CFL Week 17 predictions | Look for Bombers cover against Riders

CFL Picks Week 17

It’s Week 17 of the Canadian Football League season and with a full four-game slate on tap, we’ve got picks for each contest.

Week 17 CFL betting odds

Week 17 features a pair of particularly elevated spreads, and no line smaller than four points. We also have a couple of totals over 50 points, making it an interesting ledger to prognosticate.

Friday, September 30: Saskatchewan Roughriders at Winnipeg Blue Bombers – 8:00 p.m. EDT

The Roughriders are still fighting for a postseason spot at 6-8, but with a 2-7 mark over their last nine games, they’re projected to back in if they do get in.

That ugly stretch includes a 54-20 walloping at the hands of the Blue Bombers at IG Field in Week 14. Saskatchewan also lost a much closer game at home to Winnipeg the week prior by a 20-18 score.

They now draw what could be an ill-timed third encounter with the defending champions, which are sure to be a bit ornery after taking a surprising thumping at the hands of the Tiger-Cats in Week 15.

To make matters tougher, Saskatchewan will have to tackle the challenge without the benefit of its two top two backs, the explosive duo of Jamal Morrow (hand) and Frankie Hickson (wrist).

That leaves the ground attack in the hands of Shaun Wilson and Kienan LaFrance. Cody Fajardo could potentially be leading a largely one-dimensional offence, especially since Winnipeg already comes in allowing the second-fewest rushing yards per game (87.7).

Meanwhile, even with Greg Ellingson (hip) still out and Drew Wolitarsky (knee) also likely to sit again, Zach Collaros should have plenty at his disposal to pick on a Roughrider defence that’s surrendering 275.9 passing yards per game and the second-most completions of at least 30 yards (23).

Notably, Collaros already has a 6:0 TD:INT against the Riders in his first two encounters with them this season.

The Bombers are 8-6 ATS this season, including 5-1 at home. Were it not for the depleted RB depth, I’d consider the Riders +8 here since Winnipeg has only won two of six home games by at least eight points, but I think the champs pull away here, even if it’s late.

The Pick: Blue Bombers -8 or less (-110 or better)

Friday, September 30: Ottawa Redblacks at B.C. Lions – 10:30 p.m. EDT

The Redblacks are now just 3-10 after taking a 45-15 blasting at the hands of the Argonauts in Week 16.

There’s at least a hint of uncertainty at quarterback going into this game with both Nick Arbuckle and Caleb Evans having turned in ineffective performances in the blowout loss.

The Lions come in looking to bounce back from an ugly loss as well. Vernon Adams couldn’t carry over the momentum from his impressive Week 15 starting debut for B.C.

The veteran quarterback threw for only 151 yards with a 50 percent completion rate, but this matchup gives him a golden opportunity for a resurgence.

The Redblacks are allowing 278.2 passing yards per game, the second-highest average yards per pass (9.2) and the third-most completions of at least 30 yards (22).

Ottawa also isn’t very resistant on the ground. The Redblacks have allowed 101.5 rushing yards per game at 5.1 yards per carry, as well as 14 rushing TDs.

That’s good news not only for James Butler — who’s been very efficient the last two games with 144 rushing yards and two TDs on 24 carries — but for Adams as well, given his mobility.

B.C. is down Bryan Burnham due to his wrist fracture, but the air attack is still loaded with weapons. On the other side, the Redblacks will be without Nate Behar (ankle), who posted a team-best 9-119 line in Week 16.

The Lions are jostling with the Stampeders for playoff positioning and eager to put their low-scoring loss in Week 16 behind them. They’re 4-2 ATS at home this season, and I see them improving on that mark here.

The Pick: Lions -7 or less (-110 or better)

Saturday, October 1: Montreal Alouettes at Edmonton Elks – 4:00 p.m. EDT

The Alouettes remain in the thick of the postseason conversation with a 6-7 record after notching a 23-16 win over the Tiger-Cats in Week 16.

However, Montreal has a potentially tough task on its hands in this matchup against an Elks team still fighting for a postseason spot despite its 4-10 record, and that would be eliminated with a loss in this game.

Not only has Edmonton shown a propensity for fighting hard most of the season, but the Elks also count a 32-21 road victory over Montreal in Week 6 as one of its four wins.

The Elks also get a huge boost for this game in the expected return of Kenny Lawler from his ankle injury. The talented wideout practiced in full all three days this week and should be right back in the No. 1 receiver role he’d posted a 56-849-5 line across 11 games in.

The Alouettes have some solid metrics against the pass. Yet, they’ve given up 22 completions of at least 30 yards and will also have to deal with speedy Dillon Mitchell, who could pair with Lawler to give their secondary fits.

The Elks have plenty of incentive for a win, and outside of a Week 14 stumble against the Stamps, have played very competitively in five of the last six contests. Edmonton is 7-7 ATS, and I look for them to get over the .500 mark here.

The Pick: Elks +4 or higher (-110 or better)

Saturday, October 1: Toronto Argonauts at Calgary Stampeders – 7:00 p.m. EDT

The Argonauts punched their postseason ticket in Week 16 with a 45-15 rout of the Redblacks, but the East Division isn’t yet sewn up. Toronto only has a two-game lead on Montreal with five games left for each squad.

The Stamps are in a similar situation over in the West in terms of already having their postseason spot locked up.

However, Calgary is still battling the Lions for playoff positioning and aiming to keep building momentum under Jake Maier’s stellar leadership of the offence.

These two squads match up fairly well in terms of talent. That much was evident in Toronto’s narrow 22-19 home loss to the Stamps in Week 11.

McLeod Bethel-Thompson has also been playing very well of late and has gotten better with turnovers, posting a 9:5 TD:INT over the last four games. The veteran threw for 276 yards in the first meeting with Calgary.

The Stamps continue to be the most generous pass defence in the league with a CFL-high 290.4 passing yards per game surrendered, as well as 21 passing TDs.

Toronto is right behind Calgary in terms of poor metrics against the pass, giving up 281.5 passing yards per game and a 68.2 percent completion rate.

Maier has been outstanding as a starter, posting a 9:1 TD:INT over his five turns while throwing for at least 287 yards in four of those contests.

With the offensive firepower on both sides and the defensive deficiencies at play, I’m backing a higher-scoring game between two teams whose games have gone a combined 15-10 to the Over.

The Pick: Over 52.5 points or less (-110 or better)