The Montreal Alouettes are looking for a spark after a poor start to the 2018 season. Might Johnny Manziel be the answer? The former Heisman Trophy winner and first-round NFL draft pick was traded to the team this week from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and while he won’t start, coach Mike Sherman has not ruled out putting him on the field this week against the Edmonton Eskimos.
Manziel could be in a tough spot with only a few days to learn the playbook, but the Alouettes also don’t have a ton of great options. Vernon Adams is slated to start under center for the Alouettes in this one after the team lost starting quarterback Drew Willy to a right hand injury in last week’s loss to the Calgary Stampeders.
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Montreal is just 1-4 on the season and is hoping that Manziel can help turn around its fortunes. The Eskimos are 3-2 as all but one team in the CFL are within two games of each other in the standings through six weeks. The Alouettes can muddy the waters even more by winning this game at home but it won’t be an easy task in CFL betting.
The Edmonton Eskimos and Montreal Alouettes will face off on Thursday, July 26, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. ET at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
We'll have CFL odds at Betcris available for every game of the 2018 CFL season.
The Eskimos are heading into this contest as heavy nine-point favorites despite playing on the road. They have been the superior team in every aspect this year and will aim to pick up a nice win away from home. Thus far there is a pretty even split on which team will cover.
The scoring total is listed at 48 points, with the “under” the much more popular play with bettors, likely because of Montreal’s uncertain quarterback situation in CFL betting.
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Manziel -- It’s certainly possible the star doesn’t see the field in this game, with the coaching staff preferring to take a longer-term approach. But the Alouettes are heavy underdogs and if they get down by double-digits it would make sense to let the gunslinger take over and see if he can create some magic.
Manziel is hoping to one day get another NFL shot, but in order for that to happen, he needs to excel in the CFL. He never got his chance with the Tiger-Cats but this trade should breathe new life into his career north of the border.
Manziel is a polarizing figure and there’s no doubt people will be anxious to see how he performs if he gets in the game. Keep the expectations low, though, because he is still learning the playbook and his new teammates, which makes the degree of difficulty quite high.
69. That’s the number of points Montreal has scored on the season in five games, which is the lowest in the CFL. The addition of Manziel is meant to kickstart an offense that has been putrid. The defense has not been any better as the Alouettes have given up a league-high 148 points.
This is a team in need of drastic changes and that’s why the deal for Manziel was made. Time will tell if it pays off but it seems like a worthy gamble at this point.
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Manziel has some potential down the road, but this is a tough matchup. Edmonton has to play on the road but is the much better team and should not have much trouble picking up the win and covering the spread.
The “under” is the pick on the scoring total because the Alouettes will struggle to put up points
CFL ATS Pick: Edmonton Eskimos 27, Montreal Alouettes 15
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