Week 9 Picks: A good, old-fashioned West showdown

Montreal Alouettes (2-5) at Ottawa Redblacks (4-2-1)
Friday, August 19, 7 p.m.

Henry Burris gets the start for Ottawa. Last season’s CFL outstanding player threw for 341 yards and two TDs in the Redblacks’ 23-20 home win over Edmonton on Aug. 6. Ottawa won the first meeting with Montreal 28-13 on June 30, a game that saw Als receiver Duron Carter bump Redblacks coach Rick Campbell on the field. Carter received a one-game suspension for the incident but appealed it and will be eligible to play until an arbitrator makes a final ruling. Then again, even with Carter, the Alouettes are averaging a league-low 18.6 points per game.

Drew Edwards: Montreal in free fall. Hope this game doesn’t become a free-for-all. REDBLACKS
Justin Dunk: At this stage of their careers Burris > Glenn. Barely. REDBLACKS
John Hodge: In a battle of two struggling veteran QBs, I’ll take the team with the better receiving corps. REDBLACKS
Joel Gasson: Hard to believe in Montreal right now. REDBLACKS
Ian Busby: For an encore, Duron Carter will push over the LumberJoes. It still won’t help his team win. REDBLACKS
Josh Smith: Henry Burris is hearing footsteps, Duron Carter is going to go full Ric Flair and embrace being the hated heel, and Kevin Glenn is going to have a great Kevin Glenn game. ALS
Santino Filoso: Fresh off a bye and at playing at home, this one’s a no brainer REDBLACKS

Calgary Stampeders (5-1-1) at B.C. Lions (5-2)
Friday, August 19, 10 p.m.

There’ll be more at stake than top spot in the West Division when Calgary Stampeders and B.C. Lions meet Friday night at B.C Place Stadium. Calgary has the CFL’s top record, just ahead of B.C. But the teams have split their previous two meetings, meaning the winner not only assumes first in the West but also clinches the season series, which is the tie-breaker should they end the season tied.

Drew Edwards: They win this one and I’m all in on B.C. They will. LIONS
Justin Dunk: Calgary is at their best when challenged. STAMPS
John Hodge: Jonathon Jennings cements his status as the CFL’s newest elite quarterback. LIONS
Joel Gasson: Another game of the year candidate. Time for BC to show they’re for real. LIONS.
Ian Busby: Epic meeting between the top two teams in the West. Winner gets the hammer in the season series. Could be another classic. STAMPS
Josh Smith: Game of the week, for sure. The winner here will own the tiebreaker and have the upperhand in the race for first in the West. Should be close, but home team prevails. LIONS
Santino Filoso: Home field proves to be in the difference in a clash of the best of the West LIONS
Totals: LIONS 5 STAMPS 2

Edmonton Eskimos (3-4) at Toronto Argonauts (4-3)
Saturday, August 20, 4 p.m.

Home field hasn’t exactly been an advantage for Toronto. The Argos are just 1-3 at BMO Field and come off a 34-17 loss there to Winnipeg last week. Logan Kilgore threw five interceptions in his second CFL start but remains the Argos’ starter. Defensively, Toronto had difficulty containing receiver Clarence Denmark, who had seven catches for 195 yards and two TDs. Edmonton snapped a three-game losing streak with a 23-12 win over Montreal, holding the Alouettes without a touchdown. Quarterback Mike Reilly is the league’s passing leader and has two game-breaking receivers in Adarius Bowman and Derel Walker.

Drew Edwards: There are, apparently, limits to Scott Milanovich’s quarterback voodoo. ESKIMOS
Justin Dunk: Kilgore killing the Argos. ESKIMOS
John Hodge: I’m not ready to buy into Edmonton’s “improving” defence, but they’re playing Logan Kilgore. ESKIMOS
Joel Gasson: Kilgore is not the next QB. ESKIMOS
Ian Busby: Oh where’ve you gone Ricky Ray, Argos nation turns its lonely eyes to you. Ooo ooo ooo. ESKIMOS
Josh Smith: If Ricky Ray were playing, I’d go Argos. He’s not, so I am not. Edmonton finds a way to get it done. ESKIMOS
Santino Filoso: No Ray = no win ESKIMOS

Saskatchewan Roughriders (1-6) at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3-4)
Saturday, August 20, 7 p.m.

Hamilton has lost two straight and is 0-2 at Tim Hortons Field but quarterback Zach Collaros makes a second consecutive start. Collaros threw for 331 yards and two TDs last week in his season debut, a 45-38 road loss to B.C. Collaros had been out with a knee injury suffered last September versus Edmonton and while he showed some rust, Collaros did rally the Ticats from a 32-12 half-time deficit. Saskatchewan has lost three straight, including a 19-10 decision last week to Calgary. Darian Durant completed 24-of-37 passes for 267 yards and ran for a game-high 74 yards but the Riders are averaging just 19.7 points per game and 0-3 on the road.

Drew Edwards: Hamilton back home with Collaros, Riders on the road where they’re terrible. TICATS
Justin Dunk: Best part could be the Jones vs. Austin post-game throwdown. TICATS
John Hodge: The Riders will get destroyed in Hamilton — and not because of a league conspiracy. TICATS
Joel Gasson: Callaros makes Hamilton better. Riders struggle on the road, especially out east. TICATS
Ian Busby: Collaros and Ticats at home for first time in a while. This has horrible stomping written all over it. TICATS
Josh Smith: Zach Collaros worked the rust off last week in BC and started to look like his 2015 self in the second half. He continues the upward trajectory and the Ticats move to 4-4. TICATS
Santino Filoso: In keeping with the league conspiracy against Saskatchewan, Hamilton wins TICATS

Season records
Smith: 19-12-1
Filoso: 18-13-1
Dunk: 18-13-1
Hodge: 16-15-1
Edwards: 15-16-1
Gasson: 11-20-1
Busby: 12-19-1


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