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  • Kyle Melo

The Betting Perspective - East Semifinal MTL @ HAM

Montreal @ Hamilton (-5.5): TOTAL 45

Throw the records out, throw precedent out, the Canadian Football League playoffs begin Sunday afternoon.

The fight for the Grey Cup begins in the city that will also see the trophy handed out on December 12th at the title game. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats challenge the Montreal Alouettes at Tim's Horton's Field with the winner travelling down the road to battle the Toronto Argonauts at BMO Field in the Eastern Final next week.

The Alouettes roll into this all-important game with one of the hotter quarterbacks in the CFL at the helm, Trevor Harris has chucked eight touchdown passes and just two picks through the final four games of the season. Montreal also possesses the premier rusher in the league; the East's Most Outstanding Player William Stanback has rushed for 1176 yards in 2021, over 300 yards more than anybody else in the league.

As for Hamilton, the Tiger-Cats march into this playoff tilt coming off a victory in their season finale against Saskatchewan. The win was Jeremiah Masoli's first over a playoff team this year, he threw for 223 yards and a score in the win over the Riders. On the other side of the ball, the Ticats allowed the second fewest points against, only behind the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The battle in the trenches might decide the winner of this game, the Alouettes have recorded the most sacks in the CFL this season, including ten against the Ticats over two games. Hamilton have improved their protection down the stretch but the threat of the Als pass rush could cause Jeremiah Masoli headaches, who has struggled this year under pressure.

On the injury front, the Ticats will be without receiver Bralon Addison, despite some signs of his potential return to action this week. Hamilton will get left tackle Travis Vornkahl back from injury after some time out, Vornkahl has been miles better than any player in that spot this season.

For the Als, left tackle Tony Washington, receiver Eugene Lewis and running back Cameron Artis-Payne slot back into the lineup after missing the game versus Ottawa last week.

The betting line for this contest has slightly moved in the direction of Hamilton, it currently sits at -5.5 after an opening -4.5. The road team has covered the spread in the last three meetings head-to-head, including an Als outright road-underdog win in Hamilton on October 2nd.

The Alouettes are also 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings in Hamilton and 3-1 straight-up on the road in 2021.

Let's roll with the visitors and hope for a close game, ride the Als getting points.

Pick: Montreal +5.5

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