Week Two CFL Picks

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (-2) at Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Thursday, July 2: 8:35 PM

For my money, this is the game of the week. The Ti-Cats were a miraculous reception away from knocking off the defending Grey Cup champions last week in Calgary, while the Bombers notched their first win in Regina in eleven years just two days later. Second-year starters Zach Collaros and Drew Willy are off to hot starts and will enter Thursday’s match-up armed with a number of dangerous weapons at their disposal. As much as a raucous Investors Group Field crowd will benefit the Bombers, I see the deciding factor in this game being the extra two days the Tabbies have had to rest and prepare.

Pick straight-up: Hamilton

Pick against the spread: Hamilton

Calgary Stampeders (?) at Montreal Alouettes

Friday, July 3: 7:35 PM

This game has yet to have been assigned a point spread, likely as a byproduct of Montreal’s uncertainty at quarterback. Unless it reaches double-digits, I’m still taking the Stamps.

Pick straight-up: Calgary

Pick against the spread: Calgary

BC Lions (-3) at Ottawa RedBlacks

Saturday, July 4: 6:05 PM

Jeff Tedford’s BC Lions hit the field for the first time on Saturday against the 1-0 Ottawa RedBlacks. With all due respect to Wally Buono and company, I am extraordinarily skeptical of this Lions team. BC is simply built in a manner that is fundamentally unsound: their national content is average at best; their offensive line is among the worst in the league; and, at the most important position in the game, there is a giant question mark surrounding the health of Travis Lulay. The Lions may prove me wrong, but I don’t see them having a ton of success in this one. I’ll take the RedBlacks and the points.

Pick straight-up: Ottawa

Pick against the spread: Ottawa

Toronto Argonauts at Saskatchewan Roughriders (-3)

Sunday, July 5: 3:35 PM

The Toronto Argonauts stunned me last week in their defeat of the Edmonton Eskimos. Trevor Harris looked like a polished veteran, Chad Owens and Andre Durie appear to have recaptured their 2012 form, and the Argo defensive line, however aided by a porous Eskimo offensive line, looks ferocious. I, like most people around the CFL, have always believed Scott Milanovich is a good head coach. I think we’re just now learning exactly how good he really is. With Saskatchewan’s national depth hanging by a thread after injuries to Keenan MacDougall, Shea Emry, and Nic Demski, I can’t not take the ‘dog in this one.

Pick straight-up: Toronto

Pick against the spread: Toronto

Season record straight-up: 2-2

Season record against the spread: 3-1

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.