B.C. Lions strong favourites as huge crowd expected for home opener against Stampeders

Photo courtesy: Paul Yates/B.C. Lions

The B.C. Lions are expecting a huge crowd for their home opener against the Calgary Stampeders and the point spread has been set accordingly.

Vancouver is about to host its largest regular season CFL game in decades as over 45,000 tickets have been sold for Saturday’s contest with rap icon 50 Cent set to perform before kickoff. New premium seats were recently released to the public and fans continue to scoop them up, making it possible that we’ll see a sellout of one of the league’s largest venues.

The Lions opened the season with an upset loss in Toronto, dropping a 35-27 contest to the Argonauts. Vernon Adams Jr. threw for 363 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception in the win, though his offensive line failed to protect him consistently, allowing six sacks. Had the veteran quarterback not eluded pressure effectively at times, it’s possible he would have been sacked far more.

B.C.’s new-look run game got off to a slow start as William Stanback rushed 11 times for 35 yards, though veteran receivers Alexander Hollins and Justin McInnis looked as dangerous as ever making catches downfield. Former NFL receiver Travis Fulgham scored his first career CFL touchdown in the loss, taking advantage of a bust in coverage.

 

Calgary is coming off a season-opening win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats that saw Bo Levi Mitchell make his much-anticipated return to McMahon Stadium. The CFL’s two-time Most Outstanding Player threw for 300 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the loss, though he was the victim of several drops from Hamilton’s receivers.

The Stampeders ran the ball well as Dedrick Mills and B. J. Emmons combined for 110 yards along the ground, while Jake Maier showed improved mobility, throwing for 252 yards and two touchdowns. Demerio Houston wasted no time making an impact in his debut with Calgary as the reigning CFL all-star intercepted Mitchell and returned it 24 yards to put the Stampeders in scoring position.

B.C. won last year’s home opener 22-0 over the Edmonton Elks and are undefeated in games that have featured well-known musical performers since Amar Doman bought the team. Despite currently being below Calgary in the West Division standings, it appears oddsmakers are confident the Lions will keep the trend alive in 2024.

50 Cent will hit the stage at 6:00 p.m. EDT at BC Place Stadium on Saturday with kickoff taking place one hour later.

The rest of the betting lines for Week 2 in the CFL are as follows.