Weekend Sports Betting Preview

In my last column, I went 3-1 on my CFL picks, so 75%. 75%! This is, surely, sustainable forever and ever amen, so, being the magnanimous chap that I am, I am going to give you four new picks, spread across several sports, to place this weekend. All lines courtesy of Bovada.

Since I'm hot in the CFL let's start there. I like Montreal at +3 at Hamilton. Not a lot has gone right for Montreal this year, but signal-caller Trevor Harris has improved his completion percentage and yards per completion over each of the last three games. That was enough to get them by Ottawa on the road last week, and I'm not sure Hamilton represents a massive upgrade over Ottawa. The Ticats are third worst in the CFL in YPC against, so I'm calling for another big Trevor Harris day again for the Alouettes, and an Alouettes cover.

Moving on to boxing: Lucas Brian Bastida takes on Josh Kelly in England. Before I get to a specific pick here, a good general rule of thumb when betting on boxing taking place in the UK is this: if it's a UK fighter vs. a non-UK fighter, unless that non-UK fighter is bona fide superstar, he or she has practically no chance of winning the fight on the cards.

Home cooking in boxing judging is a problem everywhere, but by my lens it's at its worst in the UK. Bastida, from Argentina, is certainly not a bona fide superstar and in fact has never fought outside Argentina before now. The Boxrec super welterweight rankings (#39 worldwide for Kelly, #47 for Bastida) foretell a reasonably competitive fight, certainly closer than Kelly's -1200 odds to win right now. But ... again, the fight is in the UK.

All of that said, I'm not looking at a winner or loser on this fight. I am looking at how the fight is +110 not to go the distance. That's my bet. Four of Bastida's last five fights have involved at least one knockdown, and the same is true for five out of Kelly's last six fights. Given the hard time non-Brits have getting a decision in the UK, Bastida might be going for the knockout, and leaving himself more exposed to one. Love KO/DQ/Stoppage for either fighter at +110.

Let's move to soccer, and another rule of thumb that I like to follow. Thanks to the surfeit of ties in soccer, there is never any shortage of matches where all three possible results — a home win, an away win, and a draw — are plus-money.

In those matches, I love taking the favorite — you know it's highly likely that they will at very least be competitive and have their chances to win. That is why I like Chicago at +110 at home against an Atlanta team that's further down the ladder on Saturday.

I'll close it out with a futures bet: I love the Philadelphia Eagles at under 9.5 wins at +110. Philadelphia won 9 last year, so the books seem pretty sure they are going to improve. They are a sexy pick to make a run at the NFC East with some nice offseason pickups. Personally, though I'm not sold on Jalen Hurts, and do they have a unit that is comfortably top-five in the NFL? Don't you need at least one of those to be a 10-win team? Bottom line, I just don't see this as a double-digit win team.

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