The BC Lions are back at home as they host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday night. The Lions are coming off a 29-34 loss in Saskatchewan.
BC Lions (7-3): The BC Lions lost a close high-scoring game last week in Regina against the Rough Riders. Despite having nearly 150 yards more than the Roughriders in net offense they were unable to leave with a win. The Lions will be hungry to get back in the win column in front of their fans. BC has only lost 2 games in a row once in their last 30 games.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3-6): The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are on their third quarterback as Matthew Shiltz and Bo Levi Mitchell are both on the 6-game injured list. Taylor Powell is showing some good signs of development and played a good game against Edmonton completing 20 of his 26 passes for 218 yards in a game in which he faced a lot of pressure from the pass rush.
CFL First Period All-Star Team (Weeks 1-7)
Date/Location: Sunday, August 20 / BC Place, Vancouver, BC
Kickoff Time: 7:00 PM ET, 4:00 PM PT
Channel: TSN (Canada), CFL+ (USA, International)
Spread: BC -10.5 (-110), Hamilton +10.5 (-110)
Moneyline: BC -550, Hamilton +410
Over/Under: 45.5 (Over -120, Under +100)
Return of the Butler
James Butler had a great season for BC last season before signing with Hamilton this past offseason. He currently has 520 rushing yards on 100 carries and 5 touchdowns. He also has 36 receptions for 309 yards. Butler is on pace for 1,000 yards but has been held to under 20 rushing yards in 3 separate games. He will have to go against some very effective run-stopping defensive tackles as Woody Baron returns from injury and is joining Josh Banks and Tibo Debaillie who have all been very effective this season.
Casey Sayles and Ted Laurent at defensive tackle can be difficult to run against and Sayles is capable of making a lot of big plays. Malik Carney at the defensive end has been having a good season with 5 sacks, a forced fumble, and 30 sacks. Carney has been very effective in generating pressure. On the other side, Tre Crawford is starting at defensive end with Jonathan Kongbo listed behind him who was a BC Lion before being traded prior to the season starting.
Hamilton has one of the best linebacker groups with Simoni Lawrence, Jameer Thurman at middle linebacker, and Chris Edwards at strong-side linebacker.
The Tiger-Cats are better than their record would lead you to believe.
Mathieu Betts leads the CFL in sacks with 11 in 11 games and is currently on pace to break the Canadian sack record that is set at 17. Sione Teuhema has played very well for the Lions as well as the other starting defensive end and together they put a lot of pressure on the quarterback.
Sean Whyte has made 28 of 29 field goals this season and has been the most accurate kicker. He has made his last 23.
Lions to Watch
All the offensive skill position players are very exciting for the Lions with Vernon Adams Jr. being electric at quarterback coming off a 400+ yard performance. Taquan Mizzell is having a good CFL rookie season at running back and has 470 yards on 97 carries (4.8 average) and 124 receiving yards on 19 catches with 2 touchdowns.
All 5 of the starting receivers for BC are very good and make up a deep room. Alexander Hollins and Keon Hatcher combined for 505 yards and 4 touchdowns in the last 2 games.
Garry Peters is coming off a strong game at cornerback. T.J. Lee at halfback had my highest score among defensive backs for the Lions last week against Saskatchewan.
Ben Hladik had the highest score among linebackers last week frequently contributing run stops with Bo Lokombo also having a high score. Hladik has 50 tackles so far and is on pace for 90 this season. The record for most tackles by a Canadian player is 92.
David Menard and Amir Siddiqi had good games last week in the run-stopping department.
Injuries/Depth Chart Changes
Nathan Cherry is out this week with a knee injury after being listed as the 2nd string nose tackle last week. Francis Bemiy is brought into the lineup in his place for his first game of the season.
Chris Schleuger is off this week after being the starting left tackle last week in place of Jarell Broxton. Broxton is back in the lineup after missing 1 game due to injury.
Woody Baron is back in starting at defensive end after missing last week due to injury. Mike Jones is off after being the 2nd string cornerback last week.
I believe supplying young quarterbacks with effective run support to be highly important. With how good BC’s run-stopping has been, I don’t see Butler having a big game against BC. The BC pass rush has been game-breaking for opposing teams. I do not foresee Hamilton scoring many points based on these factors.
I predict BC to win by a score of 27-10.
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