The CFL is back with a 14-game season, and Week 7 begins with a double-header on Friday night featuring the Stampeders at the Tiger-Cats followed by the Argos at the Roughriders.
Saturday gets going with another two games, starting with the BC Lions going to Montreal to play the Alouettes and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers meeting the Edmonton Elks for an all-Western clash in Alberta.
Nik’s Picks is here for you to gain on edge on the lines throughout the 2021 CFL season.
Calgary Stampeders at Hamilton Tiger-Cats
CFL Odds and Point Spreads: OTB
A new quarterback will be under centre for the Ti-Cats in Week 7, it’s just a matter of who. First-string pivot Jeremiah Masoli has been out since Week 3 with a ribs and elbow injury but is back practising. Dane Evans, the starter from weeks 3–6, is out with an oblique injury. If Masoli can’t go it’s David Watford starting and hence why this line is off the board as of late Tuesday.
Calgary meanwhile has their gunslinger back in Bo Levi Mitchell and he got them what could be a season-saving win at Edmonton last Saturday and are now at 2-4. The Ti-Cats have some serious injury concerns right now as Evans is out; receivers Brandon Banks, Bralon Addison, and Devier Posey are still dinged up; and now running-back Sean Thomas-Erlington has a hurt leg.
When this line does come out, side with the defences… and then Bo Levi to get it done.
Calgary 20 Hamilton 12
Best bet: Under (pending the total)
Toronto Argonauts at Saskatchewan Roughriders
CFL Odds and Point Spreads: Saskatchewan -3.5, Over/under 42.5
The status of Cody Fajardo is what all eyeballs should be on this week as the Riders’ star pivot deals with a head injury suffered in Week 6. Fajardo was limited in practice Tuesday, which given his injury is a minor positive sign and makes Saskatchewan about a field goal favourite.
Recency bias may be a factor here too, with Saskatchewan dropping two straight and the Argos recently soaring into first. Don’t forget Toronto didn’t bode well at Winnipeg either, and the Riders are 11-3 at home under coach Craig Dickenson. Albeit one loss came to Nick Arbuckle.
Arbuckle’s only been able to throw for over 240 yards in one start in 2021, and if Saskatchewan gets some defensive players back from injury it could be a long game for the Argos. The Riders should bounce back at home IF Fajardo starts.
Toronto 17 Saskatchewan 20
Best bet: Under 42.5
BC Lions at Montreal Alouettes
CFL Odds and Point Spreads: Pick’em, Over/under 48.5
After a pair of wins over the last-place Redblacks the BC Lions travel East to take on Khari Jones’ Alouettes, except Jones won’t be at the game after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. Assistant head coach André Bolduc will lead Montreal instead this week, who like the Lions are also coming off a win against Ottawa.
This contest is also a battle between the league’s top rushing and passing offences. Montreal’s ground game is getting 141 yards a night, while BC’s passing attack is averaging 297 yards. Both defences rank quite well playing against what their opponent is top-ranked at, Montreal’s even first in offensive points but BC’s second in points allowed.
When all said and done, look for the turnover battle to come into play. Both clubs have feasted off turnovers in 2021 and don’t commit many themselves. Whoever plays the cleaner game should win, and usually that’s where Michael Reilly comes into play. Lions claw one out.
BC 28 Montreal 24
Best bet: BC moneyline
Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Edmonton Elks
CFL Odds and Point Spreads: Winnipeg -6.5, Over/under 41.5
The Bombers have cemented themselves as the top dog in the CFL, but are just 1-1 on the road in 2021 and face an unpredictable Edmonton club Saturday night. One week the Elks are putting up 400 yards of offence, the other they can’t score a major.
Trevor Harris’ short-passing game has historically succeeded versus the Bombers, and has proven to be an effective way to mitigate Winnipeg’s defensive front. But, Winnipeg’s still getting some MVP-calibre football on both sides of the ball with quarterback Zach Collaros and defensive end Willie Jefferson.
It won’t be easy covering 6.5 on the road against the CFL’s top team in terms of net offence and defence, but the Bombers are in a groove right now. Jaime Elizondo has yet to prove his Elks are a consistent group, and for that reason alone Collaros and Co. should get the dub.
Winnipeg 28 Edmonton 18
Best bet: Over 41.5
2021 Nik’s Picks:
Best bet record: 11-12
Moneyline record: 10-13