Every week our TSN CFL stats guru Jon Perlberg takes a deep dive Inside The Numbers to give bettors an edge.
This week, he takes a closer look at both the Eastern and Western Finals and makes his picks for which two teams will end up playing for the 108th Grey Cup in Hamilton on Dec. 12.
Fair is foul and foul is fair.
After a turbulent Friday in Toronto, McLeod Bethel-Thompson will indeed be able to suit up for the Double Blue in the East Division Final on Sunday.
On Friday morning, significant doubt was raised over McBeth’s eligibility to play in the game due to a violation of CFL COVID-19 protocols after he attended the Toronto Raptors NBA game on Thursday night.
Thankfully, the league’s ruling on the matter – Bethel-Thompson can play on Sunday after he quarantines at home for 48 hours and if he produces negative PCR tests on both Friday and Saturday – will allow the Argos starting QB to participate in what will be the biggest game of his life.
Unfortunately for the Argos, the CFL’s ruling on Friday resulted in Bethel-Thompson having to sit out two vital practices on Friday and Saturday.
This will surely make preparations all the more difficult in the lead up to a showdown with their hated rivals, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Despite all of the recent obstacles that have popped up for the team, the Argos will have their leader in the lineup and, ultimately, the deciding factor in this fierce Eastern Final matchup.
With the game on the line, there has been no one better in the entire CFL than McLeod Bethel-Thompson at leading his team to victory.
This season, the Argos pivot has been a perfect 4-0 in engineering fourth quarter comebacks (record when trailing by one to eight points in the final frame).
Only Warren Moon in 1981 with Edmonton (5-0) and Joe Barnes in 1983 with Toronto (5-0) have had better records – in CFL history!
There is no doubt this game will be close, but when all is said and done the Argos will have their hands raised and looking forward to a trip down the QEW for a chance at glory next week.
The Prediction: Toronto +2.5, Argos ML +116
Despite coasting through the finish line of the 2021 regular season, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will be firing on all cylinders in the West Division Final on Sunday.
The Bombers’ defence has been nothing short of legendary this season. Their 13.4 points allowed per game is the fewest in the CFL since 1970.
More importantly, the Blue and Gold have been at their absolute best while protecting home turf.
Winnipeg has a perfect 7-0 record at IG Field this season with an average win margin of 19.1 points.
They have also outscored their opponents 71-3 in the fourth quarter at home this year. A lone field goal conceded to Calgary in Week 4. That’s it. Truly, a remarkable defence.
Add in the fact that Riders’ QB Cody Fajardo struggled mightily against the Bombers this season, losing both of his starts and being held without a TD pass versus four interceptions.
Don’t expect the defending champs to break stride in this one. The Bombers will roll to victory over the Riders while punching their ticket to the big game.
The Prediction: Winnipeg -8.5