Week six CFL picks: Can the Riders go streaking?

No wasting time on to the Week 6 picks.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1-4) at Edmonton Eskimos (2-2)

Thursday, July 28, 9 p.m. EST

Matt Nichols makes his first start of the season for Winnipeg. He replaces Drew Willy, who produced decent numbers (1,473 passing yards, fourth overall) but couldn’t generate offensive points consistently. It’s a homecoming of sorts for Nichols, who began his CFL career with Edmonton and spent three seasons there before being dealt to Winnipeg last year. The Eskimos are coming off a dismal 37-31 home loss to Hamilton, a game that saw the Ticats rally from a 25-point deficit. Still, CFL passing leader Mike Reilly (1,580 yards) should be able to take advantage of the Bombers’ secondary at home.

Drew Edwards: I’ve taken the Bombers all year and gotten screwed. No more. Which means they’ll likely win. ESKIMOS
Justin Dunk: Matt Nichols will give his old team a run, but Edmonton wins a close one. ESKIMOS
John Hodge: The Bombers were a bad team when healthy. Now banged up, this Bomber team could reach a whole new level of ineptitude. ESKIMOS
Joel Gasson: Something made me want to pick Winnipeg again, but I’m not doing that again. ESKIMOS
Ian Busby: It’s the Matt Nichols homecoming back in Edmonton, but it won’t be a warm welcome from his opponent. ESKIMOS
Josh Smith: Edmonton is going to be ticked off after their loss to Hamilton. Bombers don’t stand a chance. ESKIMOS
Santino Filoso: After allowing the Ticats to claw their way back from a 25-point deficit, Edmonton will be looking for blood when they play the Bombers. ESKIMOS
Totals: ESKIMOS 7 BOMBERS 0

Saskatchewan Roughriders (1-3) at Montreal Alouettes (1-3)

Friday, July 29, 7 p.m. EST

Mitchell Gale makes a second straight start for Saskatchewan. Gale was 21-of-36 passing for 354 yards and a TD against Ottawa with veteran Darian Durant (ankle) out. Naaman Roosevelt had eight catches for 182 yards and a touchdown and kicker Tyler Crapigna was big, hitting all five field goals he attempted. A quick turnaround for Montreal, which dropped a 30-17 decision in Toronto on Monday and has lost three straight. Offence continues to be an issue for the Als, having scored just five TDs this season. Kicker Boris Bede missed all three field goals he tried versus Toronto and has made just 5-of-12 overall.

Edwards: The Riders against a banged up Als team on a short week. PLAN THE PARADE. RIDERS
Dunk: Injuries and Montreal night life too much for Riders to overcome. ALS
Hodge: Saskatchewan’s once-great offensive line has been devastated by injury, but playing Montreal means you only need 20 points to win. RIDERS
Gasson: Gale might not play as well but Montreal isn’t better. RIDERS
Busby: The euphoria of that first win carries over for another week. Alouettes might be in trouble. RIDERS
Smith: If Durant was healthy, Riders all the way. But the Als aren’t going to finish 1-17. Here is their chance for win No. 2. ALS
Filoso: Historically Saskatchewan struggles in “La belle province”. Plus, Montreal’s slide has to end somewhere, right? ALS
Totals: RIDERS 4 ALS 3

B.C. Lions (3-1) at Calgary Stampeders (2-1-1)

Friday, July 29, 10 p.m. EST

It’s the second meeting this season between the two teams. B.C. earned a 20-18 home win last month as Chris Rainey had two touchdowns, including one on a 73-yard punt return. The Lions have been off since a 40-27 road win over Saskatchewan on July 16. Calgary is coming off a 33-18 victory over Winnipeg. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell led the way with three TD strikes to improve to 8-1 versus the Bombers. Joe Burnett also had an interception return TD. It’s an important game for the Stampeders as the Lions can clinch the season series with a victory.

Edwards: The Stamps at home, doing their thing. STAMPS
Dunk: Calgary has the Week 1 loss heavy on the mind, the Stamps get revenge. STAMPS
Hodge: This is the game of the week, hands down. I’ll take the home side by a field goal. STAMPS
Gasson: Calgary wins at home. STAMPS
Busby: It’s been 28 days since the Stamps were at home. They get charged up for this first-place showdown. STAMPS
Smith: Game of the week. In a coin toss, give me the home squad. STAMPS
Filoso: BC has the better defence and averages more yards per game on offence. I’ll take Buono’s boys with a last second FG. LIONS
Totals: STAMPS 6 LIONS 1

Toronto Argonauts (3-2) at Ottawa Redblacks (3-1-1)

Sunday, July 31, 7:30 p.m EST

Ottawa’s opted to take Henry Burris (broken pinky finger) off the six-game injured list and start him Sunday at TD Place against the Toronto Argonauts in place of an injured Trevor Harris. Toronto is coming off a historic 30-17 win Monday night over the Montreal Alouettes. The victory was the Argos’ first at BMO Field and earned them the distinction of being the first East Division squad to emerge victorious at home this season. But it came at a huge price. Starter Ricky Ray left in the fourth quarter with a sprained left medial collateral ligament and is out three-to-six weeks. That means Logan Kilgore will get the start for Toronto, the first of his career.

Edwards: I’ll take Hank and his pinky vs. Toronto’s backup. REDBLACKS
Dunk: Packed long weekend crowd and a major announcement in the nation’s capital. REDBLACKS
Hodge: Burris > Kilgore. Pretty easy call on this one. REDBLACKS
Gasson: Argos without Ray will be in tough. REDBLACKS
Busby: Best team in the East gets back on track after a stumble because Henry Burris has remarkable healing ability. REDBLACKS
Smith: With Ray, I would have favoured the Argos. Without him, and with Burris back for Ottawa, I have to take the home team. REDBLACKS
Filoso: With last season’s MOP back on the field, Ottawa clearly has the edge at QB. Burris will be a big reason another sell out crowd goes home happy. REDBLACKS
Totals: REDBLACKS 7 ARGOS 0

Season records

Filoso: 11-8-1
Dunk: 10-9-1
Smith: 10-9-1

Edwards: 9-10-1
Hodge: 9-10-1
Gasson: 6-13-1
Busby: 5-14-1

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