Week Seventeen CFL Picks

Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Ottawa RedBlacks (-4.5)

Friday, October 16: 7:35 PM ET

The last time the Bombers won back-to-back games it was July… of last year. Coming off a hard-fought victory in Vancouver, I actually see the Bombers making this a close game — I just don’t see them winning. Smilin’ Hank has been playing at an elite level for weeks now, while slotback Brad Sinopoli is emerging as the league’s best Canadian receiver. I’m taking Ottawa by a field goal.

Pick straight-up: Ottawa

Pick against the spread: Winnipeg

Calgary Stampeders at Toronto Argonauts (Pick ’em)

Saturday, October 17: 4:05 PM ET

I was disappointed to see this game listed as a pick ’em, hoping to get a few points in favor of the Argos. No matter what gets thrown at Toronto — the world’s worst schedule, home dates in faraway cities, and Ricky Ray lost of virtually the entire season — Scott Milanovich’s crew just keeps winning. On flip side, the shine is starting to come off a Stampeder team that has now dropped two contests to their provincial rivals in just four weeks. Oh, and John Cornish is hurt — again. Give me the Argos.

Pick straight-up: Toronto

Pick against the spread: Toronto

BC Lions at Edmonton Eskimos (-9)

Saturday, October 17: 7:05 PM ET

I ate 11.5 points to take the Esks in the last meeting between these teams three weeks ago. The spread was large, but I was positive the Eskimos would cover it. Jonathon Jennings was making his first career start and Commonwealth Stadium was a graveyard for visiting pivots — particularly for rookies. Instead of the bloodbath I anticipated, the Lions fought hard to a 29-23 finish in what became the first of three straight quality starts for Jennings at quarterback. I’m still taking the Esks straight-up, but I’m not eating all those points again.

Pick straight-up: Edmonton

Pick against the spread: BC

Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Montreal Alouettes (no line)

Sunday, October 18: 1:05 PM ET

I picked Saskatchewan in all three of its meetings with BC this season, figuring there was no way the Lions would sweep the ‘Riders. They did. I also picked Ottawa in all of its meetings with Toronto this season, figuring there was no way the Argonauts would sweep the RedBlacks. They did. Like 99 percent of CFL fans, I picked the Tiger-Cats to beat the Alouettes in their two previous meetings, only to be shocked when the Larks came out on top. This time, despite the odds, I’m taking the awful Alouettes in another shocking upset. As an added bonus: the Tiger-Cats haven’t won in Montreal since October 20, 2002.

Pick straight-up: Montreal

Pick against the spread: Montreal

Season record straight-up: 40-25

Season record against the spread: 34-30-1

John Hodge, Blue Bomber Talk

Twitter: @BlueBomberTalk

Email: [email protected]

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.