CALGARY STAMPEDERS vs. TORONTO ARGONAUTS (+2.5, 54.5)
WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 25, 6 p.m. ET
WHERE: Rogers Centre, Toronto
It was a wild weekend in college football that was full of upsets in big games. That trend also proved true north of the border.
Both the Toronto Argonauts and Calgary Stampeders pulled out huge wins as pups Sunday and will battle it out in Toronto for the 100th edition of the Grey Cup on November 25.
Until 1954, the Grey Cup was almost played exclusively in Toronto, because the largest stadium in Canada at the time (Varsity Stadium) was located in the city. Since the CFL was established in 1958, a team has enjoyed home-field advantage in the big game 10 times, posting a 4-6 straight-up record. Not exactly a stellar record in your own backyard.
The majority of CFL fans reside in Western Canada and make it a yearly
tradition to travel to the host city, regardless of whether or not the
teams they support are involved in the big game.
“The Grey Cup venue is decided in advance so it doesn't necessarily mean the host has the edge as they could have just backed into the final game,” says Covers Expert Matt Fargo. “I think it needs to be looked at in a different way than as a regular season game since the stadium will not consist of just the home team’s fans.
The Stampeders opened as 1.5-point faves at 5Dimes, with the total set at 54.5, against a Toronto squad that is a CFL-best 15-6 in Grey Cup games. The Argos have appeared in 12 Grey Cups in the city of Toronto (including the pre-CFL era) and came out on top in nine of those contests. Calgary is 6-6 all-time in the championship tilt, with its last win coming over Montreal back in 2008.
“This week, I think the home field is bigger than normal because Toronto
is playing so well heading into the game and with this being the 100th
edition, it gives some added spark to the game,” Fargo notes. “That
being said, I think the right team is favored though, as Calgary is
coming in as the hotter team with the better record and the better
Toronto enters on a red-hot 4-0 SU and ATS run overall and has owned Calgary in their last five meetings, going 5-0 SU and ATS. But the real value in this game may lie with the over. The Argos have played over the number in four of their last five games while the Stamps are 6-0 over/under in their last six overall.
Aron Black, oddsmaker at bet365.com, anticipates an increased amount of action on this weekend's game.
"The Grey Cup won't take as much (action) as an NFL game on primetime, but it will have a lot more action than a regular season game," notes Black. "I would expect to see around 4-5 times as much action at least over a regular game. We won't change our oddsmaking, but we will book as we normally do, to any sort of leans we have towards any team."
The following CFL teams have played in a Grey Cup game held in the team's city:
1963 B.C. Lions (Vancouver) (loss- 21-10)
1972 Hamilton Tiger-Cats (win- 13-10)
1977 Montreal Alouettes (win- 41-6)
1979 Montreal Alouettes (loss- 17-9)
1982 Toronto Argonauts (loss- 32-16)
1983 B.C. Lions (Vancouver) (loss- 18-17)
1994 B.C. Lions (Vancouver) (win- 26-23)
2002 Edmonton Eskimos (loss- 25-16)
2008 Montreal Alouettes (loss- 22-14)
2011 B.C. Lions (win- 34-23)