Slam Dunk picks: Eastern possibilities

East Division squads have a chance to level up.

All three matchups in Week 14 feature West teams facing Eastern squads. Every Western team – the Lions, Stampeders and Riders – are favoured to come out on top. The numbers back that up as the West holds a 17-8 advantage against the East.

Let’s see what the slate of games has in store.

B.C. Lions (4-6) at Montreal (3-8)
Friday, September 14, 7:30 p.m. EST

B.C. needs to win in La Belle Province badly to make one of the two games in hand on Winnipeg count. The Leos are chasing the final playoff spot which means beating Montreal is a must. Even though Wally Buono’s group is 0-2 on the road in the East so far, losing by a combined five points, both of those games were winnable for B.C.

Travis Lulay is fit to play after taking a nasty headshot while his club notched a critical victory. The veteran passer has a new weapon available as DeVier Posey made the decision to play for the Leos and infuses play-making ability that was lacking in B.C.’s receiving core.

Bookend pass rush tandem Odell Willis and Shawn Lemon are playing off one another and wreaking havoc on opposing offences – just ask Ottawa. B.C.’s defence held the Redblacks in neutral for large parts of the 60 minutes last week. Montreal doesn’t present as many challenges even though Antonio Pipkin has played well for a first-time starter.

The Lions scratch it out.

Line: Lions favoured by 3 points
Pick: B.C.
Bet: $22 spread returns $20

Calgary Stampeders (9-2) at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (6-5)
Saturday, September 15, 4 p.m. EST

Seeing Calgary as a short favourite after a loss seems like easy money.

Hamilton enters as winners of three straight and the public will be all over the home team, especially on a streak. But Dave Dickenson always refocuses the Stamps and the group still has to play meaningful football in order to earn the No. 1 seed in the West.

No matter who is running the rock the Stampeders tend to stick with a steady dose and that proved to be the difference-maker in Week 1 matchup that led to a two-touchdown margin for Calgary.

Line: Stampeders favoured by 1.5 points
Pick: Calgary
Bet: $22 spread returns $20

Ottawa Redblacks (6-5) at Saskatchewan Roughriders (7-4)
Saturday, September 15, 9:30 p.m. EST

Everyone is on the Riders and fading visiting Redblacks.

Chris Jones and his green shirt are on a 4-0 run while Ottawa has lost two consecutive contests after more than doubling Winnipeg 44-21 in the Peg. Noel Thorpe’s defensive unit has played more than well enough for Ottawa to win in each of their last two defeats, but that’s been overlooked because the team lost. That win against the Bomber made pundits believe the Redblacks were among the elite league-wide and the talent is there.

Since Ottawa re-entered the CFL matchups at Mosaic haven’t fazed the Redblacks and the games have all been within three points.

Take five points with a comfortable and capable squad.

Line: Riders favoured by 5 points
Pick: Ottawa
Bet: $22 spread returns $20

Season record against the spread: 18-20-2

Money line: 2-3

Teasers: 2-1

Over/under: 0-1

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