Week 10 Picks: separating the wheat from the chaff

B.C. Lions (5-3) at Ottawa Redblacks (4-3-1)
Thursday, August 25, 7:30 p.m. EST

Ottawa began its season 3-0-1 before quarterback Trevor Harris suffered knee and ankle injuries in a 30-29 loss to Saskatchewan on July 22. Veteran Henry Burris, the CFL’s outstanding player last season, was removed from the six-game injured list an re-inserted into the lineup. But after their impressive start, the Redblacks have lost three of its last four and are just 1-2-1 at TD Place. Harris returns this week.  B.C. comes off a decisive 37-9 home loss to Calgary in what was expected to be a much closer battle between the West Division’s top two teams. Jonathon Jennings was just 10-of-22 passing for 153 yards while backup Travis Lulay completed 4-of-7 passes for 19 yards as the Lions failed to scored a TD.

Drew Edwards: Two teams I have doubts about. So I’ll take the Ottawa. REDBLACKS
Justin Dunk: Trevor Harris takes the ball and lights it up. REDBLACKS
John Hodge: I like the Lions, but the Redblacks are simply a different team with Trevor Harris under centre. REDBLACKS
Joel Gasson: Trevor Harris will provide a spark but something is a little off in Ottawa lately. LIONS
Ian Busby: The Trevor Harris Show takes over and suddenly the RedBlacks are back on track.REDBLACKS
Josh Smith: Trevor Harris will provide a spark for Ottawa, but it will take at least a week for them to truly get rolling. BC will want to put last week’s embarrassment behind them. LIONS
Santino Filoso: Both teams struggle in the red zone and are coming off blowout losses, but a healthy Trevor Harris is the difference REDBLACKS

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (4-4) at Montreal Alouettes (3-5)
Friday, August 26, 7 p.m. EST

Winnipeg looks for a fourth straight win under starter Matt Nichols, who has surrendered just one interception since replacing Drew Willy. The defence has been outstanding, forcing 13 turnovers (nine interceptions, three fumbles, once on downs) over the win streak. The Bombers are 0-4 coming off a bye since 2013 but hope instead to register a fourth consecutive victory for the first time since 2011. Montreal scored a season-high six touchdowns last week against Ottawa with quarterback Kevin Glenn completing 25-of-30 passes for 382 yards and five TDs. Receiver Duron Carter, barring an arbitrator rejecting his appeal of a one-game suspension before kickoff, will play.

Drew Edwards: It’s Jekyll versus Hyde in this match up of teams that looked bad early and better of late. I’ll take the home side. ALOUETTES
Justin Dunk: All-in on the Winnipeg renaisance. For now. BOMBERS
John Hodge: The Bombers have forced a ton of turnovers and protected the quarterback well over the past three weeks. No reason to believe that changes against Montreal. BOMBERS
Joel Gasson: Is Winnipeg actually for real?  Maybe. BOMBERS
Ian Busby: Hard to say which team shows up on either side. Expect some surprises. ALOUETTES
Josh Smith: Kevin Glenn was great last week, so I expect him to be not-so-much this week. Bombers have feasted on turnovers lately and will force Glenn into more than he would like. BOMBERS
Santino Filoso: Winnipeg is firing on all cylinders BOMBERS

Saskatchewan Roughriders (1-7) at Edmonton Eskimos (4-4)
Friday, August 26, 7 p.m. EST

Edmonton (4-4) has won two straight, including a solid 46-23 decision last week in Toronto. After opening the game with a pick-six, starter Mike Reilly finished with 362 passing yards and three TDs. Cornerback Pat Watkins had two interceptions for a defence that’s playing well of late. And that’s not exactly good news for Saskatchewan (1-7), which has lost four straight and is coming off a lopsided 46-point defeat in Hamilton. Starter Darian Durant threw four interceptions against the Ticats while backup Mitchell Gale also had one. Riders head coach/GM Chris Jones faces his former team for the second time as the Eskimos won the first meeting 39-36 on July 8.

Drew Edwards: The Riders looked awful last week. I can’t imagine they’ll be that bad again. Still, they aren’t good. ESKIMOS
Justin Dunk: I’ll take the Riders. LOL. ESKIMOS
John Hodge: In all matters unrelated to fines, I’ll be picking against the Riders for the foreseeable future. ESKIMOS
Joel Gasson: The Esks are average at this point, which is light-years ahead of Saskatchewan. ESKIMOS
Ian Busby: Rider Nation always shows up in Edmonton, but the team won’t do that for Chris Jones’ return to Commonwealth. ESKIMOS
Josh Smith: I would call this a no-brainer, but saying that can sometimes make one look foolish later on. While I believe Saskatchewan will win again at some point this season, it’s not this week. ESKIMOS
Santino Filoso: Does anyone outside of Saskatchewan think the Greenwhites can keep it within 30? ESKIMOS

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (4-4)  Calgary Stampeders (7-1-1)
Sunday, August 28, 7 p.m. EST

A second straight marquee matchup for league-leading Calgary after dismantling B.C. last week. Mitchell is second overall in passing (2,534) and tied with Reilly in TD strikes (14) but the Stampeders’ defence has allowed just 34 points the last three games. Defensive lineman Charleston Hughes is tied for the league lead in sacks (seven) while kicker Rene Paredes has made 27-of-31 field goals (87.1 per cent). The Stamps (3-0) are also the only team with a winning home record. Hamilton throttled Saskatchewan 53-7 last week as Zach Collaros threw for 381 yards and five TDs. Collaros has 712 passing yards and seven TDs since returning to the Ticats.

Drew Edwards: The Ticats are coming on strong. Calgary is already there. STAMPS
Justin Dunk: Close contest to call. STAMPS
John Hodge: Zach Collaros returned to his 2015 M.O.P. form a week ago, but the Stamps are simply unbeatable at home. STAMPS
Joel Gasson: The sparks could fly in this one. But, you don’t bet against Calgary at home. STAMPS.
Ian Busby:  This has the makings of a CFL classic, which means it probably won’t be. Calling this a Grey Cup preview. TICATS
Josh Smith: This is probably the game of the week and it is potentially a Grey Cup preview. Hamilton has not won in Calgary since 2004, but they have been in some close contests in Cowtown over the last 10 years. The Stamps are very good, but they are not going 16-1-1 this year. They will lose again sometime and that time is this week. TICATS
Santino Filoso: The home team squeaks out a close one. STAMPS

Season records
Smith: 22-13-1
Dunk: 21-14-1
Filoso: 20-15-1
Hodge: 18-17-1
Edwards: 17-18-1
Busby: 15-20-1
Gasson: 13-22-1

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