Week 5 picks: Back-to-back familiarity breeds contempt

Back-to-back rematches are on the menu for five of the six teams playing in Week 5.

Calgary comes back from a break to face the same opponent (Ottawa) the Stamps beat heading into their off week. James Franklin returns to Edmonton after leading a game-winning touchdown drive against his former team in Toronto and Winnipeg tries for the double on the Left coast. The Stampeders, Argos and Bombers are all looking for home-and-home sweeps on the road.

Teams on bye weeks: Hamilton, Montreal, Saskatchewan

Thursday, July 12
Calgary at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

Calgary (3-0) returns from the bye Thursday night in Ottawa against the Redblacks (2-1) in a matchup of division leaders. The Stampeders are 16-0 coming off the bye since 2005, their last loss following a bye week coming July 1, 2005, when they hadn’t yet played a game that season. Calgary has outscored its opponents 567-346 over that span, winning by an average of 13.8 points. The Stampeders’ last in-season post-bye loss was in July 2004 at Montreal. Ottawa returns to TD Place for the first time since winning its home/season opener 40-17 over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on June 21. But Calgary has a 10-0 road record over its post-bye win streak.

Dunk: Stamps+bye+win. STAMPS
Edwards: Calgary coming off a bye is money in the bank. STAMPS
Gasson: I wanted to be the tie guy, but Santino beat me to it. STAMPS
Hodge: Not picking against Calgary coming off the bye. STAMPS
Ballantine: Last two games at TD place were ties, but Stamps after a bye week are nearly unbeatable. STAMPS
Filoso: I’ll go out on a limb and pick the result nobody wants to see. TIE
Smith: Calgary doesn’t lose after a bye. STAMPS

Friday, July 13
Toronto at Edmonton, 9 p.m.

At Edmonton, James Franklin looks to give Toronto (1-2) a sweep of the home-and-home series after leading the Argos to last weekend’s 20-17 win. Franklin threw for 217 yards and a TD and ran for another in his Argos debut but it was James Wilder (21 carries, 120 yards, TD) who helped anchor the win. Mike Reilly had 370 yards passing and a touchdown for the Eskimos (2-2) but fell to 2-6 all-time versus the Double Blue. Coming off a 165-yard rushing performance, C.J. Gable ran for just 39 yards at BMO Field.

Dunk: The teacher gets the final say. ESKS
Edwards: I just can’t see Edmonton losing two straight to Toronto. ESKS
Gasson: I’m expecting a good one but home cooking does Edmonton good. ESKS
Hodge: Toronto can’t beat Edmonton back-to-back… right? ESKS
Ballantine: Last week, the apprentice destroyed the master, this week the Empire Strikes Back. ESKS
Filoso: Winning at home off a bye is one thing, in enemy territory is another. ESKS
Smith: Hard to beat a team in back-to-back weeks. ESKS
Totals: ESKS 7 ARGOS 0

Saturday, July 14
Winnipeg at British Columbia, 10 p.m.

At Vancouver, Matt Nichols looks to lead Winnipeg (2-2) to the home-and-home sweep. Nichols threw for 162 yards and a TD in last week’s 41-19 win, his 2018 debut coming off a knee injury. But he got help from running back Andrew Harris (109 yards rushing) and former Lions linebacker Adam Bighill( six tackles, two interceptions, one 55-yard TD return). It’s unclear if Jonathon Jennings or veteran Travis Lulay will start for B.C. (1-2). Lulay, 34, is coming off major knee surgery. Jennings hasn’t thrown for over 200 yards this season and was 15-for-24 passing for 105 yards last week.

Dunk: If Travis Lulay plays B.C. has a shot. BOMBERS
Edwards: The Lions are officially awful until proven otherwise. BOMBERS
Gasson: History repeats itself. BOMBERS
Hodge: Bighill’s Revenge 2 proves itself a worthy sequel. BOMBERS
Ballantine: Yikes! This game won’t be pretty. Nichols drops dimes as Lions lack bite. BOMBERS
Filoso: Same teams, same result. BOMBERS
Smith: Until the Lions prove they aren’t bad you can’t pick them. BOMBERS

2018 Records:
Edwards: 12-4
Smith: 11-5
Dunk: 11-5
Filoso: 10-6
Ballantine: 10-6
Gasson: 9-7
Hodge: 9-7

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