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CFL Odds: Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Calgary Stampeders

After an uncharacteristic and disappointing 2011 campaign, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are playing with a chip on their shoulder this season.

The Roughriders are on top of the league with a 3-0 record after beating the defending Grey Cup champion Lions 23-20 last Saturday at Regina. They covered the CFL odds as 3-point dogs in that contest and are now 3-0 ATS on the season.

Newly-appointed coach Corey Chamblin, who is the youngest head man in the CFL at 35 years of age, said that the talking heads are coming up with excuses as to why his team has defeated the Tiger-Cats, Eskimos and Lions. He said that his team has earned every victory, and that’s what he’s preaching to them.

"I’m a big believer in first-year head coach Corey Chamblin." professional CFL handicapper Sean Murphy said.

Darian Durant completed 18 of 28 passes for 172 yards in the win. Kory Sheets continued his ground assault with 76 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.

This is a well-balanced offense that hasn’t turned the ball over all season. Durant is also getting solid protection from the rebuilt and stacked offensive line. The Riders have only taken three sacks in the first three weeks.

But the defense, led by linebacker Odell Willis, is the reason Saskatchewan is unbeaten. That side of the ball has allowed 16, 1 and 20 points in the three games this season. Going back to last year, the defense has given up fewer than 15 points per in the last eight outings.

Travis Lulay did throw for 345 yards on the young secondary but he also tossed two interceptions. As long as Chamblin’s us-against-the-world message continues to hit home, this Riders team will be tough to beat.

Kevin Glenn performed well enough to win in his first start since the 2011 postseason, but one costly mistake ended up losing the game for him.

Glenn is under center for the Stampeders now that Drew Tate is out for at least the next month with a dislocated left shoulder. Glenn had Calgary up 12 points with three minutes to play in Week 3 but they lost 33-32 as 7-point CFL odds underdogs. The Als’ game-winning touchdown drive was setup by a Glenn interception.

Anthony Calvillo said that wins like that can bring a team together. And for the Stamps, a loss like that it can tear a locker room apart.

Head coach John Hufnagel said that Glenn, the line and the receivers were still working on cadence and chemistry this week. Glenn started slow Thursday but finished completing 26 of 36 passes for 267 yards. But the interception, when all they needed to do was protect the football and ice the game, was inexcusable.

This is Glenn’s football team for the foreseeable future and he will have to bring it back together after the deflating loss.

Calgary went 4-0 against the Riders last season, covering the spread in all four meetings. Three of the matchups played under the total.