Windy Forecast Creating Betting Value for CFL Thursday Night Football

Credit:

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press. Pictured: Quarterback Johnny Manziel

  • Before betting a total in the CFL, it is important to consider the weather conditions.
  • Wind is the most important factor and can create value for over/under bettors.
  • Windy conditions are expected for Thursday's Edmonton Eskimos-Montreal Alouettes game.

On Sunday, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats traded Johnny Manziel to the Montreal Alouettes. Manziel never saw the field for Hamilton but Montreal, coach Mike Sherman said, “we didn’t bring him here to have him sit on the bench.” The 2014 first-round pick by the Cleveland Browns could take the field on Thursday night when the Alouettes host the Edmonton Eskimos.

Edmonton opened as a 7.5-point favorite at Pinnacle, total 48. There will likely be increased action on this Thursday night showdown with the possibility of Manziel playing. Most bettors will focus on the spread, but the total is what interests me.

The forecast calls for average wind speeds of 7 mph throughout the game. That might not sound like much, but history shows wind has the greatest impact on scoring in football.


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According to Bet Labs, the under is 100-76-1 (57%) when there is an average wind speed of 5 mph or greater since 2014, when we began tracking weather data for the Canadian Football League. The stronger the gusts the more profitable it is to bet the under:

Betting unders in windy games isn’t just profitable in the CFL. The same trend works in the NFL and college football:

Wind is an important factor to consider when handicapping a total because it can greatly affect the passing game. If teams are forced to run the ball more, that will keep the clock running and shorten the game, which is beneficial for under bettors.

Mike Reilly, the starting quarterback for Edmonton, has attempted the most passes in the league this season. The Eskimos throw the ball nearly twice as often as they run it. A windy game would not be ideal for their offensive attack. Plus, if Manziel does play, he will have little time to learn the playbook and create a connection with teammates, which could limit what Montreal is able to do on offense.

If the wind speeds stay at 5 mph or greater, I’ll be betting the under. Of course, weather forecasts change, so be sure to monitor the conditions for Thursday’s game. Or try Bet Labs for a month, just $49, and get notifications sent to your phone when games match this system.

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