Just a few weeks after Johnny Manziel was traded from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to the Montreal Alouettes, Manziel will make his first CFL start against his former team. Both the Alouettes and Ticats bring three-game losing streaks into Friday’s action, but Manziel will be an underdog in his Montreal debut.
Montreal vs. Hamilton Odds
The Tiger-Cats are a seven point favorite for Friday’s game according to OddsShark.com. It’s not hard for Hamilton to bring a more consistent offense, as Montreal has shuffled quarterbacks all season. Hamilton is a -40 favorite on the moneyline, and Manziel faithful could find a nice payday taking Montreal at +200.
The total for this game is 50.5, with the Over and Under both valued at -110.
Montreal vs. Hamilton Prediction
Before Manziel, this was supposed to be a meeting of former Oregon quarterbacks. Vernon Adams Jr. started Montreal’s 44-23 loss to Edmonton on Thursday, and had some criticism for the fans chanting “We want Johnny” in the stands. Hamilton has been doing fine with former Duck Jeremiah Masoli under center, so much so that they dealt Manziel to a spot where he could have a better chance to play.
Both of these teams are on losing streaks, but they are not created equal. Hamilton’s streak includes two one-score losses, with the outlier an 11-point loss to Saskatchewan. All three of Montreal’s losses have been by double-digits, including the 21-point loss last week. For comparison, Hamilton beat that same Edmonton team by 17 on the road earlier this season.
When Hamilton has the ball, look for plenty of short passing from Masoli. He’s been running June Jones’ spread offense, and is completing 67 percent of his passes on over 200 attempts. Expect to see plenty of favored target Brandon Banks, who is second in the CFL with 40 catches through six games.
Manziel is expected to make some mistakes, but his offense should lean on running back Tyrell Sutton. A 31-year old out of Northwestern, Sutton is a CFL veteran who can help keep moving Montreal down the field.
It’s hard for me to take Montreal after watching them get torched by Edmonton last week. Mike Reily finished with 415 passing yards and four touchdowns in that game, and Masoli shouldn’t have a problem picking the Alouettes apart. Manziel brings the unpredictability, but his limited playbook knowledge will hurt his ability to make an impact in his debut.
Prediction: Hamilton 36, Montreal 22