Week 9 picks: Learn your lesson or pay the price

There are only three games on this week’s CFL schedule but what’s offered is quite interesting.

In addition to the next lesson in the Canadian education of Johnny Football, the slate features one team trying to save their season (B.C.), two trying to establish themselves as elite contenders (Winnipeg and Hamilton) and an Edmonton squad that still has plenty of question marks.

Who needs the Riders, anyway? (Answer: TSN.)

Thursday, Aug. 9
Edmonton at British Columbia, 10 p.m.

At Vancouver, Mike Reilly’s one-yard TD run with 2:43 remaining lifted Edmonton (5-2) to a 26-19 win over Saskatchewan. The Eskimos have won three straight and head to B.C. sporting a 3-0 record within the West Division. The Lions (2-4) have lost two straight overall. Travis Lulay was 25-of-39 passing for 281 yards with a TD and interception in last week’s 27-18 loss to unbeaten Calgary (7-0).

Dunk: Lulay, Lulay Lulay Lulay…LIONS
Edwards: get ready for Jason Maas to go all smashy-smashy. LIONS
Gasson: don’t know why but LIONS.
Hodge: being on a short week won’t help the Lions. ESKS
Ballantine: Lulay had the best week passing since week one against Calgary’s defence. Edmonton’s D is nowhere near Calgary’s calibre. LIONS
Filoso: I want to pick the Lions but I just don’t see it. ESKS
Smith: Edmonton has looked beatable and the Leos have to win again eventually, no? LIONS
Totals: LIONS 5 ESKS 2

Friday, Aug. 10
Hamilton at Winnipeg, 8:30 p.m.

At Winnipeg, the Bombers (4-3) come off the bye leading the CFL in scoring (34.1 points per game), offensive TDs (24), rushing (161.6 yards) and fewest sacks allowed (seven). Their defence has a league-best 11 interceptions. Hamilton (3-4) halted a three-game losing streak with its one-sided victory over Montreal and did earn a 31-17 home win over the Bombers on June 29. Jeremiah Masoli threw for 300 yards with two TDs and two interceptions versus the Alouettes.

Dunk: Hamilton likes playing at IGF and the Tabbies are better on the road. TICATS
Edwards: at this point, I don’t trust either of these teams. Ah, screw it. TICATS
Gasson: the Bombers are finding their groove. BOMBERS
Hodge: Winnipeg makes it three in a row. BOMBERS
Ballantine: with apologies to Dennis Green, when it comes to the Ticats, they aren’t who I thought they were. BOMBERS
Filoso: pretty simple, Winnipeg is better in every area. BOMBERS
Smith: Hamilton has only lost once at IGF since it opened, but Winnipeg is the most complete team in the CFL and are just hitting their stride. BOMBERS

Saturday, Aug. 11
Montreal at Ottawa, 8 p.m.

Johnny Manziel’s first CFL regular-season appearance last week was one to forget. The former Heisman Trophy winner was 11-of-20 passing for 104 yards and four interceptions in Montreal’s lopsided 50-11 loss to the visiting Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Montreal will face an ornery Ottawa squad. The Redblacks (4-3) held a commanding 38-14 second-half lead last week in Toronto before the Argonauts rallied for the stunning 42-41 victory at BMO Field.

Dunk: Manziel plays better but he can only make up for so much. REDBLACKS
Edwards: Johnny Manziel is no McLeod Bethel-Thompson. REDBLACKS
Gasson: the only franchise in Ottawa that night that is more dysfunctional than the Als is the Senators. REDBLACKS
Hodge: Johnny Manziel vs. Noel Thorpe? REDBLACKS
Ballantine: Ottawa will be coming in surly. REDBLACKS
Filoso: Ottawa bounces back in a big way. REDBLACKS
Smith: If McLeod Bethel-Thompson can shred the Redblacks’ defence, Johnny Manziel can too… right? No, no he can’t. REDBLACKS

Byes: Calgary, Saskatchewan, Toronto

2018 Records
Dunk: 22-9
Edwards: 22-9
Ballantine: 21-10
Smith: 20-11
Filoso: 20-11
Gasson: 20-11
Hodge: 20-11

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