The Calgary Stampeders and BC Lions face off in what should be a terrific West Division Semi-Final showdown on Sunday night. These were two of the three best teams in the CFL during the regular season, and oddsmakers expect a close contest at BC Place this weekend.
CFL betting lines opened with the Leos as 2.5-point home favorites before slimming to -1.5. Here are my best free CFL picks and predictions for Stampeders vs. Lions on November 6.
Stampeders vs Lions best odds
Stampeders vs Lions picks and predictions
The Stampeders have a high-octane offense that finished the season with a CFL-best 31.2 points per game. They are extremely well-balanced on that side of the ball with a strong offensive line, the league's leading rusher in Ka'Deem Carey, and quarterback Jake Maier spreading the ball around.
Maier has played without two of his best receivers in Malik Henry and Kamar Jorden for more than a month, but both stud wideouts should be back in the lineup this week.
Although the Lions' defense was statistically the best in the league through the first half of the season, they were exposed over the last two months. This was especially the case when they faced off against explosive offenses like the Stampeders and Blue Bombers.
The Leos gave up 40 points to the Stamps in Week 10 and surrendered 29 points to them in Week 15. While they limited Calgary to 25 points in Week 16, the Stamps still rolled up 438 yards of offense in that contest.
With the O/U on Calgary's team total set at 24.5 — a number the Stamps have eclipsed in nine consecutive games — I'm hammering the Over.
My best bet: Stampeders team total Over 24.5 (-106 at FanDuel)
Stampeders vs Lions spread analysis
The Stampeders finished the regular season with a 12-6 record, and all six of their losses were close contests that came down to the final minute of the game (including three razor-thin defeats to the Grey Cup favorite Blue-Bombers).
The Stamps led the league with 135.3 rushing yards per game and 6.4 yards per carry (a yard per carry more than second-place Edmonton). They also had an efficient passing game with Jake Maier taking over the starting QB job at midseason, as he completed 74.7% of his passes while ranking third in the league in QB rating.
Calgary was also strong on defense, holding opponents to a league-low 5.9 yards per play, and led the CFL with a plus-21 turnover ratio.
The Lions had a terrific first half of the season, going 8-1 straight up (7-2 against the spread) and edging the Stampeders in overtime in Week 10. Unfortunately, quarterback Nathan Rourke (who was leading the CFL in every passing category at the time) suffered a serious foot injury in Week 11.
Without their superstar QB, the Lions regressed on both sides of the ball and went 4-5 SU and ATS to close their season. Rourke returned to the lineup for a brief appearance last week and looked pretty sharp, completing seven of 11 throws for 68 yards against the Bombers.
Although he was a bit off on deep and boundary throws, those are fixable with another week of practice under his belt, and the Lions are certainly a better team with him under center, even if he isn't quite 100%.
Stampeders vs Lions Over/Under analysis
Although both teams also have solid stop units (especially when it comes to pass defense), they've been able to put up points against each other. While they played a lower-scoring contest against each other in Week 16, that was with Vernon Adams Jr. struggling under center, and the Stamps were still able to move the ball.
The previous week, the Lions pulled off a 31-29 overtime victory against the Stamps. In Week 10 (with Rourke at QB for BC), we saw a whopping 81 points hit the scoreboard.
The Over on Calgary's team total was my best bet, and the only reason I'm not backing the Over 50 on the game total is that I'm not completely convinced that Rourke is back to full strength.
My biggest concern is Rourke's mobility, as he looked far less elusive than his usual self against Winnipeg's pass rush last week on a play where he fumbled the ball away.
The Stampeders led the league with 56 sacks, and they could make life tough for Rourke, especially with his blindside protector Joel Figueroa sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Stampeders vs Lions trend to know
Calgary is 13-3-1 ATS in its last 17 road games while going 16-5-1 ATS in its previous 22 trips to BC. Find more CFL betting trends for Stampeders vs. Lions.
Stampeders vs Lions game info
|Location:||BC Place, Vancouver, BC|
|Date:||Sunday, November 6, 2022|
|Kickoff:||4:30 p.m. ET|
Stampeders vs Lions key injuries
Stampeders: Folarin Orimolade DE (Questionable), Tre Roberson CB (Out), Malik Henry WR (Questionable), Derek Dennis LT (Out).
Lions: Lucky Whitehead WR (Out), Joel Figueroa LT (Out).
Find our latest CFL injury reports.