CFL Week 7: Edmonton vs. Montreal in Thursday Night Showdown

The West Division-leading Edmonton Eskimos (5-1) seek to get back to the win column with a game against the Montreal Alouettes (4-2) as they travel to Montreal for the game Thursday night. Edmonton will try to lick away the wounds caused by a 28-16 loss last week against the East-leading Winnipeg Blue Bombers, which also saw them lose their star wideout Fred Stamps to injury. Stamps had led the league in receiving yards with 619, including 5 touchdown receptions on 33 total catches.

Breaking up the potent tandem of QB Ricky Ray and Stamps could spell disaster for the Eskimos, as they head to face the Alouettes on the back of one of Ray’s worst performances in recent memory, as he threw for 3 picks on 17-28 passing for 226 yards. In opposition to Ray, Alouettes veteran QB Anthony Calvillo continues to chip away at CFL record books, becoming the all-time leader in pass completions (5,180) and touchdowns (398), with sights now set on the all-time mark for passing yards (needs 2,386 to pass Damon Allen’s total of 72,381). Calvillo leads the CFL in passing yards, completion percentage and touchdowns, and therefore will be the prime focus of containment for the top-ranked defense of Edmonton.

Though focus will be hedged on two of the CFL’s top passers in this game, the running game also looks to factor in more in this match-up as Montreal’s Brandon Whitaker leads the league with 493 rushing yards through 6 games, and comes off an impressive 19-carry, 150 yard effort last week in a 36-23 victory over the Toronto Argonauts. With Whitaker doing the brunt work, Dahrran Diedrick cleaned up on the TDs against Toronto, scoring 3 TDs on 5 carries, and this tandem will need to be equally productive against Edmonton to help the Als get pressure away from the passing attack.

On the flipside, Edmonton will have to lean more heavily on Jerome Messam at running back, who will have to show vast improvement over the recent efforts he’s made (never going over 54 yards rushing in the last 4 games). Without the threat of Stamps at receiver (who has been replaced by fill-in Jason Armstead), there’s a lot of load to shoulder for Messam in this game, and a lot of pressure coming at him without the down-field threat of Stamps to worry about.

Bodog Sportsbook puts the advantage in this game to Montreal, no doubt taking account that the Eskimos’ only loss of the year is on the road, they are missing their star wideout, and are coming to face a Montreal team with the top quarterback and running back in the CFL. Montreal is a 6 1/2 point favorite at Bodog, and a 54.5 point over/under at speaks to the offensive strength of Montreal at home as well.
We simply don’t see Edmonton recovering just yet from the loss of Fred Stamps, who looks to be out for 4-6 weeks, so we’ll count on Montreal covering the points spread at home. With a two-pronged attack featuring another strong performance by the veteran Anthony Calvillo, and a forceful effort by Brandon Whitaker on the ground, Edmonton falls by at least seven in Montreal this Thursday evening.

New MLB Series, NFL Preseason Games on Tap at the Top Sportsbooks

Tuesday brings in a fresh crop of 15 games for Major League Baseball fans as a number of new series get underway with more excitement added each and every day as the 2011 MLB season winds down and the playoff race remains an exciting chase to follow. Though we’ve grown accustomed to seeing primarily MLB Baseball for online sports betting throughout the summer months, this week will come with an added treat for sports fans, as the 2011-12 NFL Football season gets set to kick off with the first week of preseason games, starting this Thursday night with 5 contests set up around the United States. From exciting match-ups featuring the Baltimore Ravens vs. Philadelphia Eagles and the Denver Broncos vs. the Dallas Cowboys, to games that feature revamped teams like the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals (facing San Diego and Oakland respectively), the first week of games in the preseason should give sports fans a good look at how well teams are dealing with the quick turnaround from the lockout-shortened offseason, and how well the new crop of rookies and free agents are dealing with learning entirely new systems in quick fashion. Make sure that ahead of Thursday’s NFL Preseason openers, you get yourself down to one of the top sportsbooks reviewed here and look over the betting options for the games in play Thursday through Saturday night this week, as no doubt there’s plenty of excitement to be had by putting some action on the first available NFL games of the year.

Onto MLB Baseball we go, with a full plate of games available on Tuesday making up the bulk of the current action available for betting on sports. There’s plenty of prime match-ups on the mound to look into, as a number of top pitchers are in action today, and for sportsbook bets we’ll single out a couple of the more advantageous offerings featuring teams or pitchers who should be good bets to emerge victorious. Starting in the American League, find an interesting battle between the Los Angeles Angels and the New York Yankees, who begin a 3-game series in New York with Dan Haren (12-6, 2.81 ERA) vs. A.J. Burnett (8-9, 4.54 ERA). Of note, Burnett is 0-8 with a 7.28 ERA in August for the Yankees, and 2-2 with a 4.60 ERA over 7 starts against the Angels. Dan Haren is a great pick to get behind, as he’s pitching well (6-1, 2.58 ERA in his last 9 starts), and holds a 3-0 record with a 3.15 ERA against the Yankees to date. Find a great pitching duel in Cleveland as the Indians host the Detroit Tigers, with Doug Fister (4-12, 3.29 ERA) looking for his second consecutive win since coming from the Seattle Mariners before the trade deadline. He’ll face the best of the Indians pitching staff in Justin Masterson (9-7, 2.63 ERA), so get ready for a tight scoring ballgame which favors the stronger bats of the Detroit Tigers to nab a road win tonight.

Check out a number of solid National League match-ups starting with NL Central foes St. Louis hosting Milwaukee, with Shaun Marcum (10-3, 3.58 ERA) against Edwin Jackson (8-8, 4.11 ERA). With both teams sitting on 4-game winning streaks and this rivalry one of the best in baseball right now, make sure to take a gander at the betting lines for this game and the rest of the series to come on Wednesday and Thursday, as no doubt plenty of drama and excitement should come out of it. Moving along to other good betting options, find the Braves’ Brandon Beachy (5-2, 3.49 ERA) set to continue his strong recent form against the fading Florida Marlins, Dontrelle Willis (0-1, 3.41 ERA) has pitched well in his return to the MLB, and looks to make a decent wager as the Cincinnati Reds host the Colorado Rockies, and we like the Chicago Cubs to prevail at home behind Matt Garza (5-8, 3.78 ERA) as the very shaky Chien-Ming Wang (0-2, 6.00 ERA) takes the mound for the visiting Washington Nationals. Find even more action ahead as CFL Football action gets underway on Thursday night with another prime match-up between the Edmonton Eskimos (5-1) and the Montreal Alouettes (4-2), and if you haven’t jumped into this fine addition to the upcoming NFL season, give CFL Football a try and learn a little bit about the exciting league in the Great White North. There’s plenty of action to be had today and throughout the week when betting at the top sportsbooks reviewed here, so jump into the action as soon as possible, and get ready for plenty of football and baseball to provide you with great sports excitement for months to come.