CFL Saturday: What bettors need to know

Sep 27, 2013 |
Calgary Stampeders at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (-2, 56.5)

The Calgary Stampeders are still alone atop the West Division despite a hard-fought home loss to the Toronto Argonauts last week. Calgary heads east to try to get back in the win column when they visit the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Guelph, Ont., on Saturday. Veteran quarterback Kevin Glenn got the start in place of Bo Levi Mitchell and injured pivot Drew Tate returned to the lineup for his first appearance since Week 2, but has yet to resume throwing in practice, creating a crowded situation under center.

Hamilton escaped Moncton with a nail-biting victory over the Montreal Alouettes to remain in second place in the East Division. Quarterback Henry Burris was held to fewer than 200 passing yards in an uncharacteristically mediocre performance, but Hamilton used a trick play and the strong running of backup quarterback Dan LeFevour to generate offense. The Tiger-Cats return to Guelph's Alumni Stadium, their home away from home, where they are 4-2.

TV: 6 p.m. ET, TSN

ABOUT THE STAMPEDERS (9-3): Slotback Marquay McDaniel leads the team with 643 receiving yards, taking the place of the injured Nik Lewis as Calgary’s top target. “Especially with Nik going down I figured I was going to see more balls,” McDaniel told the Calgary Herald on Monday. “So I just wanted to make sure I made plays when the opportunity came.” Offensive lineman Spencer Wilson is out with a concussion, meaning J’Michael Deane will likely take his place.

Brett Lauther was named special teams player of the week after making 4-of-4 field goal attempts in his CFL debut. Lauther replaced Luca Congi, who was 21-for-29 in field goal attempts - his least efficient season since 2007. Coach Kent Austin was not surprised by Lauther’s debut. "He has a past of making big kicks," Austin said after the game. "That's kind of his M.O."  Burris leads the league with 3,765 passing yards - more than he had in his entire final season with Calgary.


* Stampeders are 4-1 ATS in their last five road games.
* Tiger-Cats are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall.
* Under is 4-1 in Stampeders last five road games.
* Under is 6-2 in Tiger-Cats last eight home games.


1. Calgary RB Jon Cornish has 1,093 rushing yards - second in the league behind injured Saskatchewan Roughriders RB Kory Sheets (1,222).

2. Burris threw for 408 yards in Hamilton’s 26-22 loss at Calgary in Week 12.

3. The Stampeders are 5-1 against East Division opponents. Hamilton is 2-5 against the West Division.

Toronto Argonauts at Edmonton Eskimos (Pick, 53)

If results are any indication, the Toronto Argonauts might like to stay on the road forever. The Argonauts will try to win their sixth straight away game when they finish their trip through western Canada with a visit to the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday. Quarterback Zach Collaros is leading the East Division’s best offense while Ricky Ray recovers from injury, throwing for more than 1,800 yards and 12 touchdowns while rushing for four more.

The Eskimos are hoping home-and-home victories over the lowly Winnipeg Blue Bombers will help turn their season around. Quarterback Mike Reilly reached 3,000 passing yards after throwing for 418 in last week’s come-from-behind road victory and should enjoy a strong outing against a Toronto secondary that allows a league-high 297.7 passing yards per game. However, Edmonton is 1-5 at Commonwealth Stadium - something that will have to improve if the Eskimos hope to catch the Montreal Alouettes for a crossover playoff berth.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, TSN

ABOUT THE ARGONAUTS (8-4): Collaros and slotback Andre Durie both earned player of the week honours after last week’s 33-27 victory over the Calgary Stampeders. Collaros was 25-for-36 passing for 330 yards and four touchdowns to earn offensive player of the week, while Durie was named top Canadian after catching nine passes for 64 yards and one touchdown. “I think we have learned a little bit about Zach,” Toronto coach Scott Milanovich told on Tuesday. “We knew he had the ability to move the pocket and run the football some but I think what we are learning is he is a better pocket passer probably than he is given credit for.”

ABOUT THE ESKIMOS (3-9): Edmonton was finally on the right end of a close game after rallying from a 20-point deficit to defeat Winnipeg 35-27 in overtime, and coach Kavis Reed praised the team’s resiliency. “Exceptionally proud of this football team with the character that they have displayed this year,” Reed said when the team returned to Edmonton. “The guys on the sidelines, there were never any panic or any doubt that we were going to have an opportunity to win that football game.” Reilly is finding targets without slotback Cary Koch, who is on the nine-game injured list.


* Argonauts are 7-0 ATS in their last seven Saturday games.
* Over is 8-1-1 in Eskimos last 10 vs. a team with a winning record.
* Argonauts are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 meetings in Edmonton.
* Eskimos are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.


1. Ray, RB Chad Kackert and SB Chad Owens are all with the team in Edmonton despite injuries. Owens - an avid MMA fan - attended UFC 165 in Toronto last weekend.

2. Edmonton signed import WR Kemonte’ Bateman to its practice roster Wednesday. Bateman was recently released by the NFL’s Denver Broncos.

3. The CFL announced Wednesday that Eskimos LB Rennie Curran was fined an undisclosed amount for a dangerous hit in last week’s contest.

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