CFL picks: Stand up and be counted

While only the Calgary Stampeders can clinch a playoff spot this week, there’s plenty at stake across the board as teams jockey for playoff position or try and keep their playoff hopes alive.

Let’s get to the games.

Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell (19) rushes up field during the first half of CFL football game action against the Calgary Stampeders at BMO Field in Toronto, Ontario on Saturday June 23, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Friday, Sept. 29
Toronto at Calgary, 9 p.m.

The Argonauts (3-9) enter Week 16 of the CFL season third in the East Division, a whopping 10 points behind first-place Ottawa and trailing second-place Hamilton by six points. Toronto is also three wins behind both the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (6-7) and B.C. Lions (6-6) in the cross-over scenario. And if that wasn’t enough, the Argos have lost three straight as they head to Calgary to visit the Stampeders (10-2), who are not only coming off a bye week but are a stellar 6-0 both at home and versus East Division competition. Calgary would become the first team to clinch a CFL playoff spot with a win or a tie.

Edwards: I can’t think of a single reason to take Toronto in this game. STAMPS
Dunk: Chalk it up. STAMPS
Gasson: Calgary at home, off a bye against a bad team. STAMPS
Smith: Calgary at home *AND* off a bye? Please. STAMPS
Hodge: Calgary’s at home. STAMPS
Filoso: Calgary doesn’t lose at home, let alone coming off a bye. STAMPS
Totals: STAMPS 6 ARGOS 0

B.C. Lions’ Bryan Burnham, front, makes a reception to score the tying two-point conversion as Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ Cariel Brooks defends with no time left during the second half of a CFL football game in Vancouver, on Saturday September 22, 2018. B.C. won in double overtime. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Saturday, Sept. 29
British Columbia at Hamilton, 4 p.m.

The Ticats (6-7) look for redemption after B.C. (6-6) rallied from an eight-point deficit with nine seconds remaining in regulation to win 35-32 in overtime last weekend in Vancouver. Hamilton expects to have seedy receiver Brandon Banks (69 catches, 1,033 yards, seven TDs) back after missing two games with a hamstring injury. B.C. is 4-2 versus the East Division this season but just 1-5 on the road.

Edwards: Hamilton needs this game for all kinds of reasons. TICATS
Dunk: Crucial game for both squads. Something tells me B.C. LIONS
Gasson: I don’t really believe in Jennings. TICATS
Smith: B.C. was burnt by Mike Jones… twice! Now imagine what a rested and healthy Brandon Banks could do. TICATS
Hodge: Hamilton exacts revenge. TICATS
Filoso: June Jones can’t coach away a game twice, right? TICATS
Totals: TICATS 5 LIONS 1

Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly (13) gets sacked by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers during the first half of CFL action in Winnipeg Thursday, June 14, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Winnipeg at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

The Eskimos could really help themselves with a home win. Not only would that move them four points ahead of Winnipeg (6-7) in the West standings but also clinch the season series. The Bombers halted a four-game losing streak last week with their win over Montreal and running back Andrew Harris, who was injured in that game, resumed practising, which is a huge positive.

Edwards: You know how this season has been kinda unpredictable? Yeah, that. BOMBERS
Dunk: Just when it seemed Winnipeg was dead. BOMBERS
Gasson: Winnipeg might be starting another losing streak. ESKS
Smith: Winnipeg might not win another game this year. ESKS
Hodge: Winnipeg is banged up at the wrong time. ESKS
Filoso: Pretty simple, Edmonton > Winnipeg. ESKS
Totals: ESKS 4 BOMBERS 2

Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Brandon Bridge directs traffic during first half CFL action against the Montreal Alouettes at Mosaic Stadium in Regina on Saturday, June 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor

Sunday, Sept. 30
Saskatchewan at Montreal, 1 p.m.

The Riders (8-5) chase a second straight road win following last week’s 30-29 victory in Toronto. Quarterback Zach Collaros threw two TD passes – the first time this season Saskatchewan has had multiple touchdown tosses in a game – but still hasn’t cracked the 300-yard passing plateau. Johnny Manziel makes a second straight start for Montreal (3-10) and is still searching for the first win and TD pass of his CFL tenure.

Edwards: Two of Montreal’s six wins the last two years have come against Saskatchewan. Still, no. RIDERS
Dunk: Saskie wins ugly. RIDERS
Gasson: It’s going to be close because that’s what the Riders do. It’s also an early start for them but RIDERS
Smith: Manziel gets his first career TD pass and win. ALS
Hodge: Saskatchewan can’t lose to Montreal twice… right? RIDERS
Filoso: Neither team has an effective offence but Sask’s defence is better RIDERS

2018 Records
Edwards: 37-20
Dunk: 37-20
Gasson: 36-21
Smith: 34-23
Hodge: 34-23
Filoso: 34-23
Ballantine: 30-27

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