Saskatchewan +7.5 at Montreal O/U 51
Now that +7’s and even a handful of +7.5’s have become available, I think a bet on Saskatchewan is warranted in tonight’s CFL season opener between the Roughriders and Alouettes. Saskatchewan was tied with Toronto for the worst record in the CFL last season at 5-13 but in spite of that, they still managed a respectable 9-9 ATS mark. Saskatchewan’s training camp and preseason was a whole lot of ugly with Vince Young suffering a torn hamstring which ended his CFL comeback before it could even begin. As a whole, the Roughriders’ starting offense and defense both took turns struggling to perform at a high level.
Saskatchewan has a new starting quarterback with the veteran Kevin Glenn at the controls after the trade of Darian Durant who is now with Montreal. The Riders do have a good amount of talent at the skill positions and their offensive line should be better but the defense was abysmal last season and didn’t exactly play all that well in their two preseason games. Having said all that, I’m not sure there is anything about the Montreal Alouettes, who are coming off their own turmoil filled and mediocre season, that warrants this type of pointspread. Durant is definitely an upgrade at the position but this team improved its offense potentially at the expense of their defense which has been a rock solid stop unit in recent years. Montreal had to cut loose a bunch of their defensive personnel in the offseason as they said goodbye to linebackers Winston Venable and Bear Woods, defensive linemen Aaron Lavarious and Alan-Michael Cash and safety Marc-Olivier Brouillette. And while they still have veterans John Bowman and Chip Cox, there is a chance the Alouettes defense could take a step back in 2017 especially since Bowman and Cox are now well into their 30’s and may decline. I understand the reluctance to back Saskatchewan but Montreal has plenty of question marks of its own. Given the West Division’s dominance over the East last season, I think taking the points with the Riders here is a worthy wager.