Slam Dunk picks: Short lines pay big dividends

There are three favourites by less than a major for the critical Week 19 matchups.

Hamilton, B.C. and Toronto – someone had to be favoured in the Alouettes-Argos game – are all small points to lay if you want to place your money on those teams. Let’s get into where that cash should be flowing.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (8-7) at Ottawa Redblacks (8-7)
Friday, October 19, 7 p.m. EST

The Ticats are more consistent and flat out better in many areas than the Redblacks: quarterback, offensive line and defence stand out.

Hamilton has been on a tear and seems primed to take over the top spot on the East. When the two teams played in Week 7, the Ticats lost 21-15, but if June Jones’ nearly completed a miraculous comeback. If the offence had converted in the red zone a couple times the Ticats would’ve won that game rather handily.

Trevor Harris, William Powell and Greg Ellingson were held to relatively pedestrian numbers in the first meeting and Hamilton’s defence has only improved since then under 77-year-old coordinator Jerry Glanville.

Feast with the Ticats

Line: Ticats favoured by 1.5 points
Pick: Hamilton
Bet: $22 spread returns $20
Edmonton Eskimos (8-8) at B.C. Lions (8-7)
Friday, October 19, 10 p.m. EST

By beating Calgary at McMahon Stadium the Lions are in the mix for best home record in the league: B.C. is 6-1 on the West coast where Edmonton visits Saturday night.

Tyrell Sutton has added a physical dimension to the Lions run game Ed Hervey felt was lacking, rushing for 106 yards and two touchdowns in his B.C. debut. Sutton and DeVier Posey are playmakers complimenting the healthy ones Travis Lulay has to work with on offence.

Meanwhile, the defence has become fierce, especially up front with Shawn Lemon, Odell Willis at the ends and Davon Coleman wreaking havoc in the middle. That’s really been the key in improving the unit overall and the back end players are making plays as a result of the increased pressure.

Mike Reilly lit up Ottawa last week with a listless Redblacks pass rush, but that won’t be the case against the Lions.

Line: Lions favoured by 2 points
Pick: B.C.
Bet: $22 spread returns $20
Montreal Alouettes (3-12) at Toronto Argonauts (3-12)
Saturday, October 20, 4 p.m. EST

it would have been fitting if the Alouettes and Argos game was a pick ’em on the betting board. Neither team with their league-worst 3-12 records deserve to be favourites.

However, the linemakers spotted Toronto more than a field goal. Even though the Argos have been a better squad at BMO Field, laying more than a three-pointer with the double blue just would not be smart. James Franklin is one of few reasons to back the Argos.

But Johnny Manziel is going to win at some point and the Als played the two teams with the best records in the CFL tight albeit it in Montreal. There defence has been stout and if Manziel can make a few plays he’ll get you the money.

Line: Argos favoured by 4.5 points
Pick: Montreal
Bet: $22 spread returns $20

Saskatchewan Roughriders (10-6) at Calgary Stampeders (12-3)
Saturday, October 20, 7 p.m. EST

Even though one of the Riders players was asleep at the wheel the team always seems to rise above and play well when it’s least expected. Charleston Hughes was charged with impaired driving prior to the 31-0 drubbing in Winnipeg and injuries hit the Riders too.

The newsworthy week in Regina took much of the attention away from the offence, but expect Zach Collaros and company to put forth an improved showing in Cowtown.

The line seems inflated due to the Riders awful loss in the Manitoba capital.

Line: Stampeders favoured by 8.5 points
Pick: Saskatchewan
Bet: $23 spread returns $20

Season record against the spread: 33-23-2
Money line: 4-3
Teasers: 2-1
Over/under: 0-1

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