Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:57 PM
Week 10 Best Bet
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Week 10 CFL Betting Preview
Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs Ottawa Redblacks
Covering the point spread was never really in doubt with last week's selection on the BC Lions in their game against Hamilton, as that double-digit point spread was a bad number right from the get-go. And while you have to give credit where credit is due to “dink-and-dunk” Dane Evans for punching the ball into the end zone late and giving Hamilton the comeback victory, it's not hard to argue that one bad snap by BC late in that 4th quarter cost the Lions the outright victory.
The snap over QB Mike Reilly's head knocked the Lions out of FG range which would have made it a three-score game, got Reilly hobbled on the play, and any chance the QB and the Lions had to ice the game with their ensuing drives really took a hit. And even after that, it took a deflected INT and a long kick return to give Hamilton short fields to score those final two TD's. But as is the case in any sport, bad teams like BC found a way to lose, and Hamilton took full advantage of it.
This week Evans and company are back out on the road in Ottawa for an East division clash with the Redblacks, as they are looking for just their second win since the start of July. Ottawa has already seen some significant action come their way relative to the opening number, but is it the right move?
YTD: 6-2 ATS
CFL Odds: Hamilton (-2.5); total set at 49
Ottawa opened up as a four-point underdog for this game, has been bet down to their current number and it's not that hard to see why. The jury still has to be out on Dane Evans, as he generally struggled at home against a bad BC team, and really was lucky to get the win. Statistically the stat line didn't look bad has he threw for 260 yards and a TD – most of which (137 yards and two TD's) went to the returning WR Brandon Banks who's established himself as one of the better receivers in this league. But his first TD was a massive blown coverage by BC early in the game, and his game-winning TD came against a titled BC Lions team that couldn't believe they were choking that big lead away.
From a big picture standpoint, Hamilton also looked like a desperate team that was willing to try anything and everything to what could be argued as ways to keep the ball OUT of Dane Evans hands. They tried an onside punt (wind factored into that) to keep a drive alive, did a throwback across the field on a kick return, scored on a kick return, attempted a misdirection wildcat play with Evans up at the line barking signals, and tried their version of the “Philly Special” in throwing a pass to Evans in the red zone. One or two trick plays are used to potentially catch a team ill-prepared, but when you empty the whole bag of tricks in a single game it just looks desperate. For Hamilton to feel that way against a one-win BC Lions team is quite telling, and it's probably got a lot to do why Ottawa's seen plenty of early support so far.
Evans did up his yards per attempt to 8.1 for the game, but again, that first TD (32 yards) to Banks was a busted coverage by BC and it was “dink-and-dunk” Dane's longest pass completion of the entire contest. A win is a win and you've got to give Evans and Hamilton credit for that, as it's only that end result that matters, but if you didn't see how significant a drop off it is for this Hamilton offense with him under center compared to Masoli, Hamilton's coaching staff showed you that that's how they feel with the heavy reliance on trickery.
The question then becomes whether or not you are willing to back Ottawa at a worse number than opening, as it's not like the Redblacks are lighting the league on fire these days either.
Ottawa is still looking for improvement from their QB position as well, as sub-20 point efforts in five of their past six games (all losses) just won't get it done. As much as I don't believe in Dane Evans, Hamilton's defense is still upper class level in this league, and when you combine that with their special teams play you can see how they can turn what should be sure defeats into victory – just ask the BC Lions.
Yet, the BC Lions weren't considered a very good team going into last week either and they still saw a multi-point move on the spread their way, and even though they had a more established QB in this league then Ottawa does, it's now two straight weeks that Hamilton spreads have been faded early and hard. That's just as telling as the Tiger-Cats desperate reliance on trick plays a week ago, as I do believe Ottawa finds a way to not only cover this number, but win the game outright as well.
Based on last week's game footage alone, Ottawa just needs to find a way to shut down/contain Brandon Banks (easier said then done), and be confident that Evans won't be successful at reading his other options and/or getting the ball to them.
So I'm bypassing the points entirely and backing this Ottawa team outright, as a win puts them right back in the thick of the East Division at 4-5 SU.
Best Bet: Ottawa ML +125