Slam Dunk picks: Streaks always come to an end

Two teams enter Week 9 with oh’s in different standings columns – Edmonton seven-and-oh, Hamilton oh-and-seven.

Two of those oh’s were connected as the Eskimos swept the season series with the Ticats, winning in Week 5 and 7 by three and five point margins. Those slim margins and what Winnipeg did in Hamilton last week factor into our choice when the Esks and Bombers square off.

Edmonton Eskimos (7-0) at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (5-2)

Thursday, August 17, 8:30 p.m. EST

Almondo Sewell might be too much of a loss to overcome for an Edmonton team that’s been able to withstand an onslaught of players going to the injured list. The four-time CFL all-star is an absolute force on the inside, he can stuff opposing running attacks and push the pocket – both on a consistent basis.

First-year CFLer Da’Quan Bowers takes Sewell’s spot inside and even though he was a second round pick in the NFL, it’s a downgrade. Winnipeg takes advantage.

Line: Bombers favoured by 1 point

Pick: Winnipeg

Bet: $22 returns $20

Ottawa Redblacks (1-6-1) at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (0-7)

Friday, August 18, 7:30 p.m. EST

Unless you believe Hamilton is going 0-18 – highly unlikely – the Tabbies are going to get a win at some point. The spot against Ottawa offers a chance to do so.

Emanuel Davis and Demond Washington return to the secondary which shifts Richard Leonard, the Tabbies most impressive defensive back so far this season, to the corner – easily the best defensive backfield fielded all year by Hamilton.

Line: Redblacks -165 and favoured by 3.5 points

Pick: Hamilton

Bet: $5 money line returns $7.25 and $11.50 spread returns $10

Calgary Stampeders (5-1-1) at B.C. Lions (5-3)

Friday, August 18, 10:30 p.m. EST

Calgary 14-0 off the bye week since 2005. The Stampeders know how to use the bye to their advantage, outscoring opponents by 214 points in that span. If you need more proof: Calgary 8-0 on the road after byes. That streak stays intact.

Line: Stampeders favoured by 4.5 points

Pick: Calgary

Bet: $10.50 returns $10

Season record against the spread: 17-6-2

Money line: 6-2

Teasers: 2-3

Parlays: 0-3

Bankroll: $244 from $100 starting budget