The BC Lions will look to clinch a playoff berth when they head to Commonwealth Stadium to face the Edmonton Elks on Friday. This marks the third time this season that these teams have faced off, and while BC shut out Edmonton in both of those previous meetings, this Week 16 showdown is expected to be far more competitive.
CFL odds opened with the Lions as 7.5-point road favorites but money has since come in on the home side, shortening the line to as low as -6. Here are my best free CFL picks and predictions for Lions vs. Elks on September 22.
Lions vs Elks best odds
Lions vs Elks picks and predictions
The Leos have gone 3-3 straight up and 2-4 against the spread since then, and while their offense continues to move the ball, they've taken a huge step back on defense. They've allowed 30.8 points per game over their last six games after holding foes to just 13.4 ppg through their first seven contests.
Meanwhile, the Elks handed the reins of their offense to quarterback Tre Ford after that Week 8 loss and he has helped turn around the team. Following a dismal -8 start to the season, Edmonton has one 4-2 SU and ATS with Ford under center. The Elks even remained competitive in the two contests where the Elks lost with Ford as the starter, leading the Bombers at halftime and losing on a last-minute touchdown to the Stamps.
The Elks were scoring just 13.1 ppg through Week 8 but have ramped that number up to 29.2 ppg in six contests since. That said, while their offense has surged, their offense continues to fizzle. The Elks are dead-last in the CFL in opponent pass efficiency rating and they aren't any better against the run, allowing a league-worst 131.8 rushing yards per game on 5.8 yards per carry.
That's bad news against a Lions attack that has topped the 30-point plateau in back-to-back contests. Leos QB Vernon Adams Jr. might be the hottest player in the league and has thrown for 1,732 passing yards in five games since coming off the IL.
Adams struggled with interceptions early in last week's win against the Redblacks, but he should be primed for a more efficient performance against an Edmonton defense that ranks last in the league in takeaways. The Elks might be able to cover this spread but I doubt they slow down BC's high-octane offense on Friday.
My best bet: Lions team total Over 28.5 (+100 at BetRegal)
Lions vs Elks spread and Over/Under analysis
The public has been all over the home side in this contest with with the Elks opening the week as 7.5-point underdogs before moving through that key number to +6.5 or +6, depending on the book. That isn't too surprising when you consider that the Elks have played better over the last month and a half.
That said, the Lions have shown the ability to run the score up on inferior opponents when they are focused. Not only did they beat the Elks twice earlier this season by a combined 49-0 score, but they also boast six other wins by more than eight points.
While the spread has slimmed, the total has stayed steady at the opening number of 50.5. Lions superstar wide receiver Dominique Rhymes was a full participant in practice this week after missing the last five games with a knee injury, but he isn't expected to play until next weekend.
Lions vs Elks trend to know
The Over is 4-1-1 in the Lions' last six games overall. Find more CFL betting trends for Lions vs. Elks.
Lions vs Elks game info
|Location:||Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, AB|
|Date:||Friday, September 22, 2023|
|Kickoff:||9:30 p.m. ET|
Lions vs Elks key injuries
Lions: Boseko Lokombo LB (Out), Dominique Rhymes WR (Out).
Elks: Steven Dunbar WR (Out), Enock Makonzo SLB (Out), Aaron Grymes DB (Out), Daniel Ross DT (Out).
Find our latest CFL injury reports.