CFL Week 1 Picks: Expert Betting Analysis for the Top Games

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David Ungerer #83 of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats celebrates a first down during the 108th Grey Cup CFL Championship Game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Winnipeg Blue Bombers start their 2022 campaign for a third Grey Cup in succession and 13th in total with a home encounter against the Ottawa Redblacks. 

Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Ottawa Redblacks 

Friday, June 10, 2022 – 20:30 PM EDT at Investors Group Field 

Can Winnipeg Blue Bombers Win a Hat-Trick of CFL Titles in Succession? 

They may be able to. There have certainly been changes a-foot in Winnipeg: 

  • Wide-receiver, Greg Ellingson has joined on a one-year contract from Edmonton, hoping to revive his fortunes during the post-Covid-19 hiatus. 
  • New Quarterback, Dakota Prukop showed promise pre-season. 
  • Tyquwan Glass has been brought in to sure up the defense. 
  • After the final pre-season game Winnipeg Blue Bombers released eleven players with no major shocks but with eighty players still at training camp more cuts are expected. 

Will Ottawa Redblacks be Tough Opposition? 

Yes they will be.

Ottawa Redblacks don’t have the history of their opponents, but the relatively new franchise has already made waves in recent seasons, winning the Grey Cup in 2016 with runner-up finishes on either side. 

What did we learn about the Redblacks pre-season? 

  • Ottawa Redblacks, look like a franchise that’s going places in their short history. 
  • New Quarterback, Jeremiah Masoli, made a solid impression pre-season. 
  • Terrance Smith and Davon Coleman looked strong in defense. 
  • With Alonzo Addae looking good preseason after being added to the squad, at defensive back, the foundations look strong. 
  • In the final warm-up against Montreal Alouettes, there were encouraging signs from other rookies, Hakeem Bailey and Daniel Valente despite an unlucky last-minute defeat. 

Conclusion 

There’s been a slew of changes in Winnipeg at the eleventh hour and it may take the gel time to mold into their normal winning machine. Ottawa Redblacks, look to have strengthened their defense with their offseason form. 

This looks a good time to get on the Ottawa Redblacks with a combination of those factors at play so take the +9.5 with Everygame (visit our Everygame Review) at -105 amongst your CFL best bets

CFL Pick: Ottawa Redblacks (+9.5) at Everygame 

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Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats 

Saturday, June 11, 2022 – 07:00 PM EDT Mosaic Stadium

Will It Be the Third Time Lucky for Hamilton Tiger-Cats this year? 

I think it could be.

After back-to-back runner up finishes the last two seasons can the Hamilton Tiger-Cats make it third time lucky this 2022 season? 

  • Don Jackson is an intimidating presence at running back but who will support him? 
  • Former Detroit Lion, Wes Hills looks in pole position, but the jury is still out! 
  • Punting has been a recurring problem for a while and could do with solving. 
  • 2022 draft recruit, Anthony Federico looks like a sure starter as a first pick defensive lineman. 
  • Quarterback, Jamie Newman threw a 34-yard touchdown in the final pre-season warm-up game that they lost to a walk-off field goal against the Toronto Argonauts. 

Can Saskatchewan Give the Cats a Rough Ride? 

Yes, they can. the have beaten the Cats before.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have a history of upsetting their more hallowed opponents having beaten the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in two of their four Grey Cup final victories.   

  • It's ten years since the Roughriders last reached a Grey Cup Final so there's work to do to establish themselves as contenders. 
  • The Roughriders appointed Amanda Ruller as the first female offensive coach in the CFL.  She's already impressed the staff, running back, Kienan LaFrance, said, “she does add a little more of a dynamic”.  While manager, Craig Dickenson, added, “She's been a fantastic coach, an outstanding person and has brought a good energy to that room”. 
  • The pre-season game at the Mosaic Stadium was a little eerie at less than a 1/3 full.  They will be hoping for a better turnout on Saturday. 
  • Lost 20-18 to BC Lions in Friday's away day warm-up pre-season game which in context, wasn't too bad considering how much promise the BC Lions quarterbacks showed. 
  • Going 0-2 in pre-season is not the end of the world but it would have been nice to see the team show a little more promise. 

Conclusion 

Hamilton Tiger-Cats might be the road team, but I'm surprised they are not favorites in this match-up.  We know they have the experience in the squad to hit the ground running this season given the quality in attack is still there. 

After preseason there's no guarantee that the Mosaic Stadium is rocking Saturday night and that's another good reason to get behind the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as underdogs at the Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review) price of +105. Don't forget to always place your bets at a top-rated sportsbook.

CFL Pick: Hamilton Tiger-Cats ML (+105) at Heritage Sports

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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.