It’s Week 3 in the CFL, let’s get to the picks.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (0-2) at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1-1)
Thursday, July 7
7 p.m. EST
It’s been a short week for both teams they last played Friday night. Hamilton is coming off a 25-point loss to B.C. while Winnipeg dropped a 36-22 decision to Calgary. After dispatching Toronto 42-20 in the regular-season opener, the Ticats never got on track in their home opener as the Lions cemented the victory with 21 second-half points. Meanwhile, the Bombers have been outscored by a whopping 55-11 margin in the first three quarters of their two losses, prompting some fans in the Manitoba capital to call for head coach Mike O’Shea’s departure. Not only will Hamilton be eager for redemption but it will have a rabid Tim Hortons Field gathering to feed off.
Drew Edwards: Ticats looked bad last week but are probably good. The Bombers looked bad last week and are probably bad. TICATS
Justin Dunk: Coming off an embarrassing loss, Kent Austin will have his team ready to play. TICATS
John Hodge: The Bombers have looked awfully Bomber-y through two games this season. TICATS
Joel Gasson: Hamilton was humiliated last week and will show what kind of team they are. The Bombers may as well at the same time, the seat gets hotter on O’Shea. TICATS
Ian Busby: Usually I wouldn’t pick the Bombers to win an intrasquad game. So why now? Stupidity probably. BOMBERS
Josh Smith: Hamilton looked horrible against BC, but the Bombers have just looked horrible. TICATS
Santino Filoso: As terrible as Hamilton looked last week, I just can’t see them losing at home to a Bombers team that only starts playing for real in the fourth quarter. TICATS
Totals: TICATS 6 BOMBERS 1
Toronto Argonauts (1-1) at B.C. Lions (2-0)
Thursday, July 7
10 p.m. EST
It’s been a triumphant return for Wally Buono. The five-time Grey Cup-winning head coach is back on the sidelines following a four-year absence and has B.C. sitting atop the West Division. Linebacker Solomon Elimimian, the CFL’s outstanding player in 2014, is back in the lineup after suffering a season-ending Achilles injury last year. It looks like Anthony Allen will start at running back with incumbent Jeremiah Johnson (ankle) ailing. Toronto stayed in Regina this week following its 30-17 road win over the Riders but has had problems winning in Vancouver over the years.
Edwards: Are Lions for real? Maybe. Probably. This week will tell us a lot. LIONS
Dunk: Maybe the vintage Ricky Ray is never coming back. LIONS
Hodge: I picked the Argos to finish first in the East Division and I’m not ready to sell them just yet. ARGOS
Gasson: I’m still not sold on BC being for real. ARGOS
Busby: Because Wally Buono doesn’t wear a headset, he can’t hear anyone say his Leos shouldn’t be 3-0. LIONS
Smith: Close game, so I go with the home team. LIONS
Filoso: BC is rolling and Toronto isn’t the team that slows them down. LIONS
Totals: LIONS 5 ARGOS 2
Calgary Stampeders (1-1) at Ottawa Redblacks (2-0)
Friday, July 8
7 p.m. EST
It’s Calgary’s turn to find a way to contain Ottawa’s high-power offence. The Redblacks have scored 73 points with two different quarterbacks, Henry Burris and Trevor Harris. Burris, the CFL’s most outstanding player last year, is out with a hand injury but Harris leads the league in passing (687 yards) and TDs (six). The Stampeders beat Winnipeg 36-22 last week to earn Dave Dickenson his first head-coaching win as Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 309 yards and two TDs. Mitchell will be a key figure in trying to keep Harris and Co. off the field and alleviate the pressure on the Stamps’ defence.
Edwards: Ottawa has looked good the last two weeks but the injuries are piling up. STAMPS.
Dunk: Veteran Stamps secondary should be able to slow Ottawa’s explosive passing offence. STAMPS
Hodge: Fans in Winnipeg should be breaking down the door at Investors Group Field in outrage — Ottawa’s played just 38 games in franchise history and they’re already favoured to beat Calgary. Credit to them. REDBLACKS
Gasson: Ottawa seems to be the most balanced team so far. REDBLACKS
Busby: The westerners are smelling a bye week coming, right in the middle of Stampede, so they will pull out all the stops. STAMPS
Smith: The injury bug has found a home in the nation’s capital. STAMPS
Filoso: Ottawa feeds off the energy a raucous, sold out home crowd brings and finds a way to move to 3-0. REDBLACKS
Totals: STAMPS 4 REDBLACKS 3
Saskatchewan Roughriders (0-1) at Edmonton Eskimos (0-1)
Friday, July 8
7 p.m. EST
It’s another Grey Cup rematch for Jason Maas, who will be on the sidelines Friday night when the Edmonton Eskimos host the Saskatchewan Roughriders. It will mark the first time Maas matches wits with Chris Jones, the defensive guru who’s now the Riders head coach/GM. Jones served as Edmonton’s head coach last season and led the squad to a Grey Cup victory over Ottawa. Maas was the Redblacks’ offensive co-ordinator in 2015.
Edwards: Chris Jones goes back to Edmonton and gets a reminder of what he left behind (a talented team.) ESKIMOS
Dunk: Chris Jones returns to Edmonton in a different shade of green and he’ll make sure the Riders are competitive. ESKIMOS
Hodge: Saskatchewan looked better in week one than I anticipated. Still, they start the season 0-2. ESKIMOS
Gasson: This will be another offensive show. Edmonton’s offence is just a bit better. ESKIMOS
Busby: For some reason, Chris Jones holds the hammer over his former teams. RIDERS
Smith: Esks are at home, after a bye and coming off a loss. The Riders are better than last year, but not there yet. ESKIMOS
Filoso: Saskatchewan isn’t close to being on Edmonton’s level. ESKIMOS
Totals: ESKIMOS 6 RIDERS 1