It's Week 20 in the CFL, and with the East Division still up for grabs the Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes will battle to determine first place.
With these teams facing off next week as well the Argos have to win just one game to clinch first place and a bye in the opening round while the Als need to win both. Oddsmakers are expecting a close contest with CFL betting lines opening with the Argos as 2.5-point road faves before shortening to -1.5.
Here are my best free Argonauts vs. Alouettes CFL picks and predictions for October 22.
Argonauts vs Alouettes best odds
Argonauts vs Alouettes picks and predictions
Both of these teams have been extremely tough to figure out from an ATS perspective all season.
With how inconsistent these offenses have looked from week to week, I don't see a clear handicapping edge on either side, but I do like the Under 48.5.
Sure, both of these squads hit the Over last week, but that was against the two worst defensive teams in the league in the Elks and Redblacks. Prior to last week, the Als had cashed the Under in their last four games while the Boatmen had gone 4-1 to the Under in their previous five.
The Argos don't have the ground game to take advantage of Montreal's poor run defense, and their shaky offensive line will be exposed by a strong Alouettes pass rush.
On the other side of the ball, the Argos allow the second-fewest points per game in the league (22.8) and will benefit from facing a Montreal offense that will be missing its second-best receiver in Reggie White Jr. and All-Star center Sean Jamieson.
With so much at stake on Saturday, I'm expecting a tense playoff atmosphere with physical defense and a lower-scoring result.
My best bet: Under 48.5 (-110)
Argonauts vs Alouettes spread analysis
When these teams previously faced off all the way back in Week 2, they played an extremely close contest with Montreal losing by a single point after missing a 21-yard field goal attempt in the final minute.
Much has changed since then, with the Argos suffering several long-term injuries to key players (with running back Andrew Harris, linebacker Wynton McManis, and center Peter Nicastro making up the worst losses), and the Als firing head coach Khari Jones in July.
Both teams have been picking up steam, with the Argos winning six of their last seven games (going 5-2 ATS during that span) and the Als going 6-2 SU (5-3 ATS) in their previous eight contests.
Argos quarterback McLeod Bethel Thompson leads the CFL with 4,491 passing yards but ranks just sixth among current starting QBs in pass efficiency rating (93.8), a few spots behind Montreal's Trevor Harris (101.2).
Toronto's offensive line has been banged up and has struggled in both pass protection and run blocking. The Argos have gotten much better play from their defensive line, which is anchored by tackle Shawn Oakman and end Ja'Gared Davis.
The Als haven't really stood out in any one area but their defensive line has also been formidable. Almondo Sewell does a great job of pushing the pocket from the interior and recently signed end Jamal Davis (cut by the Chargers) is bringing pressure off the edge. They do have a dynamic return game and Chandler Worthy could provide a spark against an Argos kick-coverage unit that has been subpar.
Argonauts vs Alouettes Over/Under analysis
In my best bet, I highlighted many of the reasons why I like the CFL odds giving us Under 48.5, but there is another factor to consider: Montreal might lean on its running game to control the clock.
The Alouettes offense has actually been fairly reliant on passing the ball this year, but that was with All-Star running back William Stanback sidelined for most of the season.
Stanback returned to the lineup in Week 18 and is getting closer to 100 percent, while Montreal play-caller Anthony Calvillo might be reluctant to test an Argos pass defense that has the lowest opponent QB rating in the league and has 26 interceptions.
I'm expecting them to play a more ball-control style of play in this one as they look to avoid mistakes.
Argonauts vs Alouettes trend to know
The Under has also gone a sizzling 20-6-1 in the last 27 meetings between these East Division foes. Find more CFL betting trends for Argonauts vs. Alouettes.
Argonauts vs Alouettes game info
|Location:||Percival Molson Memorial Stadium, Montreal, QB|
|Date:||Saturday, October 22, 2022|
|Kickoff:||4:30 p.m. ET|
Argonauts vs Alouettes key injuries
Argonauts: Isiah Cage (Questionable), Robert Priester DB (Questionable), Andrew Harris RB (Out), Peter Nicastro C (Out), Wynton McManis LB (Out), Maurice Carnell IV DB (Out), Shane Ray DE (Out), Trevon Tate OT (Out), Eric Rogers WR (Out).
Alouettes: Reggie White Jr. (Questionable), Sean Jamieson C (Questionable), Greg Reid DB (Out), Nick Usher DE (Out).
Find our latest CFL injury reports.