The 2021 Canadian Football League (CFL) season is in full swing as the calendar flips to September and we arrive at Week 5.
Across the United States and Canada, the CFL has experienced interest among football fans and bettors alike. In response, online sportsbooks are offering weekly odds for every game on the schedule. Every week, PlayPicks will provide a detailed breakdown of multiple contests and provice CFL best bets for that slate of games using multiple sportsbooks including FanDuel and DraftKings.
Week 5 CFL Best Bets
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (3-1) at Saskatchewan Roughriders (3-0) – Sunday, 6 p.m. ET
Based on records, this shapes up as the marquee matchup of the Week 5 slate, but the Bombers seem to have more questions to answer than their undefeated hosts. After allowing 30 points to the Argonauts on the road in Week 3, the Bombers needed a last-second field goal to squeak by the Stampeders at home in Week 4 despite facing rookie QB Jake Maier.
Winnipeg’s vaunted defense – a key to their Grey Cup title in 2019 – has been much more vulnerable, as the Bombers have given up 346.0 yards of total offense per contest and have yielded the third-most first downs (80). They’ve also sprung a few leaks against the run (102.0 RYPG and co-CFL-high 5.6 yards per rush allowed). They’ll have their hands full Sunday against a dual-threat QB in Cody Fajardo that’s already averaging 6.6 yards per rush and has completed 78.9 percent of his throws on his way to leading the Riders to a 3-0 mark.
The Bombers’ Zach Collaros-helmed offense has been solid, and that’s factoring in they didn’t have star back Andrew Harris at their disposal until Week 4 due to a calf injury. Veteran receiver Darwin Adams has also missed time and appeared limited when playing because of a shoulder injury, but both should be ready to go for this contest.
The Riders have been the league’s all-around stingiest unit versus the run (league-low 47.0 rushing yards per game allowed), so Harris may ultimately make a greater impact as a receiver, where he’s proven to be elite in the past and where the going may be a little easier considering Saskatchewan has allowed the fourth-highest completion rate (65.3 percent).
While I think the Bombers come to play here, the Riders are at home and coming off a bye week. Ultimately, I see Saskatchewan achieving greater offensive balance on their way to a victory that should see both sides score a solid amount of points.
The Pick: Roughriders -4.5 (-105 on FanDuel)
The Lean: Over 43 points (-110 on DraftKings)
Edmonton Elks (1-2) at Calgary Stampeders (1-3) – Monday, 4:30 p.m. ET
The Elks are essentially coming off a bye week, as their game against the Argonauts last Thursday was postponed due to Edmonton’s team COVID-19 issues. Those have now been cleared up for the most part, and the Elks should therefore have a full arsenal with which to attack the frustrated Stampeders, whose three losses have come by a total of just 11 points.
Edmonton does bring the promise of a very balanced attack, as James Wilder is the best dual threat at running back this side of the Blue Bombers’ Harris, while Trevor Harris and Derel Walker still have a ton of untapped potential as a battery. Calgary has shown particularly susceptibility to the pass thus far, surrendering an average of 300 yards through the air and allowing the highest QB efficiency rating (98.8) in the league.
The Stampeders could have Bo Levi Mitchell back under center and ready to roll for this contest after he was removed from the injured list Wednesday, just 15 days after he was placed on it due to a leg injury. It remains to be seen if it will be Mitchell or highly impressive rookie Jake Maier at the controls Monday, but either should be able to lead the air attack competently.
Nevertheless, either will face a stiff challenge, as the Elks have surrendered a league-low 136.7 passing yards per game and 6.3 average yards per pass. Calgary does boast a talented, diverse group of pass catchers and a strong rushing attack led by former Chicago Bear Ka’Deem Carey that should allow them to move their fair share down the field.
The oddsmakers seem to think Calgary will separate in this contest, although I’m not completely sold on a cover. As such, I’ll go with the Over as the main pick and a lean on the Elks sliding under the number.
The Pick: Over 41.5 points (-120 on FanDuel)
The Lean: Elks +5.5 (+100 on FanDuel)