We’re set for a four-game slate in Week 16 of the Canadian Football League season and below are our predictions for two of those contests.
Week 16 CFL betting odds and picks: Best bets for B.C. vs. Edmonton, Montreal vs. Calgary
The CFL enters its final five weeks with postseason berths/positioning still in flux for several teams. I’m honing in on two games that feature teams with playoff-related incentives facing non-contending squads that could have spoiler mentalities.
Friday, Sept. 22: B.C. Lions at Edmonton Elks – 9:30 p.m. EDT
The Lions enter Friday night with a 9-4 mark, just a half-game back of the Blue Bombers for the West Division lead. B.C. is still one of the best teams in the CFL, but there’s no denying its defence has taken a step back in recent weeks.
The Lions allowed 34 and 30 points in respective Week 11 and Week 12 losses to the Roughriders and Tiger-Cats. They subsequently surrendered 25 and 37 points in their next two games, victories over the Alouettes and Redblacks.
Meanwhile, the Elks seem to finally be reaping dividends from some of their numerous offseason moves and appear to have found a quarterback in Tre Ford. The dual-threat signal-caller has helped lead Edmonton to wins in three of its last four games, falling just short of a perfect 4-0 tally in that span because of a narrow four-point loss to the Stamps in Week 13.
The Elks are both scoring and giving up plenty of points, even in victory. Those aforementioned four games have finished with totals of 50, 66, 48 and 63 points.
Ford is displaying burgeoning chemistry with several pass catchers, most notably accomplished veteran Geno Lewis.
Meanwhile, running back Kevin Brown has been outstanding in recent weeks. He’s crossed the 1,000-yard mark for the campaign by recording at least 89 rushing yards in four of the last five games, including 143- and 175-yard, one-touchdown tallies in the last two.
Considering how competitive Edmonton has been of late and B.C.’s own offensive firepower, I can see an even closer game than the 6-point spread implies and both teams being particularly aggressive in the second half.
The Pick: 2nd Half as Highest Scoring Half (+105 or better)
Saturday, Sept. 23: Montreal Alouettes at Calgary Stampeders – 4:00 p.m. EDT
The Alouettes remain in contention for the playoffs with a mark of 6-7, which puts them a distant second to Toronto in the East Division.
There’s no longer the possibility of a division crown, but Montreal can certainly still qualify for the postseason and has a quarterback with plenty of experience to guide it in Cody Fajardo.
Fajardo has enjoyed a solid Alouettes debut campaign overall, but he’s been besieged by both heavy pressure (42 sacks taken) and turnovers (nine INTs).
Meanwhile, the Stampeders’ Jake Maier has had his share of adversity, not to mention inconsistency. Maier has thrown for under 200 yards on five occasions and has tossed 13 picks overall.
Fajardo threw for just 158 yards and completed only 55.3 percent of his passes in a Week 8, 25-18 win for Montreal over Calgary. Maier was markedly more prolific yardage-wise (256), but it took him 44 attempts to get there and he also threw a pair of picks while taking three sacks.
Both teams can be up and down with their air attacks at times, and Calgary is well-equipped (35 sacks) to exploit the Als’ porous offensive line. Additionally, Montreal ranks last in the CFL with just 22 offensive TDs, while Calgary is just above them with 24.
Given all the factors cited, I like the chances of the Under hitting here.
The Pick: Under 47 points or higher (-110 or better)