Visiting Team: Hamilton Tiger-Cats 1-4
Home Team: BC Lions (3-1)
Location: BC Place, Vancouver, BC
Date and Start Time: Thursday, July 21st, 2022 at 10 pm EDT
Betting Line: BC Lions -7.5
TV: TSN, ESPN+
This Week 7 matchup between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from the East division and the BC Lions from the West division features two teams that are both in need of a win. The BC Lions, led by QB Nathan Rourke and RB James Butler, started 2022 as the hottest team in the league. The Lions team and ownership successfully built an overwhelmingly positive buzz, and the Lions were the hottest team in the CFL with a 3-0 start. In Week 5 the Lions were cooled down significantly when they lost at home to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats started the 2022 season as the favorite to be the East representative in the Grey Cup championship for the 3rd straight year. That was before the Tiger-Cats caught the turnover bug and started the season 0-4. Hamilton was able to get their first win of the season in Week 6 by defeating the Ottawa Redblacks 25-23.
The Lions and Tiger-Cats find themselves at an early season crossroads. The West division is a loaded division, and a home loss by the Lions would allow the Blue Bombers and Stampeders to potentially widen the gap in the standings.
The Tiger-Cats are also in a close race in the East, and they need to get every win that they can muster after a disastrous start to the season. The Lions come into the game as a heavy favorite, but they will need to execute at a high level to secure this win. The Tiger-Cats have struggled to win against the West division, and they have struggled to play on the road. For the Tiger-Cats to win this game they will need to play their best game of the season.
The Lion’s 3-1 start has been led by their offence. Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke has had a great start to the season with 1,355 passing yards, 12 passing touchdowns, 180 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns, and a QB rating of 130.1. Running back James Butler has also been a dominant offensive weapon with 243 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns, and 4.9 yards/carry.
Receiver Dominique Rhymes has 371 receiving yards and 4 receiving touchdowns which leads the CFL. The Lion’s defence has also been a solid unit led by Sione Teuhema with 3 quarterback sacks and TJ Lee with 2 interceptions. The Lions have started the season 2-1 at home in 2022.
The Tiger-Cats have been a turnover machine during their first 5 games of the season with 20 turnovers. To have a chance to win this game Hamilton will have to protect the football and score in the red zone. Quarterback Dane Evans has 1,423 passing yards, 7 passing touchdowns, and has a QB rating of 85.0 which is at the bottom of the CFL for starting quarterbacks.
The Tiger-Cats running game has started to become more productive, but the bulk of the Hamilton rushing yards belong to their quarterbacks. Receivers Tim White and Steven Dunbar Jr. have been the most consistent producers for Hamilton. Tim White has 367 yards receiving and scored the winning touchdown against the Redblacks last week, and Steven Dunbar Jr. has 3 receiving touchdowns. Defensively the Tiger-Cats have been boosted by defensive end Julian Howsare with 3 sacks, and linebacker Kameron Kelly with 2 interceptions.
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