Thursday, July 29, 2010

Your CFL Week 5 preview, jokes, odds, and stuff

So far, every team has a loss. But not every team has a win! The last time that the Edmonton Eskimos went 0-4, the Rolling Stones were at the top of the world with their fresh hit (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction. The last time the Argonauts started 3-1, Men In Black was tops at the box office.

The last time that the Vancouver media obsessed over a non-story? The radio waves were being dominated by pop-stars such as Eminem and Katy Perry, while Christopher Nolan's classic film 'Inception' was the talk at water coolers.

Montreal Alouettes vs. Toronto Argonauts - Today at 7:35

So it's come down to this: the Toronto Argonauts are tied for first place and are part of the marquee matchup of the week. As great as the Argos have been, they really have yet to face serious competition. Cory Boyd leads the league in rushing yards, and Cleo Lemon is somewhere in the top ten in completion percentage.

Toronto won 3 games all of last year and find themselves at 3-1 right now. There really is no reason to believe yet that they won't finish at 3-15, given how close their last couple of games have been against bad teams who were playing worse than they were.

Montreal, on the other hand, have been pretty clinical since that Week 1 defeat, even though they have yet to put together a full 60 minutes (-1 for unbearable cliché) in any game except the ones they play against Hamilton.

Also, let's get through the game without anti-French sentiment, shall we?

The over/under is 52.5. Go with the under. Montreal has played in a couple of low-scoring games this year and the Argos offense is still totally alright to joke about. Alouettes are favoured by 10.5 points. Spot them the points--they're 3-1 against the spread this year as well.

Edmonton Eskimos vs. BC Lions - Friday at 9:05

Friday Night Football, TSN's heavily-promoted matchup of each week, did not work out in Week 5, but luckily, both sides of combined 1-7 teams have given us no shortage of storylines to whet our thirsts for blood, personnel firings, and dropped passes.

Eskies president Rick LeLacheur makes it seem like a whole pile of people are going to lose their jobs. "Let me put it this way, there's nobody in this organization that's untouchable." LeLacheur said. Linebacker Maurice Lloyd said it best: "A lot of guys in this room need to go visit the Wizard of Oz and ask for either a brain or a heart."

Unfortunately for BC and us Lions fans everywhere, that overpaid has-been of a quarterback we have seems to be untouchable, even though a knee injury has relegated him to third-string status. That news was partly the reason I don't listen to sports talk radio anymore.

A lack of star power and the promise for blood should the Eskies lose make this game a cynic's dream. Did you know that these two teams are also the only ones who have punted over 1000 yards this year? I bet you don't think it's because both teams have extraordinarily capable punters.

The over/under is 55.5. Take the under, since the defenses for both teams have actually been quite good despite their records. It's a "pick 'em" sort of game, so I'm going to go with Edmonton with the hope that Lions president Dennis Skulsky can make the same threats to Wally Buono.

Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats Saturday at 6:30

Quick! What has three kickers and can't count? Aside from a Texas Hold 'Em player betting on an outside straight after the river, it is also the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Luca Congi, Eddie Johnson and Louie Sakoda are all kickers listed on the Riders roster. The latter two are imports.

The Riders probably won't need the extra roster spots this week, but Peter James made the obvious point that just one, and not both, will be back with the team this time in Week 6.

As for useful statistics, CFL Daily did the research and found that the Riders have been improving in every quarter, while the Tabbies haven't. This means that if Saskatchewan are down by 49 after the first quarter, they're still completely in the game. (I think)

Let it also be known that 'Fantuz Flakes' debut today. Somewhere right now in Regina is Arland Bruce buying up shelves, desperately looking for a production boost.

Riders are favoured by 7.5 at home and the over/under is 53.5. Take the over and the Riders to cover. The teams have averaged 60 points between them and their opponents this year. Hamilton has been blown out in both road games. Do the math.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Calgary Stampeders Saturday at 9:30

The Stampeders dominance at home multiplied by Stephen Jyles going against the top defense in the league, divided by Calgary's remarkable inconsistency and Henry Burris interceptions means that this game is a coin flip.

The Stampeders are favoured by 7 points. The smart money says to take Calgary, but a big part of me think that the Bombers can come close to an upset. At 57.5, the over/under is the highest this week, but I doubt this will be the most high scoring game, so the odds are to take the under. (Hint: don't gamble on anything I say)

I get the PVR setup by Saturday at the latest, meaning all four games will be watched in their entirety, as well as the season premiere of Jersey Shore, several back-to-back episodes of Two and a Half Men, and a full season of Little Mosque.

And imagine, all this PVR space with a bowl of Fantuz Flakes. Now if only we can get a brand of toast named after Dominique Dorsey.

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