The Betting Perspective - HAM @ WPG
Updated: Aug 7, 2021
Hamilton (-2.5) @ Winnipeg - TOTAL 50.5
by Kyle Melo
A lot has changed in the last 621 days, but here we are playing football again with a 2019 Grey Cup rematch kicking off the long-awaited festivities. The Ticats and Bombers both come into the season with high expectations but also some major concerns.
For Hamilton, Orlondo Steinhauer now has a choice at the quarterback position, but it appears to be a luxury after good training camps for both Dane Evans and Week 1 starter Jeremiah Masoli.
However, the Ticats do have a loaded injured list to start the year, including wideouts Bralon Addison and DeVier Posey. In addition, on the sideline for the Ticats are two key Canadian starters in safety Tunde Adeleke and right tackle Chris Van Zeyl.
On the other side, the biggest loss for the Bombers since the 2019 title game is the departure of offensive coordinator Paul LaPolice, who was hired by the Ottawa Redblacks to be their new head coach just weeks after Winnipeg lifted the Grey Cup. Stepping into the void is Bombers’ quarterbacks coach for the last four years and CFL Veteran Buck Pierce. The biggest challenges ahead for Pierce are to keep the offense clicking without the innovative play-calling style of LaPolice and to maintain the health of incumbent signal-caller Zach Collaros for the entirety of the season.
The Week 1 injury situation for the Bombers is significant as well, future Hall of Famer running back Andrew Harris and top wideout Darvin Adams will both miss the season opener.
The Ticats opened as four-point favorites early Wednesday morning when the line was posted; that number has come all the way down to 2.5 is some places meaning the public money is backing the Bombers. The biggest problem the Ticats have are on the offensive line, left tackle Ryker Matthews is now gone, and right tackle Chris Van Zeyl is banged up, not to mention the retirement of long-time of center Mike Filer.
In the 2019 Grey Cup, Bombers’ pass-rushers Willie Jefferson and Jackson Jeffcoat had a field day against the Ticats protection. And now with unknown bookends Kay Okafor and Trevon Tate; history could repeat Thursday and Jeremiah Masoli could be on the move a lot against Winnipeg.
The massive public movement should scare Bombers bettors a little despite the offensive line issues for the Ticats. Hamilton are the Grey Cup favorites according to the odds and Jeremiah Masoli has been the much better quarterback compared to Zach Collaros over the last few years.
Hamilton receiver Brandon Banks will be the best offensive player on the field for both sides and the Ticats do have revenge on their mind.
It usually means very little but when we haven’t played football in this long, it might matter.
Go against public opinion and take the Ticats -2.5.
PICK: Hamilton -2.5