CFL Week 18 predictions | Look for covers from Bombers, Alouettes

CFL picks Week 18

Week 18 of the Canadian Football League season is already upon us as the CFL rolls out its traditional Thanksgiving slate. Below we have picks for all four games this week.

Week 18 CFL betting picks

We have a serious imbalance in the spreads on the Week 18 slate, as the first two games carry thin lines of 1.5 points, while the latter pair of contests include the Blue Bombers as the biggest favorites of the week at -13.5 over the visiting Elks.

Friday, October 7: Saskatchewan Roughriders at Hamilton Tiger-Cats – 7:30 p.m. EDT

The Roughriders remain in contention for a playoff spot despite their 6-9 record, even after a 31-13 drubbing at the hands of the Blue Bombers in Week 17.

However, the team they’re facing is the one they’re eyeing for the crossover spot, with Hamilton headed for especially dire straits in terms postseason hopes if they fall to 4-11 with a defeat.

The two squads met way back in Week 1, which marked the beginning of a positive start to the season for the Riders. Saskatchewan prevailed by a 30-13 score, but they should get a more competitive team this time around.

Hamilton thumped Winnipeg by a 48-31 margin in Week 15. They couldn’t quite follow it up in Week 16 against the Alouettes while falling by a 23-16 score, but they’ll come into this game off a bye.

The Riders will also continue without their two top two backs, the explosive duo of Jamal Morrow (hand) and Frankie Hickson (wrist).

However, the Ti-Cats appear set to be without downfield asset Steven Dunbar (non-football related) and will definitely be missing Papi White (head).

Neither Cody Fajardo nor Dane Evans has shown enough consistency at the QB position and both team’s running games are highly suspect, putting me in the direction of the Under in what should be a close but lower-scoring matchup.

The Pick: Under 49.5 points or higher (-110 or better)

Saturday, October 8: B.C. Lions at Toronto Argonauts – 4:00 p.m. EDT

The Lions bounced back nicely in Week 17 with a resurgent performance from Vernon Adams, who finished with 343 total yards and a pair of passing TDs in a 34-19 win over the Redblacks.

The caliber of competition wasn’t exactly formidable, but the Argonauts were actually the most hapless Week 17 team of all. Toronto managed all of two singles while allowing 29 points to the Stampeders.

B.C. already has a playoff spot clinched but needs to keep winning to hold off the Stampeders for second place in the West Division.

However, it appears that in addition to the absence of Bryan Burnham (wrist), Adams will likely have to also to do without Lucky Whitehead (ankle), who missed the first two practices of the week.

On the other side, the Argos’ hope for a bounce-back performance on offence is likely going to have to be pulled off without reliable veteran DaVaris Daniels. He missed the first two practices of the week with a hip injury.

Damonte Coxie, who’s played a key complementary role in the pass-catching corps of late, also sat out the first two sessions with a foot issue.

The Lions defence, which has fallen off some after a very strong start to the season, could tighten things up here against a short-handed Toronto defense.

Each team is trying to remain healthy for the postseason to an extent, so I’m in the camp of a lower-scoring contest in this instance as well.

The Pick: Under 48.5 or higher (-110 or better)

Saturday, October 8: Edmonton Elks at Winnipeg Blue Bombers – 7:00 p.m. EDT

The Elks retained their slim postseason hopes for yet another week despite a 25-18 loss to the Alouettes.

Star receiver Kenny Lawler’s return from an ankle injury was short-lived. He had season-ending shoulder surgery Monday after coming down hard on it during the defeat.

QB Taylor Cornelius has gotten pretty adept at working with a short-handed air attack, but Lawler’s absence in a game where Edmonton figures to need all hands on deck could be too much.

The Bombers are still without Greg Ellingson (hip), but they’re well rested after a Week 17 bye and are 6-1 at home.

Winnipeg also has a chance to clinch first place in the West Division with a win and a Lions loss to the Argos earlier in the day.

Edmonton has allowed over 374 net offensive yards per game, including the most rushing yards per contest (123.4). The Bombers’ Brady Oliveira certainly has the talent to exploit the latter and keep Winnipeg’s offence balanced.

The Bombers have a +124 point differential and Edmonton is at -186. Winnipeg is also 9-6 ATS and pulls away here late despite the Elks likely remaining competitive for at least the first half-plus.

The Pick: Blue Bombers -13.5 or higher (-110 or better)

Monday, October 10: Ottawa Redblacks at Montreal Alouettes – 1:00 p.m. EDT

The Redblacks parted ways with head coach Paul LaPolice this week and now sport a 3-11 mark that has them on the brink of elimination.

Nick Arbuckle has taken a step back in the last two games despite throwing for 363 yards in a losing effort a week ago.

The Redblacks have scored 19 points or less in three straight following what seemed like a significant 38-24 win over Montreal back in Week 13.

Meanwhile, the Alouettes have won four of their last five to get to 7-7 and within a game of Toronto for the East Division lead. A win in this game clinches a home playoff date for Montreal.

This could be an especially productive postseason tune-up for both the ground and air attack of the Als.

The Redblacks have allowed 26.4 points per game overall and 64 to Montreal in two games this season.

The fact star running back William Stanback has a very good chance of returning from his Week 1 ankle injury for this game only adds to the Als’ bright outlook and puts me in the direction of a cover for the home team.

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