Week 4 picks: The West setting up another crossover

This week, the West Division has a chance to continue its early-season dominance over East teams – they are 5-1 so far –  as the schedule features four inter-divisional games. Can you say “crossover?”

Toronto Argonauts (2-1) at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1-1)
Thursday, July 13, 8:30 p.m. EST

Toronto (2-1) will be minus one of its top offensive threats as receiver DeVir Posey (19 catches, 280 yards, two TDs) went on the six-game injured list this week. The Argos still have the CFL’s top passer in Ricky Ray (1,199 yards) and its second-ranked receiver in S.J. Green (10 catches, 367 yards, one TD). Linebacker Victor Butler (seven sacks, two forced fumbles) anchors a solid Argos defence that will present a challenge for Winnipeg (1-1). But the Bombers should still be smarting from last week’s 29-10 home loss to Calgary and anxious for redemption before the Investors Group Field faithful.

Dunk: Ricky Ray carves up the rookie Bombers field side. ARGOS
Hodge: Winnipeg’s offence can’t be that bad… can it? BOMBERS
Gasson: Ricky Ray is pretty good. ARGOS
Edwards: Beating good teams on the road is the next step in their evolution but Toronto isn’t there… yet. BOMBERS
Filoso: Toronto continues to roll. ARGOS
Smith: Two teams that feel relatively similar, so give me the home side. BOMBERS
Busby: Bombers need this one to establish some home-field momentum. BOMBERS

Calgary Stampeders (2-0-1) at Montreal Alouettes (1-2)
Friday, July 14, 7 p.m. EST

Calgary (2-0-1) is unbeaten on the road this season with a win and tie. The Stampeders outscored Winnipeg 20-0 in the second half to register a 29-10 victory at Investors Group Field. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell had two interceptions but still threw for 332 yards and a TD while Maleki Harris registered an important pick-six in the third quarter. Since opening the season with a one-point win over Saskatchewan, Montreal (1-2) has dropped two straight, including a 23-16 home decision last week to B.C. Offensively, the Alouettes are averaging just 17.3 points per game.

Dunk: It will be closer than some think, but Calgary gets it down. STAMPS
Hodge: I’d stop taking Calgary, but why sacrifice the free points? STAMPS
Gasson: Montreal’s O isn’t up to the task. STAMPS
Edwards: Bo Levi administers a beat down. STAMPS
Filoso: This one won’t be close STAMPS
Smith: Montreal hasn’t scored 20 in a game yet; Calgary could get that by the end of the first quarter. STAMPS
Busby: Until the Stamps lose, the idea of an undefeated season will be a great storyline. STAMPS
Totals: STAMPS 7 ALS 0

Ottawa Redblacks (0-2-1) at Edmonton Eskimos (2-0)
Saturday, July 15, 10 p.m. EST

A difficult start to the season isn’t about to get any easier for the Ottawa Redblacks.
Ottawa (0-2-1) begins a stretch of three games in 11 days Friday night in Edmonton. What’s more, the defending Grey Cup champions have dropped two straight and face an unbeaten Eskimos team (2-0) coming off a bye. Offensively, Ottawa leads the CFL in net yards (415.3 per game) and is second overall in scoring (31.7 points). But the Redblacks are tied with Winnipeg for most turnovers (six) and quarterback Trevor Harris has been sacked nine times. Edmonton’s defence is ranked first against the pass (215 yards per game) and second in fewest yards allowed (313.5). However, the Eskimos are allowing a league-worst 118 yards rushing per game.

Dunk: Ottawa is due for some bounces to go their way. That said…ESKIMOS
Hodge: Edmonton is rested, undefeated, and hungry to keep pace with Calgary. ESKIMOS
Gasson: This could be the game of the week. ESKIMOS
Edwards: I wasn’t sure Edmonton was good this year. I was wrong. ESKIMOS
Filoso: Heart says Ottawa, head says Edmonton. ESKIMOS
Smith: Coming off the bye and playing at home, Edmonton all the way. ESKIMOS
Busby: Things don’t get any easier for Ottawa in their quest for the first W. ESKIMOS

B.C. Lions (2-1) at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (0-2)
Saturday, July 15 , 7:30 p.m. EST

It’s been a rough start for Hamilton (0-2), which this week lost defensive back Will Hill to a one-game suspension for contacting an official in last week’s 37-20 loss to Saskatchewan. The Ticats have scored just 23 offensive points and are ranked last in net yards (208 per game). Quarterback Zach Collaros has thrown for just 431 yards and one TD in two games. B.C. (2-1) has reeled off two straight road wins as linebacker Solomon Elimimian had 15 tackles last week in Montreal. Jonathon Jennings has 853 passing yards but is also the CFL’s top-rushing quarterback (87 yards, 5.4-yard average).

Dunk: Feels like B.C. is too easy of a pick. LIONS
Hodge: Frankly, the Ticats suck right now. LIONS
Gasson: Hamil…I can’t even joke. LIONS
Edwards: The first of four straight against good West Division teams for the Ticats. Gulp. LIONS
Filoso: It’s early in the year, but BC has already proven they play well on the road LIONS
Smith: A defence that has allowed 69 points and 1,000 yards taking on Jennings, Manny, Burnham, Moore, Rainey, Johnson… this one isn’t close. LIONS
Busby: Might be time to start panicking in Tiger Town. LIONS
Totals: LIONS 7 TICATS 0

Season records
Dunk: 10-1-1
Hodge: 8-3-1
Gasson: 7-4-1
Edwards: 7-4-1
Filoso: 7-4-1
Smith: 6-5-1
Busby: 6-5-1

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