Slam Dunk picks: ridin’ the green Riders

The green Riders made some green the last time Chris Jones and his bunch hit the field.

As 6.5-point underdogs in Week 4 against Hamilton at home, Saskatchewan won outright 18-13. After a bye week, the Riders and Ticats play the second and final part of the home-and-home series at Tim Hortons Field and the line has been bumped even further in the Tabbies favour.

Let’s delve into the Thursday night affair and other bets for the week.

(Editor’s note: check back for possible Saturday plays on the Bombers-Argos and Alouettes-Stampeders games, Calgary has yet to name a starting quarterback)

Saskatchewan Roughriders (2-2) at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2-2)
Thursday, July 19, 7:30 p.m. EST

Even though Saskatchewan enjoyed a victory in the team’s last outing, Jones felt practice was too lackadaisical and read the Riders the riot act in advance of travelling to Hamilton. Veteran offensive lineman Brendon LaBatte felt it was warranted and a long time coming. The heated words should have refocused the squad.

Brandon Bridge gets his third straight start at quarterback in a place where the vibes bringing good feels. He threw three touchdown passes while beating the Ticats at Timbit Field in Week 13 one season ago, outduelling Jeremiah Masoli. In Week 4 Bridge engineered a late fourth-quarter touchdown drive to give Saskatchewan the win. That made Bridge, Jones and the Riders 2-0 against June Jones since he took over as Hamilton’s bench boss.

Ride in the Riders side with all the extra points.

Line: Ticats favoured by 10.5 points
Pick: Saskatchewan
Bet: $21 returns $20

B.C. Lions (2-2) at Ottawa Redblacks (2-2)
Friday, July 20, 7:30 p.m. EST

Travis Lulay returning to the B.C. lineup clearly added some extra juice – similar to Willie Beamen invisible juice.

The Lions trailed 17-0 at halftime and under Jon Jennings, the group would not have come back. B.C. pitched a shutout in the second half and Lulay guided the offence to 10 points in the final two minutes for the improbable 20-17 win.

There is a renewed belief in B.C. and it’s due to Lulay, the 2014 CFL MOP. He brings an infectious attitude to the entire Lions roster. Age (34) seems to be just a number for Lulay who returned 10 months after suffering a torn ACL to lead B.C. to a much-needed victory. That has to boost Lulay’s confidence if he even needed it.

Meanwhile, Trevor Harris was benched not once, but twice in a terrible outing against Calgary. The Stamps do seem to have his number and Harris does tend to bounce back, but take the quarterback who is feeling like he’s playing with invisible juice.

Line: Redblacks favoured by 6.5 points
Pick: B.C.
Bet: $21 returns $20


Season record against the spread: 9-6

Money line: 2-2

Teasers: 2-1

Bankroll: $572 from $393 starting budget

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