B.C. Lions at Calgary Stampeders (-7, 53)
The BC Lions are struggling to maintain their position in the West Division after suffering a rare home loss, but their confidence in backup quarterback Thomas DeMarco gives them a chance when they visit the division-leading Calgary Stampeders on Friday. DeMarco has shown flashes of injured starter Travis Lulay in the two games since Lulay suffered a separated shoulder, throwing for 286 yards and recording a 21-yard run last week against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Unfortunately for the Lions, DeMarco also threw three picks in that contest, something he’ll need to control better against a Calgary defense that has 18 interceptions.
The Stampeders have dealt with their share of injuries to key personnel and it has not slowed them at all as veteran quarterback Kevin Glenn can attest. Even though starting pivot Drew Tate was 3-for-4 last week in his first pass attempts since Week 2, Glenn’s strong performance in Tate’s absence (169-for-247 passing with 14 touchdowns to five interceptions) will make him tough to bench. With other important players such as wide receiver Joe West in full health as well, Calgary’s problems are ones most teams would love to have.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, TSN
LINE: Calgary opened as a 7.5-point home favorite and has been bet down to -7. The total is steady at 53.
WEATHER: Temperatures in the mid 40s (9 degrees) with partly cloudy skies and a 30 percent chance of rain with winds blowing SE at 3 mph.
ABOUT THE LIONS (9-5, 7-7 ATS): BC’s defense averages a league-best 246.7 passing yards allowed and is second in rushing yards allowed per game with 86.6. Linebackers Adam Bighill and Solomon Elimimian play a big part in containing opposing offenses, with Bighill leading the team with with 72 tackles and six sacks, while Elimimian has 53 tackles, two sacks and three interceptions. Veteran quarterback Buck Pierce has seen limited snaps since arriving from the BC Lions, completing 6-of-13 passes as he becomes reacquainted with the team that launched his CFL career.
ABOUT THE STAMPEDERS (11-3, 9-5 ATS): West caught eight passes for 120 yards in his first action since injuring his shoulder in Week 4. Running back Jon Cornish was named offensive player of the week and Canadian player of the week after rushing for a season-high 208 yards with two touchdowns against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to overtake Kory Sheets for the league rushing lead. Cornish led the league in rushing last season with a career-high 1,457 yards and is 42 yards away from matching that total with four games remaining.
* Lions are 6-14-1 ATS in their last 21 meetings.
* Lions are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 road games.
* Over is 4-1 in Lions last five road games.
* Over is 9-2 in Stampeders last 11 home games.
1. Calgary K Rene Paredes leads the league in kicking points with 166 - four shy of his career-best. Paredes has made 41-of-43 field goal attempts.
2. The Stampeders are tied for the league lead in sacks with 48.
3. BC is 3-4 on the road; Calgary is 6-1 at home.