Week 8 Picks: Stamps heavy favourites over all the Riders

After a week filled with controversy, there will be actual games played in Week 8. Here we go…

Jim Popp

Montreal Alouettes (2-4) at Edmonton Eskimos (2-4)
Thur., Aug. 11,  9 p.m. EST

The defending Grey Cup-champion Eskimos have dropped three straight. Edmonton and Ottawa combined for 27 penalties and over 300 yards last week in the Redblacks’ 23-20 victory. Veteran quarterback Henry Burris threw for 341 yards and two TDs against Edmonton. Mike Reilly was 25-of-41 passing for 255 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. The Eskimos’ defence is ranked second-last in points allowed (31.2). But Montrealis averaging a league-low 19.7 points per game and comes off a 20-point home loss to B.C.

Drew Edwards: Two struggling teams but only of them with a coach that’s lost the locker room. ESKIMOS
Justin Dunk: At some point, Edmonton will get it together. Montreal might make it easy. ESKIMOS
John Hodge: Montreal’s a mess, but Duron Carter could light up the Esks for 200 yards. ALS
Joel Gasson: Not an easy pick, my gut, which is often wrong this year says Montreal. ALS
Ian Busby: Heard this week Jason Maas isn’t happy with his team’s execution. Good thing. He needs those guys around to win this game. ESKIMOS
Josh Smith: I just don’t have it in me to take the Esks to lose four straight. ESKIMOS
Santino Filoso: Though both teams are sliding, Edmonton isn’t dealing with the behind the scenes chaos that Montreal is ESKIMOS
Totals: ESKIMOS 5 ALS 2

Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols (15) throws against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats during the first half of CFL action in Winnipeg Wednesday, August 3, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (3-4) at Toronto Argonauts (4-2)
Fri., Aug. 12, 7:30 p.m.

Winnipeg (3-5) has won two straight with veteran Matt Nichols. He completed 23-of-31 passes for 246 yards and two TDs in a 37-11 home win over Hamilton last week despite a weather delay of almost three hours. It marked the first time in more than two years that Winnipeg has earned consecutive victories. Toronto (4-2) hasn’t played since a 23-20 road win over Ottawa on July 31. Logan Kilgore was 25-of-42 passing for 322 yards and a TD with two interceptions in his first career CFL start. While the Bombers now have tape of Kilgore in action, so do the Argos of Nichols.

Drew Edwards: Three straight? No. ARGOS
Justin Dunk: All in on Matt Nichols for a week at least. BOMBERS
John Hodge: Toronto’s o-line can’t handle the Bombers’ pass rush — that’s a recipe for a disaster with a young QB under centre. BOMBERS
Joel Gasson: I like the Argos D to bottle up Nichols. ARGOS
Ian Busby: Probably about time we start the MOP chant for Matt Nichols, right Winnipeg? BOMBERS
Josh Smith: I believe in Blue (Bombers). BOMBERS
Santino Filoso: With both teams riding two game win streaks, I’ll take Toronto in a close one at home ARGOS

Bo Levi Mitchell

Calgary Stampeders (4-1) at Saskatchewan Roughriders (1-5)
Sat., Aug. 13, 7 p.m. EST

It’s been an interesting week between Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell and Saskatchewan fans after Mitchell accused Saskatchewan of cheating on Twitter. Mitchell doesn’t need extra motivation. He has the Stampeders (4-1-1) atop the West Division with the CFL’s best record. He also threw for 312 yards and a TD in last week’s 35-15 road win over the Riders (1-5) to extend Calgary’s unbeaten streak to five games. Darian Durant was 17-of-28 passing for 247 yards and a TD for Saskatchewan after missing two starts with an ankle injury.

Drew Edwards: I’ll take the post-modern Stamps over the Riders’ pre-practice squad. STAMPS
Justin Dunk: Bo Levi can back it up. STAMPS
John Hodge: 44 Stamps > 95 Riders. STAMPS
Joel Gasson: until the Riders D can stop anyone it’s hard to pick them. STAMPS
Ian Busby: Lots of accusations being thrown around in the rivalry this week. Nobody is accusing the Riders of being a good team right now. STAMPS
Josh Smith: Same as last week: Seriously? STAMPS
Santino Filoso: Bo Levi Mitchell will continue to infuriate Saskatchewan fans by shredding their defence and leading his team to a blowout win STAMPS


Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3-3) at B.C. Lions (4-2)
Sat., Aug. 13, 10 p.m. EST

Quarterback Zach Collaros will make his 2016 debut Saturday when Hamilton (3-3) visits the B.C. Lions (4-2). Collaros hasn’t played since suffering a serious knee injury last September versus the Edmonton Eskimos. Collaros’s first start of the year will come against one of the CFL’s top defences. B.C., anchored by stalwart linebackers Adam Bighill and Solomon Elimiminan, has surrendered just 11 TDs overall and just 22.5 points per game, both league lows.

Drew Edwards: Zach’s back but B.C.’s at home… LIONS
Justin Dunk: The return of Collaros might help the Ticats but Jennings is already in mid-season form. LIONS
John Hodge: Collaros will still get the Ticats to the Grey Cup, but it’ll take some time to shake the rust off. LIONS
Joel Gasson: Game of the week. TICATS
Ian Busby: Whenever this matchup takes place, I ask my daughter if she prefers Lions or Tigers. She always picks Tigers. She knows nothing about football. LIONS
Josh Smith: The return of Zach Collaros bodes well for Hamilton in the long run, but not this week. LIONS
Santino Filoso: Zach Collaros returns on the road and attempts to shake off a year’s rust against the league’s best defence. Spoiler, it won’t go well LIONS
Totals: LIONS 6 TICATS 1

Season records
Santino Filoso: 15-12-1
Josh Smith: 15-12-1
Justin Dunk: 14-13-1
John Hodge: 13-14-1
Drew Edwards: 12-15-1
Joel Gasson: 10-17-1
Ian Busby: 8-19-1

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