Calgary Stampeders (-8.5) at Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Friday, September 25: 8:35 PM ET
This game has all the makings of a bloodbath. The Bombers (4-8) were torched by the Alouettes last week in a game with huge playoff implications against a team they usually beat. To make matters worse, Winnipeg will enter tonight’s contest on just four days’ rest — always a major disadvantage, particularly this late in the season. Meanwhile, Calgary (9-3) is simply the best team in the CFL. Again. John Hufnagel’s crew is getting healthy at the right time and appear poised to win a second consecutive Grey Cup. Give me Calgary in a blowout.
Pick straight-up: Calgary
Pick against the spread: Calgary
BC Lions at Edmonton Eskimos (-11.5)
Saturday September 26: 4:05 PM ET
Speaking of blowouts, I’m all over the Eskimos (8-4) in this one. The last time a rookie quarterback made his first career CFL start in Edmonton was eight weeks ago when Saskatchewan pivot Brett Smith completed 15 of 22 passes for 132 yards and two interceptions. Needless to say, BC’s Jonathon Jennings will be in tough on Saturday afternoon. In fact, with all due respect to the ailing Leos (4-7), I wouldn’t be surprised if this aggressive Eskimo defence outscored BC’s offence in this game. They did it against the Ti-Cats last week after rookie Jake Mathews took the controls for the Tabbies — it could happen again.
Pick straight-up: Edmonton
Pick against the spread: Edmonton
Toronto Argonauts at Ottawa RedBlacks (-3)
Saturday September 26: 7:05 PM ET
These two teams met just over a month ago in a game that saw the Boatmen (6-5) take a 30-24 contest on the strength of a few key Ottawa (7-4) errors. Flash forward five weeks and the RedBlacks haven’t lost since that game, going 3-0 over that span. 40-year-old pivot Henry Burris is a legitimate CFL Most Outstanding Player Award candidate and his team would tie Hamilton for first place in the East Division with a win in this game. I think this contest will be fairly close, but I’m taking the home side and eating the points.
Pick straight-up: Ottawa
Pick against the spread: Ottawa
Montreal Alouettes (-1) at Saskatchewan Roughriders
Sunday September 27: 4:05 PM ET
I’m not a big Jonathan Crompton fan, but he’s a professional-quality quarterback. Therefore, I will continue with the vow I made ten weeks ago: I’m not picking the ‘Riders (1-11) until they win against a legitimate opponent. Give me Montreal (5-6) in a close one.
Pick straight-up: Montreal
Pick against the spread: Montreal
Season record straight-up: 33-19
Season record against the spread: 28-23-1
John Hodge, Blue Bomber Talk