CFL season begins Thursday night

Jun 27, 2008 7:00 PM

by Kevin Stott | The Canadian Football League kicked off its 51st official season on Thursday night with an East-West doubleheader featuring the Hamilton Tiger-Cats hosting the Montreal Alouettes and the Calgary Flames welcoming the British Columbia Lions.

Oddsmakers made the Ticats (3-15 SU, 8-10 ATS last season) a one-point favorite and the total 46. Montreal (8-11 SU/ATS) defeated Hamilton, 33-10 and has now gone 6-0 SU in the last six meetings and 6-1 ATS in the last six overall vs. the Ticats. The under trend continued in the series as six of the last seven have ducked under the total as well as 11 of the last 14 meetings.

In the BC-Calgary contest, linesmakers made the Lions a three-point favorite with the over/under at 55 points. Calgary (7-11-1, 9-10) ended up winning the game, 28-18, in the night of upsets and unders, as BC (14-4-1, 9-10) fell on the road. The game went under the total for the first time in the last six meetings in this series.

Tonight, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (12-8-1, 11-10) host Toronto (11-8), the team with the best point spread record (14-5) in the CFL last season. Winnipeg is a 2½-point favorite at the Las Vegas Hilton’s SuperBook with the total at 43½, one-half point up from the opener.

On Saturday night, Week 1 play wraps up when the Saskatchewan Roughriders (15-6, 12-9) host the Edmonton Eskimos (5-12-1) the team with the worst point spread record (6-12) in 2007. The LVH has Saskatchewan as a 4½-point favorite, up a half from its opener of 4 while the total is at 53½ down a half from 53. CFL lines and scores can be found on www.donbest.com.

The league’s 19-week schedule will conclude on Nov. 1 with a doubleheader followed by divisional playoffs a week later. The 96th Grey Cup will be played on Nov. 23 in Montreal. For the first time ever, the entire CFL schedule will be televised on TSN which is available in 8.8 million of Canada’s 13 million households.