CFL Free Picks: Lions vs. Roughriders Betting Preview

David Schwab

Friday, October 18, 2013 6:50 PM GMT

Here is a look at the betting odds and a free pick on the BC Lions vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders. What do the betting lines say to us?


British Columbia Lions vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders
 

In a possible preview of an upcoming West Division playoff game, the BC Lions and the Saskatchewan Roughriders will square-off against one another this Saturday afternoon at Mosaic Stadium. Game time is set for 12:30 p.m. (PT) and it will be broadcast in Canada on TSN. 

BC Overview 

The Lions’ 40-26 loss to Calgary last Friday as 6.5-point road underdogs ended their outside shot at winning the West Division title, but a win against the Roughriders this Saturday afternoon would go a long way towards locking-up a home game for the opening round of the playoffs. Anyone who follows this team understands just how important that would be. BC is 3-5 both straight-up and against the spread on the road this season and the total has gone OVER the betting odds in six of its eight road games. Overall, it is 9-6 SU and 7-8 ATS. 

Travis Lulay has been working hard to get back on the field after a shoulder injury knocked him out of the lineup a number of weeks back. In his place, Thomas DeMarco has done an adequate job with 1,022 yards and seven touchdown throws, but the Lions remain a much better team with Lulay behind center. The big problem over the past two weeks has been a defense that has been exploited for a total of 71 points after holding teams to 22 points or less in five of its previous eight games. 

Saskatchewan Overview

The Roughriders still have an outside shot of winning the West, but they would probably have to win the rest of their games and still get some help. They come into this week’s game with an overall record of 10-5 SU (7-8 ATS) and trail Calgary by two games in the standings. Saskatchewan is 5-2 SU at home this season but just 3-4 ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in four of its seven home games. 

The return of Cory Sheets to the lineup in Week 15 provided a huge boost to a slumping offense that was a major reason for this team’s four-game slide before winning its last two games. Sheets is ranked second in the CFL in rushing yards with 1,408 and 11 of his 251 carries have wound up in the end zone. The Roughriders have also gotten a big effort from Darian Durant this season. He has thrown for 3,765 yards and a league-high 29 touchdowns while completing 62.6 percent of his passes. This offense is ranked second in the CFL in scoring with 28.9 points a game. 

BC vs. Saskatchewan Betting Lines and Trends

TopBet has opened the Roughriders as four-point home favorites for this division clash in its Week 17 CFL lines. The total for this game has been set at 50.5. 

The Lions are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 road games and 2-4 SU in their six games on the road. The total has gone OVER in five of those six road games.

The Roughriders are 2-5 SU in their last seven games and a costly 1-6 ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in their last five games.

Head-to-head in this divisional rivalry, BC is just 3-6 SU in the last nine meetings but it does have a long-term edge ATS with a 9-4 record in the last 13 games. The total has stayed UNDER in the last five meetings in Saskatchewan.

Hey, Check out my article ont he Stampeders vs. Eskimos

[gameodds]19/224009/?r-1=19-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

BC vs. Saskatchewan Free CFL Pick 

BC actually needs this game more than the Roughriders do as far as the playoffs go, but I do not trust the Lions covering the spread on the road. If Lulay does work his way back into the starting lineup it could be a different story, but as of right now my free CFL pick in this matchup is Saskatchewan minus the four points at home.

 Free Sports Pick: The Roughriders @ Bet365 Sportsbook