Ottawa RedBlacks at Hamilton Tiger Cats Week 19 Pick

October 19, 4:00 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Hamilton -16.5

Will Arndt will get his second start at QB for the Ottawa Redblacks when they make the short trip to Hamilton to take on the Ti-Cats. The first place home team is laying a lot of chalk as -16.5 point favorites with a total of 51. Both teams’ playoff fate has already been decided, so they'll be playing for pride this Saturday afternoon; kickoff is scheduled for 4 pm ET.

Ottawa Overview

Ottawa hasn’t won a game SU in ages, and they haven’t been covering either going 1-6 ATS in their last seven. After finally giving up on back-up QB Jonathon Jennings as a replacement for their first QB to wash out, Dominique Davis, the RedBlacks Coaching Staff, decided to give third-string rookie QB Will Arndt a shot last week in Toronto. Arndt, after shaking off some jitters, settled down and played well, completing 67% of his passes against an under-rated Argo defense. Ottawa didn't cover at +2.5 losing 21-28 SU, but the offense functioned much better than I've seen in a while, and the game was competitive.

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Hamilton Overview

On the flip-side, Hamilton has been cruising along going 7-1 SU in their last eight and 4-0-1 ATS in their previous five. Last week's 42-12 drubbing of the leaderless Eskimos doesn't mean much to me, but their win a couple of weeks ago in Winnipeg was impressive. The Bombers have been tough at home this year boasting a 7-1 SU record at IG Stadium, yet Hamilton went to Winnipeg and simply ate the Bombers lunch crushing them 33-13. Yes, I know the Bombers are without starting QB Matt Nichols, but they are a veteran team with a lot of talent everywhere, and it’s still a quality win in my books.

Matchup Overview

This will be the second meeting of the season, these two teams clashed back in August in Ottawa with the Ti-Cats basically routing the RedBlacks 21-7, despite a very determined defensive effort by the losing side. Dominique Davis Started that game and played poorly, of course, completing only 50% of his passes. He would eventually be replaced by J. Jennings, who actually played worse, only completing 33% of his throws downfield. Hamilton QB Dane Evans had an off day as well throwing only one TD pass to two INT.

Ottawa's major malfunction this year has been their QB situation, or more accurately, lack of QB situation. The CFL is a QB driven league, and teams that can't at least play for field position are doomed, this has been Ottawa's conundrum most of the season. Is Arndt going to be the next Bo Levi Mitchell and torch the league? In all likely hood no, but I did see a poised decision maker that could get first downs and keep his team in the game. Arndt will be in tough against a very good Hamilton Defense, but if he improves from last week, this game could be competitive, with an outside chance of an upset.

Hamilton has been playing well at home again, going 6-1-1 in their last eight efforts. A lot of their recent success has come from the play of their overall defense, which is ranked number one at Tim Horton's Field. If this game meant anything to Hamilton, I'd consider eating all that chalk, but with first place in the East secured, I'm not sure how sharp this squad will be. Hamilton will undoubtedly win SU in the end, but 16.5 is a significant number for a team playing for the sake of the schedule.

I haven’t seen any injuries on either team that would influence my opinion of their chances of covering significantly, but, because Ottawa is playing for next year and Hamilton is riding out the season until the playoffs start, I’m going to be careful making roster assumptions other than this, any borderline players on Hamilton who would play in a big game might dress, but not play much.

Weather Report

The weather looks like it is going to be decent with the temperature expected to be around 45 and no wind, although, as I have cautioned before, the lake effect can create strange weather, and it's never a bad idea to check again as kickoff approaches.

Ottawa at Hamilton Prediction 10/19/19

The way I see this game play-out is the home team overwhelming the visitors in the first half and then phoning it in, in the second half. I hardly ever back losers or bad sides in a funk, but the change at QB has given this RedBlacks team a spark, and let us not forget they played for the Grey Cup last year, so it’s not like they have a bunch of Tomato Cans standing on the sidelines. Ottawa is a wounded animal desperate for a meal, while the Ti-Cats are sitting back with their tummies full. I don’t care what the records are in this one; I'm backing the crazed dog with a lot of fight left, give me the RedBlacks and the +16.5.

Free Pick: 
Take Ottawa Redblacks +16.5