Ottawa RedBlacks at Toronto Argonauts (+1)
Tuesday, October 6: 7:35 PM ET
The Argonauts (7-5) “host” the Ottawa RedBlacks (8-5) at TD Place Stadium later today (that’s a weird sentence to type…) to do battle with a team against whom they are a perfect 2-0 this season. The ageless Henry Burris is coming off an incredible 504-yard performance versus Montreal that saw him set a new CFL record for completions in a game (45) and, while Hank’s hand can’t stay hot forever, Toronto’s secondary has looked suspect at times this season. Give me the RedBlacks — with all due respect to the surging Argonauts, Ottawa is simply too good to lose to them three times in a season.
Pick straight-up: Ottawa
Pick against the spread: Ottawa
Saskatchewan Roughriders at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (-7)
Friday, October 9: 7:35 PM ET
Pundits around the league raised a collective eyebrow last week when Kent Austin stated that he wasn’t interested in trading for a veteran pivot in the wake of Zach Collaros’ season-ending knee injury. Jeff Mathews, a CFL rookie who played for Austin at Cornell, made his first career CFL start this past week and played about as well as everyone outside the Tiger-Cat locker room anticipated he would. Mathews completed just fifteen passes for 155 yards and committed two turnovers — an interception and a fumble — in a 23-20 loss to Calgary. Despite Mathews’ struggles — and, believe me, Mathews has shown no reason to believe in him as a starter thus far — I’m taking the ‘Cats (8-5) for no other reason than the sorry state of the Saskatchewan Roughriders (2-12).
Pick straight-up: Hamilton
Pick against the spread: Hamilton
Edmonton Eskimos at Calgary Stampeders (-5.5)
Saturday, October 10: 7:05 PM ET
To be frank, the Labour Day home-and-home series between these two teams left much to be desired. Calgary (11-3) won the first game by a paltry 16-7 score in a match-up that was played almost entirely without Mike Reilly under centre for the Eskimos (10-4). Edmonton went on to win the re-match the following week in a 27-16 contest that saw Bo Levi Mitchell fail to bring his best game to the table and Jon Cornish still out with a broken thumb. Now, with both teams back at full strength, I want to see a truly epic clash on Saturday night between these two western powerhouses. I want it all — diving catches, bruising runs, big (legal) hits, late-game heroics, and, hopefully, overtime. I don’t care who wins, I just want to be entertained. As for my prediction, I’ll take the Stamps by a field goal.
Pick straight-up: Calgary
Pick against the spread: Edmonton
Winnipeg Blue Bombers at BC Lions (-7.5)
Saturday, October 10: 10:05 PM ET
23-year-old Jonathon Jennings has given the BC Lions (5-8) new life since taking over as the club’s starting quarterback. In two starts Jennings has completed 67 percent of his passes for 645 yards, six touchdowns and one interception — numbers that would make any CFL starter blush. I’ll take Winnipeg (4-10) to cover this fairly sizable spread, but I’m not picking against Jennings until he falters.
Pick straight-up: BC
Pick against the spread: Winnipeg
Toronto Argonauts at Montreal Alouettes (+2.5)
Monday, October 12: 1:05 PM ET
Simply put, Montreal (5-8) is terrible. The Alouettes don’t have a quarterback, their coaching staff is in shambles, and their defence — supposedly the strength of the team — just got lit up for more than 500 yards by Henry Burris this past Thursday. Give me the Argos.
Pick straight-up: Toronto
Pick against the spread: Toronto
Season record straight-up: 38-22
Season record against the spread: 30-29-1
John Hodge, Blue Bomber Talk
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