CFL Thursday Night Football Week 5
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Unlike the typical week of the season, week five does not have four games, but instead five – count’em five games. This is done by scheduling a rare Wednesday game and a non-holiday Monday game – where one team plays in both. The unlucky team this week – the Ottawa Redblacks who open the week hosting the Montreal Alouettes on Wednesday and close it out in Toronto on Monday, July 24, 2017.
The other games of week five include a Thursday night match up with Edmonton and Hamilton. Things are not going well for Hamilton, and things do not get any easy when the CFL leading Eskimos roll into town. Friday and Saturday see two Western Division matches as the BC Lions host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Friday and the Roughriders take a quick trip west to battle it out with the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday.
With five games and bigger spreads, week five is a bit hairy than the previous weeks, but that does not mean there are some smart picks to make. Looking through the matches, three picks stand out. The first is a home underdog looking to get the monkey off their back, the second is an over that – at first – seems high but is achievable and the third is an exciting battle of Ontario that has more impact on the season than any game so far.
Canadian Football League Picks Week 5
- Edmonton at Hamilton: Hamilton +3.5 (-110) at Sports Interaction
After starting 0-3 and struggling on both sides of the ball, things need to change for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to avoid 2017 turning into a complete disaster. As an underdog at home, Hamilton has a chance against the Edmonton Eskimos to at least keep it close. Edmonton may be 3-0 this season, they have won all three games by a combined 9 points. Edmonton is a great team and a serious Grey Cup contender, but winning close is hard to do consistently. Take the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as the home underdog to get there first win of the year.
- Winnipeg at BC: Over 57.0 (-110) at Sports Interaction
The BC Lions head home after starting the season with three of four on the road to face their division rivals the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The two teams saw offensive explosions in week four combining to score 74 points. Both these teams – in the early parts of the season – have shown they are very capable on offence. At 57.0 it is rare to recommend taking the over, but in the midst of July when the nights are hot, there enough is going for both teams to expect a shootout.
- Ottawa at Toronto: Toronto -1.5 (-110) at Sports Interaction
The Ottawa Redblacks have the misfortunate in week five of having to play two games. Ottawa only gets four days off between their Wednesday night tilt against Montreal and their Monday night showdown against the Toronto Argonauts. Ottawa needs to win at least one of these games to stay in the playoff picture, and they have a better chance against Montreal at home than against Toronto on the road. Look for the Toronto Argos to take advantage of a tired Ottawa Redblacks squad and win on Monday night.
As it is now entering the quarter mark of the CFL season, it is a good time to review the performance of each team and make a quarter season power ranking.
1. 1. Edmonton Eskimos
2. BC Lions
3. Calgary Stampeders
4. Montreal Alouettes
5. Toronto Argonauts
6. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
7. Saskatchewan Roughriders
8. Ottawa Redblacks
9. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The top of the power rankings is reflective of the 2017 preseason Grey Cup odds – although Calgary and Edmonton have flipped positions. Calgary is still arguably the best team in the CFL and started the season with one of the tougher schedules. Four and five provide the biggest surprises of the season as both Montreal and Toronto are playing better than expected. Both teams are tied for the Eastern Division lead, but Montreal gets the upper hand after beating Calgary in week four. Winnipeg comes in at six – and although their 2-1 record is good, the fact they have been outscored in three games knocks them down the rankings. Saskatchewan is where they were expected to be at the start of the season. The last two teams – Ottawa and Hamilton – are easily the two most disappointing to start the season. Combining for a single point, the best two teams in the East over the last two seasons are both desperately searching for their first win in 2017.
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