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