CFL picks: What do you need to know?

Every game on this week’s slate has playoff implications as Hamilton and Ottawa jockey for top spot in the East while the West Division remains wholly undecided. Also, Saturday features the third triple-header of the CFL season, a glorious nine hours of Canadian football.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats wide receiver Brandon Banks (16) runs away from Toronto Argonauts Declan Cross (38) during first half CFL Football game action in Hamilton, Ont. on Monday, September 3, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power

Friday, Oct. 12
Hamilton at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

At Toronto, Franklin begins his second stint as the starter for the Argos (3-11). He was 1-3 earlier this year before losing the No. 1 job to McLeod Bethel-Thompson. The defending Grey Cup champions won’t be in the playoffs but Hamilton (7-7) comes off the bye just two points out of first place in the East Division having won the two previous meetings.

Edwards: The James Franklin Revenge Game (against Marc Trestman.) TICATS
Dunk: It will be closer than many believe. TICATS
Gasson: Doesn’t matter who is at QB for Toronto. Hamilton should win. TICATS
Hodge: Toronto has nothing to play for but pride. I’m just not sure they have any. TICATS
Filoso: New QB, same result for the Argos. TICATS
Smith: Trap game or not, Hamilton is just better than Toronto. TICATS
Totals: TICATS 6 ARGOS 0

Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Zach Collaros attempts a pass against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers during first half CFL football action at Mosaic Stadium in Regina on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor

Saturday, Oct. 13
Saskatchewan at Winnipeg, 2 p.m.

At Winnipeg, the Bombers (8-7) have won three straight to move into third in the West Division standings. Matt Nichols threw three TD passes while Andrew Harris ran for 132 yards on 20 carries in last weekend’s 40-32 road win over Ottawa. Saskatchewan (10-5) has also won three consecutive games and six of its last eight.

Edwards: The Banjo Bowl Revenge Game. BOMBERS
Dunk: Different Matt Nichols than the first two meetings. BOMBERS
Gasson: Riders are travelling on a short week, the Bombers are not. Riders are also missing a few key pieces on a short week. Winning three against the same team is tough. BOMBERS
Hodge: A short week leaves Saskatchewan at a major disadvantage. BOMBERS
Filoso: Saskatchewan always plays the Bombers tough. RIDERS
Smith: Winnipeg needs this more than Saskatchewan, and the Riders are coming in off a short week. BOMBERS
Totals: BOMBERS 5 RIDERS 1

Winnipeg Blue Bombers wide receiver Darvin Adams (1) runs in a touchdown during first half CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks, in Ottawa on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Ottawa at Edmonton, 5 p.m.

At Edmonton, these are troubled times for the Eskimos (7-8) who’ve dropped three straight and six of their last eight to stand last in the West Division standings. Ottawa (8-6) comes off a 40-32 home loss to Winnipeg as Trevor Harris threw for 349 yards and three TDs. Rookie Lewis Ward has made a CFL-record 40 straight field goals and 43-of-44 overall.

Edwards: The Tommie Draheim Revenge Game. ESKS
Dunk: Must-win for Edmonton. ESKS
Gasson: The streak has to end eventually. ESKS
Hodge: Edmonton needs to bounce back at some point… right? ESKS
Filoso: Time to push the panic button in Edmonton. REDBLACKS
Smith: Edmonton’s season is over if they don’t win this one. ESKS
Totals: ESKS 5 REDBLACKS 1

B.C. Lions’ quarterback Travis Lulay calls for the snap during the first half of a CFL football game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday July 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

British Columbia at Calgary, 8 p.m.

B.C. (7-7) visits the Calgary Stampeders (12-2) on Saturday night. The Lions enter action tied with the Edmonton Eskimos for fourth in the West Division standings while the Stamps are first with the CFL’s best record. Calgary is a perfect 7-0 this season at McMahon Stadium while the Lions are a dismal 1-6 on the road. B.C. has climbed back into playoff contention, winning four of its last five games, and is coming off a 26-23 home victory over the Toronto Argonauts. But the Lions will have a different quarterback under centre as veteran Travis Lulay returns to the starting lineup.

Edwards: The Travis Lulay Revenge… er, no. STAMPS
Dunk: Something tells me B.C. but the safe play is the home side. STAMPS
Gasson: At Calgary. STAMPS
Hodge: B.C. will cover, but they won’t win. STAMPS
Filoso: With Lulay under centre, BC keeps it close. But ultimately. STAMPS
Smith: This will be closer than it should be, but it’s in Calgary, so… STAMPS
Totals: STAMPS 6 LIONS 0

2018 Records
Edwards: 45-20
Dunk: 44-21
Gasson: 42-23
Hodge: 40-25
Filoso: 40-25
Smith: 38-27

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