Week 2 Picks: Can the Riders christen new Mosaic in style?

Week 2 of the CFL offers a series of compelling story lines: a rematch to the Grey Cup rematch (no more ties, please), the opening of the New Mosaic stadium and a chance for the Toronto Argonauts to prove that their opening week domination of Hamilton wasn’t an aberration. Let’s get to the games.

Ottawa (0-0-1) at Calgary (0-0-1)
Thursday, June 29, 9 p.m. EST

Another Grey Cup rematch, this time at McMahon Stadium. The two teams battled to a 31-31 overtime tie at TD Place last week, which was fitting after they needed overtime to decide last year’s CFL title game. Calgary is expected to be without receiver Davaris Daniels as last year’s top rookie is nursing a shoulder injury. But it’s tough to bet against the Stampeders at home, especially considering starter Bo Levi Mitchell rarely loses _ ever.

Dunk: Calgary playing at McMahon stadium….STAMPS
Hodge: The Stamps are at home, making this pick an easy one. STAMPS
Gasson: if Calgary wasn’t at home, I might predict a tie. However. STAMPS.
Edwards: Bo Levi’s revenge. STAMPS
Smith: Calgary doesn’t lose at McMahon, like, ever. STAMPS
Filoso: Redblacks have never won at McMahon Stadium STAMPS
Busby: Home side is smarting from last two meetings. They send a message now. STAMPS
Totals: STAMPS 7 REDBLACKS 0

B.C. (0-1) at Toronto (1-0)
Friday, June 30, 7 p.m. EST

Toronto is coming season-opening 32-15 home win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats but the defence faces a stiff challenge against the Lions. B.C. starter Jonathon Jennings was the CFL’s third-leading passer last year and has big-play receivers Emmanuel Arceneaux and Brian Burnham at his disposal. And there’s the matter of facing an ornery Lions squad coming off a season-opening 30-27 loss to Edmonton last week. The Eskimos outgained the Lions 420-394 and got to Jennings five times. It’s definitely a short week for the Argos but they don’t have to make the cross-country trek.

Dunk: B.C.’s offensive line must be better. LIONS
Hodge: The Lions can’t start 0-2… can they? LIONS
Gasson: tough trip for BC but I think they get it done. LIONS.
Edwards: We’ve seen what Ricky Ray can do to a shake secondary. ARGOS
Smith: Not quite ready to jump on the Argos bandwagon. LIONS
Filoso: It’s early, but I’m buying what Toronto is selling ARGOS
Busby: Suddenly the Lions are digging out of a hole. ARGOS
Totals: LIONS 4 ARGOS 3

Montreal (1-0) at Edmonton (1-0)
Friday, June 30,  10 p.m. EST

Mike Reilly was 20-of-28 passing for 315 yards and two TDs last week against B.C., his 76-yard strike to Brandon Zylstra setting up Sean White’s game-winning field goal. But Edmonton will be without standout linebacker J.C. Sherritt, who suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in the contest. Montreal quarterback Darian Durant is coming off a 17-16 win over his former team, passing for 233 yards and two touchdowns. But the Als only cemented the win after Tyler Crapigna missed from 45 yards out on the final play.

Dunk: That Eskimos defensive line is scary. ESKIMOS
Hodge: Mike Reilly keeps rolling. ESKIMOS
Gasson: Esks offence is better. ESKIMOS.
Edwards: Montreal squeaked by the Riders. The Eskimos are not the Riders. ESKIMOS
Smith: Montreal’s offense isn’t potent enough right now to keep up with Edmonton’s. ESKIMOS
Filoso: Montreal struggled to beat a weak Saskatchewan team ESKIMOS
Busby: These aren’t the Roughriders Durant is facing this week. ESKIMOS
Totals: ESKIMOS 7 ALOUETTES 0

The view from the south end zone. Joel Gasson.

Winnipeg (0-0) at Saskatchewan (0-1)
Saturday, July 1, 9 p.m. EST

Quarterback Matt Nichols leads Winnipeg into its season opener. The six-foot-two, 220-pound Nichols threw for a career-best 3,666 yards with 18 TDs against nine interceptions in leading the Bombers to an 11-7 record last year and their first playoff berth since 2011. Trouble is, much is expected from Nichols and Co. this season. Saskatchewan is coming off a close loss to Montreal, a game that saw veteran Kevin Glenn complete 31-of-44 passes for 298 yards with a TD and interception.

Dunk: New Mosaic will be electric – all the pressure is on the Riders. BOMBERS
Hodge: New building or not, the Riders’ roster has too many holes. BOMBERS
Gasson: Riders want to set the tone in their new home. RIDERS.
Edwards:  The Riders will be fired up for this one. Is that a good thing? BOMBERS
Smith: If Saskatchewan only wins one game all year, it will be this one. RIDERS
Filoso: Winnipeg spoils Mosaic’s grand opening BOMBERS
Busby: Bombers are heading into a hornet’s nest. RIDERS
Totals: Bombers 4 Riders 3

Season records
Dunk: 2-1-1
Hodge: 2-1-1
Gasson: 2-1-1
Edwards: 1-2-1
Smith: 1-2-1
Filoso: 1-2-1
Busby: 1-2-1

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