Slam Dunk picks: labouring for winners

Even though it’s a holiday weekend we’re still labouring for winners.

Rivalries take over the entire slate starting in the nation’s capital.

Montreal Alouettes (2-8) at Ottawa Redblacks (6-3)
Friday, August 30, 7:30 p.m. EST

Since Antonio Pipkin took over the starting quarterback job for Montreal the Als have played much better football as the offence has moved the ball consistently.

Pipkin and the Alouettes make the short and familiar trip to Ottawa. The last time the birds played at TD Place Johnny Manziel was rocked at the goal line which led to concussion protocol for the Heisman Trophy winner and gave Pipkin the opportunity to start.

The Redblacks needed a last-minute touchdown to beat Montreal in Week 9. Trevor Harris threw for over 400 yards in that victory and sliced the Als for 342 yards in Ottawa’s Week 4 win. But neither of the margins were large enough to cover the three-score spread set out for Friday night.

Line: Redblacks favoured by 15.5 points
Pick: Montreal
Bet: $22 spread returns $20

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (5-5) at Saskatchewan Roughriders (5-4)
Sunday, September 2, 3 p.m. EST

The Riders as underdogs compared to being favourites are completely different. Even more so when the opponent is frustrated and enters the Labour Day Classic losers of two straight.

Winnipeg has suffered defeats to each CFL division leader in consecutive weeks and dealt with controversies surrounding Matt Nichols comments after both games. The quarterback elected not to speak on the latest possibly misconceived quote about receivers not getting open. Instead, focusing on the matchup in Riderville.

Saskatchewan has played at an elite level defensively and the offence seems to be coming along. The Riders are 2-0 since Chris Jones decided to wear green, a change from his customary black.

But the motivated Bombers with sharp focus in an underdog role are worth the investment.

Line: Riders favoured by 3.5 points
Pick: Winnipeg
Bet: $22 spread returns $20

(Editor’s note: check back for Labour Day Monday selections)

Season record against the spread: 15-17-2

Money line: 2-3

Teasers: 2-1

Over/under: 0-1

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