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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:57 PM

Week 9 Best Bet

Don't miss out on Week 9 CFL winners from Matt Blunt on VegasInsider.com!

Week 9 CFL Betting Preview
BC Lions vs Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Last week's play on Ottawa plus the points was barely in question since early in the 2nd quarter, as it was a tight game throughout with multiple lead changes. Ottawa ended up pulling it out in OT to win outright as the 7.5-point underdog, as we move on to Week 9's slate.

Three of the four games in Week 9 have the underdog catching 7.5 points or more, as oddsmakers believe this is a week full of mismatches overall. Injuries and backup QB's have a lot to do with that as Calgary (+7.5) and Montreal (+2.5) likely have backups going, while the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are big chalk with their backup QB Dane Evans.

It's Evans show the rest of the way in Hamilton barring injury/poor play with Jeremiah Masoli done for the year, and Evans dropped his first game as a starter in Saskatchewan last week. But Tiger-Cats fans will tell you that he is a guy they wholeheartedly believe in, was handcuffed by multiple offensive injuries last week (he was), was up against a strong Roughriders defense (they were)and with the defense they've got (a good to great one), they are still a legit threat this year. However, the question becomes, does the betting market believe that as well?

YTD: 5-2 ATS

CFL Odds: Hamilton (-10.5); Total set at 51

Early indications from the betting market suggest that there is no way they believe Hamilton is a trustworthy bunch laying big numbers with Dane Evans under center, as the opening line of -13.5 has been hit hard. That move is quite the jump this early in the week, and as much as I wanted to have some sort of interesting lead in to this preview, I can't. Without question that opener was absurd and it's good to see that's been the case from the early market sentiment.

Hamilton fans will always be quick to point out that Evans has only faced two quality defenses so far this year, and his trip to Saskatchewan was without CFL leading receiver Brandon Banks (among others), but what does that really matter when “dink-and-dunk Dane” doesn't throw the ball down the field.

Of all the CFL QB's with at least 60 pass attempts this year, Evans yards per attempt is the lowest at 6.6 yards. Through a full game-and-a-half of seeing every one of his snaps as the starter, I'm not sure I need both hands to count how many times he's thrown the ball 20+ yards, as all this talk about him sticking around in Hamilton to be the backup (and why they traded Manziel last year because they were happy with what they had in Evans) is simply just talk. It looks like he's got command of barely half the offense and/or the coaching staff has decided to put him out there in a game manager role and hope that their defense continues to play lights out. Hamilton could have the best receiving corps from top to bottom right now and I don't think Evans would be able to get the ball to them.

Any point spread in double digits is just too absurd here, even if it is the lowly BC Lions on the other side of the field. That's another point Hamilton backers will surely bring up as BC's looked awful themselves this year, but they are the ones who are coming off the bye week, have a highly talented QB in Mike Reilly under center and are more then capable of going into Hamilton and pulling off this upset.

West Division teams are a perfect 4-0 SU off the bye this year and as a 10-point underdog in this game, you don't even need to consider their ATS records (3-1 ATS) in this game. The week off had to help BC figure out themselves in terms of what should work and what won't, where their strengths and weaknesses lie and how to emphasize the former and hide the latter. Yes, Hamilton's defense is among the better units in the league, but when they don't have a QB that can sustain drives and put up points, that locker room becomes divided really quickly; just ask Jacksonville Jaguars fans about their recent years of watching a great defense get more and more frustrated with Blake Bortles at the helm.

Even with all of BC's issues on paper, their really isn't a much better spot then this all the way through for them. Reilly has been able to turn around teams from poor starts/stretches before during his time in this league, and with little to fear in terms of losing a potential shoot out against Evans, Reilly can go out and wing it and be the guy that is the spark for a potential season turnaround.

“Dink-and-dunk Dane” will prove to everyone this week that it's very fitting that his home games are played in a stadium that's affectionately known as “The Donut Box.” I'm not even concerned with not getting the best of the number here because I don't believe it will matter, any spread above 10 is at least a FG too much, and splashing a bit of cash on the Lions ML is always an option here as well.

Best Bet: BC +10.5


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