The BC Lions face off against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Week 11 of CFL action on Friday night. The Lions are coming off a thrilling come-from-behind win against the Stampeders and take the league's second-best record into hostile territory at Mosaic Stadium.
The Leos cruised to an easy victory in Regina just three weeks ago and oddsmakers expect them to do so again, with BC currently installed as a 5-point road favorite. Here are our best free Lions vs. Roughriders picks and predictions for August 19.
Lions vs Roughriders odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
This line hit the board with the Lions installed as 3-point road favorites with the Over/Under at 52.5. Early money has come in on BC, with the Lions now -5 or -5.5 but the total has stayed steady.
Lions vs Roughriders Week 11 predictions
- Prediction: Lions -5 (-110)
- Prediction: Under 52.5 (-110)
- Best bet: Roughriders TT Under 23.5 (-108)
Predictions made on 8/18/2022 at 1 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
Lions vs Roughriders game info
• Location: Mosaic Stadium, Regina, SK
• Date: Friday, August 19, 2022
• Kickoff: 10:00 p.m. ET
• TV: TSN
Lions at Roughriders betting preview
Lions: Quincy Mauger S (Out), Garry Peters CB (Questionable), Sione Teuhema DL (Questionable), Woody Baron DT (Out), Boseko Lokombo LB (Out), Steven Richardson DT (Out).
Roughriders: Pete Robertson DE (Probable), A.C. Leonard DE (Probable), Shaq Evans WR (Doubtful), Charleston Hughes DE (Questionable), Mitchell Picton WR (Out), Dan Clark C (Out), Terran Vaughn OT (Out), Kyran Moore WR (Out), Godfrey Onyeka DB (Out), Micah Teitz LB (Out).
Find our latest CFL injury reports.
Lions vs Roughriders picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
The Lions' 41-40 comeback win in Calgary last week showed just how well second-year quarterback Nathan Rourke can handle pressure. The 24-year-old easily leads the league in passing yards per game (363.3), pass efficiency rating (127.2), completion percentage (80.1%), and yards per attempt (10.3), while also being a threat on the ground.
Powered by Rourke, the Lions have been the top offense in the CFL and have just one loss this year — against the defending Grey Cup champion Blue Bombers in Week 5. There's a bigger difference between BC's league-high 456 ypg and Ottawa's second-most 347.5 ypg than there is between Ottawa and the worst offense in the league in Edmonton (288.1 ypg).
Rourke and the Lions had no trouble moving the ball against the Riders three weeks ago, rolling up 433 yards of offense in a 32-17 victory.
That was the Riders' third straight loss, and after a bye in Week 9, they snapped their skid with a 34-23 victory against the Elks last week. That said, Edmonton is the worst team in the league and the Riders didn't look good in that contest since they needed several penalties called in their favour to separate late in the fourth quarter.
Saskatchewan has been really banged up on defense, and while they could get back some key players on that side of the ball, they also have major issues on offense with no quick fix in sight. Quarterback Cody Fajardo has struggled to stretch the field and the line has been beyond terrible, surrendering a league-high 32 sacks.
The Riders are second-last in the CFL in yards per game (310.2) and yards per play (5.8), which will make it tough to move the ball against a BC stop-unit that holds foes to a league-low 280.1 ypg and 5.7 yards per play.
I obviously liked the Lions a whole lot more when they opened at -3 but I still have a slight lean towards them at -5 because Sask's offense isn't explosive enough to keep up.
Prediction: Lions -5 (-110 at DraftKings)
This total is sitting at a very high 52.5, and although we've seen plenty of high-scoring games in recent weeks, I'm leaning towards the Under here.
Sure, the Lions offense has been practically unstoppable this year but the Riders had a very good defense through their first five games. After Week 5, they lost both starting ends Pete Robertson and A.C. Leonard to injuries while defensive tackle Garrett Marino has been serving a suspension and that severely diminished what had been the league's best pass rush.
Leonard is listed as questionable for Friday but he was a full participant in Wednesday's practice alongside Robertson. Despite missing the last four games, Robertson is still tied for the league lead with seven sacks and he should be eager to play after claiming he would suit up last week. Marino is finally back from his suspension and will help push the interior of the pocket alongside Anthony Lanier, who also has seven sacks.
If the Riders' line is back to nearly 100%, their defense won't be a complete pushover at home. They'll need to bring the heat on Rourke and limit the Lions' attack since their own offense likely won't do much.
Saskatchewan is last in the CFL in average yards per first down (5.5) and second-down conversion rate (39.2%), which should mean plenty of punts against a strong Lions defense that doesn't get the credit it deserves because of how incredible their offense has been.
Prediction: Under 52.5 (-110 at DraftKings)
Given the lack of faith I have in the Riders offense, my favorite play of the game shouldn't be a big surprise. The Riders' team total is sitting at 23.5 which seems pretty high when you consider just how bad their offense has been and how stingy the Lions stop unit is.
Even when he's well protected, Fajardo hasn't been able to throw it deep and the constant pressure he has faced has made things worse. Last week, the Elks had success rushing just three players and dropped back nine into pass coverage, which made looking downfield a nightmare for Fajardo.
Sure, the Riders ended up with 34 points in that game but they had just 261 yards of offense against the league's worst defense in Edmonton, and Fajardo completed 11 of 20 passes for 130 yards. Even that low number might be a tad inflated by a late 35-yard touchdown pass to Duke Williams, which he badly underthrew.
The Lions surrendered 40 points last week but they limited a talented Calgary offense to 286 yards and held Bo Levi Mitchell to a 56.3 completion percentage and just 206 passing yards.
The Leos pass defense is holding opposing QBs to the second-worst pass efficiency rating and the fewest completions of 30+ yards. That secondary should be even better when they're allowed to sit back on routes and keep everything in front of them, if they can get away with sending fewer pass rushers after Fajardo.
Pick: Roughriders team total Under 23.5 (-108 at BetRegal)
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