Lions (1-1) vs. Eskimos (1-1)
The BC Lions head to Edmonton Saturday night to conclude Week 3 on the CFL schedule. Both teams are currently 1-1 and looking to keep pace with the Saskatchewan Rough Riders who have started the season 2-0. BC looked much better in Week 2 after a Week 1 loss while it is hard to decide what to make of an Edmonton team the won last week in hurricane conditions against Hamilton.
BC Lions (1-1) vs. Edmonton Eskimos (1-1)
Date/Time: Saturday, July 13, 2013 9:30 PM ET
Venue: Commonwealth Stadium
Lions vs. Eskimos Betting Lines from Bodog.ca
B.C. Lions -4 -110 Ov 49½ -110
Edmonton Eskimos +4 -110 Un 49½ -110
The BC Lions erased what was an uncharacteristically poor performance in Calgary in Week 1 and it was thanks to their defense.
This unit allowed just 16 points to Toronto last week (just six through three quarters) and looked much more in sync than they did against Calgary when they gave up 44 points. The Lions’ defense was the best in the league last year and looked like it in Week 2.
If they can play anywhere near the level they did against Toronto, victory shouldn’t be much of an issue – theoretically speaking of course!
Along with a good defensive effort the Lions came up with a sound offensive game plan last week. Travis Lulay threw for 249 yards and a touchdown- efficient and effective – while running back Andrew Harris carried the ball 15 times for a game-high 103 yards and a score en route to being named the top Canadian for the week.
Harris also caught six passes for another 49 yards as well.
Lulay is still struggling a tad with a 58.6 completion percentage but he is third in the CFL in passing yards so far with 532. With Harris flexing his muscle, the Lions appear to be on the brink of the most balanced offense in the Western Division.
The Edmonton Eskimos also have an OK and balanced offensive attack. Hugh Charles currently ranks third in the CFL with 141 yards on 16 carries. He garnered CFL Offensive Player of the Week honors as he ran for 119 yards on a mere 11 carries against Hamilton and was by far the Eskies best player.
He will have to be – QB Matt Nichols was lost for the season due to a knee injury and Mike Reilly was thrust into action. He has thrown for 395 yards, but he has as many interceptions as touchdowns (three) and a completion percentage of 54.5.
Reilly played well last week however – he not only completed 14-of-22 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns, but also ran the ball six times for 54 yards and a major.
Edmonton’s defense is nothing to write home about, but this unit has the quintessential “bend, not break” style. The big problem with Edmonton has been their lack of discipline so far this young season. The team has been flagged an astounding 30 times in two games for 227 yards – not good.
As a result the team is last in the CFL in scoring – 24 points per game with an inexperienced pivot at the helm.
Dave B’s Free Week 3 Prediction
A few trends to consider:
- Under is 14-3 in BC last 17 road games
- Under is 38-14-2 in BC last 54 Sat. games
- BC are 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 games in July.
- Over is 7-1-1 in EDM last 9 games overall.
- Under is 6-2-1 in EDM last 9 games in July.
- EDM are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games in July.
On paper, Saturday’s game shouldn’t be close at all. The Lions have superior talent in nearly every aspect of the game. Edmonton’s receiving corp may be the one advantage.
But with Mike Reilly guiding the team, not a whole lot can be expected from their pass catchers.
The Lions’ defense knows Reilly well – they played against him in practice for two years! BC also knows that they need to win some division games – they are 0-1 so far this season. Look for the Lions to pick up where they left off last week, for the defense to dominate and for the offense to keep developing some necessary chemistry. BC Wins easily.