CFL Week 13 predictions | Expect high-scoring games from Labour Day slate

Week 13 CFL picks

It’s Week 13 of the 2022 Canadian Football League season and it also happens to be Labour Day Weekend. From Friday to Monday, fans can celebrate the holiday with a wide array of CFL betting options available at regulated Ontario sportsbooks.

Week 13 CFL betting odds

While Week 13 sees the high-powered BC Lions on a bye, the schedule includes some intriguing matchups.

That includes the Redblacks-Alouettes opener Friday that sees Montreal veteran quarterback Trevor Harris take on one of his former squads and a Blue Bombers-Roughriders clash which features Saskatchewan trying to build on its Week 12 upset of BC.

Friday, September 2: Ottawa Redblacks at Montreal Alouettes – 7:30 p.m. ET

The Redblacks made the switch to Nick Arbuckle at quarterback in Week 12 and were rewarded with a 25-18 win over the Elks. The Alouettes were off after having handed the Tiger-Cats a 29-28 heartbreaker of a loss in Week 11 that pushed Montreal’s mark to 4-6.

Arbuckle did give Ottawa’s passing game a steady hand in the win over Edmonton, albeit in a very palatable matchup. The Alouettes are a much stingier opponent in that regard, allowing the third-fewest passing yards per game (261.1), second-fewest average yards per pass (7.9), and third-fewest passing TDs (13).

On the ground, the Redblacks continue without William Powell (knee), although Devonte Williams did a fine job against Edmonton (71 total yards). Montreal is giving up the second-most rushing yards per game (108.7) at a CFL-high 5.3 yards per carry.

The Als come into this game with a rest advantage following the Week 12 bye, plus confidence from of a 40-33 road win against Ottawa back in Week 7.

The matchup shapes up well for the Als through the air in the rematch. The Redblacks have given up plenty of big plays on their way to conceding 275.1 passing yards per game at 9.2 average yards per pass, along with 17 completions of 30 yards or greater.

The good news for Harris is that he should be able to lean on the running game as well to keep the Redblacks’ defence honest – Ottawa has also given up the third-most rushing yards per game (101.6) and third-most rushing touchdowns (12).

The combination of Walter Fletcher and Jeshrun Antwi certainly have the speed to take advantage. This could well be a competitive game for three-plus quarters, but the home team has a better chance of achieving balance on offence.

Given the spread is a bit elevated and the total isn’t inordinately high, I’m in the camp of the Over, especially when factoring in the total of 73 points the first meeting finished with.

The Pick: Over 49.0 points or less (-115 or better)

Sunday, September 4: Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Saskatchewan Roughriders – 6:00 p.m. ET

The Blue Bombers put their first loss of the season – which came against the Alouettes in Week 10 – behind them in Week 12, but barely; they squeaked out a 31-29 win over the Stampeders. Meanwhile, the Riders got a bounce-back effort from Cody Fajardo and toppled the Nathan Rourke-less Lions, 23-16.

Winnipeg’s Zach Collaros threw a pair of interceptions against Calgary and will continue to operate with stalwart target Greg Ellingson (hip) for this game.

However, the likes of Nic Demski, Greg McCrae, Dalton Schoen, and Drew Wolitarsky still give him some solid ammunition against a Roughriders defence that’s yielded 284.4 passing yards per game, 8.8 average yards per pass, and 18 completions of 30 yards or greater.

Brady Oliveira has firmly taken the reins of the ground game with a string of efficient performances, yet that may not be easy to maintain in Week 13. Saskatchewan is allowing only 82.9 rushing yards per game and a co-CFL-low 4.4 yards per carry.

On the other side, Fajardo’s 321-yard, two-touchdown, interception-less effort against what is a tough Lions defence came despite the fact he was missing both Duke Williams (hip) and Shaq Evans (leg).

He figures to remain without Williams, who missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, for Week 13. Evans is primed to make his return, a week after speedster Kyran Moore made his season debut after last season’s ACL tear.

Meanwhile, Jamal Morrow’s (hand) fill-in, the similarly speedy Frankie Hickson, was a hit with a 15-129 tally on the ground and 3-30 effort through the air.

The Blue Bombers’ defensive metrics don’t support the notion of another banner night for the offence in Week 13.

Winnipeg ranks in the top half of the league in rushing yards per game (84.5), passing yards per game (268.5), rushing touchdowns (four) and average yards per pass (7.9) allowed, even after displaying some vulnerability against Calgary a week ago.

The Bombers are getting a solid amount of respect here as a road favorite, but the 3.5 number is a tricky one. Instead, I’ll focus on the Over, as the 44.5 figure is the lowest of the week and one each team has enough talent to eclipse.

The Pick: Over 44.5 points or less (-115 or better)

Monday, September 5: Toronto Argonauts at Hamilton Tiger-Cats – 1:00 p.m. ET

The Argonauts came out of the Week 11 bye sharp, avenging a Week 10 loss to the Tiger-Cats by notching a 37-20 win over Hamilton. The two squads will once again butt heads and helmets in Week 13, their third meeting in the last four weeks.

Needless to say, both these teams know each other extremely well at this point. The Argonauts have been able to score plenty of points against the Ti-Cats despite Hamilton’s defence having had some impressive numbers earlier in the season.

McLeod Bethel-Thompson has thrown for 545 yards and generated a 4:1 TD:INT in the first two meetings. Hamilton is now up to allowing 271.2 passing yards per game, 8.3 average yards per pass, the most completions of 30 yards or more (21) and the second-most passing touchdowns (16).

Granted, the Ti-Cats still boast a CFL-best rush defence with only 76.8 yards per game at 4.4 yards per carry allowed. But, as was evident in Week 12, that didn’t stop Toronto, which has a punchless ground attack at present in the wake of Andrew Harris’ season-ending pec injury, from garnering a double-digit win.

The conundrum on offence for Hamilton head coach Orlondo Steinauer is that the quarterback he’d ideally want to roll with, Matthew Shiltz, missed the first two practices of the week with his right wrist injury. Meanwhile, Dane Evans worked back to full participation Thursday after missing Wednesday due to his shoulder injury.

Evans was benched for Shiltz after throwing three more interceptions in Week 12 to bring his season total to a co-career-high 13. If the shaky signal-caller is called upon Monday afternoon, he could once again be in for a long day against a Toronto defence that now has recorded the second-most INTs (11) despite giving up 281.8 passing yards through the game.

Given Hamilton also struggles getting much going on the ground despite the presence of Don Jackson and both quarterbacks are capable of making their fair share of mistakes, I’ll back the Under as long as Shiltz isn’t available. Conversely, I’ll update this pick if he is announced as suiting up prior to kickoff.

Sunday, 9/4/22 Update: Shiltz won’t be available, but will be rookie Jamie Newman and not Evans starting this game for the Ti-Cats. Newman has plenty of mobility, and although he’s put up just two CFL pass attempts thus far, I’ll place some faith in his versatility helping this total get eclipsed.

The Pick: Over 49.5 points or higher (-115 or better) (was previously Under when Evans was projected starter)

Monday, September 5: Edmonton Elks at Calgary Stampeders – 4:30 p.m. EDT

The Elks came up short again in Week 12, falling to the Redblacks by a 25-18 score to tumble to 3-8 on the season. The Stampeders appear to have discovered a gem under center in Jake Maier, whose three-touchdown effort versus Winnipeg nearly led to an upset of the defending champs.

Edmonton’s passing game has developed nicely with Taylor Cornelius under center. The second-year quarterback has put together several serviceable passing performances and is coming off having thrown for a season-high 287 yards against the Redblacks in Week 12.

The Stampeders could be a team that’s conducive to Cornelius’ ongoing development. Calgary has allowed a CFL-high 300.5 passing yards per game, a CFL-high 256 completions and 16 passing touchdowns.

However, the news that Kenny Lawler, Cornelius’ top target by far, could be headed to the six-game injured list with an ankle issue certainly impacts the outlook, especially since Edmonton’s ground attack remains inconsistent at best.

On the other hand, Maier’s chances and those of the Calgary running game staying hot for that matter, are very good.

Edmonton is allowing the second-fewest passing yards per game (257.9), but yet that’s largely the result of them being so targetable on the ground and not a reflection of a stifling pass defence. In fact, the Elks are allowing a CFL-high 72.5 percent completion rate.

Edmonton’s league-worst rush defence includes 116.8 rushing yards per game allowed and 20 rushing TDs, both CFL-high figures.

Calgary is about the worst matchup possible as Ka’Deem Carey, Peyton Logan and even Dedrick Mills (if active) are all highly capable of doing damage on the ground and as receivers out of the backfield.

The Elks can play competitively from time to time and are a not-awful 5-6 ATS. Given the massive spread, I’ll make this an all-totals slate and go with the Over while banking on Calgary doing a lot of the heavy lifting.

The Pick: Over 49.5 points or less (-115 or better)