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The 106th edition of the CFL Grey Cup will take place at 3 p.m. (PT) Sunday at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium (ESPN2) as the East Division champion Ottawa Redblacks face the West Division champion Calgary Stampeders. 

Ottawa is in the Grey Cup for the third time in four years in what has been a mere five-year existence for the franchise. The Stampeders will be looking to exorcise some demons in this game as this will be their third straight appearance after losing in each of the last two Grey Cup games .

How did they get here?

The Redblacks waltzed through the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, 46-27, in an easy blowout win in the East Final to get to Edmonton. Their offense played terrific in that game and also down the stretch of the regular season with QB Trevor Harris at the controls. Harris completed 72.9 percent of his passes with 22 TD’s and 11 INT’s this season and the Redblacks offense put up 35, 30 and 46 points in the last three games he started dating back to the regular season. 

The defense was somewhat susceptible to big plays though and has allowed 27+ points in four of their last six games.

On the other side, Calgary limped into the playoffs dealing with injuries and also subpar performances on the field. The Stamps finished the regular season going 2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS in their last five games but they looked like a revitalized squad in last Sunday’s solid 22-14 win against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the West Division Final. 

QB Bo Levi Mitchell was better with 214 passing yards along with 3 TDs and, most important, no interceptions. Don Jackson was very effective running the football for Calgary, collecting 83 yards on the ground at a 5.9 yards per rush clip. 

The Calgary offense got one of the best WR’s back in the West Final in Eric Rogers, which was massive for a team that has been decimated with numerous season-ending injuries at that position. The performance of the Calgary defense in that win was just as impressive holding a balanced Winnipeg offense to barely over 300 total yards in the game. 

A critical absence for Ottawa could be cornerback Jonathan Rose. He was ejected from the East Division Final against Hamilton after coming in contact with an official and the CFL announced on Tuesday morning that he has been suspended for the Grey Cup. Ottawa is appealing the decision but are likely to lose the appeal.

If Rose doesn’t play, the Redblacks would be without arguably their best shutdown corner on their pass defense,which would be a major obstacle for them to overcome on that side of the ball.  

Betting-wise, Calgary has been a money-burner in the Grey Cup the last two seasons as both times they lost outright against Ottawa in 2016 and Toronto in 2017 while laying more than a TD as favorites in both games. However, the price is much more reasonable in this year’s Grey Cup to back Calgary. The Stamps were laying -7.5 and -9.5 in those two games but they are only laying four points here against Ottawa. 

Calgary looks like a determined bunch and after taking care of a red hot Winnipeg team, I think they are the right side in Sunday’s Grey Cup. I expect a competitive game but my numbers indicate value on the Stamps. 

There are no clear Over or Under totals trends in recent Grey Cup games. I think Calgary’s offense has a chance to thrive here against a suspect Ottawa defense while the Redblacks remain fairly potent on offense so my totals lean would be Over 53.5 in this game. However, the stronger play for me will be to look at Calgary minus the points to finally get over the hump and prove that the third time really is the charm. STAMPEDERS

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