Below, we’ll do a preview of each of the four contests and make our CFL Week 8 betting picks.
Week 8 CFL betting odds
The Week 8 slate unfolds over a four-day period. This means the Redblacks and Argos, which close out the ledger on Sunday afternoon, will get some valuable extra rest. There are some key injuries that could certainly affect matters as well, which should make for an interesting weekend of football overall.
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Thursday, July 28: Montreal Alouettes at Hamilton Tiger-Cats – 7:30 p.m. EDT
The Alouettes’ ability to outlast the Redblacks in Week 7 sends them into this matchup with a 2-4 record, but in a testament to how much hard luck they’ve had, a +5 point differential as well.
Vernon Adams has hit the one-game injured list for Montreal with an elbow issue, but Trevor Harris certainly earned the right to start another week thanks to a 341-yard, two-touchdown effort against Ottawa. The Als continue to mix and match their ground attack as well, with Jeshrun Antwi taking the helm in Week 7.
The Tiger-Cats could prove to be a thorny matchup for the Alouettes all the way around, however, as Hamilton is allowing the third-fewest yards of net offence per game (328.7) and has forced 12 turnovers.
Hamilton has had it even rougher than the Alouettes as evidenced by its 1-5 record, and Week 7 brought only a moral-type victory in a 17-12 loss to BC after the Ti-Cats had finally broken through in the win column the week prior.
Don Jackson does appear to finally be back to full health after logging 12 touches in Week 7, and his ability to help keep defences honest is key to helping Dane Evans avoid the turnovers that so often plague him.
Montreal ranks in the bottom half of the CFL in rushing yards per game allowed (107.8) but the Als have been stingy against the pass, and that could well spell trouble on occasion for Evans, who’s already thrown nine picks.
With Hamilton playing very good defence, Montreal having a bit of an unreliable running game and Evans prone to short-circuit the occasional drive, I like the under as the best play here.
Pick: Under 49 points (play up to -120)
Friday, July 29: British Columbia Lions at Saskatchewan Roughriders – 9:00 p.m. EDT
The Lions did add another victory in Week 7, but it’s clear they’ve come down to earth a bit on offence after looking nearly unstoppable for the first three games.
BC has scored only 39 combined points the last two games, and they now tangle with a Riders defense that’s allowed the second-fewest yards of net offence per game (322.1) and leads the league in sacks (26).
If BC’s offensive line can keep Nathan Rourke upright against that type of pressure, then the air attack could be the Lions’ best ticket to success. After all, Saskatchewan is giving up a league-low 74.4 rushing yards per game at a co-league-low 4.3 yards per carry. In this case, James Butler may have to do the majority of his damage as a receiver.
The Riders are hoping to have Cody Fajardo (knee/illness) back in action this week, a development that would make this a much more competitive game after Jake Dolegala struggled to keep the offence consistent in Week 7.
Duke Williams will definitely be back from his one-game suspension, and there may be an outside chance for Kyran Moore (knee) to finally make his season debut.
Assuming Fajardo plays, the Riders should remain highly competitive at home when also factoring in its suffocating defence, even with the possibility the team is still enduring some COVID-19 absences. As such, a play on them as a home underdog is a way to go, and a lean on an outright upset isn’t out of the question.
Pick: Roughriders +2 (play up to -115)
Saturday, July 30: Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Calgary Stampeders – 7:00 p.m. EDT
The Blue Bombers notched an unusual win against the Elks in Week 7 that saw Zach Collaros uncharacteristically complete under 50.0 percent of his throws. But the veteran now gets a crack at a Calgary defense that he lit up for 315 yards and two touchdowns in Week 5.
Calgary has given up 283 passing yards per game at a 66.5 percent completion rate, so Collaros could be in line for a bounce-back effort. If Greg Ellingson (hip) could make it back from his one-game absence, that would certainly be a big boost in that regard, but the veteran receiver missed the first two days of practice this week.
The Stampeders are coming off a bye week, but Ka’Deem Carey, the unquestioned leader of the ground attack and a solid source of complementary production through the air, has also missed the first two practices of the week due to illness.
The explosive Peyton Logan, who has shown flashes early in his first CFL season, would be in line for a start against a Bombers defence that’s given up just 75.6 rushing yards per contest.
It appears likely at least one of Ellingson or Carey sits out the game, and on paper, both defences have the ability to largely shut down the opposing ground attack. As such, I’m in the camp of the under.
The Pick: Under 47.0 points (play up to -115)
Sunday, July 31: Ottawa Redblacks at Toronto Argonauts – 5:00 p.m. EDT
The Redblacks’ torturous quest for their first win continued in Week 7, when they fell by a 40-33 score to the Alouettes. Ottawa’s defense seems to be buckling a bit as the season unfolds, as Ottawa is now allowing 27.5 points and a CFL-high 387.3 yards of net offence per game.
Caleb Evans is thriving as Jeremiah Masoli’s (knee) replacement while displaying plenty of chemistry with Jaelon Acklin and Darvin Adams, however, and the matchup against an Argos defense giving up 270.0 passing yards per game at a 70.3 percent completion rate could well help extend his strong stretch of play.
Running back William Powell’s ability to keep the defence honest is also key to Ottawa’s success, and the veteran has averaged 4.6 yards per carry or better in three of the first four games. Toronto is allowing 4.8 yards per attempt, making the Redblacks’ quest to run a balanced attack very viable.
The Argos’ McLeod Bethel-Thompson just got through ripping through the Riders’ defence for 612 passing yards and four touchdowns over the last two games, and he’s now facing a Redblacks team that’s yielding a CFL-high 294.5 passing yards per game at a CFL-high 74.3 percent completion rate.
Andrew Harris, who just became the sixth player in CFL history to cross the 10,000-yard threshold in his career, is also in a great spot considering Ottawa is conceding the second-most rushing yards per game (113.7) and second-highest average yards per carry (5.1).
There’s a chance for some points to pile up here, and the total isn’t overly high, leading me to the Over.