CFL Rankings: Week 6
Last week's ranking in parentheses.
1. Saskatchewan Roughriders (1) The Riders aren't going to run the table this season but that doesn't change the fact that they've looked awfully good through five weeks, outscoring the opposition by a whopping 96 points in racking up five straight wins. They'll enjoy a week off before facing their toughest test of the season to date, a matchup with the Stampeders in Calgary.
2. Calgary Stampeders (3) With Drew Tate and Kevin Glenn both injured, Bo Levi Mitchell stepped in under centre last week, and the offense didn't miss a beat. Now Tate and Glenn get a week off to recuperate and the Stamps defense gets a chance to get even more in sync before next week's showdown with the undefeated Riders at McMahon Stadium.
3. Toronto Argonauts (4) The Argos picked up a statement win over the Lions on Tuesday night, doing so without their starting quarterback (Ricky Ray) and running back (Chad Kackert), not to mention a key cog at wide receiver (Dontrelle Inman). Zach Collaros isn't about to overtake Ray's starting job, but if Tuesday's performance was any indication, the former college standout has a bright future in the CFL.
4. B.C. Lions (2) Something isn't quite right with the Lions offense. They've topped out at 32 points this season, and that came in a losing effort against Calgary back in Week 1. I do expect the B.C. defense to respond with a big effort this week after getting ripped by the Argos on Tuesday. They still rank number one in the league in total yards allowed and second in points allowed.
5. Montreal Alouettes (7) I'm willing to give the Als a major boost in the rankings this week following the firing of Dan Hawkins on Thursday. His hiring was simply perplexing to me, and to be honest, I'm surprised he lasted as long as he did. Expect an immediate turnaround from the Als, as the personnel is still in place for this team to compete for the East Division title.
6. Edmonton Eskimos (6) This may be a rebuilding year, but I still feel the Eskimos have the potential to be a solid bet moving forward, provided they can stay healthy. They'll get a chance to pick up their second win of the season against the Ti-Cats on Friday night and after a strong second half in Montreal last week, have some momentum on their side. The Esks are 0-2 at home this season and should be desperate to give the Commenwealth Stadium faithful something to cheer about.
7. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (5) Credit the Blue Bombers for doing the right thing and officially handing the reins of the offense over to QB Justin Goltz. Buck Pierce is on the downside of his career due to injuries and otherwise, and it's become clear that he's not the man to lead this team back to glory. With that being said, Goltz faces a tough task against an angry Lions squad in B.C. this week.
8. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (8) I had the Ti-Cats lower than most in last week's rankings, but I don't think I was far off. If this team were healthy, it would be competitive, but that simply isn't the case. Revenge will be on the Ti-Cats minds on Friday night in Edmonton, but whether they can put together four solid quarters of football and steal a win on the road remains to be seen.
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1* Toronto Run Line (7:07 ET): Please note that I'm recommending laying the -1.5 with Blue Jays here. I think they have enough advantages to beat the Padres by multiple runs in Monday's opener. San Diego just took two of three from Washington, but Toronto has the most Interleague wins (11) of any team in baseball.
Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez has a 1.80 ERA and 0.85 WHIP his L3 starts. He's allowed 2 ER or less in six consecutive starts. His last loss came all the way back on April 22nd. While the Padres' lineup has homered in 22 consecutive games, this will be the franchise's first foray ever into Toronto. Rogers Centre is known for being a hitter's park, but I'm unconvinced that San Diego will able to take advantage. They are just 19-31 in road games overall, including 1-5 as a dog of +200 to +225.
San Diego's Colin Rea has a 4.86 ERA and 1.62 WHIP his L3 starts. He also gave up three home runs in his last start. That's key. Sanchez has allowed only two in his last six starts and if you take away the four he gave up in an uncharacteristically poor showing vs. Baltimore on June 12th, he's allowed just three since the start of May! The Blue Jays really need this one as the fight for Wild Card/playoff position. The Padres have been surprisingly competitive since the Break, but that ends here. 1* Run Line Toronto (-1.5)