First place in the West Division is on the line in Edmonton while inter-divisional battles dominate the rest of the schedule: the East Division is 2-9 in those encounters so far this season.
Montreal Alouettes (2-3) at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2-2)
Thursday, July 27, 8:30 p.m. EST
Winnipeg comes off a disappointing 45-42 loss to B.C. as the Lions overcame a 15-point deficit. Matt Nichols threw for 264 yards and three TDs and Darvin Adam recorded five catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns. But the Bombers’ defence allowed 480 net offensive yards and five touchdowns (three rushing, two passing). Montreal dropped a 24-19 decision last week to Ottawa as Darian Durant threw for 452 yards and two TDs. But the Alouettes committed five turnovers (two interceptions, two fumbles, another on downs).
Dunk: Winnipeg should’ve won in B.C., Monreal lost at home to the Lions. BOMBERS
Hodge: No Sutton for Montreal makes this an easy pick. BOMBERS
Edwards: Winnipeg at home, he said unconvincingly. BOMBERS
Gasson: Fairly close teams. Winnipeg prevails. BOMBERS
Filoso: Montreal continues to surprise. ALS
Busby: High powered offence vs. stingy defence. I give it to the O. BOMBERS
Smith: Two evenly matched teams, so give me the home side. BOMBERS Totals: BOMBERS 6 ALS 1
B.C. Lions (4-1) at Edmonton Eskimos (4-0)
Friday, July 28, 9:30 p.m. EST
Edmonton is the league’s lone remaining unbeaten team while B.C. has reeled off four straight wins after its season-opening 30-27 loss to the Eskimos. If Edmonton wins, it will not only remain undefeated but claim the season series with B.C. That would be important because should the two teams end the year tied in the standings, the Eskimos would gain the higher position. B.C. would gain sole possession of first place with a victory but would need to beat Edmonton on Oct. 21 to clinch the season series and secure the tie-breaker.
Dunk: Edmonton’s all-American defensive front provides the difference. ESKIMOS
Hodge: Game of the week. Edmonton in a squeaker. ESKIMOS
Edwards: B.C. is good but Edmonton is real good. ESKIMOS
Gasson: Hopefully this lives up to the hype. LIONS
Filoso: Eskimos are lucky to be undefeated. LIONS
Busby: Nice matchup for a Friday night. Eskimos assert themselves nicely. ESKIMOS
Smith: B.C. is starting to score at will and the Eskimos’ late-game heroics have to come to an end eventually. LIONS
Totals: ESKS 4 LIONS 3
Toronto Argonauts (3-2) at Saskatchewan Roughriders (1-4)
Saturday, July 29, 6:30 p.m. EST
Toronto comes off a 27-24 home win over Ottawa on Monday. The Argos played the second half without linebacker Bear Woods (concussion protocol) and defensive linemen Victor Butler (knee) and Cleyon Laing (knee). Woods could play in Regina but the expectation is Butler and Laing won’t. Ricky Ray has thrown for 300-plus yards in five straight games. Saskatchewan lost 27-10 in Calgary last week as veteran quarterback Kevin Glenn became just the seventh player in CFL history to pass for more than 50,000 career yards.
Dunk: Marc Trestman has the double blue focused. ARGOS
Hodge: Toronto is tired, banged up, and on the road. RIDERS
Edwards: So many big losses for Toronto. RIDERS
Gasson: Argos are travelling west on a short week. Riders need it. RIDERS
Filoso: Toronto’s defence is banged up but that won’t stop Ray from picking apart Saskatchewan. ARGOS
Busby: Stamps exposed the formula to knock out the Riders. Ray has a hey day. ARGOS
Smith: Short week, injuries are piling up, and Saskatchewan needs a win desperately. RIDERS
Totals: RIDERS 4 ARGOS 3
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (0-4) at Calgary Stampeders (3-1-1)
Saturday, July 29, 9:30 p.m. EST
Hamilton (0-4) is the CFL’s lone winless team following its heart-breaking home loss to Edmonton. Calgary (3-1-1) is 2-0 this season at McMahon Stadium and has Charleston Hughes, who had three sacks last week against Saskatchewan, back after missing time with a leg injury. The Ticats are 0-3 against West Division teams and this will mark the first of four straight games versus Western clubs.
Dunk: Chalk it up. STAMPS
Hodge: STAMPS (duh)
Edwards: Year nine on the beat, I’ve never seen the Ticats win in Calgary. STAMPS
Gasson: In Calgary. STAMPS.
Filoso: Calgary lose at home to a winless Ticats team? Nah. STAMPS
Busby: This could get ugly. STAMPS
Smith: It’s in Calgary. Period. End of reasoning. STAMPS
Totals: STAMPS 7 TICATS 0