Week 14 features a pair of double-headers starting Friday with BC at Hamilton followed by Saskatchewan at Edmonton. For Saturday, Toronto will travel to Ottawa and Montreal is headed to Winnipeg to close the week out.
The CFL is back with a 14-game season. Nik’s Picks is here for you to gain on edge on the lines throughout the 2021 CFL season.
BC Lions at Hamilton Tiger-Cats
CFL Odds and Point Spreads: Hamilton -6.5, Over/Under 43.5
A five-game losing streak has BC on the outside of the playoffs looking in, while a pair of wins has Hamilton back eyeing first in the East. Michael Reilly’s conveniently failed to reach 300 yards passing in any of those five losses. Jeremiah Masoli’s passed for 300-plus in each of his last three starts — cementing himself as the Ti-Cats’ guy under centre.
The air attack is where this game will be decided. The Lions don’t run the football (their 146 rushing attempts are 52 fewer than any other CFL team), and rank third in yards per pass, pass efficiency, and passing touchdowns. Hamilton’s a top-two passing defence in completion percentage against, yards per pass against, and 30-yard completions against. Then on the flip side, Masoli’s doing just fine without receivers Bralon Addison and Brandon Banks, plus the Lions’ defence is now dead last in passing yards against.
Winning at Hamilton is tough, never mind when key areas swing in their favour. Ti-Cats win big.
BC 14 Hamilton 30
Best bet: Hamilton first half spread
Saskatchewan Roughriders at Edmonton Elks
CFL Odds and Point Spreads: Saskatchewan -6, Over/Under 46
A win for Saskatchewan puts them in the driver’s seat when it comes to clinching a home playoff game and a loss for Edmonton eliminates them from playoff competition. This is what’s on the line, before judging how these teams are performing on the field.
For Saskatchewan, they look rejuvenated and have a defence that’s played with swagger in back-to-back to wins. On offence the presumable loss of Kyran Moore will hurt the Riders’ flow, but Cody Fajardo still has Shaq Evans and Duke Williams to throw to.
Playmakers Greg Ellingson and James Wilder Jr. are also injured and missed practice Tuesday, which doesn’t bout well for the Elks. Aside from those two, it’s been a lot of “going through the motions” on offence in Edmonton — sitting eighth with 17.1 offensive points per game.
Saskatchewan’s mission this season has been to own field position and the turnover battle. Edmonton is near the worst in both categories, which plays a big role in a Riders rout.
Saskatchewan 27 Edmonton 12
Best bet: Under 46
Toronto Argonauts at Ottawa Redblacks
CFL Odds and Point Spreads: Toronto -10.5, Over/Under 45.5
It’s a first versus worst battle out East in Ottawa as the Argos and Redblacks meet for the final time in 2021. McLeod Bethel-Thompson only threw for 155 yards in Week 13 in his first outing as Toronto’s guy moving forward, but the talent around him lifted Toronto to victory — and saved Ryan Dinwiddie from another baffling coaching decision. In particular, the Argos rushed for 122 yards between John White and D.J. Foster. That’s trouble for an Ottawa rush defence giving up over 115 yards a contest, and a unit surrendering a league-worst 28 points a game.
It’s full on 2022 tryouts in Ottawa too. The quarterback situation could see Caleb Evans, Devlin Hodges, or even Tom Flacco under centre. On defence, the likes of Ranthony Texada, Frankie Griffin, and Tre Hornbuckle all got starts in Week 12 and expect more newcomers to get reps for Ottawa. Toronto, the more talented team, needs the two points. They get it and some.
Toronto 32 Ottawa 16
Best bet: Toronto -10.5
Montreal Alouettes at Winnipeg Blue Bombers
CFL Odds and Point Spreads: Winnipeg -12, Over/Under 45
Trevor Harris is getting his first start as a Montreal Aloeutte, unfortunately for him it’s back at IG Field against Winnipeg. Back in Week 10, Harris completed 9 of 22 pass attempts for 87 yards at Winnipeg in what became has last start before being traded by Edmonton. Now he gets another shot at the Bombers’ historic defence.
Winnipeg’s first in the CFL with 11.5 points against a game, 5.2 yards against per play, and have yet to allow a fourth-quarter touchdown this season (reminder it’s Week 14). It’s Willie Jefferson causing havoc at the line, Adam Bighill hitting anything in sight, or Brandon Alexander making opponents think twice before running across the middle. And we haven’t even mentioned Winnipeg’s MOP-favourite quarterback on offence.
When it comes to Saturday, Montreal’s got the league’s best ground game behind William Stanback and Winnipeg is only okay against the run. It’s the Als best shot, and should at least keep this one close. Bombers continue to win.
Montreal 24 Winnipeg 26
Best bet: Montreal +12
2021 Nik’s Picks:
Best bet record: 25-25
Moneyline record: 29-21