BC Lions at Montreal Alouettes (9.5, 47.5)
The bad news keeps piling up for the Montreal Alouettes as they try to turn their season around. The Alouettes, who are already missing all-stars such as offensive lineman Scott Flory and slotback Jamel Richardson, will likely be without quarterback Anthony Calvillo when they host the BC Lions on Thursday. Calvillo underwent further concussion testing Monday after leaving last week’s 24-21 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the second quarter and if he is unable to play, Josh Neiswander may start his first CFL game under center.
The Lions travel east after a strong two-game homestand that saw them fend off the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Calgary Stampeders. BC won both games despite quarterback Travis Lulay throwing three interceptions against the Stampeders. Lulay has yet to throw for more than 300 yards in a game this year, leaving the Lions to lean on running back Andrew Harris - third in the league with 765 yards from scrimmage - and their defense to give them a chance to win.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, TSN
ABOUT THE LIONS (5-2): BC’s defense is led by linebackers Solomon Elimimian (37 tackles, one interception) and Adam Bighill (31 tackles, two sacks). Wide receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux is Lulay’s favorite target for big plays, recording 440 yards on 22 catches - 20 yards per catch - to go with three touchdowns. Arceneaux had 1,972 yards in his first two CFL seasons before leaving in a failed bid to make the NFL.
ABOUT THE ALOUETTES (2-5): Neiswander did not impress when he replaced Calvillo against the Roughriders, completing 12-of-30 passes and throwing two interceptions, meaning Montreal could turn to Troy Smith on Thursday. Smith, who signed a two-year deal with the Alouettes last week, won the Heisman Trophy in 2006 and was named an NFL offensive player of the week while playing for the San Francisco 49ers during the 2010 season. Linebacker Chip Cox leads the league with 56 tackles and also has an interception and two sacks, while fellow linebacker Kyries Hebert has 42 tackles and a team-leading seven sacks.
* Lions are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
* Under is 7-1-1 in Alouettes last 9 home games.
* Under is 12-3-1 in Lions last 16 games in August.
* Alouettes are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games.
1. BC has allowed 23.4 points per game - second-best in the league to Saskatchewan (21.4).
2. The Lions released K Hugh O’Neill last week, electing to stick with 43-year-old Paul McCallum, who has kicked for BC for the last four games.
3. Montreal is 1-3 at home; BC is 1-2 on the road.