Week 16 of the Canadian Football League season brings us a second straight three-game slate, but with all nine teams in the league still alive for a postseason spot, every game carries some extra significance.
Week 16 CFL betting odds
The competitiveness of the three Week 16 matchups is exemplified by the fact there is no spread larger than 2.5, with the Stampeders-Lions rematch featuring a tiny one-point projected advantage for the home team.
Friday, September 23: Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Montreal Alouettes – 7:30 p.m. EDT
The Tiger-Cats are coming into this game with a head of steam after a pretty shocking 48-31 win over the Blue Bombers that saw Dane Evans put together a five-touchdown effort.
Hamilton has done well against the Alouettes this season as well. The Ti-Cats notched a 24-17 win back in Week 8 and then narrowly lost by a 29-28 margin in Week 11.
Evans was sharp in the first game while completing 13 of 18 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown, then didn’t play in the second contest. The Alouettes have strong defensive numbers against the pass but could be vulnerable to the returning Don Jackson on Friday.
Jackson practiced in full both Tuesday and Wednesday and should be well rested while facing a Montreal defence that’s given up the second-most rushing yards per game (105.8) and a co-CFL-high 5.2 yards per carry.
On the other side, a rested Alouettes team will be gunning for its sixth win and will aim to get over .500 at home.
Trevor Harris will be looking to continue his prior success against the Ti-Cats as well, already having thrown for 670 yards with a 4:1 TD:INT in two prior games versus Hamilton.
With the confident Ti-Cats having proven they can score against Montreal and the Als having had time to gameplan with the Week 15 bye, this is a game in which points should pile up, making the Over my preferred wager.
The Pick: Over 52.5 points or less (-110 or better)
Saturday, September 24: Toronto Argonauts at Ottawa Redblacks – 7:00 p.m. EDT
The Argos evened the season series against the Redblacks in Week 14 with a 24-19 win after dropping the initial Week 8 meeting by a 23-13 score.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson racked up a season-high 365 yards in Week 14 after posting 340 in the first encounter with Ottawa.
The Redblacks have gotten more vulnerable to the pass as the season has unfolded, allowing 281.0 yards per game and 9.2 yards per attempt.
Ottawa has found stability under center with Nick Arbuckle, who threw for 290 yards against Toronto in Week 14.
The Redblacks have also found a lead back in Devonte Williams, whose 110 total yards versus the Argos were preceded by a 96-yard haul against the Als in Week 13.
As all those numbers indicate, players on both sides have been able to generate some impressive individual performances in the prior two meetings, yet the games have finished with modest totals.
While some of those yards may finally start turning into more points this time around, I’m more confident in the Redblacks once again playing the Argos very competitively, hence my choice to go with an Ottawa cover.
The Pick: Redblacks +2.5 or higher (-110 or better)
Saturday, September 24: Calgary Stampeders at B.C. Lions– 10:00 p.m. EDT
This is the marquee matchup of the slate and fittingly the final one as well. The Week 15 clash between these clubs evolved into an OT classic that BC escaped with a 31-29 win.
Ultimately, neither team was able to stop the other’s passing attack.
Vernon Adams was especially impressive while making his first start in a Lions uniform – only seven of his 32 passes fell incomplete and he threw for 294 yards while adding 32 on the ground.
The Stamps’ Jake Maier countered with 301 yards and three scores of his own without an interception. Maier has given a Stamps’ air attack that was often floundering under the benched Bo Levi Mitchell quite the jolt, producing 9:1 TD:INT while throwing for at least 238 yards in each of his four starts.
Calgary has the more vulnerable defence between the two clubs, but the Stamps’ offence is one of the most balanced in the league now that Maier has hit his stride.
The spread here is razor thin, but the total of 54.5 is a bit more appealing. The Over is 7-5 in B.C.’s games and 9-4 in Calgary’s, and the two prior games between them have finished with 81 and 60 points.