Edmonton Eskimos at Hamilton Tiger Cats Eastern Finals Pick
The 15-3 Hamilton Tiger-Cats are -6 point favorites over the now 9-10 Edmonton Eskimos who are attempting to become the first cross-over team to make it to the Grey Cup. Both of these teams have high powered offenses, but they also have the two best defenses, which has kept the total at 51.5.
The winner of this game will play for the Grey Cup next Sunday, the kick-off for this one is Sunday, November 17, at 1 pm ET.
Match Up Overview
Edmonton backed into the playoffs as the Western Crossover team with a sub .500 record of 8-10 SU. Last week they went into Montreal and “stunned” the home team as a small +2 road dog. Veteran QB Trevor Harris, who has had his share of ups and downs this season, carved the Mtl defense a new one, completing all of his passes in the first half, and finished the game with 421 yards, one TD, and one interception on 36 of 39 pass attempts. The defense was able to take advantage of a young frustrated QB in Vernon Adams, who spent most of the first half watching from the sidelines. In the Second half, Adams started to amount another comeback, but he was forcing the ball instead of thinking and turned the ball over three times, sealing the deal for the Eskies as they went on to win and cover 37-29.
Once again, the East Division was much weaker than the West, and first place was secured by Hamilton back in early October, earning them the bye last week. The last time the Tabbies were in a contest of note and consequence was September 27 when they went into Winnipeg and handed the Bombers a 33-13 rude awakening. The Bombers were without their starting QB Matt Nichols, but back up Chris Streveler has shown he’s no slouch, so I still count it as a good win.
This will be the third meeting of the season between these to clubs. The first meeting in Edmonton saw the home side lose a close one 30-27 in a game where both starting QBs played, the re-match in Hamilton Harris was out, and Hamilton went on to rout the visitors 12-42.
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Last week Harris showed that experience is key in the playoffs as he stayed focused while his talented young adversary slowly melted down mentally. I wasn’t sure last week if Edmonton could play an entire game where they looked organized and disciplined; there have been many times this year where that was not the case. The penalties, the head coach losing it on the refs, the troubles in the red zone all that was gone last week as they cruised past the Als. This week they’ll be pushed much harder by the Ti-Cats and will need to hold their composure when things get tough. If Edmonton can weather the storm and be in it at the half, they have the QB with the experience and talent to win the second half and possibly the game.
Hamilton's rookie QB Dane Evans is outmatched in the experience department, but he has the better team around him. The Tiger-cats are 6-1 ATS in their last seven and went 9-0 SU at Tim Horton's field. I like what I’ve seen so far this year when it comes to decision making from HC Orlando Steinauer. He’s shown that he leans toward the traditional way of thinking when it comes to third down plays, ie, take the points or the field position, and forget about risky third-down gambles. This team played in a weak division to be sure, but they’ve beaten some good Western teams along the way. They have excellent coaches, the number one home offense and defense, plus a very dangerous special teams unit. The only liability they have is Dane's inexperience if Dane doesn't get too far behind and the ti-cats can play with a lead, they should be able to salt this away.
CFL coaches don't like revealing information about injuries any more than any other professional bench boss, and right now, they're more tight-lipped than usual. The kicker could have a sucking chest wound, and they’d be listed as a game-time decision. I haven’t heard of anything yet, and I’m not expecting to until kick-off.
The weather is supposed to be great on Sunday, sunny with a high of 32, and light winds.
- Get more details: Edmonton at Hamilton CFL Match-up Stats
Edmonton at Hamilton CFL Prediction 11/17/19
The script often flips in football, and I see this as a potential spot for that phenomenon to take place. Last week Edmonton's QB torched the defense, and the opposing QB sealed the deal by throwing picks trying to catch up, exactly the same thing that happened to Harris in Last year's Grey Cup. Hamilton's defense is really good, much better than Montreal's, way better in fact. When I look at the potential outcomes, I don’t see any potential of Edmonton winning this one big, but Hamilton could blow them out. I’m going to fade the last minute back-door cover, which is the most likely way Eskimo backers will cash, and take the squad that has been crushing teams at home all season. Give the -6 and back the Ti-cats.