The CFL is back with a 14-game season, and Week 15 starts off with a pair of Friday evening games that will have serious playoff implications.
Friday night features the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at the Toronto Argonauts and the Calgary Stampeders visiting the BC Lions. Saturday gives us a double-header matinee starting off with Winnipeg at Montreal and ending with Saskatchewan hosting Edmonton.
Nik’s Picks is here for you to gain on edge on the lines throughout the 2021 CFL season.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Toronto Argonauts
CFL Odds and Point Spreads: Pick’em, Over/under 45
With two weeks remaining in the season, this is the biggest CFL game of 2021 thus far. A win for Toronto, who is 5-0 at home, clinches them first in the East. But if Hamilton’s able to sneak out a dub on the road, both these Ontario rivals head into the final week with eight wins. Toronto leads the season series 2-1 too as these teams play their fourth and final regular season battle.
Hamilton’s rolling too, as Jeremiah Masoli has 1,296 passing yards to go with nine touchdowns and zero interceptions in his past four starts. Masoli’s season-high of 361 yards actually came in the Tabbies’ most recent loss which happened to be against Toronto.
And despite being 8-4, Toronto isn’t passing the eye test as of late. They squeaked out a 23-20 win against Ottawa in Week 14 where McLeod Bethel-Thompson tossed three interceptions. Only Ottawa has allowed more touchdowns than Toronto in 2021. This has all the makings of the Ti-Cats making a statement before the post-season.
Hamilton 38 Toronto 17
Best bet: Hamilton moneyline
Calgary Stampeders at BC Lions
CFL Odds and Point Spreads: Calgary -2.5, Over/under 45.5
A month ago Calgary and BC met out in Vancouver in a crucial divisional match, and the Stampeders came out with a 29-point win. Since then the Lions have dropped another three games and dug themselves a hole big enough that if they lose here, they’re out of the playoffs.
Calgary’s the team BC is chasing too, meaning the Stamps should have all the motivation to put the nail in the coffin during likely the final Bo Levi Mitchell–Michael Reilly meeting of the year. Ironically, neither of these hall of fame quarterbacks have had seasons to remember. Reilly’s got solid numbers, but he’ll be the first to tell you they don’t matter given another losing season.
Mitchell’s really yet to find any sort of groove in 2021, which is troublesome. His 7:13 touchdown to interception ratio is as ugly as it seems, as is the Stamps’ -10 turnover ratio. Ride with the better pivot in what’s a matchup between two evenly matched clubs. Lions by a few.
Calgary 24 BC 26
Best bet: BC +2.5
Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Montreal Alouettes
CFL Odds and Point Spreads: Winnipeg -8, Over/under 44.5
Trevor Harris and the Alouettes gave Winnipeg a rare close game last Saturday. Expect the same here as the Blue Bombers prep for a playoff run while Montreal jockeys for playoff positioning. Most notably, the Als were able to muster 21 points in their loss; before that the Blue Bombers’ historic defence had allowed 20 points only once since the middle of August.
Both the statuses of Zach Collaros and Andrew Harris, among others, are to monitor. Collaros should start, but may not play the full game with first place wrapped up. Expect Andrew Harris to continue to sit out with his knee injury, and possibly other Bombers who aim to rest up.
For the Als, expect more of William Stanback. No one besides two Argos had rushed for at least 100 yards on the Bombers in 2021. Stanback did so on 16 carries to extend his league rushing lead by a couple hundred yards. Montreal needs the win, and Winnipeg may ease up.
Winnipeg 16 Montreal 24
Best bet: Montreal +8
Edmonton Elks at Saskatchewan Roughriders
CFL Odds and Point Spreads: Saskatchewan -10.5, Over/under 44
If you couldn’t tell based off the first three quarters of Roughriders–Elks last Friday, Edmonton is now officially eliminated. Now they shift the playing field to Regina, the site of Edmonton’s first of three games in seven days. On the bright side Taylor Cornelius looked decent in Edmonton’s 19-17 loss to Saskatchewan in Week 14, stacking up 322 passing yards and two touchdown passes in defeat. Running back Walter Fletcher had 140 yards on 19 touchdowns in his first career CFL start too.
Turnovers have let Edmonton down all season, and then been integral for Saskatchewan’s success which makes it ironic that the Elks won the turnover battle 1-0 in Week 14. Edmonton’s still got a -16 turnover ratio thanks to eight total takeaways in 11 games. For comparison, the Riders have forced 31. Saskatchewan reached 40 sacks in the win too, while the Elks got to 22.
Key team statistics and momentum both point the Riders’ way. Saskatchewan by a lot.
Edmonton 14 Saskatchewan 30
Best bet: Saskatchewan -10.5
2021 Nik’s Picks:
Best bet record: 28-26
Moneyline record: 33-21