CFL Week 4 predictions | Lions look to stay hot, Riders seek revenge vs. Als

Hard as it is to believe, the Canadian Football League has already reached Week 4 and is set to roll with another exciting quartet of games. This season marks the first since the expansion of regulated sports betting in Ontario, and bettors now have more options than ever before when wagering on the CFL.

Week 4 CFL betting odds

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CFL Week 4 picks | betting predictions for each game

The Week 4 slate doesn’t waste any time piquing one’s interest, as the juggernaut that is the 2022 BC Lions opens up the slate attempting to extend its season-opening win streak to three games against the competitive Ottawa Redblacks.

The remainder of the ledger has some intriguing clashes as well, and three of the four games have spreads of five points or fewer. Below, we’ll analyze the odds for each game so you can make educated Week 4 CFL betting picks at the sportsbook of your choice.

British Columbia Lions vs. Ottawa Redblacks – Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EDT

The Lions are the talk of the league through three weeks and deservedly so, as BC has looked like nothing less than a juggernaut while pounding the Elks and Argonauts by a combined score of 103-18.

QB Nathan Rourke has completed an unbelievable 87.8 percent of his passes, and although he’ll be without trusted target Bryan Burnham (ribs) for this game, he looks set to get running back James Butler (head) back after his early exit in Week 3.

Butler has practiced in full the first two days of the week, leaving him poised to face an Ottawa defense that’s been tough against the run over the first two games (82.5 RYPG allowed).

Ottawa has had a week to prepare for this matchup since the Redblacks were on bye in Week 3, following a pair of close losses to the defending champion Blue Bombers to open the season.

Paul LaPolice’s squad has been a much-improved team after a 3-11 season in 2021, and Jeremiah Masoli’s steady hand under center has certainly played a part.

With BC having had the luxury of facing Nathan Arbuckle in his first start in Edmonton and an inconsistent McLeod Bethel-Thompson in its first two games, it will be interesting to see how effective Masoli can be with an extra week of preparation.

Masoli also appears set to get veteran running back William Powell behind him in the backfield for the first time this season, as the latter practiced in full Sunday-Tuesday after missing the first two games of the season due to an Achilles injury.

Despite the Lions’ dominant first two games, this spread is a narrow three points due to the Redblacks’ rest advantage and strong effort over the first two games. Ottawa should give BC a good test if nothing else, and although the spread is a tempting one, I have even slightly more confidence in the Over considering the high-powered Lions offence.

The Pick: Over 47.5 points (play up to -115)

Edmonton Elks vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats – Friday, 7:30 p.m. EDT

The season could have hardly started in an uglier fashion for the Elks following a 59-15 thrashing at the hands of the Lions in Week 1. But Edmonton has come back to play competitively against the Roughriders and Stampeders while losing those games by a combined 13 points.

Meanwhile, the Tiger-Cats have surprisingly opened the season 0-3 while being outscored, 89-55.

The Elks’ Nick Arbuckle has gone a respectable 61-for-95 for 795 yards, but he’s also thrown six interceptions and only two touchdowns. The turnovers are naturally a major impediment, but a matchup against the Tiger-Cats defense could give Arbuckle a bit of a respite. (Update: Tre Ford has now been announced as the starter for Friday’s game)

Hamilton has allowed 29.0 points and 368.3 net offence yards per game while only recording two interceptions. James Wilder did start the practice week Tuesday with limited status due to a shoulder injury, but that still seemingly gives him a good chance to suit up for this matchup.

The Ti-Cats mustered just 12 points against the Blue Bombers in Week 3, and QB Dane Evans continued to struggle with a zero-touchdown, two-interception performance. Evans has already thrown for 884 yards but has just a 4:6 TD:INT, and a moribund ground attack has done little to help him with a league-low 44.0 rushing yards per game.

Edmonton’s sieve-like run defense and the projected return of Don Jackson from a knee injury could go a long way to curing those ills, as the Elks are yielding a league-high 162.3 rushing yards per game and 6.0 yards per carry.

Despite the fact both teams are 0-3, there’s plenty of talent on both sides offensively and question marks on each defence. As such, I see the Over as the safest wager here as well on the manageable 46.5-point total.

The Pick: Over 46.5 points (play up to -115)

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Montreal Alouettes vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders – Saturday, 7:00 p.m. EDT

The Alouettes broke the ice in the win column after two difficult losses to open the season, toppling the Roughriders by a 37-13 score despite the absences of Vernon Adams (COVID-19) and Jake Wieneke (hamstring). Saskatchewan’s first loss of the season featured an atypically poor performance from Cody Fajardo (191 yards, two interceptions) and the loss of Shaq Evans to a broken ankle.

An interesting storyline for Montreal coming into this rematch is who’ll get the call under center. Adams was cleared to rejoin the team Tuesday, but veteran Trevor Harris was excellent in Week 3 by going 16-for-22 for 262 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.

Wieneke was also back to practicing in full Tuesday, so it appears his absence will be limited to just one game. However, Montreal also started the practice week with several defensive players sitting out, however, certainly a situation worth monitoring against a Riders offence that still has plenty of firepower despite the loss of Evans.

Speaking of the veteran wideout, his absence is a blow despite Saskatchewan’s depth, especially considering Evans had already drawn a team-high 21 targets and Kyran Moore also continues to reside on the injured list as he completes his recovery from last season’s knee injury.

The void will have to be filled by the likes of Kian Schaffer-Baker, Duke Williams and Mitchell Picton, who’ve all made solid contributions early. Head coach Craig Dickenson will also hope the game script is a bit more favorable to the ground attack this week after the speedy Jamal Morrow was limited to just four carries after a breakout Week 2 effort.

The Riders are back home and out for atonement after last week but I like the Als to keep it close enough to prevent a Saskatchewan cover.

The Pick: Alouettes +4.5 (play up to -115)

Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Toronto Argonauts– Monday, 7:30 p.m. EDT

The Bombers moved to 3-0 in Week 3 with a performance that was more representative of their status as defending champs than in their first two wins over the Redblacks. Winnipeg handled the Tiger-Cats by a 26-12 score while seemingly clicking on all cylinders. Meanwhile, the Argonauts facilitated another lopsided win for the Lions, suffering a 44-3 loss to BC in which nothing went right.

Winnipeg’s Zach Collaros eclipsed 300 passing yards for the first time against Hamilton while completing passes to six different pass catchers, even though he still suffered from a lack of an efficient running game. Brady Oliveira averaged just 3.7 yards per attempt on his 15 carries, and as a team, the Bombers are averaging the second-fewest yards per carry (3.8).

Toronto’s questionable run defense could offer a bit of a respite, however – the Argos are allowing 110 rushing yards per game at 5.0 yards per carry. Then again, Toronto is also giving up a CFL-high 360 yards per game and a 74.7 percent completion rate through two games.

On Toronto’s end of things, McLeod Bethel-Thompson certainly didn’t turn in a bad performance from a statistical standpoint in Week 3, completing just 71.4 percent of his throws. However, his inability to consistently move his team is clearly reflected in the Argonauts’ final tally of three points.

Andrew Harris, who should certainly be fired up going into this matchup considering he’ll get a crack at his old Bombers teammates, was limited to just seven carries in Week 3 and could make a significant impact, perhaps more so through the air, if he’s able to shoulder a normal workload – while Winnipeg is allowing only 62.3 rushing yards per game, the champs have yielded the second most (316.0) through the air.

Each team comes in with extra rest given the Monday night date of this matchup, and the Argos will naturally be gunning for a much better offensive performance after their Week 3 embarrassment. While the Bombers could certainly pull off the road win, I’m in the camp of some points being scored on either side.

The Pick: Over 42.5 points (play up to -115)

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