CFL Picks: Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders

David Schwab

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 7:30 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 7:30 PM UTC

This Sunday at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats square-off against the home team Saskatchewan Roughriders in the 101st CFL Grey Cup Championship. Who should we be backing with our free pick here?

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Hamilton Overview

Last season Toronto made an historic run to a Grey Cup title as a .500 team, but this time around the Tiger-Cats are the team in the East Division stirring things up in the playoffs after going 10-8 straight-up (9-9 against the spread) in the regular season. First, they eliminated Montreal in a 19-16 grinder as 3.5-point home favorites. Last Sunday, they knocked-off the defending champs 36-24 as 4.5-point road favorites. Hamilton now needs just one more road upset to match the Argonauts with an improbable title run of its own. It has gone 5-5 SU on the road this season with a profitable 7-3 record ATS in those 10 games. The total went OVER in last week’s game against Toronto after staying UNDER in seven previous games.

The key to a Tiger-Cats’ victory in this game will undoubtedly be one final lights-out performance from quarterback Henry Burris.  He led the CFL in passing yards this season with 4,925 while completing 65.8 percent of a league-high 567 attempts. Burris was held to just 204 yards passing in the win over Montreal, he was unstoppable against the Argonauts with 371 yards and three touchdowns in this past Sunday’s win.

Saskatchewan Overview

Saskatchewan appeared to be destined for this game with an 8-1 straight-up start to the season but a September meltdown with a 0-4 record both SU and ATS brought it back down to earth. Since that point the Roughriders have gone on a 5-2 SU run in their last seven games that includes a 29-25 victory over British Columbia as 4.5-point home favorites in the West Division Semifinals to go along with last Sunday’s stunning 35-13 upset of Calgary as five-point underdogs on the road. Saskatchewan is 3-2-2 ATS during this seven-game stretch and the total has stayed UNDER in seven of its last nine games.

Much like Hamilton, the Roughriders’ success in this game will hinge on the arm of their quarterback, Darian Durant. He has been a huge part of this offense’s success this entire season with 4,154 passing yards and a league-high 31 touchdown throws. He threw for 270 yards and two scores in the win over the Lions and came right back with 280 yards passing and three touchdowns in Sunday’s victory over the Stampeders. The Roughriders also have a potent rushing attack which could end up being the difference in this contest. Running back Kory Sheets was second in the CFL in rushing this season with 1,598 yards and he was able to add another 245 yards on the ground in the two playoff games.

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Hamilton vs. Saskatchewan Betting Lines and Trends

Topbet’s CFL odds have opened Saskatchewan as a 5.5-point home favorite for this championship game with the total set at 54.

Hamilton is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games on the road and 6-1 ATS in its last seven games against a team with a winning record. The total has stayed UNDER in four of their last five road games.

Saskatchewan is 3-9-2 ATS in its last 14 games overall and 1-4-1 ATS in its last six home games. The total has stayed UNDER in 11 of their last 14 playoff games.

Head-to-head trends in this matchup has Hamilton at 6-21-1 ATS in the last 28 meetings with the total has staying UNDER in four of the last six games between the two. Saskatchewan earned the sweep both SU and ATS this season with a pair of victories in a home-and-home series in July. The total stayed UNDER in both contests.

Hamilton vs. Saskatchewan Free CFL Grey Cup Pick

Hamilton will be hard pressed to follow Toronto’s lead with a SU upset in Sunday’s title game, but it is more than capable of keeping this contest a one-score game deep into the fourth quarter. The Tiger-Cats bring a ton of momentum into this game which makes them extremely dangerous, but in the end it will not be enough. Saskatchewan ends up hoisting the Cup at the end of this one, but the free CFL pick is Hamilton plus the 5.5 points.

CFL Pick: Saskatchewan: 26   Hamilton: 23

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