Winnipeg and Toronto Favored for Grey Cup
The penultimate week of the 2022 CFL season is here known as the Divisional Finals. The two-time defending champions, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers host the British Columbia (BC) Lions as the 4.5-point favorites. And on the Eastern side, the Toronto Argonauts are favored by 3.5 points to beat the Montreal Alouettes as the hosts. The 2022 CFL division odds favor the home teams who are 2-0 thus far in the postseason.
Montreal Alouettes vs Toronto Argonauts
Date; Time & Streaming:
Location: BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario
Alouettes Flourish on the Road… Not in Toronto
The Alouettes handled business at home against Hamilton. Now, they must take out the Argonauts as the road underdogs (+145). Montreal is comfortable as a visitor having won five of its last six games as one. The Als also won their last visit to Toronto (-165) even if both teams played their backups. However, this victory was just one of two from their last six trips to BMO Field (2-6).
Montreal will be facing an uphill climb in Toronto as the home team has won nearly 70 percent of the time in the Eastern Finals since 1973 (32-14). Toronto itself is 31-16-1 (65.6 percent) at home in the postseason. However, the 2022 CFL division odds may favor Montreal if quarterback Trevor Harris can outplay his counterpart, McLeod Bethel-Thompson.
Harris is the more experienced QB here with a 3-3 record in the playoffs as a starter. Bethel-Thompson has yet to win a playoff game as a starter (0-1). Montreal’s signal caller was also named the CFL’s Top Performer for October as he completed 75.5 percent of his passing attempts for 992 yards and four scores in three games. Against Hamilton, Harris completed nearly 80 percent of his throws for 243 yards and a touchdown and pick each.
But despite Harris’s recent productive play, it could be the defenses who dictate this game. Defenses have been controlling Montreal-Toronto games. Hence, 17 of the last 25 games between these teams have gone under the total – set at 48 points for this game. Toronto’s defense led the regular season in turnovers forced (48).
Argos’ running back Andrew Harris will also return to action after missing the last 10 games. Toronto went 4-4 with Harris. A.J. Oulette is likely to remain the main back as he has been “playing unreal” as Harris said.
BC Lions vs Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Location: IG Field, Winnipeg, Manitoba
The Biggest Game of the Season?
With all due respect to the Eastern Final and the Grey Cup next week, this is the game most fans have looked forward to. The rematch will pit Nathan Rourke, the Canadian quarterback messiah, in his second attempt to take out the dynasty – the Blue Bombers. BC is a moderate underdog (+175) while Winnipeg (-210) is favored both in this game and per the Grey Cup odds.
Rourke was tearing up the league before he got hurt in Week 9. With the 24-year-old, BC went 8-2. Their only losses came against Winnipeg. But beyond Rourke, the Lions have struggled against the Bombers. BC is just 1-6 in its last seven games against Winnipeg on both the spread and moneyline.
Winnipeg, on the other hand, is also 5-0 in the postseason with Zach Collaros. The team has been nigh-unbeatable with the reigning Most Outstanding Player (MOP) and Grey Cup MVP. He finished this regular season as the league leader in most quarterbacking stats like passing yards (4,183) and touchdowns (37). But Rourke would have eclipsed him had he stayed healthy.
“This is what we wanted, right? This is our chance to knock off the dynasty in the CFL,” Rourke said looking ahead to this game against Winnipeg.
Rourke completed 7-of-11 passes for 68 yards in his final meeting with Winnipeg just before the postseason. The Lions lost as the Bombers remained atop the CFL standings for 2022. But the rising Canadian superstar followed it up with a marvelous showing against Calgary: 22-of-30 passing for 321 yards and two touchdowns.
But despite our focus on these star quarterbacks, these teams also have the two best defenses. Both allow fewer than 20.7 points against offenses. It’s no wonder that the totals, set at 49.5 in this game, have gone under in 13 of Winnipeg’s last 18 home games so this could trend below the 2022 CFL division odds.Follow us on Twitter
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