Week one CFL picks: Who gets their revenge?

After finishing a combined 99 games over .500 in 2016, the contributors at 3DownNation return to pick every game of the CFL season. The opening features Montreal’s Darian Durant taking on his old club in the season-opener, a juicy Grey Cup re-match and the latest edition of the storied Toronto-Hamilton rivalry.

Saskatchewan Roughriders (0-0) at Montreal Alouettes (0-0)
Thursday, June 22, 7:30 p.m. EST

Another opening-week storyline is quarterback Darian Durant facing his former team. Saskatchewan dealt Durant’s rights to Montreal this off-season and the Alouettes wasted little time signing him to a multi-year deal. Durant spent his first 11 CFL seasons in Regina, leading the team to a Grey Cup victory on home soil in 2013. Veteran Kevin Glenn – a former Al – has replaced Durant as the Riders’ starter but won’t have veteran receivers Rob Bagg and Chad Owens due to injury.

Dunk: Yadda, yadda, yadda, Darian Durant. ALS
Smith: Durant wins with class. ALS
Filoso: Chris Jones get burned by the QB he spurned. ALS
Edwards: The Jovon Johnson revenge game doesn’t go as planned. ALS
Hodge: Darian Durant exacts his revenge. ALS
Busby: Chris Jones is sending everything he has at Durant. RIDERS
Gasson: Riders defence isn’t quite ready yet. ALS
Totals: Alouettes 6 Riders 1

Calgary Stampeders (0-0) at Ottawa Redblacks (0-0)
Friday, June 23, 7:30 p.m. EST

Calgary opens the 2017 season with a home-and-home series against the Ottawa Redblacks, the defending Grey Cup champions. The two teams meet Friday at TD Place before heading to McMahon Stadium on June 29. Ottawa captured last year’s Grey Cup with a thrilling 39-33 upset win over Calgary at Toronto’s BMO Field. Calgary was the class of the CFL last year, posting a league-best 15-2-1. Ottawa finished atop the East Division but with an 8-9-1 record. But that didn’t matter in the Grey Cup as game MVP Henry Burris’s 18-yard TD strike to Ernest Jackson in overtime earned Ottawa its winning margin.

Dunk: Stamps stomp out memories of Grey Cup upset. STAMPS
Smith: No miracle this time around. STAMPS
Filoso: The Stamps haven’t won in Ottawa since 2014, that trend continues. REDBLACKS
Edwards:
Hodge: Calgary choked in November. They won’t choke in June. STAMPS
Busby: Revenge is served, but it won’t make visitors feel better. STAMPS
Gasson: A big night in Ottawa spoiled. STAMPS
Totals: STAMPS 6 REDBLACKS 1

Edmonton Eskimos (0-0) at B.C. Lions (0-0)
Saturday, June 24, 10 p.m. EST

An interesting quarterback duel between B.C. youngster Jonathon Jennings and Edmonton veteran Mike Reilly. Reilly led the CFL in passing last year with 5.554 yards but Jennings, entering just his third CFL season, was third overall with 5,226 yards. Reilly still has a bona fide star receiver in Adarius Bowman but big-play threat Derel Walker is now in the NFL. Jennings has a solid receiving corps with veterans Emmaneul Arcenaux and Bryan Burnham and the Lions also have big-play returner Chris Rainey.

Dunk: Eskimos all American front wreaks havoc. ESKS
Smith: B.C. just has too many weapons. LIONS
Filoso: Last possession wins. LIONS
Edwards: Big year for Jonathon Jennings starts early. LIONS
Hodge: First team to 40 points wins. LIONS
Busby: Good matchup for B.C. to start the season. LIONS
Gasson: Jennings looks poised for an even bigger year. LIONS
Totals: LIONS 6 ESKS 1

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (0-0) at Toronto Argonauts (0-0)
Sunday, June 25, 4 p.m. EST

Dunk: “Oskee wee wee” chants will be loud in Toronto. TICATS
Smith: A repeat of last year’s BMO opener. TICATS
Filoso: The Trestman era gets off on the right foot. ARGOS
Edwards: Toronto will be good but the learning curve will take time. Hamilton is already there. TICATS
Hodge: Trestman gets a rude welcome back to the CFL. TICATS
Busby: We will see a rejuvenated Ricky Ray. ARGOS
Gasson: I really can’t justify this but… ARGOS
Totals: TICATS 4 ARGOS 3

2016 SEASON RECORDS
Dunk: 54-31-1
Smith: 52-33-1
Filoso: 52-33-1
Hodge: 50-35-1
Edwards: 49-36-1
Busby: 47-38-1
Gasson: 43-42-1

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