CFL Picks: Odds, Predictions And Betting Advice For Week 3

Written By Juan Carlos Blanco on August 20, 2021 - Last Updated on December 9, 2021

The Canadian Football League’s (CFL) 2021 season is in full swing after a suspended 2020 campaign due to COVID-19 concerns. The CFL typically offers an appealing pro football alternative for both viewing and betting pleasure each summer before the NFL kicks off its regular season, wrapping up its near-five-month season in late November. This year, the CFL is playing an abbreviated 14-game regular season after a later start than usual, but it’s a campaign that also marks the first under truly widespread single-game sports betting in the U.S., and as of August 27th, in Canada as well.

Each week during the CFL regular season and postseason, PlayPicks will provide a detailed breakdown of the top CFL wagering opportunities of the week.

Week 3 CFL Best Bets

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2-0) at Toronto Argonauts (1-1) – Saturday, August 21, 4:00pm ET

The defending champion Blue Bombers seemingly haven’t missed a beat despite the absence of a 2020 season, as their ferocious defense has allowed  a measly 13 points over the first two games of the season. Their most recent victory came against the same Argonauts squad they’ll face again Saturday afternoon, with Winnipeg emerging from that matchup with a 20-7 win. The Argos tried throwing two different quarterbacks at Winnipeg to no avail — Nick Arbuckle and McLeod Bethel-Thompson each threw for under 100 yards and went just a combined 20-for-39. It remains to be seen which signal-caller gets the start in Week 3, but with Winnipeg now having forced seven turnovers and a league-high 15 two-and-outs, the prospects for the Argos offense look grim once again, especially with veteran running back John White dealing with a hip injury that could limit him, at minimum.

Toronto’s defense could not slow down the Bombers’ Zach Collaros in Week 2, which is saying something considering the veteran signal-caller is a solid quarterback who nevertheless hasn’t really been one of the more prolific passers in the league during his tenure. Collaros barely misfired while completing 32 of 40 passes for 292 yards and a pair of scores. Collaros connected with six different pass catchers and could now have at least one of versatile running back Andrew Harris (calf) and explosive receiver Darwin Adams (shoulder) for Saturday’s contest. With Toronto already yielding 272.0 passing yards per game and a CFL-high 55 completions (including a CFL-high three of over 30 yards), Collaros should be poised for another four quarters of largely ineffective resistance.

The Bombers simply seem to have too much talent on the defensive end for Toronto to launch too many sustained drives, while Winnipeg’s offense should have more than enough to exploit the Argos defense’s weaknesses, especially if Harris and/or Adams manages to suit up. I like the manageable 3.5-point spread here for the Bombers, as well as a shot on the Under as a lean.

The Pick: Blue Bombers -3.5 (+110 at FanDuel)

The Lean: Under 45.5 points (-110 at FanDuel)

Ottawa Redblacks (1-0) at Saskatchewan Roughriders (2-0) – Saturday, August 21, 7:00pm Eastern

The Redblacks opened the season widely expected to be the poorest team in the CFL, but they promptly pulled a low-scoring Week 1 upset over the Elks. The play of Ottawa’s secondary was perhaps the most impressive aspect of the team’s performance, as they picked off Edmonton quarterback Trevor Harris off three times to largely nullify the 75.0 percent completion rate and 333 yards he also compiled in the contest. The Redblacks racked up three sacks as well, but they did spring some leaks on run defense while allowing 110 rushing yards at 5.2 yards per carry. They’ve had two weeks to prepare for what could ultimately prove to be the best offense in the league in that of the Roughriders, with the versatile Cody Fajardo already having produced a 4:1 TD:INT and 7.7 yards per rush under center.

For their part, the Riders have been impressive on both sides of the ball on their way to their 2-0 mark, although they did allow the Lions to mount a late comeback in Week 1 that fell just short. Nevertheless, Saskatchewan’s defense was much sharper in Week 2, completely frustrating Jeremiah Masoli and his talented Tiger-Cats offensive teammates to the tune of just eight points and 201 total yards. Through two games, the Riders have allowed the third-fewest net offensive yards (291.0) and the second-lowest 2nd down conversion rate (37.2 percent) while also recording a CFL-high eight sacks and eight turnovers.

Fajardo will be without primary receiver Shaq Evans (leg), but he still has an impressive assortment of pass-catching weapons spearheaded by the speedy Kyran Moore. Moreover, veteran running back William Powell (152 total yards through two games) is capable of exploiting any weaknesses in Ottawa’s run defense. Consequently, while the spread is a bit lofty, I’ll go with it as a lean to avoid the very heavy juice on the moneyline and also bank on Saskatchewan not having to keep its foot on the gas too much in the second half.

The Pick: Under 46.5 points  (-110 at DraftKings)

The Lean: Roughriders -10.5 (-110 at FanDuel)

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Juan Carlos Blanco

Juan Carlos Blanco has served as a freelance writer for a wide variety of online publications and websites, with an intensive focus on fantasy sports and sports betting. Juan has provided analysis and comprehensive coverage of the MLB, NBA, NFL and CFL, while also reporting on news and developments in the daily fantasy sports, online gaming and sports betting industries.

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