CFL picks: The opportunity for redemption

After a series of excitiong games on Labour Day weekend, the re-matches offer the vanquished an opportunity to salvage their pride – and perhaps their season.

The Lions, off last week, need a win to stay in the West Division and crossover race while Argos’ are watching their back-to-back title hopes slowly fade away – they are in desperation mode against the Ticats. The Riders can take the season series from the Bombers – and take a big step towards a home playoff date – while Edmonton needs to show they can get it done against the almighty Stamps.

B.C. Lions quarterback Travis Lulay grabs his mouthguard after an incomplete pass against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers during the second half of a CFL football game in Vancouver, on Saturday July 14, 2018. Lulay will put his friendship with Edmonton Eskimos counterpart Mike Reilly on hold Thursday night. Lulay hopes to outshine Reilly as the Lions attempt to end a two-game losing skid. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Friday, Sept. 7
Ottawa at British Columbia, 10 p.m.

At Vancouver, Ottawa (6-4) looks to rebound from its 21-11 home loss to Montreal on Friday night. After three straight 300-yard games, quarterback Trevor Harris threw for 270 yards and had two picks. B.C. (3-6) is coming off the bye but has lost two straight and will be without receiver Manny Arceneaux (knee). There’s also talk running back-returner Chris Rainey, the CFL’s all-purpose yardage leader (1,525), could be benched.

Dunk: Lions off a bye need a win badly. LIONS
Edwards: B.C. needs to save their season… Wally ain’t going out like that. LIONS
Gasson: Ottawa bounces back. REDBLACKS
Smith: B.C is coming off a bye and it’s a late start time for Ottawa. The home side squeaks one out. LIONS
Filoso: Playing BC brings out the best in Trevor Harris. Ottawa’s up and down season continues REDBLACKS
Hodge: Traveling across the country is tough, but Ottawa has to bounce back… right? REDBLACKS

Hamilton Tiger-Cats players do a dance in the end zone to celebrate a touchdown by Hamilton Tiger-Cats wide receiver Brandon Banks (16) during first half CFL Football game action against the Toronto Argonauts in Hamilton, Ont. on Monday, September 3, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power

Saturday, Sept. 8
Hamilton at Toronto, 1 p.m.

At Toronto, Jeremiah Masoli and the Ticats (5-5) look to make it two straight against the Argos (3-7) following their 42-28 home win Monday night. Masoli threw for 385 yards and three TDs as Hamilton erased a 28-21 deficit to improve to 5-0 at Tim Hortons Field on Labour Day versus its chief rival. The Double Blue desperately needs the win to have any shot at the playoffs, putting a lot of pressure on an defence that allowed 543 offensive yards against Hamilton.

Dunk: Must-win for the double blue. ARGOS
Edwards: The Labour Day game wasn’t close, statistically. TICATS
Gasson: Toronto is who we thought they were… Last year. TICATS
Smith: Hamilton is just the better team right now. A desperate Argos keep it close, but it won’t be enough. TICATS
Filoso: With their season on the line, Duron saves the day ARGOS
Hodge: Hamilton is the better football team. Period. TICATS
Totals: TICATS 4 ARGOS 2

Winnipeg Blue Bombers wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky is tackled by the Saskatchewan Roughriders during first half CFL football action at Mosaic Stadium in Regina on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor

Saskatchewan at Winnipeg, 4 p.m.

Green has suddenly become the colour of success for Chris Jones.
Traditionally, the Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach/GM has donned black apparel on the sidelines. But the Riders have reeled off three straight wins since Jones began wearing the club’s green ‘Diversity is Strength’ T-shirt. So it’s no surprise Jones will again be clad in green Saturday when the Riders (6-4) visit the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (5-6) in the annual Banjo Bowl, the completion of their home-and-home Labour Day series.

Dunk: Banjo Bowl means party in the Peg. BOMBERS
Edwards: Green is the colour, Jones is the game. RIDERS
Gasson: Long live the 3DownNation power rankings curse. BOMBERS.
Smith: Riders always win Labour Day, Bombers usually win the Banjo Bowl. BOMBERS
Filoso: Another loss moves Winnipeg into free fall mode RIDERS
Hodge: The Riders won their game; the Bombers will win theirs. BOMBERS

Edmonton Eskimos’ Vidal Hazelton, left, has a pass knocked away by Calgary Stampeders’ Emanuel Davis during second half CFL football action in Calgary, Monday, Sept. 3, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Calgary at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

At Edmonton, Calgary (9-1) looks for a home-and-home sweep. Calgary ran its Labour Day win streak to seven straight when Rene Paredes connected from 43 yards out with no time remaining for a 23-20 decision Monday at McMahon Stadium. The Stampeders improved to 6-0 at home despite losing receiver Kamar Jorden (leg). Starting quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell suffered a knee injury but returned. The Eskimos (6-5) have lost two straight.

Dunk: Don’t chirp the top team. STAMPS
Edwards: C.J. Gable, shut your mouth (copyright Rod Pedersen.) STAMPS
Gasson: At home Edmonton has a shot. ESKS
Smith: Edmonton needs this badly, and the Stamps just lost one of their top weapons, but Calgary always finds a way. STAMPS
Filoso: Although it would make for a nice story, there’s no redemption to be had for the Eskimos STAMPS
Hodge: Edmonton might just be angry enough to knock off the league’s top dogs. ESKS
Totals: STAMPS 4 ESKS 2

2018 Records
Dunk: 30-16
Edwards: 30-16
Gasson: 29-17
Smith: 28-18
Filoso: 27-19
Hodge: 27-19
Ballantine: 27-19

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