Coming off their first victory of the season, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats travel to Edmonton to take on the Elks in a matchup of two struggling teams.
The Tabbies secured their first win of the season last week and covered the spread for the first time in 2023 when they defeated the Ottawa Redblacks 21-13 at Tim Hortons Field. Hamilton’s offence continued to struggle, scoring just one touchdown on the night but the defence played their best game this year, holding the Redblacks to a single touchdown and 276 net yards of offence while recording four takeaways and five sacks.
The Elks, meanwhile, continued on their downward trajectory in an inexplicable loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, surrendering a game-losing rouge with just over a minute left. Edmonton is now 0-5 on the year but did cover the spread for the first time in 2023.
The Ticats are favoured for the fourth time in five games, though they are only 1-3 against the spread so far this year. Edmonton has lost 19 games in a row at home and are looking to avoid tying the all-time professional sports record of 20.
It’s not all doom and gloom for the Green and Gold as some of this season’s most impactful trends are working in the favour ahead of Thursday’s clash. The Elks will enter with a two-day rest advantage over the Tabbies and teams who have at least two days more rest than their opponents are 8-3 straight up and 7-4 against the spread this season.
While neither team feels particularly trustworthy at this point in the season, it’s hard to take Edmonton given that they’ve won just seven games since the start of the 2021 season. While the Ticats have been abysmal on the road during that same stretch, winning just five of their last 18 road games, betting on the Elks to break this streak has been a fool’s errand. This game is essentially a pick’em, so take Hamilton to get win No. 2 on the season.
As far as the total score is concerned, neither offence has shown they have the tools to take advantage of opposing defences. The Ticats average 19.5 points per game, while the Elks average 12.4 points per contest. It’s possible that these two offences will get it going against a pair of bad defences but I suspect the offences will continue to be scattershot and that this will be a low-scoring affair on Thursday night.
Spread: Hamilton -1.0 (-110)
Moneyline: Hamilton (-120)
Total points: Under 42.5 (-110)