Montreal Alouettes at Ottawa RedBlacks (-3)
Thursday, October 1: 7:35 PM ET
Both of these squads let me down last week, so the prospect of picking either of them is hardly enticing. The Alouettes (5-7) lost in Saskatchewan on Sunday 33-21, a score that, frankly, flattered the Als. Rakeem Cato, who will start in Ottawa, was the better Lark pivot in Saskatchewan, but his performance — 14 of 21 for 170 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions — still left much to be desired. Ottawa (7-5), meanwhile, saw their three-game winning streak snapped by a Toronto Argonaut team they could have buried in the Eastern Division standings with a win. I don’t expect this game to be a blowout, but I like the home side.
Pick straight-up: Ottawa
Pick against the spread: Ottawa
Calgary Stampeders (-2.5) at Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Friday, October 2: 7:30 PM ET
Tim Hortons Field is no longer the wasteland it once was for opposing teams. Hamilton (8-4) is just 1-2 at home since mid-August and, with Zach Collaros out for the season with a torn ACL, the Stamps (10-3) have become an extra-tall order for the Tabbies. Kent Austin appears to have a lot of confidence in back-up Jeff Matthews, but the rookie’s three interceptions versus Edmonton two weeks ago did little to reward his coach’s faith. We’ll see if Matthews can get it turned around against Calgary — I wouldn’t bet on it, though.
Pick straight-up: Calgary
Pick against the spread: Calgary
Edmonton Eskimos (-6) at Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Saturday, October 3: 4:05 PM ET
As much as I was impressed and surprised to see the Bombers (4-9) cover a nine-point spread last week versus Calgary, I fail to understand how the Eskimos aren’t more heavily favored in this one. Chris Jones is a perfect 3-0 versus Winnipeg since taking over the top job in Edmonton, with his team outscoring the Bombers by a staggering aggregate score of 99-15. With the Esks beating the Bombers by an average spread of 28 points since the start of the 2014 season, I’m happy to eat six.
Pick straight-up: Edmonton
Pick against the spread: Edmonton
Saskatchewan Roughriders at BC Lions (-3)
Saturday, October 3: 7:05 PM ET
I took Saskatchewan to win the first two meetings between these teams way back in weeks three and four, only for the Lions to take both contests by a field goal. Cut to this week, where the Lions are favored over Saskatchewan… by a field goal. Ugh. Though I’d hate to be fooled by the same match-up three times in the same season, I’m taking Saskatchewan and the points. Even with Jonathon Jennings having an outstanding debut last week against Edmonton, I think the green and white come out ahead so long as Jacques Chapdelaine feeds Jerome Messam and Anthony Allen their fair share.
Pick straight-up: Saskatchewan
Pick against the spread: Saskatchewan
Season record straight-up: 35-21
Season record against the spread: 28-27-1
John Hodge, Blue Bomber Talk
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