Week 7 Picks: Ticats heavy favourites over Bombers

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3-2) at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2-4)
Wednesday, Aug. 3, 8:30 p.m. EST

Matt Nichols threw for 304 yards and a TD in his 2016 debut last week, leading the Bombers to a 30-23 victory over the defending Grey Cup-champion Edmonton Eskimos. But Nichols won’t have two top receivers when the Blue Bombers (2-4) host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3-2) on Wednesday night. Both Darvin Adams and Weston Dressler were injured in the win over Edmonton. Hamilton is 3-0 on the road this year and comes off an impressive 37-31 victory in Edmonton on June 23. Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli completed a CFL-record 23 straight passes en route to finishing 31-of-38 passing for 391 yards and three TDs in rallying the Ticats from a 25-point deficit.

Drew Edwards: Too many injuries, not enough practice time for the Bombers. TICATS
Justin Dunk: TICATS
John Hodge: Until the Bombers prove they can win at Investors Group Field, I’m taking the visitors. TICATS
Joel GassonI’m not ready to go back to picking Winnipeg just yet. Also, road teams are dominating this year and the Bombers struggle at home. TICATS
Ian BusbyWouldn’t it be hilarious if the Bombers didn’t win a home game all season? Well, funny for all us West of Winnipeg. TICATS
Josh SmithHamilton has never lost at Investors Group Field. It stays that way. TICATS
Santino FilosoHamilton is undefeated on the road this season and Winnipeg hasn’t won at home. Nothing changes this week TICATS
Totals: TICATS 7-0

B.C. Lions (3-2) at Montreal Alouettes (2-3)
Thursday, Aug. 4, 7 p.m. EST

After struggling offensively the first five weeks of the season Montreal exploded in a 41-3 home win over Saskatchewan on Friday night. The victory came just four days after a 30-17 road loss in Toronto. Quarterback Kevin Glenn was 27-of-36 passing for 299 yards and two touchdowns while Duron Carter had eight catches for 115 yards and a TD to help the Alouettes snap a three-game losing streak. B.C. is coming off a 44-41 overtime loss to Calgary after failing to make a 34-19 lead heading into the fourth quarter stand up. Jonathon Jennings threw for 374 yards and three TDs but had two interceptions against the Stampeders.

Drew Edwards: Beating on the Riders isn’t impressive: beating the Lions would be. ALS
Justin Dunk: Jennings evolving into an elite CFL pivot. LIONS
John Hodge: Can Montreal do it two weeks in a row? I say no. LIONS
Joel GassonThis group might be for real. Winning a tough travel game might prove it. LIONS
Ian BusbyLong road trip after the marathon loss the Lions suffered last week. They still won’t be easy pickings for the Alouettes. LIONS
Josh SmithAls looked good against a very bad Saskatchewan team. But BC is not Saskatchewan. LIONS
Santino FilosoWestern teams typically struggle in Montreal but I can’t see BC’s defence letting Kevin Glenn get into a rhythm LIONS
Totals: LIONS 6-1

Saskatchewan Roughriders (1-4) at CALGARY Stampeders (3-1-1) 
Thursday, Aug. 4, 10 p.m. EST

Calgary moved atop the West Division with its overtime win over B.C. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell finished 29-of-44 passing for 364 yards and three TDs for the Stampeders. Greg Wilson had only three catches in the game, but two were for touchdowns and he finished with 118 yards overall. Veteran kicker Rene Paredes hit his five field goal tries also. After passing for 354 yards and two TDs in leading Saskatchewan past Ottawa 30-29, quarterback Mitchell Gale was 23-of-41 for 211 yards and an interception against Montreal.

Drew Edwards: The Riders find a way to take down the mighty… just kidding. STAMPS
Justin Dunk: Calgary is good. The Riders are not quite as good. STAMPS
John Hodge: The (possible) return of Darian Durant should make the game closer, but this is still an easy pick. STAMPS
Joel Gasson: All the Stamps do at home is win. Riders aren’t at that level yet. STAMPS
Ian BusbyFirst summer visit from the Riders in four years, coinciding with the Olympics. Give the home side the easy gold medal. STAMPS
Josh SmithSeriously? STAMPS
Santino FilosoCalgary is the class of the West, Saskatchewan is not STAMPS
Totals: STAMPS 7-0

Edmonton Eskimos (2-3) Ottawa Redblacks (3-2-1)
Saturday, August 6, 7 p.m.

The defensive troubles continue for Edmonton. The unit ranks second-last overall in points allowed (32.8 per game) and yards allowed (417.8) and last in passing yards (370.8). And Ottawa owns the CFL’s top-scoring offence (31.6 points per game). But the Eskimos counter with a potent offence of their own that that’s led by CFL passing leader Mike Reilly (1,926 yards). Receiver Derel Walker had 11 catches for 148 yards and a TD in last week’s loss to Winnipeg and combines with Adarius Bowman to give the Eskimos a dynamic pass-catching duo. Ottawa won the first meeting 45-37 in overtime June 25 in Alberta but comes off a 23-20 home loss to Toronto as Henry Burris was 20-of-34 passing for 218 yards and a TD with two interceptions in his return under centre.

Drew Edwards: Henry will be less rusty and Esks look shaky. REDBLACKS
Justin Dunk: Mike Reilly rights the ship. ESKIMOS
John Hodge: Ottawa exacts its Grey Cup revenge. Again. REDBLACKS
Joel Gasson: Ottawa breaks their streak thanks to Edmonton’s defence. This could be an ugly game. REDBLACKS
Ian BusbyBoth teams in need of a bounce-back after a game they just won in Grey Cup rematch. Same result as last November. ESKIMOS
Josh Smith: Two teams heading in the wrong direction. Edmonton’s defense isn’t good enough to make Bad Hank appear. REDBLACKS
Santino FilosoAfter dropping two games by a total of four points, the home crowd makes the difference as Ottawa moves back into the win column REDBLACKS
Totals: REDBLACKS 5-2

Season records
Filoso: 12-11-1
Dunk: 12-11-1
Smith: 12-11-1
Edwards: 10-13-1
Hodge: 10-13-1
Gasson: 7-16-1
Busby: 6-17-1