The Edmonton Elks have won four of their last five games but they still haven’t earned the respect of CFL oddsmakers.
The club opened as eight-point home underdogs to the B.C. Lions as the clubs will meet for a third and final time this season on Friday, Sept. 22. The first two meetings were dominant victories for the Lions as they recorded wins of 22-0 and 27-0, marking the first time in CFL history that a team shut out the same team twice in one season.
The Elks have made a number of changes since then, most notably promoting Canadian quarterback Tre Ford to the starting role. The former first-round pick has thrown for 1,163 yards, seven touchdowns, and four interceptions this season and carried the ball 47 times for 471 yards and three touchdowns. He has a 4-2 record as a starter and has helped the club win back-to-back games over Calgary and Saskatchewan.
Edmonton remains five points out of a playoff spot with only four games to play, though it’s still an impressive turnaround given that they started the season with an 0-9 record.
B.C. is coming off a shocking come-from-behind win over the Ottawa Redblacks, scoring three touchdowns in the final three minutes to win 41-37. The club has won two straight games after a brief midseason slump and have a chance to tie the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for first place in the West Division with a win in Edmonton this week.
It’s understandable that oddsmakers seem skeptical of the Elks given how they lost both previous meetings with B.C. earlier in the year, but this is a brand new Edmonton team. The only squad with more wins in their last five outings is the Toronto Argonauts, who improved to 11-1 with a win over the Montreal Alouettes this past week to clinch first place in the East Division.
Edmonton set a new North American professional sports record by losing 22 consecutive home games but have gone 2-0 at Commonwealth Stadium since snapping the streak in Week 12 with wins over Ottawa and Calgary.
The rest of the betting lines for Week 16 in the CFL can be found below. Stay tuned for Friday when 3DownNation’s contributors unveil their picks straight up and against the spread.