Last week, the Saskatchewan Roughriders took out the team that they had lost to in two straight Grey Cups. Now, in Saturday night CFL betting action on the NFL Network, they'll look to take care of the team that they beat in the last two West Division Finals, the Calgary Stampeders.
Calgary is coming off of a bad loss to the Edmonton Eskimos which dropped it two games back already in the West Division standings. A loss in this one will likely leave it three games out just five into the season, and it would definitely be faced with an uphill battle after that. The sad part about that loss to the Eskies last week at home was that both the offense and the defense really did their jobs. The 'O' accounted for over 400 yards of offense; heck, QB Henry Burris threw for over 370, and the rushing game had over 100 yards to boot between Burris, John Cornish, and Joffrey Reynolds. The defense really only gave up two big plays as well, both of which went for TDs to WR Fred Stamps. Still, two relatively short missed field goals and a number of other squandered opportunities kept the men in red off of the board. Those chances just cannot go awry this week on the road in Regina, or the Stamps will be below .500.
Has Saskatchewan really turned things around after its brutal 0-3 start to the season? We tend to think so. It's not like there's never been a Grey Cup champ lose three straight games at some point over the course of the long 18 game, 20 week schedule. The Riders are just continuing this treacherous schedule to start the year with this one against Calgary, and eventually, things will loosen up just a tad and teams like BC and Toronto will turn up on the slate. Last week's win and season splitting triumph over the defending Grey Cup champs, the Montreal Alouettes was crucial, and it was especially important because both the offense and the defense played well balanced games. QB Darian Durant didn't turn the ball over once. He had his shots to his wide outs and took advantage of them, especially on a 75 yard TD pass to WR Weston Dressler. The running game took it from there. Durant had 71 yards on the ground himself, and RBs Wes Cates and Hugh Charles combined for 19 carries and 104 yards. The question is whether the 'D' really played that well, or whether Montreal was just out of sorts, especially after losing QB Anthony Calvillo in the second quarter.
In a nutshell, we just don't think that the Stampeders are as good as the Roughriders are this year. Saskatchewan is going to figure this out and still win somewhere between 10 and 12 games in all likelihood. Unfortunately, even though Calgary has a better record right now, we just aren't so sure that we can say the same about it. Go with the Roughriders +2.5, as there is no reason for them to be dogs on the Week 5 CFL odds.