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Rick Zamperin: Tiger-Cats or B.C. Lions — which is the king of the CFL jungle?

It is one game and anything can happen. That’s the beauty of sports — it is the ultimate reality TV.

So when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and B.C. Lions tangle in the Canadian Football League’s Eastern Semi-Final Sunday afternoon in Steeltown, it’s anyone’s game.

As for which team is going to win, your guess is as good as mine, honestly. This game is too close to call.

Here’s what we know.

Hamilton and B.C. split their two-game season series this year. The Lions won 35-32 in overtime and the Ticats returned the favour with a 40-10 mauling one week later.

The Ticats are at home for this single elimination game but they are a mediocre 4-5 at Tim Hortons Field this season. B.C. is a paltry 2-7 on the road in 2018.

The Lions are the healthier team and will be getting middle linebacker Solomon Elimimian back from the injured list, but won’t have dynamic returner Chris Rainey in the lineup. The Cats come into the game with several stars stuck on the injured list, including all-star receiver Brandon Banks.

Sunday’s game is going to come down to a handful of factors such as turnovers, penalties, second down conversions and making the most of opportunities.

The Tiger-Cats could have — and should have — beaten B.C. in both their meetings this season, and I think they have the better overall team even with their injury concerns at receiver.

I think the Eastern Semi-Final will be a defensive battle and I have a feeling that Hamilton’s defense will rise to the occasion and propel the Ticats past the Lions and onto the East Final in Ottawa.


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