CFL picks: Getting in work on Labour Day

The Labour Day slate of games features the three traditional matchups and an intriguing East Division contest featuring the first place team (Ottawa) squaring off against a last-place but suddenly frisky Montreal squads.

Should make for a fun weekend. Let’s get to it.

Friday, Aug. 31
Montreal at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

At Ottawa, Antonio Pipkin will likely make a third straight start for Montreal (2-8) after passing for 303 yards and scoring two rushing TDs against Toronto. The Redblacks come off the bye having won two straight and quarterback Trevor Harris has thrown for over 300 yards in his last three starts. Over that span, Harris has completed 100-of-128 passes (78.1 per cent) and threw for 342 yards in a 28-18 win over the Als in July.

Dunk: Could the Als put together a winning streak? REDBLACKS
Edwards: Antonio Pipkin, meet Noel Thorpe. REDBLACKS
Gasson: Ottawa is currently the class of the east. REDBLACKS
Hodge: Gonna ride Ottawa while they’re hot. REDBLACKS
Ballantine:Ottawa is the beast of the East REDBLACKS
Filoso: Ottawa gets the job done at home. REDBLACKS
Smith: I’ll take Noel Thorpe’s defence over a young, inexperienced QB almost every time. REDBLACKS

Sunday, Sept. 2
Winnipeg at Saskatchewan, 3 p.m.

At Regina, the Riders (5-4) chase a third straight victory having won 12 of their last 13 Labour Day home games against Winnipeg (5-5). Saskatchewan’s defence was stellar in last week’s 24-21 win over B.C., allowing just a second-half field goal. The Bombers have lost two straight, including a 39-26 decision last week to Calgary. The Stampeders held CFL rushing leader Andrew Harris to just 13 yards on seven carries.

Dunk: Something tells me Winnipeg. BOMBERS
Gasson: If the home team’s offence finds a groove, it could get ugly. RIDERS
Hodge: Riders roll at a hostile Mosaic Stadium. RIDERS
Ballantine: Winnipeg gets back on track against the Riders. BOMBERS
Filoso: Saskatchewan is currently the best team in the West not named Calgary. RIDERS
Smith: The Bombers look vulnerable and Mosaic will be rocking. RIDERS

At Calgary, the Eskimos (6-4) look to do something no other team has this season — win at McMahon Stadium. The Stampeders (8-1) are 5-0 at home and have won six straight and 10 of their last 12 Labour Day home games versus their provincial rivals. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, who threw for 452 yards and three TDs against Winnipeg, is 4-0 on Labour Day while Edmonton’s Mike Reilly, the CFL passing leader, is 0-3.

Monday, Sept. 3
Edmonton at Calgary, 3 p.m.

Dunk: It’s on in Calgary. STAMPS
Edwards: Calgary at home. I SAID IT FIRST. STAMPS
Gasson: Calgary at home. STAMPS
Hodge: Calgary at home. STAMPS
Ballantine: Despite being the sexy preseason pick, the Esks have a lot of holes. STAMPS
Filoso: Big brother beats up on little brother. STAMPS
Smith: Calgary at home. STAMPS
Totals: STAMPS 7 ESKS 0

Toronto at Hamilton, 6:30 p.m.

Toronto hasn’t enjoyed much Labour Day success in Steeltown. Hamilton leads the series 33-13-1 and is 4-0 at Tim Hortons Field. The Argos’ last Labour Day win in Hamilton was a 33-30 decision Sept. 3, 2012 at Ivor Wynne Stadium. East Division teams will likely have to finish 1-2 in order to secure a playoff berth. Toronto is currently two games behind both the Saskatchewan Roughriders (5-4) and Winnipeg Blue Bombers (5-5), who are tied for third in the West Division.

Dunk: Tabbies in a tight one. TICATS
Edwards: “”Christmas might as well come on Labour Day” TICATS
Gasson: Hard to pick a team that just lost to Montreal. TICATS.
Hodge: The Ticats are about to establish a solid second half to the season. TICATS
Ballantine: I have been wrong frequently about both of these teams, so with that total confidence…. ARGOS
Filoso: Toronto needs it more and finds a way to get the win. ARGOS
Smith: The Argos will win on Labour Day again one day, but not this year. TICATS
Totals: TICATS 5 ARGOS 2

2018 Records
Dunk: 28-14
Edwards: 27-15
Ballantine: 26-16
Gasson: 26-16
Smith: 25-17
Filoso: 25-17
Hodge: 24-18

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