Slam Dunk picks: Let’s see if the home cookin’ is a winner

We’re going to find out if home cookin’ helps teams in big games.

Every single home squad is favoured in Week 20 with each contest important for different reasons: Winnipeg is trying to clinch a playoff spot, Saskatchewan is looking for a post-season home game, Hamilton is trying to stay in contention for the East Division title and Johnny Manziel needs a win on his CFL resume in Montreal.

Calgary Stampeders (12-4) at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (9-7)
Friday, October 26, 8:30 p.m. EST

It’s very rare to see Calgary listed as an underdog but after two straight losses at McMahon Stadium, the Stamps are getting points in the Manitoba Capital.

Bo Levi Mitchell is a perfect 6-0 when playing in Winnipeg, clearly a place he’s comfortable and the 2016 CFL MOP possesses the patience required to pick apart Richie Hall’s defence. Even though there are some newer targets are around Mitchell, he should have improved rapport with physically imposing target Chris Matthews.

Some of the Bombers – general manager Kyle Walters stands out – haven’t shaved during the team’s season-high four-game winning streak.

When you don’t have to lay points with Calgary it feels like stealing.

Line: Bombers favoured by 3.5 points
Pick: Calgary
Bet: $21 spread returns $20

Ottawa Redblacks (9-7) at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (8-8)
Saturday, October 27, 4 p.m. EST

Despite a second-half collapse which cost Hamilton a critical victory in Ottawa a week ago, the Ticats are back at Tim Hortons Field as the favourites.

All-Star receiver Brandon Banks suffered a season-ending broken collarbone injury in the defeat, one that could be a game-changer for the Tabbies unless fellow speedster Terrell Sinkfield can step into the Banks spot and be just as productive. Signing Sinkfield might have been the most important transaction Hamilton made around the trade deadline when some wondered if the Ticats would make a deal for a receiver with the team seeing key targets Jalen Saunders and Chris Williams lost for the rest of the year.

Hamilton has proven under June Jones the group can bounce back from losses that stung just ask the B.C. Lions.

Line: Ticats favoured by 3.5 points
Pick: Hamilton
Bet: $24 spread returns $20

B.C. Lions (9-7) at Saskatchewan Roughriders (11-6)
Saturday, October 27, 7 p.m. EST

Under Chris Jones, Saskatchewan seems to rise above the circumstances when it’s least expected to play well and get a win. That’s exactly what the Riders did in Calgary during Week 19. With the Charleston Hughes impaired driving distraction front and centre, Saskatchewan stepped up to play the best offensive game of the season while limiting Bo Levi Mitchell and Calgary’s offence to just 274 total yards.

If the Lions come out of Mosaic Stadium with a four-plus point win and beat Calgary in the final week of the regular season, B.C. hosts a playoff game. Plenty of motivation for the Lions and Riders, who are also trying to host a post-season game and still have a shot at top spot in the West.

Line: Riders favoured by 4 points
Pick: B.C.
Bet: $22 spread returns $20

Toronto Argonauts (4-12) at Montreal Alouettes (3-13)
Sunday, October 28, 1 p.m. EST

James Franklin put together a game-winning drive in the final two minutes and 30 seconds to make Johnny Manziel 0-6 as a CFL starter in Toronto last week. The rematch comes in Montreal and Manziel seems due for a win.

With Hate Gate surrounding Manziel, the Heisman Trophy winner wants to silence the critics and finally secure his first victory as a starting quarterback. It nearly came at BMO Field but Montreal plays better in La Belle Province.

Line: Alouettes favoured by 2 points
Pick: Montreal
Bet: $23 spread returns $20

Season record against the spread: 36-24-2
Money line: 4-3
Teasers: 2-1
Over/under: 0-1

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