Calgary Stampeders Battle Alouettes In CFL Betting
By: Willie Bee
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Calgary’s McMahon Stadium will host two of the top Grey Cup contenders Saturday when the Montreal Alouettes visit the Stampeders. It’s the first of two meetings this season between squads that have won the last three CFL Championships and are a combined 84-37-1 since the beginning of the 2008 campaign.
Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. (PT) with CFL betting lines showing Calgary a slight 1-point favorite on the Don Best odds screen. Saturday’s game total is 55 points.
Calgary is presently nursing a slim half-game lead over Edmonton (5-3) in the West Division while the Alouettes trail Winnipeg (6-1) by a game in the East.
Montreal and Calgary are each coming off a bye week, with the Stampeders the only West Division side to be idle in Week 8. The Als and Stamps also enter the contest with identical 5-2 records both straight up and against the spread.
Having the week off was just what the doctor ordered for the Stampeders who were able to get a few of their injured starters healed up for this contest. Linebacker Juwan Simpson (knee) should return to action after missing Calgary’s previous two contests. Simpson is officially listed as questionable for Saturday’s game, but is expected to play.
Their most recent action saw the Stamps roll to a 45-35 win at Saskatchewan in Week 7. Calgary jumped out to a 31-14 lead at the half before withstanding a second-half assault by the Roughriders. The Stampeders were 2½-point favorites and the final tally easily jumped the 54-point total.
A perfect 4-0 on the CFL highway, Calgary has struggled at McMahon Stadium this campaign where the team has won just one of three. The Stampeders were tripped up by the Toronto Argonauts in the season opener, 23-21, and also dropped a 24-19 decision to Edmonton in Week 4.
Calgary’s lone home win this season came in Week 6 when they dumped Hamilton, 32-20, the contest the second of what is currently a 3-game win streak.
Montreal brings a 2-game winning streak into this match, the most recent victory a dominating performance at home in Week 7 over the Edmonton Eskimos, 27-4. The Larks stonewalled the Eskimos’ ground attack, holding Edmonton to -1 yard rushing in the triumph.
A repeat of that defensive effort would prove huge against a Calgary team that ranks second in the CFL in rushing.
Record-setting quarterback Anthony Calvillo had another big day for the Als, completing 19-of-33 passes for 261 yards and two scores. The two TD passes brought him to 400 for his illustrious career, most ever in CFL history and making him one of only four professional signal callers to reach the 400-TD plateau (Dan Marino, Brett Favre and Warren Moon).
Montreal is only listing one injury of note for Saturday’s tilt. Defensive lineman JP Bekasiak is questionable with sore ribs.
Home field was the secret recipe when the clubs met in 2010, splitting their two encounters with wins in front of the home crowds. Calgary trashed the Als in Week 14, 46-21, behind a 400-yard, 4-TD effort by quarterback Henry Burris. Montreal returned the favor a week later with a 46-19 thrashing of the Stamps.
The Stampeders will travel to Montreal in Week 18 for the final clash between the two this regular season.