Ottawa has a pretty straightforward formula to success—good defence and ‘good enough’ offence. They were only fifth in points scored during the regular season (25.8 points/game). But they were third in points/game allowed (23.3).
That’s not much of a difference, but then again, they were not exactly a dominant team with a record of 11-7. However, they did dominate Hamilton during the season winning all three regular-season matchups– 21-15 (Week 7), 35-31 (Week 19) and 31-13 (Week 20).
Overall, both quarterbacks were able to move the ball against the other in all three games. But Ottawa was able to keep Hamilton off the scoreboard. Hamilton, on the other hand, couldn’t seem to keep the Redblacks from scoring when they needed to most.
The key for the Ticats is going to be finishing drives off in the end zone. In the Week Seven game against the Redblacks, Jeremiah Masoli threw for over 300 yards but only had a single touchdown. In the Week 19 game, he had 300+ through the air and three touchdowns. But the Ticats were forced to settle for field goals on their final three scoring drives.
So—who’s going to win?
Defensively, the two teams are not that different. Both allow right around 100 yards a game on the ground. Ottawa gives up an additional 27-28 yards in the passing game, but in this league that is a negligible amount.
The Redblacks have allowed 23.3 points/game next to Hamilton’s 25.3.
It is going to come down to the pivots. While Trevor Harris is impressive, this is Jeremiah Masoli’s year. Take the Tiger-Cats (+145) to win over the Redblacks (-172.41), straight up and against the spread (+3.5). As for the over/under—take the over (54).
*odds via Betway.com