British Columbia Lions at Edmonton Eskimos
Free Pick: Edmonton -4
Recommended Sportsbook: 5Dimes
The BC Lions were high on the list when 5Dimes online sportsbook updated its CFL Grey Cup futures odds ahead of last week’s season openers. While the Lions came up short against Winnipeg as slight home underdogs, Edmonton took care of business in Week 1 with a win at home against Montreal as an eight-point favorite.
The expectation level was raised rather high for BC with the offseason addition of Mike Reilly as the Lions’ new starting quarterback. He ended up throwing for 324 yards and one touchdown, but he was also picked off twice in the team’s 33-23 loss at home last week against Winnipeg as a slight one-point underdog. BC goes on the road this week with a 5-11 record against the spread in its last 16 road games.
The BC offense could not establish any kind of running game against the Blue Bombers with four total rushing yards on four carries. Reilly put the ball up 39 times and he completed 22 of his throws to six different players. The lone highlight on offense was Bryan Burnham’s five receptions for 153 yards. Lemar Durant caught the lone touchdown throw as part of his six receptions for 75 total yards.
The Eskimos missed the playoffs last season with a SU record of 9-9. They also lost their starting quarterback to BC in the offseason through free agency. As one of the perennial contenders in the West, Edmonton turned to ex-Ottawa quarterback Trevor Harris as Reilly’s replacement. He lit things up right out of the gate against Montreal with 447 total yards passing and three scoring strikes against zero interceptions. The Eskimos did fail to cover as eight-point home favorites in the 32-25 victory. However, they have now won eight of their last nine home games SU.
Harris was able to connect with seven different players while completing 32 of his 41 passing attempts. Ricky Collins was on the receiving end of nine of those completions for 175 yards. Kenny Stafford caught seven passes for 98 yards and two scores. Add in CJ Gable’s 154 rushing yards on 20 carries and it all adds up to a rather impressive showing by this new-look Edmonton offense.
Head-to-Head Betting Trends
–Edmonton has won seven of its last 10 games against the Lions SU including a perfect 5-0 mark at home. The Eskimos have covered ATS in four of their six home games against BC with the total going OVER in four of the last five matchups overall.
Free Betting Pick
Despite the gaudy stats against Montreal, Harris still has something to prove to the hometown crowd on Friday night with Reilly facing his old team for the first time. Lay the four points and take the Eskimos to win and cover.
Other CFL Week 2 Games:
Thursday, June 20
Saskatchewan at Ottawa -5 Total Line:44 (7:30 p.m.)
I would actually go with the Roughriders and the five points in this inter-division clash. Look for a possible letdown with the RedBlacks at home coming off that huge upset on the road against Calgary.
Saturday, June 22
Hamilton -3.5 at Toronto Total Line: 52 (7 p.m.)
It is hard to know what to expect from Toronto in its season opener coming off last season’s dismal four-win campaign. There should be enough points scored by each team to take this total OVER 52.