Cnotes 2017 Canadian Football League Picks/Trends/News thru Grey Cup !!

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    TORONTO – The road to the 105th Grey Cup is set to begin as CFL ON TSN primes fans for the kickoff of the 2017 CFL season with exclusive live coverage of four pre-season games.

    TSN, the exclusive broadcaster of the CFL, begins its pre-season coverage with Thursday Night Football matchup featuring the Hamilton Tiger-Cats battling the defending Grey Cup champion Ottawa Redblacks, live in 4K Ultra HD, Thursday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET on TSN.
    The CFL on TSN pre-season broadcast schedule is as follows:[/B]

    DATE TIME (ET) TEAMS NETWORKS Thu. June 8 7:30pm Hamilton at Ottawa TSN3, TSN4, TSN5, TSN4K, ESPN3 Sun. June 11 7:00pm Calgary at Edmonton TSN, ESPN3 Thu. June 15 7:30pm Ottawa at Montreal TSN2, RDS, ESPN3 Fri. June 16 10:00pm Saskatchewan at BC TSN, ESPN3

    Fans can also tune in to TSN Radio stations across the country for comprehensive CFL ON TSN pre-season game coverage on-air, online, and on the go through the TSN GO and iHeartRadio mobile apps. Live radio coverage of the pre-season includes both games featuring the Redblacks on TSN 1200 Ottawa, the Lions game on TSN 1040 Vancouver, the Ticats game on TSN 1150 Hamilton, and the Alouettes game on TSN 690 Montreal.

    TSN and RDS are the exclusive Canadian broadcasters of the CFL, delivering live coverage of every regular season game, complete playoff coverage, and the 105th Grey Cup presented by Shaw live from TD Place Stadium in Ottawa on November 26, 2017.


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    [B][I]Vince Young signs with CFL’s Roughriders
    March 9, 2017[/I][/B]

    REGINA, Saskatchewan (AP) Vince Young has signed with the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders.

    The 33-year-old former Texas and NFL quarterback agreed Thursday to a two-year deal – one year, plus an option. He last played in an NFL regular-season game in 2011 with Philadelphia and retired in 2014 after being released by Cleveland.

    ”I wouldn’t say a comeback. I’d just say an opportunity,” Young said. ”I always wanted to play football again, but didn’t know how it was going to happen. God always works in mysterious ways.”

    The 6-foot-5, 232-pound Young was 30-2 at Texas and led the Longhorns to the national title with a Rose Bowl victory over South California. He was drafted third overall in 2006 by the Tennessee Titans and was NFL’s top rookie and a Pro Bowl selection that season.

    ”It’s certainly a different game,” said Chris Jones, Saskatchewan’s head coach and general manager, said about the CFL. ”It’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment but again we’ve got mini-camp and (training) camp and I’m fully confident that he can make that adjustment.”

    Young stressed that he’s not taking the Canadian league or its players for granted.

    ”It’s football and when you put on that helmet you can get your head knocked off out there,” he said. ”I always respect the game . . . because you know what players go through behind the scenes. We’re human and we live life as well so I respect each and every last guy who plays this game. … My focus is being the best teammate I can be, the best guy in the community here. I’m thinking about trying to win games and trying to win a Grey Cup.”


    • Author


    TORONTO — As pre-season kick off, many familiar faces are hitting the field with their teams.

    Some stars, however, will have to wait, including the likes of Bo Levi Mitchell, Zach Collaros, Darian Durant — and now, it appears, Vince Young, who suffered a hamstring injury on Tuesday.

    Who’s sitting and who’s starting? With the depth charts filtering in, has the latest on recent signings, injuries and position battles in this week’s Checking Down:


    – While the Lions’ O-line struggled, Wally Buono said he was disappointed with the three backup quarterbacks in the team’s pre-season loss to Calgary Tuesday (

    – According to Lowell Ullrich, the Lions are so confident in Swayze Waters that they offered backup kicker Ty Long to the Ticats in a trade last week (Lowell Ullrich, 3 Down Nation).


    – With the Grey Cup awarded to Edmonton, Len Rhodes says ticket prices will range from $99 to $299 for season ticket holders (Terry Jones, Edmonton Journal).

    – Mike Reilly has changed his number for Sunday’s pre-season game to honour former Eskimos legend Larry Highbaugh, who also wore #13 (

    – Travon Van has returned to the practice field for the Eskimos while Marcell Young, Forrest Hightower and Shamawd Chambers remain out (Morley Scott, CHED).



    – Jameer Thurman has transferred his techniques from wrestling to football and on Tuesday it showed as his two sacks made him a top performer (George Johnson,

    – Has Andrew Buckley taken a firm grip of the No. 2 job? tracks all of the quarterbacks this pre-season (

    – While Roy Finch’s job doesn’t appear to be in danger, the Stamps appear to have a number of options after some strong showings in the return game Tuesday night (Daniel Austin, Calgary Herald).

    – There are areas to improve, but Stamps head coach Dave Dickenson says Tuesday night’s result was encouraging for his team (Daniel Austin, Calgary Herald).


    – According to Rod Pedersen, Chris Jones has confirmed that Vince Young will not play in Saturday’s pre-season game (Rod Pedersen, CKRM).

    – The Riders have shipped national offensive lineman Matt Vonk to the Alouettes in exchange for defensive back Denzel Radford (

    – Could Young’s injury spell an end to his professional football comeback? Dave Campbell speculates that could be the case (Dave Campbell, CHED).

    – While he’s turned heads at camp this week, Jenson Stoshak was famous for other reasons before joining the Saskatchewan Roughriders (Murray McCormick, Regina Leader-Post).



    – When he’s not officiating in the CFL, Brian Chrupalo is making split-second decisions on the streets of north Winnipeg. This fall, he’ll be taking his game to Lambeau Field (Chris O’Leary,

    – The Bombers continue to be without Maurice Leggett, who Mike O’Shea says will likely sit both pre-season games. Taylor Loffler, meanwhile, has returned to practice (Ed Tait,



    – Some key Ticats will not play in the team’s pre-season opener Thursday, including Zach Collaros, C.J. Gable, Terrence Toliver, Ryan Bomben, Simoni Lawrence, John Chick and Ted Laurent (Drew Edwards, The Hamilton Spectator).

    – Everett Golson could be next in line as the Ticats’ developmental quarterback — but first he has to earn the opportunity. Golson should get an extended look Thursday (Drew Edwards, 3 Down Nation).

    – The Ticats’ unique approach to training camp, with ‘recovery days’ built in, appears to be working — at least if you ask the veterans (Morning Scrum, TSN 1150).


    – According to Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons, the Argos’ biggest off-season addition was Marc Trestman on the sidelines (Naylor and Landsberg, TSN 1050).

    – Argos camp pivot McLeod Bethel-Thompson, originally acquired from the Bombers’ negotiation list, has impressed in training camp thus far (Justin Dunk, 3 Down Nation).



    – The REDBLACKS have revealed that Trevor Harris will get at least some snaps in the team’s pre-season game on Thursday, followed by Drew Tate and Ryan Lindley (

    – Kenny Shaw and Nolan MacMillan are among players not dressing for the REDBLACKS on Thursday (Tim Baines, Ottawa Sun).

    – For Darryl Paul, the $100 fee to attend a tryout camp in San Jose turned out to be well worth it. Now he’s in camp trying to earn a roster spot (Tim Baines, Ottawa Citizen).


    – With Darian Durant sitting, Vernon Adams will draw the start at quarterback for the Als in Thursday’s pre-season game (Herb Zurkowsky, Montreal Gazette).

    – Justin Dunk is reporting that former second round pick Mikael Charland, recently released by the REDBLACKS, has signed with the Alouettes (Justin Dunk, 3 Down Nation).

    – Former NFL receiver T.J. Graham has brought track star speed to the Alouettes this camp (Herb Zurkowsky, Montreal Gazette).

    – For past CFL first round pick Devon Bailey, he knows his grace period in the league is over — that he’ll have to produce quickly with the Als (Herb Zurkowsky, Montreal Gazette).


    • Author

    [B][I]Future Best Bets
    June 15, 2017[/I][/B]

    [B]2017 CFL Futures
    Now that the NHL and NBA playoffs have concluded, and the MLB season is entering the dog days of summer, many bettors are shifting their focus to the upcoming football season. 99% of that is NFL based, but for those up in Canada (or fans of the CFL anywhere), they’ll be quick to tell you that the 2017 CFL season gets going in a week and it can be great for those who want to scratch that itch of watching/betting on football games.

    Last year it was the underdog story of the Ottawa Redblacks who came away with a Grey Cup victory in an all-time classic championship game with Calgary, but the defending champs from Canada’s capital lost their starting QB Henry Burris to retirement and have turned things over to the very capable Trevor Harris.

    Currently it’s those Calgary Stampeders who are favorites to claim the title this year (+325) and that shouldn’t be too surprising given the core of their roster is back and they were nearly double-digit favorites in that Grey Cup vs. Ottawa.

    But will the Stampeders get redemption this year, or should bettors set their sites on other squads that could very well make a run just like the Ottawa Redblacks did in 2016?

    [B]CFL Grey Cup Odds – per[/B]

    You can find the full list of Grey Cup odds for the nine teams in the CFL here, but there are two teams – one from each division that I want to focus on today.

    BC Lions (+500) – The Lions come in right behind Calgary as the favorites to go all the way in 2017 and rightfully so. BC made it to the Western Final last year against those Stampeders, but a 1st half blitz by Calgary turned that game into a blowout rather quickly. There is no chance that BC has forgotten about how their 2016 season ended, and with all their key contributors suiting up in the orange and black this year, we could see 2017 turn out to be a year of redemption for this team out West. Things won’t be easy for them as they’ve still got to find a way to get through Calgary, and the two teams behind them in the odds for the Grey Cup – Edmonton (+550) and Saskatchewan (+600) – are in the West as well.

    Yet, what may be interesting to note here is the fact that the last three Grey Cup champions all lost in the Grey Cup or Conference Final the year before – typically in blowout fashion – and that’s a scenario the Lions fit exactly in 2017. Come playoff time in November, you can expect the Lions to be making a lot of noise.

    Montreal Alouettes (+750) – Unlike BC, Montreal did not have much success a year ago, but they were still a win away from getting into the playoffs where anything can happen. It’s been a few down years in a row for the Alouettes as they’ve transitioned to the post-Anthony Calvillo era, but they hope to rectify that in 2017.

    Montreal made the biggest move of the off-season when they acquired former Saskatchewan QB Darian Durant from the Roughriders, hoping that Durant can stay healthy and recapture his past glory. Durant and Calvillo were epic rivals in 2009-10 when Saskatchewan and Montreal met in consecutive Grey Cups against one another. Calvillo and Montreal came out on top in both instances, but now with Calvillo on the sidelines as an Alouettes coach and Durant on the field, those two great QB minds are working together to turn this thing around in Montreal.

    In general, the East is going to be the weaker of the two divisions this year and that is good news for Montreal. They’ve still got a deep stable of talented receivers Durant can use at his disposal, and after consecutive years of battling one another for a championship, you know Calvillo and Durant are excited to work together towards that same goal. East teams aren’t getting that much respect to begin the year, but as we saw with Ottawa in 2016, anything can happen in a one-game playoff contest and 2017 could very well be the Alouettes time to re-assert themselves as the best organization in the league.


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    [B][I]QB Young released by CFL’s Roughriders
    June 17, 2017[/I][/B]

    Former NFL quarterback Vince Young’s tenure in the Canadian Football League has been derailed by a torn hamstring.

    Young was released by the Saskatchewan Roughriders, his agent, Leigh Steinberg, announced Saturday via Twitter.

    The injury was sustained by Young during a practice session and the team said earlier this week that he was expected to miss four to six weeks.

    However, Steinberg tweeted Saturday that the hamstring was torn and his client was waived because of the time it will take to heal.

    The 34-year-old Young signed a two-year, non-guaranteed contact with the Roughriders three months ago. He was expected to compete for a backup job behind starting quarterback Kevin Glenn.

    The last time Young played in a game was during the 2013 NFL preseason with the Green Bay Packers, who released him before the regular season started. Young’s last regular-season game was in 2011 for the Philadelphia Eagles. He retired from the NFL after the Cleveland Browns released him in 2014.

    Young was the No. 3 overall pick by the Tennessee Titans in the 2006 NFL Draft. He played in the Pro Bowl in 2006 and 2009.

    At Texas, Young led the Longhorns to the national championship, scoring the winning touchdown in the final seconds of a 41-38 win over USC on Jan. 4, 2006.


    • Author

    [B][I]CFL Betting Notes – Week 1
    June 19, 2017[/I][/B]

    Football is back ‘north of the border’ with the start of the 2017 CFL regular season. Week 1 is highlighted by a rematch of last season’s Grey Cup title game between the Calgary Stampeders, out of the West Division and the East’s Ottawa RedBlacks. Calgary cruised through the regular season right to the title game, but the Stampeders were stunned by Ottawa in overtime 39-33 as 9 ½-point favorites.

    CFL futures are backing Calgary again as a 13/4 favorite to win the 2017 Grey Cup followed by British Columbia at 4/1 and the Edmonton Eskimos as 9/2 third favorites. It is time to get things started with the following Week 1 matchups (all records listed are from the 2016 regular season).

    [B]Thursday, June 22

    Saskatchewan Roughriders (5-13, 9-9 ATS) vs. Montreal Alouettes (7-11 SU, 9-9 ATS)
    Point-spread: Montreal -6
    Total: 50 ½[/B]

    [B]Game Overview[/B]

    It was a rough year for Saskatchewan in 2016, but it did show some positive signs for the future with a four-game winning streak towards the end of the season both straight-up and against the spread. Veteran CFL quarterback Kevin Glenn joined the Roughriders this past offseason and if he can remain healthy for an entire 18-game schedule they should be able to improve on a very disappointing five-win season. Defense could still be an issue after allowing an average of 29.4 points per game in 2016.

    The outlook for Montreal is also trending up after missing the playoffs last season in the East Division. The Alouettes did take some steps to build on a defense that allowed an average of 23 PPG, which was ranked second only to Calgary. The biggest change for this season is at the quarterback position with another CFL veteran switching uniforms. Darian Durant will take over as the team’s starter with Vernon Adams Jr. waiting in the wings. The addition of Earnest Jackson along with last season’s leading receiver Nik Lewis gives Durant some solid options in the passing game.

    [B]Betting Trends[/B]

    — Montreal has a 8-2 edge ATS in the last 10 meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in 16 of its last 21 home games against Saskatchewan.

    [B]Friday, June 23

    Calgary Stampeders (15-2-1 SU, 13-5 ATS) vs. Ottawa RedBlacks (8-9-1 SU, 7-11 ATS)
    Point-spread: Calgary -2 ½
    Total: 55[/B]

    [B]Game Overview[/B]

    Calgary remains loaded on both sides of the ball heading into this Grey Cup rematch and it is probably chomping at the bit to avenge that loss after clearly establishing itself as the best team in the league. Bo Levi Mitchell is back under center after leading the CFL in touchdown throws in 2016 with 32 against just eight interceptions. Also returning are most of his top weapons in receivers DaVaris Daniels, Marquay McDaniel and Kamar Jordan while Jerome Messam is back to anchor the ground game.

    The RedBlacks won the CFL title in 2016 with losing record in the regular season and their futures odds to repeat at 8/1 suggest a step backwards this year. Trevor Harris is firmly established as Ottawa’s starting quarterback and getting this team off to a fast start with another upset against Calgary could rest squarely on his ability to put some points on the board early and often.

    [B]Betting Trends[/B]

    — Calgary has covered ATS in five of its last seven games against Ottawa and the total has gone OVER or ended as a PUSH in the last five meetings.

    [B]Saturday, June 24

    Edmonton Eskimos (10-8 SU, 9-9 ATS) vs. British Columbia Lions (12-6 SU, 13-5 ATS)
    Point-spread: BC -2 ½
    Total: 58[/B]

    [B]Game Overview[/B]

    Edmonton was a crossover team in the playoffs last season and after getting past Hamilton in the East Semifinal it came up short against Ottawa in the East Division Final. Mike Reilly is back at quarterback after leading the league in total passing yards with 5,554. He was second on the list in touchdown throws with 28. Adarius Bowman still figures to be one of his top targets in the passing game, but age becomes a concern at 32-years old. The loss of wide receiver Derel Walker could be an even bigger concern for the Eskimos.

    BC made it all the way to the West Finals as the second-best team in that division and it should be right in the mix again this season with quarterback Jonathon Jennings leading the way. The one concern with him is turnovers after throwing a league-high 15 interceptions to go along with his 27 touchdown throws last year. The big plus for the Lions this season is the addition of Chris Williams, who was with Ottawa last season.

    [B]Betting Trends[/B]

    — BC has covered the spread in five of its last six home games against Edmonton and it holds a 4-1 edge ATS in the last five meetings overall. The total stayed UNDER in both meetings last season.

    [B]Sunday, June 25

    Hamilton Tiger-Cats (7-11 SU, 6-12 ATS) vs. Toronto Argonauts (5-13 SU, 5-13)
    Point-spread: Hamilton -4
    Total: 53[/B]

    [B]Game Overview[/B]

    Hamilton had won six previous matchups against its bitter division rivals (both SU and ATS) until suffering a 33-21 loss last season in early September as a 6 ½-point road favorite. The Tiger-Cats will look to a healthy Zach Collaros to avenge that loss and get this season off to a strong start. If Collaros can stay off the injured list in 2017, this team has the talent to win the East, but given his recent history that could be a big if. Jeremiah Masoli has already proved that he can also run this offense after throwing for 2,695 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2016.

    The Argonauts slipped to last place in the East and the chances of turning things around are not all that promising with the longest odds on the board to win a CFL title at 15/1. Ricky Ray is another veteran quarterback that needs to prove that he can stay on the field, but Toronto’s lack of quality receivers could be an even bigger concern for this offense. The Argonauts could also take their lumps on the other side of the ball with a defense that dead last in the league in 2016 when it came to total points allowed (568).

    [B]Betting Trends[/B]

    — Hamilton has gone 6-1 ATS in its last seven road games against Toronto and the total has gone OVER or ended as a PUSH in four of the last five meetings overall.


    • Author

    [B][I]JUNE 19, 2017


    TORONTO — is tracking all of this weekend’s roster moves as teams are required to reduce their roster to 46 active players. Today and tomorrow officially marks the transition from training camp to regular season prep. Stay linked throughout the weekend for updates as team rosters get fine-tuned.

    Here are a few notable stipulations regarding the roster moves for today:

    – All teams need to have their active rosters down to 46 players by 10:00pm ET on Saturday, June 17th.
    – The 46 contract players excludes any players on the 6-game injured list and 1-game injured list
    – A total of 3 of the 46 players identified must be quarterbacks
    – Of the remaining 43 players, a club must carry a minimum of 21 National players
    – Up to 10 Practice roster players can be added at any time as of Sunday.


    After a number of releases on Friday night, the Alouettes made their final cuts on Saturday with a list that includes Jovon Johnson, Don Unamba and Wayne Moore.

    Released: RB Dillon Campbell, LB Josh Furman, FB Isaac Lauzon, OL Aundrey Walker, WR Danny Anthrop, LS Chad Bushley, OL Quinterrius Eatmon, DB Tyran Finley, OL Mathu Gibson, RB Jonah Hodges, DB Jovon Johnson, LB Tabari McGaskey, DB Jalen Rogers, DB Donald Unamba, RB Wayne Moore.

    Practice Roster: DT Daniel Awoleke, WR Malcolm Carter, WR T.J. Graham DB Travis Hawkins, OL Sean Jamieson, OL Kyler Kerbyson, DL Ventral McMillan, WR Deandre Reaves, FB Oumar Touré, WR Eugene Lewis

    Players added to the six-game injured list: TBA


    The Winnipeg Blue Bombers made a few cuts on Friday and then followed with another round Saturday afternoon. The most notable being Kenny Stafford who was let go by the blue and gold after signing as a free agent in the off-season. Later in the afternoon he signed with the Eskimos.

    Released: WR Kenny Stafford, WR Justice Liggins, OL Trevan Brown, OL Cody Speller, LB Nick Temple, DB Darnell Walker Jr., DB back Matt Smalley, OL Zachary Intzandt, LB Kyrie Wilson, DB Sam Brown, WR Daniel Williams, WR Gerrard Sheppard, DL Shayon Green, WR Brendon Thera-Plamondon, RB Kendall Roberson, DL Rupert Butcher, DL Ian Marouf, DB Chris Greenwood

    Practice Roster: OL Qadr Spooner, WR Derek Yachison, LB Frank Renaud, Dl Padric Scott, LB Jovan Santos-Knox, K Felix Menard-Briere, DB Abu Conteh, WR TJ Thorpe, DB Robert Porter

    Players added to the six-game injured list: TBA

    The Stampeders revealed their cuts on Saturday night, including quarterback Mitchell Gale and Canadian defensive lineman Ben D’Aguilar. Also among those released are Reggie Begelton and Jacobi Green, both of whom enjoyed productive pre-seasons with the Stamps, as well as Canadian defensive back Chris Rwabukamba.

    Released: QB Mitchell Gale, WR Reggie Begelton, WR A.J. Cruz, DL Ben D’Aguilar, OL Devonte Danzey, OL Felix Gacusana, RB Jacobi Green, DL Kingsley Ibeh, DB Tre Jones, DL Jeff Luc, OL Antoine McClain, LB Evan McKelvey, OL Mike McQueen, WR Jamal Nixon, DB Joel Ross, DB Chris Rwabukamba, WR Kevin Smith

    Practice Roster: DL Michael Kashak, WR Julan Lynch, WR Marken Michel, RB Ante Milanovic-Litre, OL Justin Renfrow, DL Mike Rose, DB Jordan Sefon, DL James Vaughters, RB Terry Williams

    Returning to School: DL Alexandre Gagnon, DB Adam Laurensse, WR Richard Sindani

    Players added to the six-game injured list: TBA


    The REDBLACKS didn’t announce their cuts until Sunday morning and some big names were involved, including running back Shakir Bell and receiver Tori Gurley.

    Gurley couldn’t crack Ottawa’s deep receiving corps while running back William Powell, coming off a season-ending Achilles injury a year ago, showed enough in camp to hold down the position along with fellow international Mossis Madu.

    Released: WR Daniel Adams, DB Javier Arenas, OL Randy Beardy, RB Shakir Bell, DL John Biewald, OL Pierce Burton, DB Armagedon Draughn, DL Mathieu Dupuis, OL Jordan Filippelli, WR Tori Gurley, OL Daniel Hayes, DL Adrian Hubbard, RB Ed Ilnicki, DB Adrian James, WR Daje Johnson, WR Vernon Johnson, OL Lene Maiava, WR Bilal Marshall, DB Doug Moss, DL Darryl Paulo, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, DL Greg Townsend, QB Austin Trainor, DL Mike Wakefield, WR Riley Wilson

    Retired: WR Jamal Kett

    Practice Roster: DB Sherrod Baltimore, LB Kevin Brown, QB Danny Collins, DL Avery Ellis, WR Austen Hartley, LB Kevin Jackson, OL Eric Lofton, WR Dominique Rhymes, OL Ryan Schmidt, DB Corey Tindal

    Players added to the six-game injured list: TBA

    [B][I]BC LIONS[/I][/B]

    The BC Lions announced their cuts around 1:30 local time. Gone are a pair of receivers and a pair of offensive linemen but no major surprises out of Vancouver.

    Released: WR Brett Blaszko, WR Douglas McNeil, WR R.J. Harris, DB Mondo Williams, FB Nate O’Halloran, OL Aaron Epps, OL Nate Isles

    Practice Roster: FB Dakota Brush, DB Nate Hamlin, DB Tevin McDonald, DL Luther Maddy, DL Ken Boatright, RB Tyler Davis, WR Maurice Morgan

    Players added to the six-game injured list: TBA


    The Hamilton Tiger-Cats released 23 players on Saturday evening with the most notable cuts coming in the secondary with defensive backs Dominique Ellis and TJ Lee among those let go.

    Released: DB V’Angelo Bentley, OL Malcolm Bunche, WR Gary Chambers, DB Dominique Ellis, P/K Anthony Fera, RB Alex Green, DB Jabari Gorman, QB Cody Keith, WR Jay Lee, DB Travis Lee, DB Keith Lewis, DT Claudell Louis, DE Tyriq McCord, DE Ryan Mueller, DB Cheatham Norrils, OL Kona Schwenke, DB Solomon St. Pierre, LB Matt Wells, OL Palmer White, OL Torian White, LB Corey Williams, DB Khalid Wooten

    Practice Roster: WR Damarr Aultman, OL Brett Golding, DT Jason Neill, OL Kay Okafor, WR Jalen Saunders, WR Jacob Scarfone, RB Sean Thomas-Erlington

    Players added to the six-game injured list: TBA


    The Argos made two waves of cuts on Saturday with the most significant one being quarterback Drew Willy who came over in a trade last year from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The Argos also parted ways with sophomore DB Aaron Berry. Berry started regularly in 2016 and was considered a likely starter at corner, while in pre-season the CFL sophomore returned an interception for a touchdown in a win over the Alouettes.

    Released: DB Larry Scott, LB Kamario McFadden, LB Terrell Richardson, DB Davonte Neal, DB Tremain Jacobs, DB Aaron Berry, DL Theiren Cockran, WR Joe Morgan, WR Ed Eagan, WR Ralph Abernathy, OL Ryan Mack, LS Joseph Iatzko, DB Marcus Alford, DB Cariel Brooks, DB Qudarius Ford, WR Cole Watson, QB Drew Willy

    Practice Roster: DE Evan Foster, Manitoba, LB Justin Herdman, Simon Fraser, RB Martese Jackson, Florida Atlantic, WR Jamel Johnson, RB Cam McDaniel, LB Terrance Plummer, QB Dakota Prukop, DB Winston Rose, OL DJ Sackey, WR Malcolm Williams

    Players added to the six-game injured list: TBA

    The Riders made a number of cuts on Saturday with the most significant at the quarterback position, releasing Vince Young and Bryan Bennett. Other notables include veterans OL Jerriel King, WR Joe Craig and RB Anthony Allen.

    Released: QB Vince Young, QB Bryan Bennett, WR Joe Craig, DB Royce Adams, RB Anthony Allen, DB Zavian Bingham, DL Ivan Brown, DB Crezdon Butler, OL Terrence Campbell, LB Alexander Gagne, DB Warren Gatewood, LB Dillon Grondin, OL Jarriel King, WR Thomas Mayo, DL Greg Milhouse Jr., WR Desmond Reece, DL Jordan Reaves, DB Mark Roberts, WR Jenson Stoshak, RB Quincy Walden.

    Practice Roster: · WR Antwane Grant, DL Makana Henry, OL Eddie Meredith, DL D.J. Pettway, DB Denzel Radford, WR Joshua Stanford, LB Myke Tavarres

    Players added to the six-game injured list: TBA


    The Edmonton Eskimos announced their roster moves early Saturday evening but perhaps the most significant was not by subtraction but rather by addition, adding Kenny Stafford to their practice roster following his release from Winnipeg earlier in the day.

    Released: RB Johnny Augustin, WR Anthony Barrett, LS Casey Chin, LB DJ Lalama, DL Mark Mackie, DL Elie Ngoyi, FB Alex Ogbongbemiga, OL Cassidy Curtis, DB Ahmad Dixon, RB Marion Grice, WR John Harris, DL Ikponmwosa Igbinsoun, LB Jeremiah Kose, RB Kendial Lawrence, LB Trent Matthews, DB Solomon Means, OL Darius Morris, WR Jarvis Turner, WR Ladarius Vanlier, LB LaKeith Walls, WR Larry Cobb, DB Kent London, DL Rykeem Yates

    Practice Roster: OL Kwabena Asare, DB Andrew Lue, WR Scott MacDonell, OL D’Anthony Batiste, QB Zach Kline, DB Mercy Maston, DL Mike Moore, WR K.J. Maye, WR Kenny Stafford

    Players added to the six-game injured list: TBA


    • Author

    [B][I]Thursday’s six-pack
    — Indians 5, Orioles 1— Carrasco tossed six shutout innings for the Tribe.

    — Toronto 7, Texas 5— Blue Jays scored six runs in the first inning.

    — Los Angeles Dodgers have 28 home runs in their last 11 games.

    — Twins 4, White Sox 2— Berrios is 7-1, 2.67 for Minnesota.

    — Cardinals 7, Phillies 6 (10)- -Philly led 5-1 in sixth inning.

    — New Orleans Pelicans traded G Tim Frazier to the Washington Wizards for the No. 52 pick in tonight’s NBA Draft.


    [B][I]Thursday’s List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud…….[/I][/B]

    13) Miami 2, Washington 1— Nationals are way ahead in a weak NL East, but this was a tough loss. Max Scherzer had a no-hitter in the 8th inning, but gave up an infield hit that bounced off his glove, then Trea Turner bounced a throw to 1B for an error that kept the inning alive, before a wild pitch tied the game 1-1.

    Giancarlo Stanton hit Scherzer’s 119th pitch for a single to left that drove in the winning run.

    Scherzer and Nolan Ryan are now only two pitchers in history to go 8 IP, not give up an earned run, give up two or less hits, strike out at least 11 and lose the game.

    Game ended when Adam Lind was called out on strikes on a pitch that was a good six inches outside. Home plate ump Dana Demuth should be fined for that— I could care less who won the game, but to end the game on a pitch that bad was disgraceful.

    12) Odd news note #1 of the day: Police in Winfield, WV say a man found asleep in a stranger’s home has been charged with burglary.

    A homeowner called police dispatchers after finding a glass door broken in his house and a stranger asleep in his bed. The napping trespasser was charged with burglary and destruction of property.

    11) Surprising stat: Angels are 11-10 since Mike Trout got hurt; Braves are 16-17 since Freddie Freeman got hurt. Would’ve thought both teams would’ve done much worse.

    10) Matt Adams has been so productive for the Braves that when Freeman comes back from his wrist injury, he may give third base a try, to keep both bats in the lineup.

    9) Justin Verlander apparently thinks Major League Baseball has changed the actual baseball that is used in games- he says since the 2015 All-Star break, baseballs used are harder and also the seams are different, which has resulted in batted balls traveling farther.

    As soon as I typed this sentence, Ian Happ hit a home run at Wrigley. Maybe Verlander is right.

    8) Odd news note #2 of the day: A couple has gotten back nearly $100,000 they mistakenly donated to Goodwill Industries in Ohio.

    Two Goodwill employees in Zanesville, OH initially thought it was play money or counterfeit cash after finding $97,000 in hundred dollar bills in a duffel bag inside a box of clothes last week. The duffel bag also contained legal documents and the last will and testament for the couple. Oy.

    7) Best cumulative scores at the Hartford Open the last five years: Bubba Watson -52, Marc Leishman -43, Chris Stroud -41, Charley Hoffman -35. Ryan Moore -32

    6) When Dwight Howard plays for the Charlotte Hornets this fall, they’ll be his 5th team in the last seven years.

    5) Quote of the Day, part 2, from Browns’ QB Brock Osweiler:

    “The best part is I’m getting coached hard on my fundamentals. And I believe firmly that when your fundamentals and your feet are right as a quarterback, you’re going to make great decisions and you’re going to throw accurate footballs.

    I think that’s something that slid last season. I’m not going to go into great detail on that, but they did. My fundamentals slid, and because of that, you saw some poor decisions and some poor throws. If you go back to 2015, I feel like my fundamentals were pretty tight.”

    Coaches in Houston, Osweiler’s last stop, should just love that quote.

    4) San Diego Padres CF Franchy Cordero found out the hard way yesterday that there is a brick wall underneath all that ivy on the outfield fences at Wrigley Field. He caught the ball on the warning track, then got a face full of ivy and ran into that brick wall that has zero give to it. Terrific catch.

    Wind must’ve been blowing in, since Contreras did a bat flip when hit the ball, thinking it would wind up in the bleachers.

    3) Golf Channel and NBC Sports will show every shot of the British Open, which means you have to get up pretty darn early if you want to watch it all.

    Couple years ago, I was in Las Vegas during the British Open; they had the start of the golf on at one of the bars, while at the same time, the Diamondbacks’ game was in the 13th inning, so I was watching Wednesday night baseball and Thursday morning golf at the same time. Muy bueno.

    2) Quote of the Day, part 3, from Kansas’ Josh Jackson, who declined to work out for the Celtics after they traded down into the #3 slot:

    “They did a little bit of moving around with their pick. I felt like they made it pretty clear who they were going to draft with the No. 1 pick, so I didn’t really feel like it was worth either of our times for me to work out with them. But then when they, you know, did the flip and went to No. 3, by then it was too late.”

    1) Mike Krzyzewski came out again in favor of high school players being eligible for the NBA Draft; the baseball rule makes sense— here is who is eligible for the baseball draft:

    •- High school players, if they have graduated from high school and have not yet attended college or junior college.

    •- College players, from four-year colleges who have either completed their junior or senior years or are at least 21 years old. (So college players play three years before they can be drafted)

    •- Junior college players, regardless of how many years of school they have completed


    • Author

    [B][I]CFL Betting Notes – Week 1
    June 19, 2017
    Football is back ‘north of the border’ with the start of the 2017 CFL regular season. Week 1 is highlighted by a rematch of last season’s Grey Cup title game between the Calgary Stampeders, out of the West Division and the East’s Ottawa RedBlacks. Calgary cruised through the regular season right to the title game, but the Stampeders were stunned by Ottawa in overtime 39-33 as 9 ½-point favorites.

    CFL futures are backing Calgary again as a 13/4 favorite to win the 2017 Grey Cup followed by British Columbia at 4/1 and the Edmonton Eskimos as 9/2 third favorites. It is time to get things started with the following Week 1 matchups (all records listed are from the 2016 regular season).
    Thursday, June 22[/B]

    Saskatchewan Roughriders (5-13, 9-9 ATS) vs. Montreal Alouettes (7-11 SU, 9-9 ATS)
    Point-spread: Montreal -6
    Total: 50 ½

    [B]Game Overview[/B]

    It was a rough year for Saskatchewan in 2016, but it did show some positive signs for the future with a four-game winning streak towards the end of the season both straight-up and against the spread. Veteran CFL quarterback Kevin Glenn joined the Roughriders this past offseason and if he can remain healthy for an entire 18-game schedule they should be able to improve on a very disappointing five-win season. Defense could still be an issue after allowing an average of 29.4 points per game in 2016.

    The outlook for Montreal is also trending up after missing the playoffs last season in the East Division. The Alouettes did take some steps to build on a defense that allowed an average of 23 PPG, which was ranked second only to Calgary. The biggest change for this season is at the quarterback position with another CFL veteran switching uniforms. Darian Durant will take over as the team’s starter with Vernon Adams Jr. waiting in the wings. The addition of Earnest Jackson along with last season’s leading receiver Nik Lewis gives Durant some solid options in the passing game.
    Betting Trends[/B]

    — Montreal has a 8-2 edge ATS in the last 10 meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in 16 of its last 21 home games against Saskatchewan.


    • Author




    MONTREAL — After a seven-month wait, football is finally back and with it arrives a barrage of dramatic storylines.

    Some of those, like Darian Durant’s migration from the capital of Saskatchewan to the southern tip of Quebec, have gradually built steam since the middle of January. But now, On June 22 in Montreal, a scenario once unimaginable unfolds as familiar faces reacquaint and a brand new season begins.

    On Thursday night at Percival-Molson Stadium, Durant takes the field not in his patented green and white but instead a uniform coloured bleu, blanc et rouge as the Montreal Alouettes and Saskatchewan Roughriders kick off their 2017 campaign.

    “It’s going to be an exciting day for me,” Durant told “Not only do I get a chance to go against my former team and teammates but it’s a new beginning for me in front of the wonderful fans of Montreal, a great environment to play in and I’m looking forward to starting the season off right, one game at a time.”

    Durant’s change of allegiance represents a new era for both teams involved. While the Riders have only 29 players returning from last season and now possess the CFL’s youngest roster at an average age of 26.9 years, the Alouettes have their first franchise quarterback since the departure of Anthony Calvillo in 2013.

    No. 4 is the face of the franchise in Montreal and with his addition as well as several others, the Alouettes are barely recognizable from the team that finished 7-11 last season — tied for second in the East but not good enough to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

    While the Alouettes have the CFL’s oldest roster at an average age of 28.4 years, age also equates to experience and maturity, something Durant embodies.

    “He’s just a natural-born leader,” said Tiquan Underwood. “He’s an older guy who’s been in this league, won a Grey Cup.”

    Durant is jumping head first into a firestorm in a matchup against his former team and former coach in Chris Jones, who said this off-season that the quarterback had ‘moderate success’ in 2016. But while the 34-year-old Durant, who spent 11 seasons with the Riders, will no doubt have those comments in mind when he takes the field Thursday, this Week 1 matchup will be played on a bigger scale for the Montreal Alouettes.

    Optimism is the attitude surrounding the team this spring, which sees Jacques Chapdelaine return as the head coach — this time without the interim tag — and a new GM in Kavis Reed for the first time in more than two decades following the dismissal of GM Jim Popp.

    A juggling act on Noel Thorpe’s defence saw the departures of usual stalwarts Bear Woods, Winston Venable, Marc-Olivier Brouillette and Alan-Michael Cash. But on offence, the Alouettes believe they can reach heights not seen since the last time No. 13 commanded the huddle back in 2013.

    Durant will be protected by a new-look O-line that features two American tackles in Brian Simmons and, acquired from the BC Lions, six-time CFL All-Star Jovan Olafioye. And while S.J. Green and Duron Carter have departed, the Als’ new pivot has the East Division’s Most Outstanding Player from 2016 to throw to in Ernest Jackson.

    In the East, where not a single team eclipsed the .500 mark a year ago (Ottawa sat No. 1 with an 8-9-1 record), the Alouettes will see a division up for the taking and wonder ‘why not us?’

    For as high as the expectations are there, though, they may just pale in comparison to what Riders head coach and general manager Chris Jones is dealing with entering Thursday’s season-opener.

    Jones set off a rabid Riders fan base a year ago when he arrived and shook up the roster by releasing John Chick and Weston Dressler. A year later and the work wasn’t done.

    While the Riders have drastically improved their Canadian talent with the additions of Eddie Steele and, late last season, Henoc Muamba, the real question will be at quarterback. Jones has brought in 17 different quarterbacks since arriving in Saskatchewan and will now hope that Kevin Glenn is the answer.

    On the eve of the 2017 season, with significant strides expected following a last-place, 5-13 campaign in 2016, Jones said this year’s rendition of the Riders is more experienced.

    “I don’t ever like comparing teams,” Jones told “All I can tell you is it’s a solid group of characters in that room, they really enjoy being around each other and we’re going to play hard. I think we’ve got a lot more leadership, simply because we’ve got a lot more veterans than we did a year ago.”

    The Riders have added veterans on both sides of the ball including offensive linemen Peter Dyakowski and Brendon LaBatte (LaBatte was on the team last season but didn’t play due to injury), receivers Bakari Grant and Chad Owens (the latter will not on Thursday due to a lingering foot injury), quarterback Kevin Glenn and defensive back Jovon Johnson.

    Glenn, entering his 17th season, is seen as the biggest factor in whether the Riders will find success in 2017 or not. The 38-year-old has been on eight CFL rosters and is the league’s seventh all-time passer but has never won a Grey Cup.

    The Riders’ quarterback will hand the ball off to Cameron Marshall, a former Blue Bombers running back returning from an NFL stint, while star off-season acquisition Duron Carter teams up with Naaman Roosevelt, back from injury, to form one of the league’s most dynamic pass-catching duos.

    Anchoring the left side of the Riders’ O-line will be 2016 Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Derek Dennis.

    Perhaps the most underrated addition for Chris Jones, however, is the most recent one — defensive back Jovon Johnson. Johnson was cut by the Als after training camp and is slated to start at corner for the Riders.

    The 33-year-old, who’s played all 18 games in seven of his last eight seasons and plays multiple positions in the defensive backfield, will be motivated to face his former team — just like Kevin Glenn, Duron Carter and Darian Durant.

    “It’s fun for me, you know, because just a couple of days ago I was here wearing different colours but now that I’m on the other side, I’m excited,” said Johnson. “I love the opportunity to go out and compete against the team that I once played for and hopefully I can make the most of my opportunity.”

    The Alouettes will be without Canadian receiver Sam Giguere and cornerback Raymon Taylor. Alex Pierzchalski draws the start in Giguere’s spot while Travis Hawkins will line up at defensive corner.

    For the Riders, all of that receiver depth may pay off early as the team is without Rob Bagg and Chad Owens in Week 1. Bagg is expected back for Week 2, when the team plays its first game at new Mosaic Stadium, while Owens’ injury could keep him out a while.

    While the front-seven is considered a relative strength on Chris Jones’ defence, the team is lining up two rookies at linebacker in Erick Dargan (WILL) and Sam Williams (SAM) — although Williams will see more work in coverage than in the box.

    Saskatchewan will also be without Canadian running back and off-season free agent addition Kienan LaFrance.

    [B]By the Numbers[/B]

    3 – The number of consecutive seasons Stefan Logan looks to lead the CFL in punt return yards, something that hasn’t been done since Gizmo Williams led the league from 1991-93.

    112 – John Bowman’s career sack total, which ranks him eighth all-time and first among active players. Bowman is 14 sacks short of Stewart Hill for seventh on the all-time list.

    8 & 9 – The Riders’ and Alouettes’ total offensive rankings in 2016. The Riders had the second-worst offence at 327.4 yards per game while the Als were a notch below at 302.5 yards per game.

    28,507 – Career passing yards for Darian Durant, all as a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. There’s no turning back now and on Thursday, Durant will accumulate yards for the first time on a different team.

    269 – Games played by Kevin Glenn (19th all-time), who needs only two more to tie Mike O’Shea (271) and could move as high as 12th on the all-time list in the category of games played.

    [B]The Skinny
    The Riders fell 41-3 in their only visit to Montreal last season while dropping both games in the series. At this point, however, you can set all of last year’s numbers aside, as both of these teams resemble only a fraction of what they were a year ago.

    Many battles will determine the outcome of Thursday’s contest, including Saskatchewan’s blitzing pass rush against Montreal’s offensive line, and the Carter/Roosevelt combo against the Alouettes’ secondary. But in the end, all eyes will be on the duel between Kevin Glenn and Darian Durant, two veteran quarterbacks that have swapped sides.

    And then, of course, it’ll all come back to Chris Jones’ comments after the Riders traded Durant. While the quarterback and his former coach won’t say it, Thursday’s matchup will be a personal matter for both sides.


    • Author



    SSK at MTL 07:30 PM

    [B][I]MTL -6.5

    O 50.0[/I][/B]


    • Author


    CFL.CA STAFF[/I][/B]

    MONTREAL — Darian Durant threw two touchdown passes while Tyler Crapigna’s last-play field goal sailed wide, sending the Alouettes to a 17-16 season-opening win over the Roughriders on Thursday night in Montreal.

    Durant threw touchdowns to B.J. Cunningham and Ernest Jackson while Boris Bede provided the game’s winning points with 2:29 remaining, making Durant’s first game against his former team a winning effort.

    Crapigna had a chance to win the game for the Riders but missed right on a 45-yard attempt with no time left on the clock.

    Bakari Grant scored the Riders’ only touchdown while Crapigna hit on three of four tries in a losing effort for Saskatchewan. But in the end, the Riders will lament not only the missed field goal but also a pair of second-half turnovers in an otherwise spirited effort in front of 20,129 fans at Percival-Molson Stadium.

    For Durant, the narrow victory was a statement against the coach and general manager in Chris Jones that let him go this off-season. Durant completed 20 of 31 passes for 233 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

    While Kevin Glenn was sharp in his first game back with the Riders, completing 31 of 44 passes for 298 yards and a touchdown, the 38-year-old also threw a fourth-quarter interception.

    Cunningham had a game-high 90 yards on four catches for the Als while Jackson, in his first game after leaving the Grey Cup-winning Ottawa REDBLACKS, was held to 16 yards on two catches.

    On the other side, Duron Carter’s much-anticipated return to Montreal was largely uneventful. The three-year Alouette was held to 12 yards on two catches despite being targeted nine times. Instead, it was third-year Canadian receiver Nic Demski led the way for the Riders, making good on all seven of his targets for 87 yards.

    While Cameron Marshall fumbled in the third quarter, his Riders debut was a productive one, checking in with 84 yards on 11 carries.

    The first half of football in 2017 opened with some light sparring and two new-look teams feeling each other out. Glenn was on point early for the Riders but was plagued by drops, including two by Carter against his former team, while Durant took only what an aggressive Jones defence gave him throughout a scoreless opening quarter.

    While the Alouettes played on a short field throughout most of the first half, it wasn’t until the Riders flipped field position that Durant got his team on the board. With the game still scoreless, Durant unloaded on a deep ball and found a wide open B.J. Cunningham, the former Michigan State Spartan running untouched, 65 yards, for the game’s opening score.

    Cunningham’s romp, after the first 25 minutes of the game failed to generate any scoring, seemed to set the wheels in motion. Demski continued his productive opening half with three catches on the Riders’ ensuing drive while Glenn got on a roll with six completions on his next seven passes, setting up a first down at the 19.

    On the very next play, Glenn hit Grant in stride and the first-year Rider ran the remaining distance himself, capping off a 10-play, 77-yard drive with a 19-yard touchdown.

    The play didn’t come without controversy as it appeared Travis Hawkins stripped the ball at the goal line, but the ruling was upheld, the command centre later stating that while the ball was moving, it was not clearly out of possession prior to breaking the front plane of the goal line.

    With a quick stop on defence followed by a 34-yard field goal by Crapigna, the Riders suddenly took both momentum and a 10-7 lead into the half.

    The spark carried the Riders into the third quarter, when Marshall’s powerful 26-yard run eventually set up a 41-yard field goal by Crapigna. But the Alouettes were quick to fire back. On the ensuing drive, following first downs by Tyrell Sutton and Tiquan Underwood, Nik Lewis picked up 21 yards on a catch-and-run on second-and-seven.

    After a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty against Jovon Johnson, the Als needed only 12 yards for the end zone and those would come on the very next play from the newcomer Jackson. The former Ottawa REDBLACK shed the coverage of Chris Lyles to haul in his first as an Alouette, vaulting Montreal ahead 14-13.

    The Riders dominated most of the third quarter, controlling the football for more than 10 minutes, but failed to take advantage. With the frame winding down and the Green and White on the doorstep, Marshall lost his grasp of the football and the Alouettes recovered, ending the threat and the third quarter with the slimmest of margins.

    What happened next resembled a nervous game of hot potato. The Riders atoned for their fumble when Lewis was stripped of the football on his way to the ground after a second-down catch. But a few plays later, Glenn’s shot down the sideline was intercepted by a leaping Jonathon Mincy, putting the ball right back in the hands of the Alouettes’ offence.

    Saskatchewan did get the football back and, despite the interception, Glenn was able to get right back into his rhythm. The veteran pivot moved the sticks twice on completions to Roosevelt — his fifth and sixth grabs of the evening — while an illegal contact penalty against Chip Cox kept the drive alive following a second down incompletion.

    With Brandon Bridge under centre for a spell, Bridge’s second-down pass went over the head of a wide open Carter. Nonetheless, Crapigna’s third field goal of the evening put the visitors back in front, 16-14 with just under half a quarter remaining.

    Just like he had done all game, Durant mounted a methodical response. The wily vet in his first game in new colours completed passes to Cunningham and Alex Pierzchalski, then it was Cunningham moving the sticks on third and short on a jet sweep, eventually setting up a go-ahead field goal from Bede and the fifth lead-change of the game.

    With the Riders down 17-16 and 2:16 left in the game, Roosevelt kept his team’s hopes alive with a difficult grab in tight coverage on third down up across the Saskatchewan 40. Two plays later, again on third down, Glenn hit an open Caleb Holley in the flat down to the Montreal 48.

    But after one more third-down conversion, Crapigna missed his first kick of the season, pulling the 45-yard attempt wide right, and it was a costly one for the Riders.

    Darian Durant racked up 17.3 fantasy points on Thursday night, the highest of any player in the opening game of the 2017 season.

    Durant: 20-31, 233 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT | 18.2 PTS

    Glenn: 31-44, 298 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT | 13.9 PTS


    Off-season addition Grant hauled in six passes for 68 yards and a touchdown while Roosevelt caught seven passes for 59 yards. Holley added five more catches for 55 yards.

    The Riders failed to record a sack on defence but Jovon Johnson stood out for that unit, making seven tackles and blanketing the Alouettes’ top pass-catchers all evening. Johnson, who attended camp with the Alouettes, was cut last Saturday before joining the Riders this week.

    Also chipping in for the Alouettes was Lewis, who hauled in all five of his targets for 60 yards, and running back Tyrell Sutton, who rushed for 68 yards on 13 carries.

    Kyries Hebert had the game’s only sack for the Als while Chris Ackie forced a fumble and Mincy recorded the game’s only interception.

    The Als aim to start 2-0 on Friday, June 30 with a visit to Edmonton while Saskatchewan looks for a better break on Canada Day as the Riders open up new Mosaic Stadium vs. the Bombers.


    • Author

    [B][I]Friday’s six-pack[/I][/B]

    — Mets put P Zach Wheeler (biceps tendinitis) on the DL.

    — Red Sox put 3B Pablo Sandoval on DL (inner ear infection)

    — Angels put closer Bud Norris (knee) on the DL

    — A’s DFA’d Stephen Vogt, put Matt Chapman (knee infection) on the DL

    — Cubs sent Kyle Schwarber to AAA Iowa, put Jason Heyward (hand) on the DL

    — Pirates put Francisco Cervelli (concussion) on the DL.


    [B][I]Friday’s Den: Random stuff, mostly about basketball……[/I][/B]

    With the NBA Draft going on, here are some basketball-related thoughts……..

    — My friend Joe Gill pointed this out to me yesterday— how much the NBA has changed.

    The 3-point shot came into the NBA in the 1979-80 season, Magic/Bird’s rookie season. Here are the Lakers’ TEAM TOTALS FOR THE SEASON on 3-point shooting in their first six years the 3-point shot was in the NBA:

    1979-80: 20-100, 20%
    1980-81: 17-94, 18.1%
    1981-82: 13-94, 13.8%
    1982-83: 10-96, 10.4%
    1983-84: 58-226, 25.7%
    1984-85: 90-295, 30.5%

    This past season, 2016-17, Lakers were 730-2110 (34.0%) on 3-pointers for the season; Golden State was 982-2563 (38.3%).

    The game has changed in 37 years. A lot.

    — Magic Johnson’s first six years in the NBA, he was 29-164 (17.7%) behind the arc; in his last seven NBA seasons, he improved to 32.5% on 3-pointers.

    — Wednesday, CBS SportsNet ran an hour special on the draft; their four experts all picked who they thought the best player in the draft was- they gave four different answers, which sums this draft up well. There is no one player who is head and shoulders above the rest.

    — 76ers have sold out over 14,000 season tickets for next year, a franchise record; their corps of talented young players have to prove they have the durability to play an 82-game season.

    — Chicago Bulls traded Jimmy Butler to Minnesota for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the 7th pick, who wound up being Lauri Markkanen from Arizona.

    — Little odd that the last two #1 picks in the draft (Fultz, Ben Simmons) had a combined record of 29-36 in their one season of college basketball and both coaches got fired within a year of coaching that player.

    — Four quick non-basketball notes:
    a) Weird Al Yankovic is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
    b) Jose Abreu is the first major leaguer since 1966 whose first 13 home runs have all been on the road.
    c) I graduated high school 40 years ago tonight.
    d) I just realized a Saskatchewan-Montreal CFL game is on ESPNews.

    — First seven picks in the draft were all college freshmen; Knicks broke the trend by taking Frank Ntilikina, an 18-year old point guard from Europe— he is 6-5.

    — Jay Bilas’ comment on NC State’s Dennis Smith, #9 pick by the Mavericks: “He is not always a focused defender.” A nice way of saying, “He sucks on defense.”

    — Sacramento traded the #10 pick to Portland for picks #15 and #20; Gonzaga’s Zach Collins was the #10 pick.

    — December of 2013, just 3.5 years ago, I sat in the gym at Bishop Gorman HS in Las Vegas with my friend Mike and we watched some high school basketball. Bishop Gorman’s 3rd-string center was a 10th grader who played pretty well when he got into the game- that was Zach Collins.

    Last night, Collins was the 10th pick in the NBA Draft, by Portland. Not bad for a kid who was a 3rd-string center on his high school team three years ago, behind Stephen Zimmerman and Chase Jeter. Zimmerman is in the D-League with Orlando, Jeter just transferred from Duke to Arizona. Collins has a shot to be the best of the three.

    — NBA commissioner Adam Silver is a tall, bald man who wears glasses, which obviously makes him very handsome— ha!!! Oh, Charlotte just took Malik Monk, best shooter in the draft who apparently is also adept at hunting squirrels.

    — Detroit took Duke’s Luke Kennard with the #12 pick; he plays basketball lefty, but when he was a high school QB, he threw the ball righty. Go figure.

    — Utah traded Trey Lyles and the #24 pick to Denver for the #13 pick- Jazz took Donovan Mitchell from Louisville.

    — Halftime: Saskatchewan 10, Montreal 7. Season opener for both clubs. We’ll have write-ups on all the CFL games, starting next week.

    — ESPN’s guy with the touchscreen who is a salary cap guru predicts the Bulls will buy out Dwyane Wade’s contract as they totally rebuild. Thats an expensive deal right there.

    — John Calipari was in Colorado Springs Thursday morning coaching the U19 team, then was in Brooklyn for the draft; I’m assuming he is headed back to Colorado as soon as all of his guys get drafted. I’m assuming Calipari has a really nice house, but is he ever home?

    Calipari is now holding court on ESPN; in eight years at Kentucky, he’s coached 64 players. Half of those 64 players have been drafted by the NBA.

    — I’ll say this: Oklahoma State guard Jawun Evans is really good. He’ll be a very good NBA player, but he hasn’t been taken yet.

    — In his next contract, Paul George will either get $177M for five years or $132M for four years, depending on if he switches teams or not.

    — Sacramento took Harry Giles, who has already torn the ACL in both knees and wasn’t good at Duke last year— there is very little chance this ends well. Giles scored 3.9 pts/game while playing in 20% of Duke’s possessions last year. Can he recover enough to withstand an 82-game schedule? Wish the young man well, but this figures to be another Sacramento disaster.

    — My point here: Taking Giles over Jawun Evans is basketball malpractice.

    — Oklahoma City took Terrance Ferguson with the #21 pick; he skipped college (Arizona) and shot 30% in an Australian pro league LY. They say he needs to get stronger- if he such a great shooter, why did he shoot 30% in an Australian league? He is a developmental project.

    — Host Brooklyn Nets took Jarrett Allen, a big kid from Texas. He scored 13.4 pts/game with 8.4 reb/game LY. This young man built his own computer, which is very impressive.

    Nets are 41-123 the last two years; three short years ago, they were 44-38 and in Eastern Conference semis. It is easier to get worse than it is to get better. They need a lot of players.

    — Denver grabs Tyler Lydon from Syracuse, who is a good shooter but apparently has 13% body fat, which means he needs to get himself in better shape, especially since he’ll have to play man defense for the first time since high school or AAU ball- Syracuse plays all 2-3 zone.

    — Caleb Swanigan was drafted by Portland; hard not to root for this guy. By the time he was 13 years old, he had gone to 13 different schools. He was adopted by a guardian angel who gave him structure in his life and then he lost 100 pounds in high school and became a really good player. We wish him well.

    — Spurs took Derrick White with the 29th pick; kid played D-2 ball because that was the only offer he got coming out of high school. Then he transferred to Colorado and now he is a first round draft pick- Spurs’ track record of picking guys lower than 20th and having them be really good players is pretty amazing.

    — 16 college freshmen were taken in the first round; Derrick White was the first senior taken, at #29.

    — New Orleans just traded for Duke’s Frank Jackson after Charlotte picked him so now I’m annoyed; he is NOT BETTER than Juwan Evans. You wonder if coach Brad Underwood had stayed at Oklahoma State if Evans would’ve stayed, too, but Underwood had a spat with the AD and bolted to Illinoi$.

    — Finally…..the 76ers take Juwan Evans with the 39th pick. Now I can go write my baseball article. Take your measurables and stick ‘em— this kid can play.

    P.S. Evans is getting traded to the Clippers. Jerry West works for the Clippers now— that makes me feel good. 🙂


    • Author

    Long Sheet

    Week 1[/B]

    [b]Friday, June 23[/b]


    [B]CALGARY (16 – 3 – 1) at OTTAWA (10 – 9 – 1) – 6/23/2017, 7:30 PM [/B]
    Top Trends for this game.
    OTTAWA is 22-10 ATS (+11.0 Units) in games where the line is +3 to -3 since 1996.
    OTTAWA is 16-6 ATS (+9.4 Units) as an underdog over the last 3 seasons.
    CALGARY is 13-5 ATS (+7.5 Units) in games played on turf over the last 2 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    CALGARY is 3-2 against the spread versus OTTAWA over the last 3 seasons
    OTTAWA is 2-2 straight up against CALGARY over the last 3 seasons
    5 of 5 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


    [b]Saturday, June 24[/b]


    EDMONTON (11 – 9) at BRITISH COLUMBIA (13 – 7) – 6/24/2017, 10:00 PM
    There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    BRITISH COLUMBIA is 4-1 against the spread versus EDMONTON over the last 3 seasons
    EDMONTON is 3-2 straight up against BRITISH COLUMBIA over the last 3 seasons
    3 of 5 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


    [b]Sunday, June 25[/b]


    [B]HAMILTON (7 – 12) at TORONTO (5 – 13) – 6/25/2017, 4:00 PM [/B]
    Top Trends for this game.
    TORONTO is 5-13 ATS (-9.3 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
    TORONTO is 5-13 ATS (-9.3 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
    TORONTO is 3-13 ATS (-11.3 Units) in home games over the last 3 seasons.
    TORONTO is 3-13 ATS (-11.3 Units) in home lined games over the last 3 seasons.
    TORONTO is 19-37 ATS (-21.7 Units) in a home game where the total is greater than or equal to 52 since 1996.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    HAMILTON is 6-1 against the spread versus TORONTO over the last 3 seasons
    HAMILTON is 6-1 straight up against TORONTO over the last 3 seasons
    4 of 7 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons



    • Author


    Week 1[/B]

    [size=”3″][I][B]Trend Report[/B][/I][/size]
    [b]Friday, June 23[/b]

    7:30 PM
    Calgary is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games on the road
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Calgary’s last 5 games when playing Ottawa
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Ottawa’s last 6 games when playing at home against Calgary
    Ottawa5-1-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Calgary

    [b]Saturday, June 24[/b]

    10:00 PM
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Edmonton’s last 6 games when playing on the road against British Columbia
    Edmonton is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against British Columbia
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of British Columbia’s last 6 games at home
    British Columbia is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games

    [b]Sunday, June 25[/b]

    4:00 PM
    Hamilton is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games
    Hamilton is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
    Toronto is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games
    Toronto is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games at home

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