CFL Division Finals Review: As Expected
Last week’s division semi-finals went as expected, with Montreal and BC coming out on top as the favorites. And they did it in different means. The Alouettes shut it down and held the Tiger-Cats to just 12 points. The total went under. Meanwhile, the Lions dropped 41 points over Calgary, with a CFL score surpassing 70 points.
This was the seventh of the last eight of Montreal’s games to go under their totals. The Alouettes’ defense have been hungry and has held opponents to 23 points an under since their 39-10 loss to Toronto. As for BC, 11 of its last 12 games have gone over the total, thanks to an explosive offense. The Lions scored 30+ points in nine of these games. Thus, CFL football expert picks tout the ‘over’ for their future games.
🏈 Alouettes vs Argonauts 🏈
Location: BMO Field, Toronto, ON
Records: Alouettes (12-7)/Argonauts (16-2)
Streaming: CBS Sports Network, CFL+
The Argonauts are whopping favorites per the 2023 CFL Division Finals odds. If you look at it on the moneyline, that’s -400. Whip out the betting odds calculator and that translates to an implied win probability of 80%. So, four out of five times, Toronto gets past Montreal here. Toronto is 6-1 in its last seven games against Montreal, however.
The Grey Cup champions also destroyed Montreal 38-10 in its last time playing it in BMO Field. Overall, Toronto is 9-1 against the spread (ATS) in its last 10 games at home. And it swept the entire division in the regular season: 10-0. Its only losses came against Winnipeg and Calgary. And both games saw starting quarterback Chad Kelly either not play or leave the game early.
The banged-up star was the highest-graded QB, according to Pro Football Focus. Toronto is unbeaten when he plays a full game. And despite Montreal’s surging defense, the total is set highly at 50.5 as Toronto scores nearly 33 points a game.
🏈 Lions vs Blue Bombers 🏈
Location: IG Field, Winnipeg, MB
Records: Lions (13-6)/Blue Bombers (14-4)
The more competitive matchup for the 2023 CFL Division Finals still sees Winnipeg, the favorite, as a -215 favorite. That’s a 68.3% chance of winning per an implied probability. And unlike Toronto-Montreal, the underdog here did actually beat the favorite at some point this season.
The Lions humbled the Blue Bombers early in the year by blowing them out 30-6 in their own stadium. Of course, Winnipeg retaliated and blew BC out when they returned: 50-14. And in their only meeting in Lions territory, Winnipeg also prevailed. Winnipeg is 7-2 ATS at home this season, and BC is 5-3-1 ATS as a visitor.
The total is set at 49.5 points despite the last two meetings being high-scoring affairs: totals of 60 and 64. At least one team has hit the 30-point mark in eight of their last 10 meetings. And that has usually been Winnipeg. But an offensive duel here would greatly benefit BC as quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. has arguably been just as prolific as Winnipeg’s Zach Collaros.