Roughriders vs Elks Prediction, Picks, and Odds for Week 1

Saskatchewan and Edmonton allowed the most points in the CFL last season, and with both offenses improved heading into 2024, we're anticipating a high-scoring affair in their Week 1 opener. Read more in our Roughriders vs. Elks betting picks.

Rohit Ponnaiya - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Rohit Ponnaiya • Betting Analyst
Jun 7, 2024 • 12:36 ET • 4 min read
Geno Lewis Edmonton Elks CFL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Edmonton Elks host the Saskatchewan Roughriders in CFL Week 1 action on Saturday afternoon. These were the two worst defensive teams in the league last year, and my Roughriders vs Elks predictions are betting on that being the case again.

Here are my best free CFL picks for June 8.

Roughriders vs Elks prediction

My best bet
Over 46 (-110 at DraftKings)

My analysis

The Edmonton Elks offense will be better this season after signing veteran gunslinger McLeod Bethel-Thompson, who gives them the best passer they've had in years. Bethel-Thompson led the CFL with 4,731 passing yards in 2022 before leading the USFL with 2,433 yards in 10 games last year. With All-Star wideout Geno Lewis and other talented receivers at his disposal, Bethel-Thompson should be able to air it out. 

Although the Saskatchewan Roughrider offense struggled last year, a big reason was that veteran quarterback Trevor Harris suffering a season-ending injury in Week 6. Harris now looks fully healthy and is coming off completing 7-of-9 passes for 123 yards in the preseason. The Riders also signed 1,000-yard running back A.J. Ouellette from Toronto and beefed up their line by adding Jermarcus Hardrick and Ryan Sceviour. 

On the other side of the ball, the Riders allowed a whopping 34.9 points per game in the final 10 games of 2023. The biggest change on defense was hiring Corey Mace as head coach, but he doesn't have the personnel to make things work out of the gate. The Riders' secondary looks just as bad as last year, while the defensive line lost its best edge rusher in Pete Robertson. 

Meanwhile, the Elks defense allowed 28.7 ppg last year and lost top pass rushers A.C. Leonard and Jake Ceresna in the offseason. Head coach Chris Jones is constantly tinkering with the lineup and there are plenty of new faces once again. That lack of continuity will hurt Edmonton's stop unit at the start of this season while Jones desperately looks to settle on a lineup he can trust. 

Roughriders vs Elks same-game parlay (SGP)

Over 46.5

Eugene Lewis Over 67.5 rushing yards

A.J. Ouellette Over 75.5 rushing yards

Lewis led the East Division with 1,303 receiving yards in 2022 and racked up 844 yards in just 12 games with Edmonton last year. The fact that he was able to do that with a subpar group of QBs throwing him the ball was especially impressive, and he should thrive with McLeod-Thompson under center.

It's also worth mentioning that FanDuel also has wide receiver Kyran Moore listed with an O/U of 45.5, but he's been ruled out for this game. That means more targets for Lewis on Saturday. 

The Elks were the worst team in the league against the run last year, and that spells bad news facing the Riders and Ouellette. Saskatchewan's fancy new toy rushed for 1,009 yards on just 178 carries last year and churned out 84 yards and three touchdowns against Edmonton in Week 3. 

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

Roughriders vs Elks odds

Roughriders vs Elks live odds

Roughriders vs Elks opening odds

  • Spread: Saskatchewan +2.5 (-110) | Edmonton -2.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Saskatchewan +125 | Edmonton -150
  • Over/Under: Over 46.5 (-110) | Under 46.5 (-110)

Roughriders vs Elks spread and Over/Under analysis

  • The Roughriders finished last season with seven straight losses, going 2-5 against the spread over that span.
  • The Elks went 2-5 straight up and 1-6 ATS in their final seven games of 2023.
  • The Roughriders have the fifth-best Grey Cup odds at bet365 (+1,000), while the Elks have the second-worst at +1,500.
  • The Elks haven't benefitted from home-field advantage over the last few years, going just 2-24 SU and 5-21 ATS in their last 26 games at Commonwealth Stadium.

Roughriders vs Elks trend

The Over is 10-1 in Saskatchewan's last 11 games. Find more NBA betting trends for Roughriders vs. Elks.

Roughriders vs Elks game info

Location: The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, AB
Date: Saturday, 6-8-2024
Kick-off: 4:00 p.m. ET
TV: TSN

Roughriders vs Elks key injuries

Roughriders: Amari Henderson DB (Out), Rodney Clemons DB (Out), Jaxon Ford DB (Out).
Elks: Brett Boyko OL (Out), Kyran Moore WR (Out), J-Min Pelley DT (Out), Gavin Cobb WR (Out).
Find our latest CFL injury reports.

Roughriders vs Elks weather

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