Hamilton Tiger-Cats (-3) at Montreal Alouettes
Thursday, July 16: 7:35 PM
Montreal comes into this one on a short week to play an exceptionally well-rested Ti-Cat squad that looked sharp in weeks one and two. Zach Collaros is primed for CFL super stardom, while Ti-Cat defensive coordinator Orlondo Steinauer’s complex blitz schemes are sure to give rookie Alouette quarterback Rakeem Cato headaches all game long. As much as I respect Montreal’s defence, this one’s a no-brainer. I’m taking the Tabbies and eating the points.
Pick straight-up: Hamilton
Pick against the spread: Hamilton
Edmonton Eskimos (-3.5) at Ottawa RedBlacks
Friday, July 17: 5:05 PM
My streak of successfully picking the RedBlacks ended last week in the debacle that was Ottawa’s Thursday night performance against these same Edmonton Eskimos. I chose the RedBlacks despite the fact that they were coming off a short week — something I virtually never do, regardless of match-up — due to Edmonton’s loss of Mike Reilly and the extent to which Chris Jones’ defence has struggled to adapt to the CFL’s new pass coverage rules. Though I truly believe this game can go either way — it sounds cliché, I believe this game will come down to how the starting quarterbacks perform — I’ll take the Eskimos.
Pick straight-up: Edmonton
Pick against the spread: Edmonton
BC Lions at Saskatchewan Roughriders (-3.5)
Friday, July 17: 8:05 PM
I was stunned to see the Lions beat the ‘Riders in overtime last Friday night. With all due respect to BC — they have some solid pieces, including, of course, the CFL’s reigning M.O.P. — I thought Saskatchewan was going to run roughshod over an inexperienced defensive line and contain BC’s passing attack enough to pick-up the win in Vancouver. If Saskatchewan commits to pounding the ball versus the Lions at Mosaic, I like their chances this week. An 0-3 start already has Rider Nation threatening Corey Chamblin’s job with
torches combines and pitchforks banjos — I’d hate to see things get even uglier with an 0-4 start.
Pick straight-up: Saskatchewan
Pick against the spread: Saskatchewan
Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Calgary Stampeders (-9)
Saturday, July 18: 7:05 PM
As far as I’m concerned, this is the juiciest line of the CFL season thus far. Calgary is coming off a short week and lost starting tackles Edwin Harrison and Dan Federkeil to long-term leg injuries last week versus the Argos. The loss of Federkeil is particularly noteworthy because of how it affects the Stamps’ ratio. Unless second-year man Brad Erdos can start at right tackle — something of which I’m rather skeptical — Calgary will be forced to start an national elsewhere in their line-up. I don’t love Winnipeg’s chances of winning this game outright — I’ll take Calgary in a close game — but I’m all over the Bombers against the spread.
Pick straight-up: Calgary
Pick against the spread: Winnipeg
Season record straight-up: 6-6
Season record against the spread: 7-4-1
John Hodge, Blue Bomber Talk
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