Released: WR Kenny Stafford, WR Justice Liggins, OL Trevan Brown, OL Cody Speller, LB Nick Temple, DB Darnell Walker Jr., DB back Matt Smalley, OL Zachary Intzandt, LB Kyrie Wilson, DB Sam Brown, WR Daniel Williams, WR Gerrard Sheppard, DL Shayon Green, WR Brendon Thera-Plamondon, RB Kendall Roberson, DL Rupert Butcher, DL Ian Marouf, DB Chris Greenwood


    Practice Roster: OL Qadr Spooner, WR Derek Yachison, LB Frank Renaud, Dl Padric Scott, LB Jovan Santos-Knox, K Felix Menard-Briere, DB Abu Conteh, WR TJ Thorpe, DB Robert Porter


    Players added to the six-game injured list: TBA


    CALGARY STAMPEDERS

    The Stampeders revealed their cuts on Saturday night, including quarterback Mitchell Gale and Canadian defensive lineman Ben D’Aguilar. Also among those released are Reggie Begelton and Jacobi Green, both of whom enjoyed productive pre-seasons with the Stamps, as well as Canadian defensive back Chris Rwabukamba.


    Released: QB Mitchell Gale, WR Reggie Begelton, WR A.J. Cruz, DL Ben D’Aguilar, OL Devonte Danzey, OL Felix Gacusana, RB Jacobi Green, DL Kingsley Ibeh, DB Tre Jones, DL Jeff Luc, OL Antoine McClain, LB Evan McKelvey, OL Mike McQueen, WR Jamal Nixon, DB Joel Ross, DB Chris Rwabukamba, WR Kevin Smith


    Practice Roster: DL Michael Kashak, WR Julan Lynch, WR Marken Michel, RB Ante Milanovic-Litre, OL Justin Renfrow, DL Mike Rose, DB Jordan Sefon, DL James Vaughters, RB Terry Williams


    Returning to School: DL Alexandre Gagnon, DB Adam Laurensse, WR Richard Sindani


    Players added to the six-game injured list: TBA


    OTTAWA REDBLACKS


    The REDBLACKS didn’t announce their cuts until Sunday morning and some big names were involved, including running back Shakir Bell and receiver Tori Gurley.


    Gurley couldn’t crack Ottawa’s deep receiving corps while running back William Powell, coming off a season-ending Achilles injury a year ago, showed enough in camp to hold down the position along with fellow international Mossis Madu.


    Released: WR Daniel Adams, DB Javier Arenas, OL Randy Beardy, RB Shakir Bell, DL John Biewald, OL Pierce Burton, DB Armagedon Draughn, DL Mathieu Dupuis, OL Jordan Filippelli, WR Tori Gurley, OL Daniel Hayes, DL Adrian Hubbard, RB Ed Ilnicki, DB Adrian James, WR Daje Johnson, WR Vernon Johnson, OL Lene Maiava, WR Bilal Marshall, DB Doug Moss, DL Darryl Paulo, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, DL Greg Townsend, QB Austin Trainor, DL Mike Wakefield, WR Riley Wilson


    Retired: WR Jamal Kett


    Practice Roster: DB Sherrod Baltimore, LB Kevin Brown, QB Danny Collins, DL Avery Ellis, WR Austen Hartley, LB Kevin Jackson, OL Eric Lofton, WR Dominique Rhymes, OL Ryan Schmidt, DB Corey Tindal


    Players added to the six-game injured list: TBA


    BC LIONS


    The BC Lions announced their cuts around 1:30 local time. Gone are a pair of receivers and a pair of offensive linemen but no major surprises out of Vancouver.


    Released: WR Brett Blaszko, WR Douglas McNeil, WR R.J. Harris, DB Mondo Williams, FB Nate O’Halloran, OL Aaron Epps, OL Nate Isles


    Practice Roster: FB Dakota Brush, DB Nate Hamlin, DB Tevin McDonald, DL Luther Maddy, DL Ken Boatright, RB Tyler Davis, WR Maurice Morgan


    Players added to the six-game injured list: TBA


    HAMILTON TIGER-CATS


    The Hamilton Tiger-Cats released 23 players on Saturday evening with the most notable cuts coming in the secondary with defensive backs Dominique Ellis and TJ Lee among those let go.


    Released: DB V’Angelo Bentley, OL Malcolm Bunche, WR Gary Chambers, DB Dominique Ellis, P/K Anthony Fera, RB Alex Green, DB Jabari Gorman, QB Cody Keith, WR Jay Lee, DB Travis Lee, DB Keith Lewis, DT Claudell Louis, DE Tyriq McCord, DE Ryan Mueller, DB Cheatham Norrils, OL Kona Schwenke, DB Solomon St. Pierre, LB Matt Wells, OL Palmer White, OL Torian White, LB Corey Williams, DB Khalid Wooten


    Practice Roster: WR Damarr Aultman, OL Brett Golding, DT Jason Neill, OL Kay Okafor, WR Jalen Saunders, WR Jacob Scarfone, RB Sean Thomas-Erlington


    Players added to the six-game injured list: TBA


    TORONTO ARGONAUTS


    The Argos made two waves of cuts on Saturday with the most significant one being quarterback Drew Willy who came over in a trade last year from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The Argos also parted ways with sophomore DB Aaron Berry. Berry started regularly in 2016 and was considered a likely starter at corner, while in pre-season the CFL sophomore returned an interception for a touchdown in a win over the Alouettes.


    Released: DB Larry Scott, LB Kamario McFadden, LB Terrell Richardson, DB Davonte Neal, DB Tremain Jacobs, DB Aaron Berry, DL Theiren Cockran, WR Joe Morgan, WR Ed Eagan, WR Ralph Abernathy, OL Ryan Mack, LS Joseph Iatzko, DB Marcus Alford, DB Cariel Brooks, DB Qudarius Ford, WR Cole Watson, QB Drew Willy


    Practice Roster: DE Evan Foster, Manitoba, LB Justin Herdman, Simon Fraser, RB Martese Jackson, Florida Atlantic, WR Jamel Johnson, RB Cam McDaniel, LB Terrance Plummer, QB Dakota Prukop, DB Winston Rose, OL DJ Sackey, WR Malcolm Williams


    Players added to the six-game injured list: TBA

    SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS



    The Riders made a number of cuts on Saturday with the most significant at the quarterback position, releasing Vince Young and Bryan Bennett. Other notables include veterans OL Jerriel King, WR Joe Craig and RB Anthony Allen.


    Released: QB Vince Young, QB Bryan Bennett, WR Joe Craig, DB Royce Adams, RB Anthony Allen, DB Zavian Bingham, DL Ivan Brown, DB Crezdon Butler, OL Terrence Campbell, LB Alexander Gagne, DB Warren Gatewood, LB Dillon Grondin, OL Jarriel King, WR Thomas Mayo, DL Greg Milhouse Jr., WR Desmond Reece, DL Jordan Reaves, DB Mark Roberts, WR Jenson Stoshak, RB Quincy Walden.


    Practice Roster: · WR Antwane Grant, DL Makana Henry, OL Eddie Meredith, DL D.J. Pettway, DB Denzel Radford, WR Joshua Stanford, LB Myke Tavarres


    Players added to the six-game injured list: TBA


    EDMONTON ESKIMOS


    The Edmonton Eskimos announced their roster moves early Saturday evening but perhaps the most significant was not by subtraction but rather by addition, adding Kenny Stafford to their practice roster following his release from Winnipeg earlier in the day.


    Released: RB Johnny Augustin, WR Anthony Barrett, LS Casey Chin, LB DJ Lalama, DL Mark Mackie, DL Elie Ngoyi, FB Alex Ogbongbemiga, OL Cassidy Curtis, DB Ahmad Dixon, RB Marion Grice, WR John Harris, DL Ikponmwosa Igbinsoun, LB Jeremiah Kose, RB Kendial Lawrence, LB Trent Matthews, DB Solomon Means, OL Darius Morris, WR Jarvis Turner, WR Ladarius Vanlier, LB LaKeith Walls, WR Larry Cobb, DB Kent London, DL Rykeem Yates


    Practice Roster: OL Kwabena Asare, DB Andrew Lue, WR Scott MacDonell, OL D’Anthony Batiste, QB Zach Kline, DB Mercy Maston, DL Mike Moore, WR K.J. Maye, WR Kenny Stafford


    Players added to the six-game injured list: TBA
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    Thursday’s six-pack

    — Indians 5, Orioles 1— Carrasco tossed six shutout innings for the Tribe.


    — Toronto 7, Texas 5— Blue Jays scored six runs in the first inning.


    — Los Angeles Dodgers have 28 home runs in their last 11 games.


    — Twins 4, White Sox 2— Berrios is 7-1, 2.67 for Minnesota.


    — Cardinals 7, Phillies 6 (10)- -Philly led 5-1 in sixth inning.


    — New Orleans Pelicans traded G Tim Frazier to the Washington Wizards for the No. 52 pick in tonight’s NBA Draft.


    *************************


    Thursday’s List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud…….


    13) Miami 2, Washington 1— Nationals are way ahead in a weak NL East, but this was a tough loss. Max Scherzer had a no-hitter in the 8th inning, but gave up an infield hit that bounced off his glove, then Trea Turner bounced a throw to 1B for an error that kept the inning alive, before a wild pitch tied the game 1-1.


    Giancarlo Stanton hit Scherzer’s 119th pitch for a single to left that drove in the winning run.


    Scherzer and Nolan Ryan are now only two pitchers in history to go 8 IP, not give up an earned run, give up two or less hits, strike out at least 11 and lose the game.


    Game ended when Adam Lind was called out on strikes on a pitch that was a good six inches outside. Home plate ump Dana Demuth should be fined for that— I could care less who won the game, but to end the game on a pitch that bad was disgraceful.


    12) Odd news note #1 of the day: Police in Winfield, WV say a man found asleep in a stranger’s home has been charged with burglary.


    A homeowner called police dispatchers after finding a glass door broken in his house and a stranger asleep in his bed. The napping trespasser was charged with burglary and destruction of property.


    11) Surprising stat: Angels are 11-10 since Mike Trout got hurt; Braves are 16-17 since Freddie Freeman got hurt. Would’ve thought both teams would’ve done much worse.


    10) Matt Adams has been so productive for the Braves that when Freeman comes back from his wrist injury, he may give third base a try, to keep both bats in the lineup.


    9) Justin Verlander apparently thinks Major League Baseball has changed the actual baseball that is used in games- he says since the 2015 All-Star break, baseballs used are harder and also the seams are different, which has resulted in batted balls traveling farther.


    As soon as I typed this sentence, Ian Happ hit a home run at Wrigley. Maybe Verlander is right.


    8) Odd news note #2 of the day: A couple has gotten back nearly $100,000 they mistakenly donated to Goodwill Industries in Ohio.


    Two Goodwill employees in Zanesville, OH initially thought it was play money or counterfeit cash after finding $97,000 in hundred dollar bills in a duffel bag inside a box of clothes last week. The duffel bag also contained legal documents and the last will and testament for the couple. Oy.


    7) Best cumulative scores at the Hartford Open the last five years: Bubba Watson -52, Marc Leishman -43, Chris Stroud -41, Charley Hoffman -35. Ryan Moore -32


    6) When Dwight Howard plays for the Charlotte Hornets this fall, they’ll be his 5th team in the last seven years.


    5) Quote of the Day, part 2, from Browns’ QB Brock Osweiler:


    “The best part is I’m getting coached hard on my fundamentals. And I believe firmly that when your fundamentals and your feet are right as a quarterback, you’re going to make great decisions and you’re going to throw accurate footballs.


    I think that’s something that slid last season. I’m not going to go into great detail on that, but they did. My fundamentals slid, and because of that, you saw some poor decisions and some poor throws. If you go back to 2015, I feel like my fundamentals were pretty tight.”


    Coaches in Houston, Osweiler’s last stop, should just love that quote.


    4) San Diego Padres CF Franchy Cordero found out the hard way yesterday that there is a brick wall underneath all that ivy on the outfield fences at Wrigley Field. He caught the ball on the warning track, then got a face full of ivy and ran into that brick wall that has zero give to it. Terrific catch.


    Wind must’ve been blowing in, since Contreras did a bat flip when hit the ball, thinking it would wind up in the bleachers.


    3) Golf Channel and NBC Sports will show every shot of the British Open, which means you have to get up pretty darn early if you want to watch it all.


    Couple years ago, I was in Las Vegas during the British Open; they had the start of the golf on at one of the bars, while at the same time, the Diamondbacks’ game was in the 13th inning, so I was watching Wednesday night baseball and Thursday morning golf at the same time. Muy bueno.


    2) Quote of the Day, part 3, from Kansas’ Josh Jackson, who declined to work out for the Celtics after they traded down into the #3 slot:


    “They did a little bit of moving around with their pick. I felt like they made it pretty clear who they were going to draft with the No. 1 pick, so I didn’t really feel like it was worth either of our times for me to work out with them. But then when they, you know, did the flip and went to No. 3, by then it was too late.”


    1) Mike Krzyzewski came out again in favor of high school players being eligible for the NBA Draft; the baseball rule makes sense— here is who is eligible for the baseball draft:


    •- High school players, if they have graduated from high school and have not yet attended college or junior college.


    •- College players, from four-year colleges who have either completed their junior or senior years or are at least 21 years old. (So college players play three years before they can be drafted)


    •- Junior college players, regardless of how many years of school they have completed
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    CFL Betting Notes - Week 1
    June 19, 2017

    Football is back ‘north of the border’ with the start of the 2017 CFL regular season. Week 1 is highlighted by a rematch of last season’s Grey Cup title game between the Calgary Stampeders, out of the West Division and the East’s Ottawa RedBlacks. Calgary cruised through the regular season right to the title game, but the Stampeders were stunned by Ottawa in overtime 39-33 as 9 ˝-point favorites.


    CFL futures are backing Calgary again as a 13/4 favorite to win the 2017 Grey Cup followed by British Columbia at 4/1 and the Edmonton Eskimos as 9/2 third favorites. It is time to get things started with the following Week 1 matchups (all records listed are from the 2016 regular season).

    Thursday, June 22



    Saskatchewan Roughriders (5-13, 9-9 ATS) vs. Montreal Alouettes (7-11 SU, 9-9 ATS)
    Point-spread: Montreal -6
    Total: 50 ˝


    Game Overview


    It was a rough year for Saskatchewan in 2016, but it did show some positive signs for the future with a four-game winning streak towards the end of the season both straight-up and against the spread. Veteran CFL quarterback Kevin Glenn joined the Roughriders this past offseason and if he can remain healthy for an entire 18-game schedule they should be able to improve on a very disappointing five-win season. Defense could still be an issue after allowing an average of 29.4 points per game in 2016.


    The outlook for Montreal is also trending up after missing the playoffs last season in the East Division. The Alouettes did take some steps to build on a defense that allowed an average of 23 PPG, which was ranked second only to Calgary. The biggest change for this season is at the quarterback position with another CFL veteran switching uniforms. Darian Durant will take over as the team’s starter with Vernon Adams Jr. waiting in the wings. The addition of Earnest Jackson along with last season’s leading receiver Nik Lewis gives Durant some solid options in the passing game.

    Betting Trends



    -- Montreal has a 8-2 edge ATS in the last 10 meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in 16 of its last 21 home games against Saskatchewan.
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    PREVIEW


    QBS IN THE SPOTLIGHT AS ALS, RIDERS KICK OFF 2017 SEASON


    CFL.CA STAFF



    MONTREAL — After a seven-month wait, football is finally back and with it arrives a barrage of dramatic storylines.


    Some of those, like Darian Durant’s migration from the capital of Saskatchewan to the southern tip of Quebec, have gradually built steam since the middle of January. But now, On June 22 in Montreal, a scenario once unimaginable unfolds as familiar faces reacquaint and a brand new season begins.


    On Thursday night at Percival-Molson Stadium, Durant takes the field not in his patented green and white but instead a uniform coloured bleu, blanc et rouge as the Montreal Alouettes and Saskatchewan Roughriders kick off their 2017 campaign.


    “It’s going to be an exciting day for me,” Durant told MontrealAlouettes.com. “Not only do I get a chance to go against my former team and teammates but it’s a new beginning for me in front of the wonderful fans of Montreal, a great environment to play in and I’m looking forward to starting the season off right, one game at a time.”


    Durant’s change of allegiance represents a new era for both teams involved. While the Riders have only 29 players returning from last season and now possess the CFL’s youngest roster at an average age of 26.9 years, the Alouettes have their first franchise quarterback since the departure of Anthony Calvillo in 2013.


    No. 4 is the face of the franchise in Montreal and with his addition as well as several others, the Alouettes are barely recognizable from the team that finished 7-11 last season — tied for second in the East but not good enough to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season.


    While the Alouettes have the CFL’s oldest roster at an average age of 28.4 years, age also equates to experience and maturity, something Durant embodies.


    “He’s just a natural-born leader,” said Tiquan Underwood. “He’s an older guy who’s been in this league, won a Grey Cup.”


    Durant is jumping head first into a firestorm in a matchup against his former team and former coach in Chris Jones, who said this off-season that the quarterback had ‘moderate success’ in 2016. But while the 34-year-old Durant, who spent 11 seasons with the Riders, will no doubt have those comments in mind when he takes the field Thursday, this Week 1 matchup will be played on a bigger scale for the Montreal Alouettes.


    Optimism is the attitude surrounding the team this spring, which sees Jacques Chapdelaine return as the head coach — this time without the interim tag — and a new GM in Kavis Reed for the first time in more than two decades following the dismissal of GM Jim Popp.


    A juggling act on Noel Thorpe’s defence saw the departures of usual stalwarts Bear Woods, Winston Venable, Marc-Olivier Brouillette and Alan-Michael Cash. But on offence, the Alouettes believe they can reach heights not seen since the last time No. 13 commanded the huddle back in 2013.


    Durant will be protected by a new-look O-line that features two American tackles in Brian Simmons and, acquired from the BC Lions, six-time CFL All-Star Jovan Olafioye. And while S.J. Green and Duron Carter have departed, the Als’ new pivot has the East Division’s Most Outstanding Player from 2016 to throw to in Ernest Jackson.


    In the East, where not a single team eclipsed the .500 mark a year ago (Ottawa sat No. 1 with an 8-9-1 record), the Alouettes will see a division up for the taking and wonder ‘why not us?’


    For as high as the expectations are there, though, they may just pale in comparison to what Riders head coach and general manager Chris Jones is dealing with entering Thursday’s season-opener.


    Jones set off a rabid Riders fan base a year ago when he arrived and shook up the roster by releasing John Chick and Weston Dressler. A year later and the work wasn’t done.


    While the Riders have drastically improved their Canadian talent with the additions of Eddie Steele and, late last season, Henoc Muamba, the real question will be at quarterback. Jones has brought in 17 different quarterbacks since arriving in Saskatchewan and will now hope that Kevin Glenn is the answer.


    On the eve of the 2017 season, with significant strides expected following a last-place, 5-13 campaign in 2016, Jones said this year’s rendition of the Riders is more experienced.


    “I don’t ever like comparing teams,” Jones told Riderville.com. “All I can tell you is it’s a solid group of characters in that room, they really enjoy being around each other and we’re going to play hard. I think we’ve got a lot more leadership, simply because we’ve got a lot more veterans than we did a year ago.”


    The Riders have added veterans on both sides of the ball including offensive linemen Peter Dyakowski and Brendon LaBatte (LaBatte was on the team last season but didn’t play due to injury), receivers Bakari Grant and Chad Owens (the latter will not on Thursday due to a lingering foot injury), quarterback Kevin Glenn and defensive back Jovon Johnson.


    Glenn, entering his 17th season, is seen as the biggest factor in whether the Riders will find success in 2017 or not. The 38-year-old has been on eight CFL rosters and is the league’s seventh all-time passer but has never won a Grey Cup.


    The Riders’ quarterback will hand the ball off to Cameron Marshall, a former Blue Bombers running back returning from an NFL stint, while star off-season acquisition Duron Carter teams up with Naaman Roosevelt, back from injury, to form one of the league’s most dynamic pass-catching duos.


    Anchoring the left side of the Riders’ O-line will be 2016 Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Derek Dennis.


    Perhaps the most underrated addition for Chris Jones, however, is the most recent one — defensive back Jovon Johnson. Johnson was cut by the Als after training camp and is slated to start at corner for the Riders.


    The 33-year-old, who’s played all 18 games in seven of his last eight seasons and plays multiple positions in the defensive backfield, will be motivated to face his former team — just like Kevin Glenn, Duron Carter and Darian Durant.


    “It’s fun for me, you know, because just a couple of days ago I was here wearing different colours but now that I’m on the other side, I’m excited,” said Johnson. “I love the opportunity to go out and compete against the team that I once played for and hopefully I can make the most of my opportunity.”


    The Alouettes will be without Canadian receiver Sam Giguere and cornerback Raymon Taylor. Alex Pierzchalski draws the start in Giguere’s spot while Travis Hawkins will line up at defensive corner.


    For the Riders, all of that receiver depth may pay off early as the team is without Rob Bagg and Chad Owens in Week 1. Bagg is expected back for Week 2, when the team plays its first game at new Mosaic Stadium, while Owens’ injury could keep him out a while.


    While the front-seven is considered a relative strength on Chris Jones’ defence, the team is lining up two rookies at linebacker in Erick Dargan (WILL) and Sam Williams (SAM) — although Williams will see more work in coverage than in the box.


    Saskatchewan will also be without Canadian running back and off-season free agent addition Kienan LaFrance.


    By the Numbers


    3 – The number of consecutive seasons Stefan Logan looks to lead the CFL in punt return yards, something that hasn’t been done since Gizmo Williams led the league from 1991-93.


    112 – John Bowman’s career sack total, which ranks him eighth all-time and first among active players. Bowman is 14 sacks short of Stewart Hill for seventh on the all-time list.


    8 & 9 – The Riders’ and Alouettes’ total offensive rankings in 2016. The Riders had the second-worst offence at 327.4 yards per game while the Als were a notch below at 302.5 yards per game.


    28,507 – Career passing yards for Darian Durant, all as a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. There’s no turning back now and on Thursday, Durant will accumulate yards for the first time on a different team.


    269 – Games played by Kevin Glenn (19th all-time), who needs only two more to tie Mike O’Shea (271) and could move as high as 12th on the all-time list in the category of games played.


    The Skinny

    The Riders fell 41-3 in their only visit to Montreal last season while dropping both games in the series. At this point, however, you can set all of last year’s numbers aside, as both of these teams resemble only a fraction of what they were a year ago.


    Many battles will determine the outcome of Thursday’s contest, including Saskatchewan’s blitzing pass rush against Montreal’s offensive line, and the Carter/Roosevelt combo against the Alouettes’ secondary. But in the end, all eyes will be on the duel between Kevin Glenn and Darian Durant, two veteran quarterbacks that have swapped sides.


    And then, of course, it’ll all come back to Chris Jones’ comments after the Riders traded Durant. While the quarterback and his former coach won’t say it, Thursday’s matchup will be a personal matter for both sides.
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    THURSDAY, JUNE 22


    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


    SSK at MTL 07:30 PM


    MTL -6.5


    O 50.0
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    RECAP
    CRAPIGNA’S LATE MISS SEALS SEASON-OPENING WIN FOR DURANT, ALS


    CFL.CA STAFF



    MONTREAL — Darian Durant threw two touchdown passes while Tyler Crapigna’s last-play field goal sailed wide, sending the Alouettes to a 17-16 season-opening win over the Roughriders on Thursday night in Montreal.


    Durant threw touchdowns to B.J. Cunningham and Ernest Jackson while Boris Bede provided the game’s winning points with 2:29 remaining, making Durant’s first game against his former team a winning effort.


    Crapigna had a chance to win the game for the Riders but missed right on a 45-yard attempt with no time left on the clock.


    Bakari Grant scored the Riders’ only touchdown while Crapigna hit on three of four tries in a losing effort for Saskatchewan. But in the end, the Riders will lament not only the missed field goal but also a pair of second-half turnovers in an otherwise spirited effort in front of 20,129 fans at Percival-Molson Stadium.


    For Durant, the narrow victory was a statement against the coach and general manager in Chris Jones that let him go this off-season. Durant completed 20 of 31 passes for 233 yards and a pair of touchdowns.


    While Kevin Glenn was sharp in his first game back with the Riders, completing 31 of 44 passes for 298 yards and a touchdown, the 38-year-old also threw a fourth-quarter interception.


    Cunningham had a game-high 90 yards on four catches for the Als while Jackson, in his first game after leaving the Grey Cup-winning Ottawa REDBLACKS, was held to 16 yards on two catches.


    On the other side, Duron Carter’s much-anticipated return to Montreal was largely uneventful. The three-year Alouette was held to 12 yards on two catches despite being targeted nine times. Instead, it was third-year Canadian receiver Nic Demski led the way for the Riders, making good on all seven of his targets for 87 yards.


    While Cameron Marshall fumbled in the third quarter, his Riders debut was a productive one, checking in with 84 yards on 11 carries.


    The first half of football in 2017 opened with some light sparring and two new-look teams feeling each other out. Glenn was on point early for the Riders but was plagued by drops, including two by Carter against his former team, while Durant took only what an aggressive Jones defence gave him throughout a scoreless opening quarter.


    While the Alouettes played on a short field throughout most of the first half, it wasn’t until the Riders flipped field position that Durant got his team on the board. With the game still scoreless, Durant unloaded on a deep ball and found a wide open B.J. Cunningham, the former Michigan State Spartan running untouched, 65 yards, for the game’s opening score.


    Cunningham’s romp, after the first 25 minutes of the game failed to generate any scoring, seemed to set the wheels in motion. Demski continued his productive opening half with three catches on the Riders’ ensuing drive while Glenn got on a roll with six completions on his next seven passes, setting up a first down at the 19.


    On the very next play, Glenn hit Grant in stride and the first-year Rider ran the remaining distance himself, capping off a 10-play, 77-yard drive with a 19-yard touchdown.


    The play didn’t come without controversy as it appeared Travis Hawkins stripped the ball at the goal line, but the ruling was upheld, the command centre later stating that while the ball was moving, it was not clearly out of possession prior to breaking the front plane of the goal line.


    With a quick stop on defence followed by a 34-yard field goal by Crapigna, the Riders suddenly took both momentum and a 10-7 lead into the half.


    The spark carried the Riders into the third quarter, when Marshall’s powerful 26-yard run eventually set up a 41-yard field goal by Crapigna. But the Alouettes were quick to fire back. On the ensuing drive, following first downs by Tyrell Sutton and Tiquan Underwood, Nik Lewis picked up 21 yards on a catch-and-run on second-and-seven.








    After a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty against Jovon Johnson, the Als needed only 12 yards for the end zone and those would come on the very next play from the newcomer Jackson. The former Ottawa REDBLACK shed the coverage of Chris Lyles to haul in his first as an Alouette, vaulting Montreal ahead 14-13.


    The Riders dominated most of the third quarter, controlling the football for more than 10 minutes, but failed to take advantage. With the frame winding down and the Green and White on the doorstep, Marshall lost his grasp of the football and the Alouettes recovered, ending the threat and the third quarter with the slimmest of margins.


    What happened next resembled a nervous game of hot potato. The Riders atoned for their fumble when Lewis was stripped of the football on his way to the ground after a second-down catch. But a few plays later, Glenn’s shot down the sideline was intercepted by a leaping Jonathon Mincy, putting the ball right back in the hands of the Alouettes’ offence.


    Saskatchewan did get the football back and, despite the interception, Glenn was able to get right back into his rhythm. The veteran pivot moved the sticks twice on completions to Roosevelt — his fifth and sixth grabs of the evening — while an illegal contact penalty against Chip Cox kept the drive alive following a second down incompletion.


    With Brandon Bridge under centre for a spell, Bridge’s second-down pass went over the head of a wide open Carter. Nonetheless, Crapigna’s third field goal of the evening put the visitors back in front, 16-14 with just under half a quarter remaining.


    Just like he had done all game, Durant mounted a methodical response. The wily vet in his first game in new colours completed passes to Cunningham and Alex Pierzchalski, then it was Cunningham moving the sticks on third and short on a jet sweep, eventually setting up a go-ahead field goal from Bede and the fifth lead-change of the game.


    With the Riders down 17-16 and 2:16 left in the game, Roosevelt kept his team’s hopes alive with a difficult grab in tight coverage on third down up across the Saskatchewan 40. Two plays later, again on third down, Glenn hit an open Caleb Holley in the flat down to the Montreal 48.


    But after one more third-down conversion, Crapigna missed his first kick of the season, pulling the 45-yard attempt wide right, and it was a costly one for the Riders.


    FANTASY IMPACT
    Darian Durant racked up 17.3 fantasy points on Thursday night, the highest of any player in the opening game of the 2017 season.


    Durant: 20-31, 233 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT | 18.2 PTS


    Glenn: 31-44, 298 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT | 13.9 PTS


    » PLAY CFL FANTASY


    Off-season addition Grant hauled in six passes for 68 yards and a touchdown while Roosevelt caught seven passes for 59 yards. Holley added five more catches for 55 yards.


    The Riders failed to record a sack on defence but Jovon Johnson stood out for that unit, making seven tackles and blanketing the Alouettes’ top pass-catchers all evening. Johnson, who attended camp with the Alouettes, was cut last Saturday before joining the Riders this week.


    Also chipping in for the Alouettes was Lewis, who hauled in all five of his targets for 60 yards, and running back Tyrell Sutton, who rushed for 68 yards on 13 carries.


    Kyries Hebert had the game’s only sack for the Als while Chris Ackie forced a fumble and Mincy recorded the game’s only interception.


    The Als aim to start 2-0 on Friday, June 30 with a visit to Edmonton while Saskatchewan looks for a better break on Canada Day as the Riders open up new Mosaic Stadium vs. the Bombers.
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    Friday’s six-pack


    — Mets put P Zach Wheeler (biceps tendinitis) on the DL.


    — Red Sox put 3B Pablo Sandoval on DL (inner ear infection)


    — Angels put closer Bud Norris (knee) on the DL


    — A’s DFA’d Stephen Vogt, put Matt Chapman (knee infection) on the DL


    — Cubs sent Kyle Schwarber to AAA Iowa, put Jason Heyward (hand) on the DL


    — Pirates put Francisco Cervelli (concussion) on the DL.


    ***************************


    Friday’s Den: Random stuff, mostly about basketball……


    With the NBA Draft going on, here are some basketball-related thoughts……..


    — My friend Joe Gill pointed this out to me yesterday— how much the NBA has changed.


    The 3-point shot came into the NBA in the 1979-80 season, Magic/Bird’s rookie season. Here are the Lakers’ TEAM TOTALS FOR THE SEASON on 3-point shooting in their first six years the 3-point shot was in the NBA:


    1979-80: 20-100, 20%
    1980-81: 17-94, 18.1%
    1981-82: 13-94, 13.8%
    1982-83: 10-96, 10.4%
    1983-84: 58-226, 25.7%
    1984-85: 90-295, 30.5%


    This past season, 2016-17, Lakers were 730-2110 (34.0%) on 3-pointers for the season; Golden State was 982-2563 (38.3%).


    The game has changed in 37 years. A lot.


    — Magic Johnson’s first six years in the NBA, he was 29-164 (17.7%) behind the arc; in his last seven NBA seasons, he improved to 32.5% on 3-pointers.


    — Wednesday, CBS SportsNet ran an hour special on the draft; their four experts all picked who they thought the best player in the draft was- they gave four different answers, which sums this draft up well. There is no one player who is head and shoulders above the rest.


    — 76ers have sold out over 14,000 season tickets for next year, a franchise record; their corps of talented young players have to prove they have the durability to play an 82-game season.


    — Chicago Bulls traded Jimmy Butler to Minnesota for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the 7th pick, who wound up being Lauri Markkanen from Arizona.


    — Little odd that the last two #1 picks in the draft (Fultz, Ben Simmons) had a combined record of 29-36 in their one season of college basketball and both coaches got fired within a year of coaching that player.


    — Four quick non-basketball notes:
    a) Weird Al Yankovic is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
    b) Jose Abreu is the first major leaguer since 1966 whose first 13 home runs have all been on the road.
    c) I graduated high school 40 years ago tonight.
    d) I just realized a Saskatchewan-Montreal CFL game is on ESPNews.


    — First seven picks in the draft were all college freshmen; Knicks broke the trend by taking Frank Ntilikina, an 18-year old point guard from Europe— he is 6-5.


    — Jay Bilas’ comment on NC State’s Dennis Smith, #9 pick by the Mavericks: “He is not always a focused defender.” A nice way of saying, “He sucks on defense.”


    — Sacramento traded the #10 pick to Portland for picks #15 and #20; Gonzaga’s Zach Collins was the #10 pick.


    — December of 2013, just 3.5 years ago, I sat in the gym at Bishop Gorman HS in Las Vegas with my friend Mike and we watched some high school basketball. Bishop Gorman’s 3rd-string center was a 10th grader who played pretty well when he got into the game- that was Zach Collins.


    Last night, Collins was the 10th pick in the NBA Draft, by Portland. Not bad for a kid who was a 3rd-string center on his high school team three years ago, behind Stephen Zimmerman and Chase Jeter. Zimmerman is in the D-League with Orlando, Jeter just transferred from Duke to Arizona. Collins has a shot to be the best of the three.


    — NBA commissioner Adam Silver is a tall, bald man who wears glasses, which obviously makes him very handsome— ha!!! Oh, Charlotte just took Malik Monk, best shooter in the draft who apparently is also adept at hunting squirrels.


    — Detroit took Duke’s Luke Kennard with the #12 pick; he plays basketball lefty, but when he was a high school QB, he threw the ball righty. Go figure.


    — Utah traded Trey Lyles and the #24 pick to Denver for the #13 pick- Jazz took Donovan Mitchell from Louisville.


    — Halftime: Saskatchewan 10, Montreal 7. Season opener for both clubs. We’ll have write-ups on all the CFL games, starting next week.


    — ESPN’s guy with the touchscreen who is a salary cap guru predicts the Bulls will buy out Dwyane Wade’s contract as they totally rebuild. Thats an expensive deal right there.


    — John Calipari was in Colorado Springs Thursday morning coaching the U19 team, then was in Brooklyn for the draft; I’m assuming he is headed back to Colorado as soon as all of his guys get drafted. I’m assuming Calipari has a really nice house, but is he ever home?


    Calipari is now holding court on ESPN; in eight years at Kentucky, he’s coached 64 players. Half of those 64 players have been drafted by the NBA.


    — I’ll say this: Oklahoma State guard Jawun Evans is really good. He’ll be a very good NBA player, but he hasn’t been taken yet.


    — In his next contract, Paul George will either get $177M for five years or $132M for four years, depending on if he switches teams or not.


    — Sacramento took Harry Giles, who has already torn the ACL in both knees and wasn’t good at Duke last year— there is very little chance this ends well. Giles scored 3.9 pts/game while playing in 20% of Duke’s possessions last year. Can he recover enough to withstand an 82-game schedule? Wish the young man well, but this figures to be another Sacramento disaster.


    — My point here: Taking Giles over Jawun Evans is basketball malpractice.


    — Oklahoma City took Terrance Ferguson with the #21 pick; he skipped college (Arizona) and shot 30% in an Australian pro league LY. They say he needs to get stronger- if he such a great shooter, why did he shoot 30% in an Australian league? He is a developmental project.


    — Host Brooklyn Nets took Jarrett Allen, a big kid from Texas. He scored 13.4 pts/game with 8.4 reb/game LY. This young man built his own computer, which is very impressive.


    Nets are 41-123 the last two years; three short years ago, they were 44-38 and in Eastern Conference semis. It is easier to get worse than it is to get better. They need a lot of players.


    — Denver grabs Tyler Lydon from Syracuse, who is a good shooter but apparently has 13% body fat, which means he needs to get himself in better shape, especially since he’ll have to play man defense for the first time since high school or AAU ball- Syracuse plays all 2-3 zone.


    — Caleb Swanigan was drafted by Portland; hard not to root for this guy. By the time he was 13 years old, he had gone to 13 different schools. He was adopted by a guardian angel who gave him structure in his life and then he lost 100 pounds in high school and became a really good player. We wish him well.


    — Spurs took Derrick White with the 29th pick; kid played D-2 ball because that was the only offer he got coming out of high school. Then he transferred to Colorado and now he is a first round draft pick- Spurs’ track record of picking guys lower than 20th and having them be really good players is pretty amazing.


    — 16 college freshmen were taken in the first round; Derrick White was the first senior taken, at #29.


    — New Orleans just traded for Duke’s Frank Jackson after Charlotte picked him so now I’m annoyed; he is NOT BETTER than Juwan Evans. You wonder if coach Brad Underwood had stayed at Oklahoma State if Evans would’ve stayed, too, but Underwood had a spat with the AD and bolted to Illinoi$.


    — Finally…..the 76ers take Juwan Evans with the 39th pick. Now I can go write my baseball article. Take your measurables and stick ‘em— this kid can play.


    P.S. Evans is getting traded to the Clippers. Jerry West works for the Clippers now— that makes me feel good. ��
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    Long Sheet


    Week 1



    Friday, June 23


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

    CALGARY (16 - 3 - 1) at OTTAWA (10 - 9 - 1) - 6/23/2017, 7:30 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    OTTAWA is 22-10 ATS (+11.0 Units) in games where the line is +3 to -3 since 1996.
    OTTAWA is 16-6 ATS (+9.4 Units) as an underdog over the last 3 seasons.
    CALGARY is 13-5 ATS (+7.5 Units) in games played on turf over the last 2 seasons.

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

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


    Saturday, June 24


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

    EDMONTON (11 - 9) at BRITISH COLUMBIA (13 - 7) - 6/24/2017, 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 4-1 against the spread versus EDMONTON over the last 3 seasons
    EDMONTON is 3-2 straight up against BRITISH COLUMBIA over the last 3 seasons
    3 of 5 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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


    Sunday, June 25


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

    HAMILTON (7 - 12) at TORONTO (5 - 13) - 6/25/2017, 4:00 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    TORONTO is 5-13 ATS (-9.3 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
    TORONTO is 5-13 ATS (-9.3 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
    TORONTO is 3-13 ATS (-11.3 Units) in home games over the last 3 seasons.
    TORONTO is 3-13 ATS (-11.3 Units) in home lined games over the last 3 seasons.
    TORONTO is 19-37 ATS (-21.7 Units) in a home game where the total is greater than or equal to 52 since 1996.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    HAMILTON is 6-1 against the spread versus TORONTO over the last 3 seasons
    HAMILTON is 6-1 straight up against TORONTO over the last 3 seasons
    4 of 7 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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    CFL


    Week 1



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trend Report
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Friday, June 23


    7:30 PM
    CALGARY vs. OTTAWA
    Calgary is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games on the road
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Calgary's last 5 games when playing Ottawa
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Ottawa's last 6 games when playing at home against Calgary
    Ottawa5-1-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Calgary




    Saturday, June 24

    10:00 PM
    EDMONTON vs. BRITISH COLUMBIA
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Edmonton's last 6 games when playing on the road against British Columbia
    Edmonton is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against British Columbia
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of British Columbia's last 6 games at home
    British Columbia is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games




    Sunday, June 25


    4:00 PM
    HAMILTON vs. TORONTO
    Hamilton is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games
    Hamilton is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
    Toronto is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games
    Toronto is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games at home
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    CFL
    Dunkel


    Week 1



    Friday, June 23

    Calgary @ Ottawa


    Game 353-354
    June 23, 2017 @ 7:30 pm


    Dunkel Rating:
    Calgary
    122.155
    Ottawa
    114.939
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Calgary
    by 7
    49
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Calgary
    by 3
    55
    Dunkel Pick:
    Calgary
    (-3); Under





    Saturday, June 24

    Edmonton @ BC Lions


    Game 355-356
    June 24, 2017 @ 10:00 pm


    Dunkel Rating:
    Edmonton
    114.887
    BC Lions
    122.373
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    BC Lions
    by 7 1/2
    66
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    BC Lions
    by 3
    58
    Dunkel Pick:
    BC Lions
    (-3); Over





    Sunday, June 25

    Hamilton @ Toronto


    Game 357-358
    June 25, 2017 @ 4:00 pm


    Dunkel Rating:
    Hamilton
    111.216
    Toronto
    102.191
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Hamilton
    by 9
    52
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Hamilton
    by 3
    54
    Dunkel Pick:
    Hamilton
    (-3); Under
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    Breaking down the CFL’s stunning 2016 road trend


    Oddsmakers couldn’t seem to figure out what was going on in the Canadian Football League last season - and that resulted in a boon for bettors who put their faith in road underdogs.


    In a year that featured plenty of bizarre trends and results, the strangest of all might be that road dogs went a stunning 34-22-0 ATS - a 60.71-percent success rate that confounded oddsmakers. That highlighted a season-long trend of overall road dominance; home teams won just 48.24 percent of all CFL games last season, while road faves covered at a similar rate (15-10-1, 60 percent) to that of road dogs. Road favorites went 17-9-0 SU, while road underdogs were 24-31-1 - an astounding result given that the league covers four time zones, and teams often play games with less than a week of rest time.


    So what were the catalysts for the league’s crazy road underdog ATS trend? Here are three to consider:


    West Division Dominance


    Rarely has the CFL ever seen such a chasm between the East and West Divisions as it did in 2016, when no East team finished above .500 while four West teams had at least 10 victories.


    The West was particularly dominant when it came to games played in East locales; no East team won more than three regular-season home games all season, and the division as a whole went an abysmal 10-25-1 in its own stadiums. This was the single biggest factor in why road underdogs were so successful ATS; simply put, oddsmakers short-changed West teams in East cities, underestimating just how much better the West was.


    Winnipeg’s Stunning Resurgence


    No team had a bigger positive impact on the overall road underdog trend than the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who transformed from a five-win unit in 2015 to a team that shocked the CFL world with an 11-7 regular season and an unlikely berth in the 2016 playoffs.


    The Blue Bombers were road underdogs seven times over the course of the season, and came through with the cover on six occasions. Here’s the breakdown of those games:


    Week 2: DID NOT COVER - L 36-22 at Calgary (-10.5)


    Week 3: COVERED - W 28-24 at Hamilton (-9)


    Week 6: COVERED - W 30-23 at Edmonton (-9.5)


    Week 8: COVERED - W 34-17 at Toronto (-4)


    Week 10: COVERED - W 32-18 at Montreal (PK)


    Week 14: COVERED - L 36-34 at Calgary (-9.5)


    Week 17: COVERED - W 35-32 at BC (-5.5)


    As you can see, oddsmakers slept on the Blue Bombers away from Winnipeg - and they responded with five outright wins and a narrow loss to the powerhouse Stampeders after a rough first road game in Calgary. Expect the Blue Bombers to get a lot more respect in 2017.


    Otta-What Home Field Advantage?


    On the flip side, the Ottawa Redblacks sure didn’t look like a Grey Cup champion team during the regular season, particularly in the nation’s capital. Bettors who put their faith in the Redblacks’ ability to win at home are still getting over their thorough scrubbing.


    The Redblacks were favored eight times in their nine home games last season, and managed a single cover - a 29-12 win over lowly Toronto in Week 14, with Ottawa favored by 5 1/2. Here is how the rest of the Redblacks’ games as a home fave panned out:


    Week 3: DID NOT COVER - T 26-26 vs. Calgary (+1.5)


    Week 6: DID NOT COVER - L 23-20 vs. Toronto (+10)


    Week 7: DID NOT COVER - W 23-20 vs. Edmonton (+3.5)


    Week 9: DID NOT COVER - L 43-19 vs. Montreal (+9)


    Week 10: DID NOT COVER - L 29-23 vs. BC (+2.5)


    Week 16: DID NOT COVER - L 32-30 vs. Saskatchewan (+6)


    Week 18: DID NOT COVER (L 39-36 vs. Hamilton (+3.5)


    Outside of that magical win over the Argonauts in Week 14, the Redblacks lost outright five times as a home favorite, settled for a tie in Week 3 and eked out a three-point decision against the visiting Eskimos.


    Just as the Blue Bombers should expect more respect from oddsmakers in 2017, the Redblacks will likely find themselves in a home underdog situation more often than they did last season.
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    CFL Record: Best Bets & Opinions


    Date W-L-T % Units


    06/22/2017................... 0-2-0............... 0.00%.................... -11.00
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    NEWS


    REDBLACKS, STAMPEDERS READY TO ROLL IN GREY CUP REMATCH


    CFL.CA STAFF



    OTTAWA — It’s been 208 days since the Ottawa REDBLACKS won the 104th Grey Cup in Toronto via a 39-33 overtime thriller against the Calgary Stampeders.


    Since that fateful night in Toronto, which launched the nation’s capital into unexpected celebrations while simultaneously putting a sour final note on a historic 2016 Stampeders season, both clubs have had time to grow and reflect.


    The critical pieces of the REDBLACKS’ offence have changed; heir-apparent quarterback Trevor Harris finally has the proverbial keys to his own offence, while 1,000-yard receivers Ernest Jackson (Montreal) and Chris Williams (BC) have been replaced by the formerly double blue duo of Kenny Shaw and Diontae Spencer. Running back William Powell, who missed all of 2016 with an achilles injury, will get the start in his first competitive game since November of 2015.


    The order of the day in Calgary, meanwhile, has been continuity; Bo Levi Mitchell and co. have had an off-season to stew over last season’s unsavoury ending and have retained significant pieces from the squad that went 15-2-1 a year ago.


    “We have some kind of chip on our shoulder,” Stamps receiver DaVaris Daniels, who will be expected to shoulder a larger load in 2017, told Stampeders.com. “It’s good to start the season (in Ottawa) — hopefully we can finish it here (in the 105th Grey Cup Championship) as well.”


    The journey to redemption for Dave Dickenson’s Stampeders begins against the same REDBLACKS team that dashed their hopes of a virtually-perfect 2016 campaign last year, and the second-year head coach knows his squad will have to be on its A-game Friday in the nation’s capital.


    “We’ve got to come out with our best to beat these guys,” said Dickenson. “Our offensive line is going to have a huge challenge. They play fast (and) are a well-coached group over there.”


    Bo Levi Mitchell and Jerome Messam will be the focal points of Calgary’s offence again in 2017; the former lost just two games from July through November last year, while the latter has established himself as the best power back in the CFL.


    Though veteran receiver Bakari Grant departed the Stamps via free agency in favour of Saskatchewan, Mitchell believes his receiving corps — which still includes Marquay McDaniel and DaVaris Daniels — is still very much elite.


    “The Americans we have at receiver are beasts, freaks,” said Mitchell, an Eastern Washington product. “The biggest compliment I can give is that our Canadians, I don’t think about them (as Canadians) I just think about them as receivers. In the CFL, it’s about your Canadian depth — we’ve got guys that can jump over (and) through people, so I’m excited about our group.”


    After setting the league alight in his rookie season, Daniels is expecting an increase in production this year.


    “After losing some guys in the receiving corps from last year, I think I have to step into a bigger role,” explained the Notre Dame alumnus, who hauled in over 1,000 receiving yards in his debut CFL campaign in 2016. “It’s (about) going out and leading by example. I’m looking forward to it, it’s something new for me and an exciting challenge.”


    The Stamps defensive line, led by two-time CFL sack leader Charleston Hughes, was beefed up in the winter with the free-agent acquisition of tackle Bryan Hall, an Arkansas St. product who recorded 33 tackles and four sacks as an Argo last season.


    Promising defensive end Ja’Gared Davis will get the start in Ottawa with starter Cordarro Law reportedly on the shelf long-term.


    “I thought (Davis) was going to warrant play time regardless of Cordarro and Hughes,” said Coach Dickenson. “But now he gets a good shot to start. We’re going to play a rotation — we have to, [the REDBLACKS] have one of the better O-lines in the league.”


    Calgary rookie Tunde Adeleke will enjoy something of a homecoming on Friday. Prior to becoming a noted return man at the university level with Carleton, the agile defensive back attended St. Francis Xavier in the nation’s capital.


    “It’s exciting in general just to be on the active roster and being able to play in the first game of the season is exciting,” said the native of Nigeria. “It’s going to be exciting to go back and play on a field that I’ve played on multiple times but at the same time I just have to go out there and drown out the outside noise and do my job.”


    There are plenty of new faces — and storylines — on the Ottawa side of the football in Friday’s prime-time matchup.


    Former Arizona Cardinal William Powell appears to be the running back of choice, for now, with Mossis Madu backing up; Trevor Harris still has three 1,000-yard receivers, plus the likes of Diontae Spencer and Juron Criner, at his disposal; Ottawa’s defensive front seven could be one of the strongest in the league.


    Despite being the reining Grey Cup champions, and perhaps because of their unexpected victory last November following an 8-9-1 regular season, the REDBLACKS don’t feel they’re getting the respect they deserve.


    Ottawa defensive back Jonathan Rose echoed his quarterback’s sentiment.


    “We feel like we dominated and still didn’t get the respect — I guess the Grey Cup wasn’t good enough,” half-quipped Rose, a Nebraska product. “We’re trying to go out, set a standard, and (get) people to start believing (in us) a little bit.”


    With nearly the entire defensive line back and Khalil Bass added to a strong linebacker group spearheaded by Taylor Reed, the REDBLACKS defensive unit is confident in its ability to shut down a high-flying Stamps offence.


    “We’re communicating well and finding some chemistry,” said Bass of his budding partnership with Reed. “We’re both guys that like to play fast, fly to the ball and knock people’s heads off — it should be fun to watch.”


    Key in that mission will be shutting down Calgary’s all-star running back, Jerome Messam.


    “When Messam gets rolling, it kind of limits what you can do defensively, so we’ve got to shut him down on the first couple plays,” explained Bass. “We’ve got to compete, get to the ball and make sure we’re finishing our plays.”


    With the departures of multiple defensive backs from last year’s championship-winning REDBLACKS team, Imoan Claiborne has earned an opening-day start at DB. The 24 year-old registered just 14 tackles in spot duty last season, but will have an opportunity to cement himself as a regular following a strong camp.


    By the Numbers


    2 – Out of three meetings between the REDBLACKS and Stampeders in the nation’s capital have gone to overtime. (2015: 29-26 OTT, 2016: 26-26 tie)


    16 – League-high sacks recorded by Calgary DE Charleston Hughes last season.


    116 – Ottawa QB Trevor Harris led all CFL starters in pass efficiency in 2016.


    .853 – Calgary QB Bo Levi Mitchell’s winning percentage, the best mark in the history of CFL starting quarterbacks.


    1,004 – Receiving yards for Ottawa WR Kenny Shaw last season as a member of the Toronto Argonauts.

    The Skinny

    Both the Stampeders and REDBLACKS are loaded with high-end talent on both sides of the football, making it difficult to predict the winner of — and style of play in — Friday’s Grey Cup rematch.


    With that said, Calgary owned the league’s best regular-season offence (32.6 points-per-game) and defence (20.5 points-allowed-per-game) while Ottawa ranked sixth in those two categories respectively.


    It seems most observers are weighing the larger regular-season sample size more heavily than last year’s shock Grey Cup result, as a whopping 80 per cent of CFL fans along with six of seven CFL.ca writers are picking the Stamps to avenge last year’s Grey Cup defeat this Friday.


    One thing is for sure: Rain or shine, TD Place will be rocking on the banks of the Rideau Canal.


    Another: These are two of the league’s most promising teams, and they have plenty of tools at their disposal to put on a show for the first edition of Friday Night Football.


    Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET and can be followed live via CFL.ca Game Tracker or seen on TSN, RDS and ESPNEWS.
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    CFL


    Friday, June 23



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Friday's CFL betting preview and odds: Stampeders at Redblacks
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Calgary Stampeders at Ottawa Redblacks (+5.5, 55.5)


    The Ottawa Redblacks begin defence of their Grey Cup title when they host the Calgary Stampeders in a rematch of the title game Friday. The Redblacks pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Grey Cup history when they shocked the Stampeders 39-33 in overtime after falling short against the Edmonton Eskimos 26-20 in the championship game the previous year, and hope the pieces are in place to make their third straight appearance in the title game.


    "You can always be proud of it and remember it but it's important to turn the page," Ottawa coach Rick Campbell told reporters. "Our goal is to be a playoff team and see what kind of damage we can do from there." The Stampeders were unable to parlay a 15-win regular season into a Grey Cup victory and will be eager to begin their quest to return to the championship game. Bo Levi Mitchell won the CFL's Most Outstanding Player award after throwing for 5,385 yards and 32 touchdowns, and formed one of the most feared quarterback-running back tandems in the league with Jerome Messam, who won his first career rushing title with 1,198 yards, and the dynamic duo hopes to exact a measure of revenge in the nation's capital. "It took a long time to get over what happened," Messam told reporters. "We have a lot of guys that were here last year and they still have that bad taste in their mouth."

    TV:
    7:30 p.m. ET, TSN, ESPNews

    LINE HISTORY:
    The Stampeders opened as 2.5-point road chalk and by Thursday evening that number was to 5.5. the total hit the betting board at 55 and has been bumped up a half-point to 55.5.

    ABOUT THE STAMPEDERS (2016: 16-3-1):
    DaVaris Daniels is on the verge of becoming one of the league's most prolific receivers after catching 51 passes for 885 yards and nine touchdowns in 11 games en route to earning the CFL's Most Outstanding Rookie award in 2016. Calgary's secondary, which recorded a league-high 80 pass breakups, is banged up as Brandon Smith is out for the foreseeable future while all-stars Tommie Campbell (hamstring) and Jamar Wall (foot) are questionable for the season opener. Andrew Buckley, who tied a CFL record for the most rushing touchdowns by a Canadian quarterback with eight, earned the backup role behind Mitchell and former Iowa Hawkeyes star Ricky Stanzi beat out Mitchell Gale for the third option under centre.

    ABOUT THE REDBLACKS (2016: 10-9-1):
    Ottawa begins life without Grey Cup MVP Henry Burris, who retired after the historic victory, but Trevor Harris is a more than capable replacement as he threw for 3,301 yards and 16 touchdowns in 12 appearances last season.The Redblacks raided the Toronto Argonauts by snapping up wide receivers Diontae Spencer and Kenny Shaw, and defensive back A.J. Jefferson after losing Ernest Jackson and Chris Williams, who combined for 165 catches and 20 touchdowns last season, in free agency. Ottawa released 25 players Sunday, including former Toronto wide receiver Tori Gurley and Shakir Bell, who rushed for 1,058 yards in two previous seasons with Edmonton, to meet the league's roster requirements ahead of Week 1.


    TRENDS DATING BACK TO 2016:


    * RedBlacks are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as a home underdog of 3.5-10.0.


    * Over is 6-1 in Stampeders last 7 games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0.


    * Over is 7-1 in RedBlacks last 8 games overall.


    * Over is 4-0-1 in the last 5 meetings.

    CONSENSUS:
    The road chalk Calgary Stampeders are getting 57 percent of the action from Covers users and the OVER is getting 51 percent of the totals wagers. View full consensus data for this matchup here.


    EXTRA POINTS


    1. Calgary has won 14 or more games in four consecutive seasons.


    2. The Stampeders have won four of their last five season openers.


    3. The Redblacks led the league in passing yards per game (343.9) in 2016.
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    FRIDAY, JUNE 23


    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


    CGY at OTT 07:30 PM


    OTT +6.0


    O 55.5
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    RECAP


    NO DECISION: REDBLACKS, STAMPS TIE GREY CUP REMATCH


    CFL.CA STAFF



    OTTAWA — Brett Maher and Rene Paredes exchanged field goals in overtime and, for the second season in a row, the Ottawa REDBLACKS and Calgary Stampeders tied a football game, 31-31.


    Trevor Harris threw three touchdown passes while the Stampeders erased a late 14-point deficit to force overtime nearly seven months after the cross-division foes forged an all-time classic in the 104th Grey Cup in Toronto last November.


    While the REDBLACKS won that game, this Week 1 matchup produced no decision on an overcast Friday night at Ottawa’s TD Place.


    Harris finished his night with 300 passing yards, three touchdown passes and an interception on 33-of-45 passing while reigning MOP Bo Levi Mitchell checked in with 376 yards and two touchdowns while completing 31 of 48 attempts. Meanwhile, Marquay McDaniel, who left the Grey Cup with an injury, led all pass-catchers with 114 yards on 10 receptions.


    The drama was hardly unexpected for two teams that have always been closely matched considering four of their last six meetings have needed overtime. Last season the clubs tied 26-26 in Week 3.


    Both sides aim to settle the score once and for all on Thursday, June 29 in the latter half of a home and home in Calgary.


    After the two teams combined for 72 points in Ottawa’s Grey Cup victory last November, Friday’s rematch took a much different tone early on. Neither offence could get the ball rolling out of the chute but after three straight punts to open the first quarter, the REDBLACKS turned a Jerome Messam fumble into three points off the foot of the newly-acquired Maher.


    With the first 15 minutes providing only the trio of points, Mitchell and Harris each settled into a rhythm after that. On Ottawa’s fourth possession of the game, Harris connected on six straight passes including a six-yard touchdown to the running back William Powell, capping off a nine-play drive and, after a two-point conversion to Greg Ellingson, extending the REDBLACKS’ lead to 11-0.


    While the Stamps’ offence slumbered through the opening frame, punting twice and fumbling, the 2016 Most Outstanding Player came to play for the second. Mitchell’s 43-yard completion to DaVaris Daniels along the sideline set up an 11-yard chip shot by Paredes, then, late in the half, the Stamps’ offence was given one more chance to tie the game.


    Completions to McDaniel and Kamar Jorden moved the Red and White into scoring range before one of the game’s more bizarre plays got Calgary back on the board again. On a first-and-goal from the nine, Jorden lost control of the football just as he was crossing the goal line. While the REDBLACKS recovered and returned the fumble for an apparent six points the other way, the CFL Command Centre confirmed the original ruling on the field — that the ball crossed the plane of the goal line before coming loose.


    With the Stamps in the end zone for their first time in 2017, it was business as usual on the two-point try as Mitchell hooked up with McDaniel, tying the game at 11 apiece through 30.


    The REDBLACKS broke the tie early in the third, mounting a 10-play, 56-yard drive resulting in a 27-yard field goal by Maher to make it 14-11. But Mitchell’s 35-yard pass to Daniels, which needed to be challenged and overturned on a close play along the sideline, set up a 20-yard field goal by Paredes to even the score again.


    The home team’s response was a quick one, however, thanks in large part to an unexpected contributor in Brendan Gillanders. The former Ottawa Gee-Gee went over the 50-yard mark with a 14-yard surge deep into Calgary territory before, on second-and-six, Harris found Juron Criner in the end zone for the major.


    While the nine-play, 65-yard scoring drive over 4:09 put the REDBLACKS back in the driver’s seat with a 21-14 lead heading into the fourth, the defending champions weren’t done there. After a quick two-and-out by the Stamps’ offence, Harris picked up right where he left off, going straight to Brad Sinopoli for two first downs before eventually threading the needle between Stampeder defenders to the newcomer Stangby for a 32-yard touchdown. Harris completed five of his seven passes on the drive, culminating with his third touchdown of the night to make it 28-14.


    Just when it seemed like the REDBLACKS might be ready start milking the clock and putting their stamp on a season-opening win, Jamar Wall gave the visitors new life when he stripped the ball from the hands of Gillanders. Wall recovered at the Ottawa 24 and on the ensuing play, Mitchell hit third-year national Lamar Durant in stride in the end zone, giving the Stamps a quick six and cutting the deficit to 28-21 with 7:03 remaining.


    A critical stop on defence put the ball back in the hands of Mitchell, while the Stamps’ offence avoided a scare when Jorden was ruled down by contact before fumbling the football. The Stamps rode the Messam train into the end zone the rest of the way, No. 33 rumbling 19 yards and then capping the drive off with a three-yard run to make it 28-28 with 2:01 to go.


    The final two minutes couldn’t solve anything and, like these two clubs and their fans have become so accustomed to, overtime would be required.


    In the extra frame, with the REDBLACKS knocking on the doorstop, Calgary became the benefactor of some good fortune when Harris’ pass was tipped before landing into the lap of Wall, immediately ending the scoring threat. But on the ensuing drive, Paredes, usually one of the CFL’s most consistent kickers, missed the potential game-winner from 37 yards out.


    Paredes made good on his next attempt after that, leaving Ottawa with one last chance to either tie the game with a field goal or win it with a touchdown. Ottawa’s second-down try was stymied and Maher was forced to put the ball through the uprights to clinch the single point in the standings.


    After his early fumble, Messam finished with 65 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries to go with 19 yards on five catches.


    Daniels made two highlight-reel catches along the sideline, both of which might have gone for scores had he not run out of room, but left the game injured the fourth after hauling in four passes for 90 yards.


    Jorden was targeted 11 times for the Stampeders, catching five of those passes for 72 yards and a score.


    For the REDBLACKS, Powell looked elusive in his first game since 2015 after suffering a season-ending Achilles injury last year in training camp. But the veteran back was forced to exit the game while his replacement, Gillanders, rushed for 80 yards on 12 carries in relief — although his fourth-quarter fumble proved costly for the REDBLACKS.


    Sinopoli led Ottawa with 88 yards on eight catches while Ellingson also chipped in with eight receptions for a total of 66 yards.


    Stangby, stepping in for Kenny Shaw, who left early after apparently aggravating an injury suffered during training camp, was impressive in his CFL debut, making a highlight-reel touchdown grab and finishing his night with 61 yards on five catches.


    In the end, while the result isn’t what fans might hope for, Friday night’s contest produced 53 first downs and 853 yards of offence.


    The rematch will be played at Calgary’s McMahon Stadium on Thursday with plenty more fireworks expected.
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  24. #24  
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    Saturday’s six-pack


    — Golden State paid the Bulls $3.5M for the pick they grabbed Jordan Bell with.


    — Chris Paul, Blake Griffin both opted out of their contracts, are free agents.


    — Toronto Blue Jays are 0-9 this season when trying to get back to .500.


    — Orioles have allowed 5+ runs in 20 consecutive games, first team to do that since 1924.


    — Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell Jr was drafted #15 Thursday; his dad works in the Mets’ community relations office, so good for them.


    — RIP coach Frank Kush, who won 176 football games at Arizona State and is a main reason why ASU is now in the Pac-12. He also coached the Colts for three years.


    *************************


    Saturday’s List of 13: Random stuff with weekend here……


    13) Can you imagine being a high school/college pitcher, being really excited about the draft, and then being picked by the Colorado Rockies? Can’t be a good feeling- Coors Field is the worst pitchers’ park in the major leagues, thanks to the high altitude.


    12) Must be fun recruiting for teams at Fresno State these days, with alums Derek Carr, Aaron Judge and Paul George in the news so much, all for very good reasons.


    11) Miami Marlins batters swung at 71 of Max Scherzer’s pitches Wednesday; they missed 30 of them and got only two hits. Scherzer threw 118/121 pitches in his last two starts; you wonder if they’ll give him an extra day of rest, or make sure he is held under 100 pitches in his next start.


    Don’t want your meal ticket getting burned out in June, especially when you have such a big lead in your division.


    10) Mets’ TV guy Keith Hernandez was exasperated watching the Dodgers pummel the Mets this week; late Wednesday night, with LA way ahead of another game, Mets’ skipper Terry Collins was writing down some notes on a card.


    “What could he possibly be writing on that piece of paper?” Hernandez said.


    9) Dodgers are 21-4 when they hit 2+ homers in a game, 4-16 when they don’t hit any homers, 23-6 when they hit one.


    8) San Antonio is moving up from AA to AAA baseball next year; they’re going to get a new ballpark at some point. Sounds like Colorado Springs is out as a AAA city- hard to have your young pitchers throwing in high altitude, without losing their confidence.


    Amarillo is expected to take San Antonio’s place in the AA Texas League.


    7) NBA’s projected salary cap will come in at $99 million, $5M higher than last year, but about $2 million less than estimates in April. The crummy playoff season, with so many fewer games than there could’ve been, was blamed for the decrease.


    The luxury tax was lowered from $121 million to a projection of $119 million.


    6) When the Colorado Rockies had their expansion draft in 1992, two of the guys they picked are now major league managers— Joe Girardi and Brad Ausmus.


    5) Minnesota Twins/Cleveland Indians will play two regular season games in Puerto Rico next season.


    4) Kansas City Chiefs gave coach Andy Reid a contract extension, then surprisingly fired GM John Dorsey, who had been with the Chiefs for four years.


    3) Remember a few years ago, when a guy named Frank McCourt owned the Dodgers and got into a nasty divorce dispute involving the ball club with his future ex-wife? Well, that ex-wife is now going to be the US ambassador to Belgium. Hope she can get the baseball package on TV over there.


    2) IUPUI was invited to replace Valparaiso in the Horizon League. Valpo replaced Wichita State in the MVC, after the Shockers jumped to the AAC.


    1) Woman named Nina Skye was recently fired from her teaching job at a religiously-affiliated preschool in Los Angeles; the reason?


    Turns out Christian preschools aren’t fond of their teachers being porn stars.


    Whoops.
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  25. #25  
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    Saturday, June 24


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


    EDMONTON (11 - 9) at BRITISH COLUMBIA (13 - 7) - 6/24/2017, 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 4-1 against the spread versus EDMONTON over the last 3 seasons
    EDMONTON is 3-2 straight up against BRITISH COLUMBIA over the last 3 seasons
    3 of 5 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


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


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


    Saturday, June 24


    10:00 PM
    EDMONTON vs. BRITISH COLUMBIA
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Edmonton's last 6 games when playing on the road against British Columbia
    Edmonton is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against British Columbia
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of British Columbia's last 6 games at home
    British Columbia is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games


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


    CFL
    Dunkel


    Week 1



    Saturday, June 24


    Edmonton @ BC Lions


    Game 355-356
    June 24, 2017 @ 10:00 pm


    Dunkel Rating:
    Edmonton
    114.887
    BC Lions
    122.373
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    BC Lions
    by 7 1/2
    66
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    BC Lions
    by 3
    58
    Dunkel Pick:
    BC Lions
    (-3); Over


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