B.C. Lions open as heavy favourites against Calgary to keep first-place West Division hopes alive

Photo courtesy: Paul Yates/B.C. Lions

The B.C. Lions have opened as heavy favourites for Friday’s game against the Calgary Stampeders as they look to keep their hopes of winning the West Division alive.

The Lions won last week’s game in Hamilton by a score of 33-30, which they needed to do in order to remain eligible to host the West Final. If they win again on Friday, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will have to win at least one of their two remaining games this season in order to finish first for a third consecutive year. Winnipeg was on a bye this past week, while B.C. will finish the season with a bye next week.

B.C. swept their first two meetings with Calgary this season, defeating the Stampeders 25-15 in the CFL’s regular season-opener at McMahon Stadium on June 8 and again in Vancouver on Aug. 12. The two clubs met in last year’s West Semi-Final, which the Lions won by a score of 30-16 to secure their first playoff victory in six years.

The Stampeders still have lots to play for as they remain eligible for the third and final playoff spot in the West Division following a 26-19 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders this past week. If Calgary beats B.C. on Friday, they will clinch a postseason berth if the Riders lose to the Toronto Argonauts on Saturday. If Saskatchewan wins, the Stampeders will have to beat the Blue Bombers in the final week of the season to make the playoffs.

The Riders can clinch the third and final playoff spot in the West Division with a win this week if Calgary loses to the Lions. Saskatchewan has a bye in the final week of the regular season along with Edmonton and B.C.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Ottawa Redblacks, and Montreal Alouettes are all on a bye this week. As of the publishing of this article, there is no betting line available for Saturday’s game between the Toronto Argonauts and Saskatchewan Roughriders.