The Montreal Alouettes host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the CFL playoffs on Saturday. These teams faced off three times during the regular season with the Alouettes winning each time — including in the season finale last week.
Oddsmakers expect them to come out victorious again with CFL odds opening with the Als as 2.5-point favourites before moving to -3.5. Here are my best free CFL picks and predictions for Tiger-Cats vs Alouettes in the Eastern Semi-Final on November 4.
Tiger-Cats vs Alouettes best odds
Tiger-Cats vs Alouettes picks and predictions
The Montreal Alouettes are not on the same level as the Argonauts, Blue Bombers, and Lions who have dominated the CFL this year, but they've clearly been better than everybody else. They've gone 0-7 SU and 1-6 ATS against those three teams while going 11-0 SU and 9-1-1 ATS when facing the rest of the league — including three victories against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
I don't want to put much stock Montreal's win against Hamilton last week since it was a meaningless game for both squads, but the previous two games were even more convincing with the Als winning 38-12 in Week 3 and 27-14 in Week 9.
To be fair, the Ticats have made strides since that Week 9 defeat but they still trail the Alouettes in some key categories. Although both sides are led by veteran quarterbacks in Bo Levi Mitchell and Cody Fajardo, I have a bit more confidence in Fajardo at the moment. Mitchell is less mobile, hasn't played a full game since Week 8 (he's been platooning at QB since coming off the IL in Week 18), and has been turnover prone.
That last factor could prove especially important in this matchup since Montreal finished the regular season with the second-best turnover margin in the league (+14) while Hamilton had a TO margin of -4.
Another crucial area where Montreal has excelled has been at defending the pass. Montreal leads the league in yards allowed per pass attempt (7.6), and opponent passer rating (81.2), while ranking second in passing yards allowed per game (239.1). The Ticats have struggled in their secondary for most of the year despite strong play from corner Richard Leonard and safety Stavros Katsantonis. They finished sixth in the league in yards allowed per pass attempt (9.0) and passing yards allowed per game (264.0).
The Alouettes have also shown more big play ability than the Ticats. Montreal has 40 big plays this season and has allowed 34, while Hamilton has given up 43 big plays and made 33. I liked Montreal at -2.5 before the spread moved past the key number of 3 but with the Alouettes making more big plays and fewer mistakes, I'm still leaning towards them at -3.5.
My best bet: Alouettes -3.5 (-110 at 888sport)
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Tiger-Cats vs Alouettes same-game parlay
One of the main reasons I'm fading the Ticats is because of their subpar pass defense so it makes sense to parlay Montreal on the spread with the Over on Fajardo's passing yards.
Fajardo passed for 292 yards versus the Tabbies in Week 3 and then threw for 318 yards against them in Week 9. He also looked sharp against them last week, completing 6-of-8 passes for 55 yards before exiting the game early.
While Fajardo has thrown for plenty of yards this season he has rarely been throwing for touchdowns which makes for a somewhat strange-looking play here. With the Als often running the ball in the red zone, Fajardo has thrown for two or more touchdowns just twice in 16 games this year.
He hasn't thrown for more than a single touchdown in 11 straight games and the Under 1.5 on his passing touchdowns is set at -154. Taking the Under on his passing TDs while also playing the Over on his passing yards, creates a nice multiplier in the parlay market.
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Tiger-Cats vs Alouettes spread and Over/Under analysis
This line opened with the Als at -2.5 but early money came in on them, moving the spread through a key number to -3.5. The total opened at 48.5 and hasn't seen much movement although some books have the O/U down to 48.
The Ticats struggled at the start of the year but showed improvement down the stretch winning five of their last nine games and going 6-2-1 ATS during that span. The Alouettes were even better towards the end of the season going 5-1 SU and 5-0-1 ATS in their final six contests. The Als have also stepped up on defense over the last couple of months leading to the Under going 6-1 in their last seven games.
Tiger-Cats vs Alouettes trend to know
The Alouettes have gone 6-0 SU and 5-0-1 ATS in the last six meetings between these East Division foes. Find more CFL betting trends for Tiger-Cats vs. Alouettes.
Tiger-Cats vs Alouettes game info
|Percival Molson Memorial Stadium, Montreal, QC
|Saturday, November 4, 2023
|3:00 p.m. ET
Tiger-Cats vs Alouettes key injuries
Tiger-Cats: Duke Williams WR (Out), Tunde Adeleke DB (Out), Joel Figueroa LT (Out), Javien Elliott DB (Out).
Alouettes: Reggie White Jr. WR (Out) Kaion Julien-Grant WR (Out), Pier-Olivier Lestage G (Doubtful), Tyrell Richards LB (Doubtful), Najee Murray DB (Out), Kordell Rodgers DB (Out), Chandler Worthy WR/KR (Out).
Find our latest CFL injury reports.