Montreal +2.5 at Edmonton O/U 51.5
There has been some significant line movement on the Edmonton side upon news that Montreal will be without RB Brandon Whitaker and WR Jamel Richardson ande RB Cory Boyd makes his anticipated debut with the Edmonton Eskimos. Edmonton has risen from an opener of -1 to -2.5. I don’t completely agree with it for a couple of reasons. The main reason I’m recommending the Alouettes despite those injuries is because I don’t believe Montreal QB Anthony Calvillo, the greatest QB in CFL history who leads the league in all-time passing yards, should be an underdog to a vastly inferior QB on the other side in Stephen Jyles.
Montreal has owned and dominated this series going 4-0 SU over the last two years. We saw Winnipeg take care of business last night in a win over Hamilton after they swept the season series last year. Sometimes when you have a team’s number, it can carry over. Those four Montreal wins over Edmonton in 2010 and 2011 came when Ricky Ray was the man under center for the Eskimos but now it’s the much less capable Jyles. This brief QB comparison gives you an idea of the disparity between these two starters: Calvillo has a strong 62.4 completion percentage, 13-4 TD-INT ratio and 2,001 passing yards. Jyles has a 59.6 completion percentage, 4-3 TD-INT ratio and 1,275 passing yards. In the limited playing time they’ve received, I’ve been impressed with the RB duo of Victor Anderson (Louisville) and Noel Devine (West Virginia). They will be splitting time in the backfield for the injured Brandon Whitaker. Edmonton’s defense gave up the most yards they have all season last week despite winning the game against Saskatchewan which to me indicates a potential sign of regression for what has been a largely dominant defense. Keep in mind Edmonton ranks 7th out of 8 CFL teams in pass defense allowing over 300 yards through the air per game and that’s a concern facing the prolific Calvillo. He still has plenty of weapons in the receiving corps with S.J. Green, Brandon London, Brian Bratton and Eric DesLauriers so the absence of Richardson shouldn’t completely hurt the Alouettes’ offense.
Montreal’s defense has struggled at times this season but they had their best performance in their last game two weeks ago and coming off a bye, I expect them to find the going a bit easier against Jyles. The spot is in Montreal’s favor here off a bye and they have the better QB so despite the injury concerns, I’m going to fade the steam here and recommend a small play on Montreal.