This is a crucial week for Bo Levi Mitchell and the Calgary Stampeders as they look to gain some ground in the log-jammed West Division.
The CFL is back with a 14-game season, and Week 13 has a four-game slate featuring two double-headers. The weekend gets going with Calgary at Ottawa on Friday, followed by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats visiting the Edmonton Elks. The BC Lions at Toronto Argonauts is the early bout Saturday, with the weekend concluding in Montreal as the Alouettes host the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Nik’s Picks is here for you to gain on edge on the lines throughout the 2021 CFL season.
Calgary Stampeders at Ottawa Redblacks
CFL Odds and Point Spreads: Calgary -11, Over/Under 42.5
Interception fans, you’re in for a treat Friday evening. Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell is the only player this season with double-digit interceptions (13) while presumable Redblacks starter Caleb Evans leads the CFL with a 7.3 per cent interception rate on 124 pass attempts.
At 2-9, the Redblacks are all but eliminated from playoff contention, so 2022 auditions are getting started early. This means Devlin Hodges could get his first start under centre, or Ottawa could continue to roll with Evans who is experiencing major growing pains.
For Calgary, picking up the two points Friday is crucial as they’re situated in a log-jammed West Division. The Stamps have been riding a top-three defence in terms of points against and running back Ka’Deem Carey has eclipsed 60 rushing yards in four straight weeks. Ottawa’s run defence gives up a league-worst 116 a game. Calgary’s defence should earn them this bout.
Calgary 21 Ottawa 13
Best bet: Under 32.5
Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Edmonton Elks
CFL Odds and Point Spreads: Hamilton -5, Over/Under 43
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats now got both their quarterbacks for the home stretch, while the last-place Edmonton Elks have shifted entirely in a different direction at the game’s most important spot. As Hamilton’s starter again, Jeremiah Masoli is playing strong with back-to-back 300-yard outings. Taylor Cornelius will start another game for the Elks, who now have Nick Arbuckle in the mix after a trade with Toronto (Arbuckle won’t be available Friday).
The 2-7 Elks are coming off a bye and it’s safe to assume their season is winding down. Edmonton’s stuck in the basement of the West while Hamilton’s right in the mix in the East. Both teams have some of the better pass defences and each have had troubles scoring points. Essentially, Hamilton and Edmonton are very similar. One team just has a lot more to play for, and have made it clear by their compete level. Take the Ti-Cats.
Hamilton 25 Edmonton 17
Best bet: Hamilton -5
BC Lions at Toronto Argonauts
CFL Odds and Point Spreads: Toronto -4, Over/Under 46
After losing four straight versus divisional opponents the BC Lions should be thrilled to get out of the West. Problem is, up next for BC is the East Division-leading Toronto Argonauts. But both teams are coming off a week in which they lost by 20-plus points, a 45-0 loss in the Lions case.
Both teams are also vulnerable to yards against which bodes well for pocket passers Michael Reilly and McLeod Bethel-Thompson. It’s also time to start getting seriously worried about Toronto’s defence under Chris Jones, as Montreal racked up 443 yards of offence on that unit in Week 12. Albeit bad weather in the forecast, if Reilly’s struggling offence can’t get going against Toronto the Lions may be out of luck in 2021.
The Argos are a perfect 4-0 at home, they keep that streak rolling Saturday.
BC 15 Toronto 25
Best bet: Toronto -4
Saskatchewan Roughriders at Montreal Alouettes
CFL Odds and Point Spreads: Saskatchewan -1.5, Over/Under 46.5
The Alouettes are looking to make it five wins in a row Saturday, but the Saskatchewan Roughriders may have found their mojo. Specifically Cody Fajardo, who completed 80 per cent of his passes, one of which going for a major on a gutsy third-down call. And most importantly, Saskatchewan’s now got Shaq Evans and Duke Williams in their offence.
To combat the Riders new duo, don’t sleep on Montreal’s defence… in particular Money Hunter and Greg Reid. The boundary side is where the action between these four will go down, and Hunter and Reid a large reason why Montreal’s pass defence is hovering near the league’s best.
Then of course, William Stanback needs to be mentioned after he tied a career high 203 rushing yards last week. Saskatchewan’s run defence is the best in the CFL, but you can only slow Stanback down rather than completely stopping him. Alouettes sneak out a close one.
Saskatchewan 22 Montreal 24
Best bet: Montreal moneyline
2021 Nik’s Picks:
Best bet record: 23-23
Moneyline record: 26-20