CFL picks: A lot at stake on turkey day

A very solid slate of games for the Thanksgiving weekend with plenty at stake for every team.

The Stamps and Redblacks are trying to lock up home playoff dates, the Esks, Bombers, Riders and Lions are jockeying for position in the West while Argos and Alouettes are clinging to exceedingly faint playoff hopes.

Let’s take a look at the games.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Kenbrell Thompkins (2) gets hauled down by Ottawa Redblacks’ Avery Williams (42) during the first half of CFL action in Winnipeg Friday, August 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Friday, Oct. 5
Winnipeg at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

At Ottawa, the Redblacks (8-5) can clinch a home playoff game with a win or tie or Toronto loss to B.C. The Redblacks have not played since a 28-15 home victory over Edmonton on Sept. 21 when rookie kicker Lewis Ward hit seven field goals to boost his streak to a CFL-record 37 straight. Winnipeg (7-7) comes off an impressive 30-3 road win over Edmonton as Kevin Fogg forced a fumble, recovered another and had a 71-yard interception return for a TD.

Edwards: I took the Bombers last week and that worked out great. BOMBERS
Dunk: Winnipeg needs the game more. BOMBERS
Gasson: Game of the week potential. Home team prevails. REDBLACKS
Hodge: Which Ottawa team shows up? Coin flip. REDBLACKS
Filoso: Ottawa takes care of business at home. REDBLACKS
Smith: Winnipeg needs this more than Ottawa, but I just don’t see how they go to TD Place and get the win. REDBLACKS
Totals: Redblacks 4 Bombers 2

Toronto Argonauts’ S.J. Green runs in for a touchdown as BC Lions’ T.J. Lee looks on during the first half of CFL football action at BC Place in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, November 4, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Saturday, Oct. 6
Toronto at British Columbia, 7 p.m.

At Vancouver, B.C. (6-7) returns to B.C. Place, where the Lions are 5-1 this season. The Lions desperately need a win to remain in the West Division playoff picture and erase the memory of last weekend’s 40-10 road loss to Hamilton, which will clinch a home playoff date with a loss by Toronto (3-10). The Argos are 0-6 on the road and would be eliminated from post-season contention with a loss and wins by both Winnipeg and Edmonton.

Edwards: Is B.C. gonna let Wally go out like that? LIONS
Dunk: Must-win for B.C. at home. LIONS
Gasson: B.C. is good at home and the Argos aren’t good anywhere. LIONS
Hodge: Toronto simply looks finished. LIONS
Filoso: B.C. has a better offence, defence and special teams. LIONS
Smith: B.C. is much better at home and has something to play for, whereas Toronto is in next-year mode. LIONS
Totals: Lions 6 Argos 0

Montreal Alouettes’ Ernest Jackson, left, goes up for a pass as Calgary Stampeders’ Jamar Wall, defends during first quarter CFL football action in Calgary, Saturday, July 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Monday, Oct. 8
Calgary at Montreal, 1 p.m.

Calgary (11-2) can sew up home-field advantage for a playoff contest on Thanksgiving Monday with a win or tie over the Montreal Alouettes (3-11) at Molson Stadium. Should the Als manage to pull off the monumental upset, the Stampeders still would secure a home playoff contest if Winnipeg, B.C. and Edmonton all lose this week. There’s a very good reason why home-field advantage is important to the Stampeders. They’re a stellar 7-0 this season at McMahon Stadium. The game also has playoff implications for Montreal, which will be eliminated from post-season contention with a loss.

Edwards: Calgary doesn’t always play great in Montreal. But they don’t need to. STAMPS
Dunk: Lock it up. STAMPS
Gasson: Calgary clinches. STAMPS
Hodge: Calgary all the way. STAMPS
Filoso: Calgary by a country mile. STAMPS
Smith: There’s no way Johnny Manziel’s first CFL win comes against the Stamps… right? No, don’t be silly. STAMPS
Totals: STAMPS 6-0

Edmonton Eskimos’ Mercy Maston (29) battles against Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Shaq Evans (1) during first half CFL action in Edmonton on Thursday, August 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Codie McLachlan

Edmonton at Saskatchewan, 4 p.m.

At Regina, the Roughriders (9-5) come in on a roll, having won six of their last seven overall. Last week, Zach Collaros had 394 passing yards – his first 300-yard game this year – against Montreal. The Eskimos (7-7) have dropped two straight and quarterback Mike Reilly, last year’s MVP, has 440 yards passing, one TD and three interceptions over that span. Duke Williams (shoulder), the CFL’s leading receiver, is expected to play for the home side.

Edwards: A coordinatior change and suspect offensive line is a bad combo against this Saskatchewan club. RIDERS
Dunk: Seems like Edmonton could bounce back, but Eskies have had a hard time solving Chris Jones’ defence. RIDERS
Gasson: Fire another social teams coordinator. RIDERS
Hodge: Mike Reilly’s going to bounce back soon, but his protection simply isn’t good enough right now. RIDERS
Filoso: Buckle up Edmonton, things are to get nasty. RIDERS
Smith: Because nothing makes sense sometimes. ESKS
Totals: Riders 5 Esks 1

2018 Records
Edwards: 41-20
Dunk: 40-21
Gasson: 39-22
Hodge: 37-24
Filoso: 37-24
Smith: 36-25

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