Lions Quarterback Nathan Rourke On Fire

Lions Quarterback Nathan Rourke On Fire

After three weeks of play, the Canadian Football League has three undefeated teams — the Calgary Stampeders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and BC Lions.

Favorites have a solid 10-2 record straight up, and scoring overall is at 47.7 points per game — considerably higher than last year after rules changes, even if down slightly from 48.1 points per game the previous week.

In the first 12 games, seven have played under the total and five over the total.

Here’s a look at the latest CFL Grey Cup outright odds, followed by our Week 4 betting preview:

Winnipeg Blue Bombers +225 (opened: +300)
Calgary Stampeders +400 (opened: +700)
Saskatchewan Roughriders +525 (opened: +450)
BC Lions +550 (opened: +1300)
Toronto Argonauts +650 (opened: +600)
Hamilton Tiger-Cats +1000 (opened: +500)
Montreal Alouettes +1000 (opened: +800)
Ottawa Redblacks +1200 (opened: +2000)
Edmonton Elks +5000 (opened: +1500)

All odds in this article are from PointsBet.

Seismic activity this week as the @BCLions make major moves in the Power Rankings! 🫴


— CFL (@CFL) June 27, 2022

BC Lions @ Ottawa Redblacks (+2.5, over/under 47.5)

About the Lions (2-0 SU, 2-0 against the spread, 1-1 O/U): Is Nathan Rourke the league’s next big superstar? It sure seems so after his record-setting performance in Week 3 against the Argonauts. The Canadian, and former Ohio U. Bobcat, completed 39-of-45 passes (86.7%) for 436 yards — a CFL single-game record for passing yards by a Canadian quarterback — with four touchdowns and no interceptions in leading the Lions’ 44-3 rout. After two games, the 24-year-old has amassed 718 yards and seven touchdowns through the air and owns an 87.8 completion percentage. BC is off to a 2-0 start while outscoring its opposition 103-18.

Additionally, BC’s defense has held opponents to a league-low 9 points per game, and to just 279 yards per game. However, this unit will face its first real test of the season against an Ottawa aerial attack that ranks second in the league with an average of 355.5 passing yards.

About the Redblacks (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS, 0-2 O/U): Ottawa opened the season with back-to-back losses against the back-to-back defending Grey Cup champion Blue Bombers. However, the revamped Redblacks held their own against Winnipeg, only losing by a combined score of 38-29.

Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli already looks comfortable in his new surroundings, completing 71% of his passes for 711 yards. He’s found nine different receivers in just two games, with his favorite target being former Ticats teammate Jaelon Acklin, who has hauled in 13 passes for 220 yards.

The Redblacks are rested after enjoying a Week 3 bye, while the Lions are traveling across the country on just four days of rest. This looks like a classic letdown spot for BC after cruising to two home blowout victories, but it’s entirely possible that Rourke just continues to dominate and leads the Lions to another easy victory.

Sports betting trends:

The Lions are 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings.
The over is 7-1 in the Lions’ last eight games overall dating back to last season.
The under is 8-0 in Ottawa’s last eight games overall dating back to last season.
The under is 4-1 in the last five meetings.

Edmonton Elks @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats (-7, O/U 46)

About the Elks (0-3 SU, 1-2 ATS, 2-1 O/U): It’s been a miserable start to the season for the Elks, who have dropped three straight games heading into a road date in Hamilton.

Run defense is a major flaw of this team. So far, Edmonton has given up a league-high 487 yards rushing and 16 points-against per game on the ground. Luckily, in this week’s matchup, Hamilton’s run game is averaging a league-worst 44 yards per game, so this glaring weakness may not get exploited.

Despite the poor start, Edmonton’s offense has the potential to break out with top-tier receivers like Kenny Lawler and Derel Walker. Veteran wideout Emmanuel Arceneaux is also chugging along with 12 catches for 203 yards a touchdown through three games.

About the Tiger-Cats (0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS, 1-2 O/U): After back-to-back Grey Cup appearances, Hamilton appears to be one of the weaker teams in the East Division. Losing 2019 Most Outstanding Player Brandon Banks and defensive lineman Ja’Gared Davis to the Argos via free agency this past offseason has hurt the squad. In addition to Banks and Davis, the team also lost the aforementioned Masoli and Acklin to free agency.

Hamilton has had major problems protecting quarterback Dane Evans, who has been sacked 10 times over the first three games, and the lack of a running presence is putting intense pressure on Evans and the passing game.

Defensively, Hamilton is allowing 29.7 points per game (seventh out of nine teams) and 308.7 passing yards per contest (also seventh).

Sports betting trends:

The Elks are 0-4 ATS in the last four meetings.
The Tiger-Cats are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against teams with a losing record.
Tiger-Cats are 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall dating back to last season.
The over is 6-2 in the last eight meetings.

Freshly baked picks 🥧

Your #TotalEnergiesCanada Weekly Picks, out now 👉

— CFL (@CFL) June 28, 2022

Montreal Alouettes @ Saskatchewan Roughriders (-4.5, O/U 46)

About the Alouettes (1-2 SU, 3-0 ATS, 2-1 O/U): There’s renewed optimism in Montreal after the Alouettes routed the Roughriders 37-13 in their home opener last week, even without their starting running back, William Stanback, and assumed QB1, Vernon Adams Jr.

Stanback suffered a serious ankle injury in Week 1 and could be out for the rest of the season, while Adams missed action last week due to a bout with COVID-19. Veteran quarterback Trevor Harris threw for 262 yards and a touchdown in his first start of the season, but Montreal’s defense stole the show, finishing with three interceptions, a touchdown, and eight sacks.

Harris will continue to start moving forward, but having the mobile Adams for short-yardage situations this week will give Montreal’s offense more options.

About the Roughriders (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS, 1-2 O/U): Riders quarterback Cody Fajardo was 17-of-28 for 191 yards and two interceptions in last week’s loss to Montreal before being replaced by Mason Fine in the fourth quarter. The need to have Fajardo rebound this week isn’t the offense’s only concern, as receiver Shaq Evans will be out up to eight weeks after fracturing his ankle in the first quarter. He had 10 catches for 185 yards before suffering the injury.

Saskatchewan’s defense was stellar in its first two games of the season and should bounce back after a subpar showing last week. The unit leads the league with 15 sacks and is holding opponents to a league-low 43.7 rushing yards per game.

Oddsmakers still aren’t respecting Montreal, which covered the spread by more than three touchdowns as a 3-point underdog last week against the Riders. Saskatchewan is historically a significantly better team at home, thanks to the support it receives from its rabid fan base, and this game should be more competitive than last week’s matchup.

Sports betting trends:

The Roughriders are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall dating back to last season.
The Alouettes are 20-7 ATS in their past 27 road games.
The under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Toronto Argonauts (+5, O/U 43)

About the Blue Bombers (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS, 0-3 O/U): Winnipeg is a perfect 3-0 to start the season despite some early offensive struggles. The Bombers are averaging just 21.3 points per game (fifth in the league) and 340.3 yards of offense per game (seventh). But the team has still been able to run the ball relatively efficiently (84 yards per game) despite the departure of three-time CFL leading rusher Andrew Harris, who will be suiting up against his former team on Monday.

The Bombers’ defense is carrying the team through three games. Defensive end Willie Jefferson was named one of the CFL’s Top Performers for Week 3 after collecting three tackles, a sack, and a pick-six in a 26-12 win over Hamilton. The interception he returned 30 yards for a touchdown was the fifth of his career.

About the Argonauts (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS, 0-2 O/U): Toronto could easily be winless to start the season after narrowly escaping with a victory in its season opener, thanks to a missed Montreal field goal from short range late in the game. The Argos were then hammered by BC last week in a loss head coach Ryan Dinwiddie called a “horrible display of football.”

The Lions rolled up 583 yards of offense compared to 242 for Toronto in the lopsided victory. Toronto is last in the league with 309 yards per game in offense and an average of 11.5 points per contest. With the passing game in shambles, the Argos have been relying heavily on the aforementioned Harris to lead the attack on the ground. He has 114 yards rushing on 25 attempts and has caught five balls for an additional 42 yards through two games.

Sports betting trends: 

The Argonauts have played under the total in five straight games dating back to last season.
Toronto is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games dating back to last season.
Winnipeg has played under the total in four straight games dating back to last season.

Photo: Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY 

Author: Ryan Gonzales