Week 11 CFL predictions | Look for Lions, Riders to pile up points

Week 11 CFL picks

We begin the second half of the 2022 Canadian Football League on Friday night after an exciting first 10 weeks of action. With four games on the docket, we’re taking a look at the odds from regulated Ontario sportsbooks and making our CFL Week 11 picks.

Week 11 CFL betting odds

Week 11 is highlighted by a Lions-Roughriders clash in Saskatchewan and a Stampeders-Argonauts battle in Toronto. Oddsmakers are envisioning a week of competitive contests, as the four games have point spreads between 2.5 and 4.5 points.

Friday, August 19: Edmonton Elks at Ottawa Redblacks – 7:00 p.m. EDT

The Elks weren’t anywhere near as bad in Week 10 as they’d been versus the Lions a week earlier, but they still suffered a double-digit loss. Edmonton continues to struggle to patch together a ground attack in James Wilder’s (shoulder) absence, although QB Taylor Cornelius has done a nice job at times as a runner.

Edmonton has played several teams tough this season, but the Redblacks have the advantage of coming off a bye week and the incentive to make up for an abysmal 17-3 loss to the Stampeders back in Week 9.

It remains to be seen whether Caleb Evans or Nick Arbuckle is under center for Ottawa after the latter took over for the former against Calgary. Both players had trouble with turnovers in that game, yet each certainly has the body of work that supports the notion of much better performance, especially with extra time to prepare.

Ottawa veteran RB William Powell is dealing with a knee injury to start the week, but he still has several days to get back up to full health and will be well rested if he plays.

The Elks are an excellent matchup for the purposes of keeping a balanced attack going with a strong running game. Edmonton is giving up a CFL-high 124.0 rushing yards per game at 5.4 yards per carry and has allowed a league-high 16 touchdowns as well.

The Redblacks are just 3-4-1 against the spread, but Edmonton is an even poorer 3-5. More important, the Redblacks have more playmakers on offence if Powell suits up, and Ottawa’s rest/preparation advantage should help them disrupt Edmonton’s largely one-dimensional attack for at least a five-point victory.

Pick: Redblacks -4.5 (play up to -110)

Friday, August 19: B.C. Lions at Saskatchewan Roughriders – 10:00 p.m. EDT

The Lions had to resort to a furious comeback in Week 10, but they pulled it off against the Stampeders and finished with a wild 41-40 victory. QB Nathan Rourke is the odds-on favorite for MOP honors and is coming off throwing for nearly 1,000 yards in the last two games alone.

The matchup against the Roughriders’ defence is a particularly tantalizing one for BC’s high-octane passing game. Saskatchewan has allowed 279.0 passing yards per game at a 69.1 percent completion rate and 8.7 yards per attempt.

B.C. did play without star RB James Butler due to rib and ankle injuries in Week 10, but the versatile second-year pro was able to practice in full Tuesday. Bruce Anderson handled himself well in Butler’s stead – gaining 72 total yards on 15 touches – and he’d presumably return to the lead-back role if Butler were to experience a setback.

On the other side, the Riders’ Cody Fajardo will continue to play through his nagging knee injury and continue to power through while wearing a brace.

While that didn’t inhibit him much against the Elks in Week 10 as he rushed for 51 yards and a pair of scores, he’ll now deal with an aggressive Lions defence that has 21 sacks and forced turnovers apiece.

The Riders did get Shaq Evans (ankle) back in practice on a limited basis Tuesday, and a return by the veteran would naturally be quite the bonus for the Riders’ firepower.

But even without the accomplished pass catcher, Saskatchewan should be able to make its fair share of contributions to the final score. The Riders’ 5-3 mark to the Over and the Lions’ 5-2 record in that category further fuel the belief points can pile up in this spot.

Pick: Over 52.5 points (play up to -115)

Saturday, August 20: Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Montreal Alouettes – 4:00 p.m. EDT

The Tiger-Cats were forced to play their Week 10 contest against the Argonauts with multiple absences on offence, which made their 34-27 win all the more impressive.

Matthew Shiltz, filling in for Dane Evans (shoulder), completed 14 of 19 passes, while backup Jamie Newman was actually the team’s most productive rusher with 55 yards on seven attempts.

Evans started the practice week as a non-participant Tuesday, which could be the first step toward another start for Shiltz. Whoever is under center will still have Tim White and Steven Dunbar as the top two targets

Meanwhile, Kiondre Smith, who was solid as a de facto third option against Toronto, should play a prominent role again with Bralon Addison (Achilles), Papi White (back) and Tyler Ternowski (shoulder) all on the injured list.

The Als are riding high following their Week 10 blemishing of the Blue Bombers’ previously pristine record.

Montreal still counts Trevor Harris (back) and Eugene Lewis (hip) among its walking wounded after the first two practices of the week, however. The matchup against a Hamilton defence allowing the second-fewest total yards per game (325.0) and surrendering the lowest second-down conversion rate (43.0 percent) in the league isn’t exactly ideal for skill-position players at less than 100 percent.

There’s still uncertainty here with respect to Evans’ availability, and neither team is an offensive powerhouse as presently constituted. As such, I see the Under as the safest play here in terms of full-game wagers.

Pick: Under 48.5 points (play up to -115)

Saturday, August 20: Calgary Stampeders at Toronto Argonauts – 7:00 p.m. EDT

When the Stampeders have lost this season, it’s been noteworthy – they dropped a pair of games to the defending champion Blue Bombers and then blew a nine-point lead in the final minutes in Week 10 to fall by a 41-40 score to the Lions.

The latter defeat elicited a slew of not-fit-for-print remarks from QB Bo Levi Mitchell, who’ll be aiming for some redemption in this road matchup. Calgary has been effective outside McMahon Stadium, generating a 3-1 record straight up when traveling. The Argos are a more modest 3-2 at home.

The Stamps played a second straight game without Ka’Deem Carey (hamstring) in Week 10, but Dedrick Mills turned in another efficient effort in his stead (eight touches, 69 yards). However, Mills (ankle), along with Reggie Begelton (head), Jalen Philpot (head) and Malik Henry (quadriceps), all opened the practice week Tuesday as non-participants. Carey managed limited participation.

Assuming at least some of those key skill-position players are ready to suit up by game time, the Stampeders should have a favorable matchup considering the Argos’ defence is only about league average against both the run and pass.

Toronto has a -28-point differential despite sitting atop the East Division with a 4-4 record. Veteran QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson has been very good with ball security in recent games, but the loss of Andrew Harris for multiple weeks due to a pectoral injury could really upset the Argos’ quest for balance.

The Stamps’ defence is already one of the league’s best against the run (85.4 RYPG allowed). With Harris out, Calgary may be able to devote more resources to a secondary that’s yielding the most passing yards per game (303.1).

While this is likely to be a very competitive game – and some of the Stamps’ potential absences could make it even closer – I’m in the camp of a particularly motivated visiting team pulling off the cover here.

Pick: Stampeders -2.5 (play up to -115)