With only two games remaining on the regular season schedule, the drive to the postseason continues for CFL teams in Week 18.
B.C. Lions at Calgary Stampeders (-3.5, 50.5)
The Lions have already clinched the West and Calgary has already clinched a playoff berth, so both teams may rest some starters for this game. For the Leos, that includes first-string QB Travis Lulay, who has a sore shoulder, and backup QB Mike Reilly is expected to start.
Calgary posted its second straight win and third in its last four outings last week with a 34-32 victory over Hamilton. It was a game played in snowy conditions that was decided by a short botched field goal at the end of the game that slipped off the icy kicking tee before Hamilton could get the attempt away. There is still snow on the ground in Calgary and temperatures will be below freezing Friday night.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (-4.5, 56.5)
Winnipeg still has a chance to qualify for the playoffs but must win the final two games of the regular season and have Edmonton drop its final two contests. The Bombers put up a season-high 44 points in last week’s convincing win in Toronto, rallying behind the return of QB Buck Pierce. But it was the Winnipeg ground game that stole the show, racking up four majors and 260 yards in the victory.
The Tiger-Cats have dropped three straight and four of their last five games, but like the Bombers, still have an outside shot at a playoff berth if they can win out and get some outside help. The bad news is Hamilton hasn’t beaten Winnipeg in more than two calendar years, a span of six games. The Blue Bombers are 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings.
Toronto Argonauts at Saskatchewan Roughriders (-6, 50.5)
Saskatchewan can't catch British Columbia for first place in the West but the Roughriders are not fighting for their playoff lives like Toronto, which needs to win at least one of its final two outings to clinch a postseason berth. The Argonauts have dropped five of their last six contests, including three in a row after being drubbed by Winnipeg last week.
Saskatchewan fell 34-28 last week to Montreal to fall to 8-8 on the campaign. The Roughriders posted a 36-10 victory in Toronto earlier this season, which means the Riders have now won two straight and seven of the last nine encounters with the Boatmen. The teams have played under the total in their last five meetings.
Edmonton Eskimos at Montreal Alouettes (-4.5, 52.5)
The Montreal Alouettes have already locked up top spot in the Eastern Division after their 34-28 victory over Saskatchewan last week and will host the division finals game on Nov. 18. The Als may go into cruise control in the final two weeks but that doesn’t mean they will rest their veteran QB Anthony Calvillo. “I don’t want to have the players looking at me saying ‘Oh, he is taking a day off because he is 40 years old,’” Calvillo said Thursday.
The Eskimos hold a tie-breaker over Saskatchewan and have to win at least one of their last two games on the schedule in order to secure a cross-over spot in the playoffs. Edmonton also has a chance to sneak into the postseason if Hamilton and Winnipeg both split their final two games. Montreal won the only prior meeting this season back on Aug. 17 by a score of 38-25, as Calvillo threw for 327 yards and four TDs. The Als have taken five in a row from Edmonton, which failed to cover the spread in all five of those losses.