AlouettesThere was a professional football game played last week… in the last days of June.  The Canadian Football League officially got under way for the new season in Winnipeg as the Montreal Alouettes came to town to take on the hometown Blue Bombers.  Apparently it is cool enough up there to play football in the summertime.

The odds varied wildly on opening day after the Alouettes opened as 5 point favorites.  Just hours before the contest began players could shop around and find anywhere from 2.5 to 4.5 points being given to Winnipeg.  The totals also varied all the way from 49.5 to 53.  Perhaps it’s a bit early to be more specific as yet.

Part of the uncertainty revolved around the departure of highly successful Alouettes Head Coach Marc Trestman who has crossed over the border to Chicago and now coaches the Bears. Montreal went 59-31 in regular season play under Trestman and won two ‘Grey Cup’ championships in 5 years.

The new Head Coach in Montreal this year is Dan Hawkins and he will have his work cut out for him to be sure.  It is not easy to follow in the footsteps of a very successful coach in any sport at any level.  The Alouettes went winless in pre-season play but still emerged as favorites for the opening contest of the regular season. The Blue Bombers were the weakest team in the CFL East Division last season.

The Alouettes will once again be led by 20 year veteran quarterback Anthony Calvillo who passed for over 5,000 yards working under Marc Trestman.  His receivers from last season are all back and healthy led by veterans Jamel Richardson and S.J. Green.  Montreal should be on track for another successful season.

Other CFL matches over the weekend saw the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Toronto to play the Argonauts which opened with Toronto at -4.5 but moved to -3 to -3.5 before the game began. The BC Lions went to Calgary to take on the Stampeders as +2.5 underdogs at the opening but moved to -3 the day of the contest.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Edmonton Eskimos played on Saturday.  The game opened as a pick but Saskatchewan became the favorites by just 1.5 points before kickoff.

Last season, in betting the CFL, home underdogs turned out to be a profitable play with host teams getting the points went 11-9 but 14-6 ATS in 2012.


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