Today's Free Picks for
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Posted at 12:30 PM EST and are subject to change.
Hamilton -2½ -110 over Montreal
7:30 PM EST. The Tiger-Cats have been totally one dimensional this season. Hamilton has put up over 30 points just once in 2022 and that was in an overtime thriller with the Stampeders in Week 2. The Tabbies have broken the 20-point threshold just twice while scoring in the teens in their other three contests, including just 12 at B.C. last Thursday night. The league is fully committed to high scoring, exciting football in 2022, the Ti-Cats just haven’t gotten the memo yet and the market has taken notice.
The Tiger-Cats defense has been the unit that has led the way this season, which is why the market may be down on them. Scoring and points are supposed to be up. In the Steel City, they are not. It’s under those extreme conditions that the Tabbies’ D has thrived. The Ti-Cats’ defense will get a boost from the return of All-Star defensive back Cariel Brooks, who will make his first start this season. Brooks led the league in interceptions last year so having him back in the lineup can’t hurt.
Frequent readers will be familiar with our disdain for Alouettes’ coach Danny Maciocia, but we are going to pretend that dope doesn’t exist this week (it’s a long season). Instead, we are going to focus on Trevor Harris, who is capable of putting up big numbers in any given week. Harris had his best game of the year last Thursday, posting 341 passing yards and picking up the win, 40-33 against Ottawa. As the Harris hype train begins to chug, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point to his less than stellar outings prior to slapping around the winless Redblacks. In Montreal’s Week 6 game against Edmonton, Harris threw two touchdowns, but fed the Elks two interceptions. In Week 4, Harris was useless throwing two interceptions without a major. Why is the market hyped on this guy?
The Als have posted 71 points in two games, including a 40 burger in Week 7. Scoring in bunches will do much to shine up one’s curb appeal, but when one is polishing a turd, does that matter? Despite the offense potentially finding its form, the Als’ defense has been porous of late, giving up 33, 32 and 41 points to the Redblacks, Elks and Roughies, respectively. Let us not forget the Als lost to those woeful Elks just two weeks ago.
Last week we talked about the Alouettes’ being a joke from ownership down and that clown show did not disappoint this week. In advance of this game, it was leaked out of Als’ camp that former head coach Khari Jones’ team was “undisciplined”. Jones, now with Hamilton as a consultant, denied that charge. On the surface, it might look and sound like a throwaway comment, but when it is used to describe the locker room of the only black head coach the league had to start this season (and the only one to be fired), it doesn’t sit right. Please explain to us how the hell Ryan Dinwiddie still has a gig? Paul La Police? Chris Jones? Tommy Condell? Those four coaches are a combined 6-18. Gee, wonder what the difference is? The point is, why say anything when nothing would do? All these things add up to dysfuction within and it matters.
We understand the market’s reservations about spotting points with a one win football team. The Als are scoring at will while the questions remain how can the Tiger-Cats get theirs? While the ‘Cats did not score often in Week 7, that does not mean their offense is in total shambles. Hamilton put up 414 yards of offense in Vancouver, including 117 on the ground. The Tabbies outgained B.C. by 77 yards and moved the ball well all game. They just couldn’t finish their drives for majors or stop turning the ball over. The same could be said of their Week 6 win in Ottawa. 455 yards of total offense, but just 25 points scored. One has to figure if the Ti-Cats keep moving the ball as they are, the points are going to come. We’re going to swallow these deflated points and trust they’ll go down easy as you like.
Hamilton -2½ -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)