Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com
Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

The 2019 CFL season kicks off on Thursday when the Saskatchewan Roughriders visit the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Tim Hortons Field.

3DownNation contributors Justin Dunk, John Hodge, Joey Alfieri, Ryan Ballantine, Santino Filoso, Joel Gasson, and Josh Smith have prepared a number of predictions pieces ahead of the season.

After doing player awards predictions, next is the standings in the West and East Divisions.

Dunk

West Division

Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Calgary Stampeders
Saskatchewan Roughriders
B.C. Lions
Edmonton Eskimos

The wild west is even more wildly competitive and unpredictable in 2019. The Bombers appear ready to take off and fly high, the Stampeders are the Stamps, when in doubt go with a Dickenson as head coach, B.C. has lots of potential and Trevor Harris needs to prove he can compete in the West week-in-and-week-out.

East Division

Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Toronto Argonauts
Ottawa Redblacks
Montreal Alouettes

In the East it seems like Hamilton and all the rest competing behind or beneath them in the standings. Corey Chamblin brings new energy to the Argos, the Redblacks remain competitive with Rick Campbell and Marcel Desjardins calling the shots and Montreal has improved the roster but quarterback play remains a question mark.

Hodge

West Division

Calgary Stampeders
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
B.C. Lions
Edmonton Eskimos
Saskatchewan Roughriders

The Lions are the wildcard in the West Division: if the club’s new stars gel quickly, they’ll compete for first; if Mike Reilly gets hurt, they’re toast.

East Division

Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Ottawa Redblacks
Toronto Argonauts
Montreal Alouettes

The Ticats will have this division locked up by October. You only need eight wins to host a playoff game in the East and Dominique Davis can get Ottawa there.

Alfieri

West Division

Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Calgary Stampeders
B.C. Lions
Edmonton Eskimos
Saskatchewan Roughriders

There’s a lot of hype surrounding the Eskimos and Lions this year, but I think it may take them some time to develop chemistry with all the changes they made over the winter. The Eskimos are my crossover team.

East Division

Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Montreal Alouettes
Ottawa Redblacks
Toronto Argonauts

The Alouettes will shock the CFL world by hosting a playoff game in November. There’s a lot of craziness in Montreal right now, as they don’t have an owner and they changed head coaches six days before the season, but I think the players embrace the wackiness.

Ballantine

West Division

Calgary Stampeders
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
B.C. Lions
Edmonton Eskimos
Saskatchewan Roughriders

It’s going to be a dogfight in this division… with the exception of the Riders. Saskatchewan scored a lot of touchdowns on defense and special teams last year, which simply isn’t sustainable.

East Division

Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Toronto Argonauts
Montreal Alouettes
Ottawa Redblacks

The mass talent exodus in Ottawa drops them to the bottom of the pile. The Ticats are the best of a weak bunch. 8-10 might just win the East this year.

Filoso

West Division

B.C. Lions
Calgary Stampeders
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Edmonton Eskimos
Saskatchewan Roughriders

I’m buying what the Lions are selling. Calgary’s always in contention with Bo-Levi Mitchell under centre but with so many new faces in town, they need time to gel. Sure Edmonton and Saskatchewan added a few sexy pieces, but those offensive lines don’t inspire confidence.

East Division

Toronto Argonauts
Ottawa Redblacks
Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Montreal Alouettes

The Argos have flown under the radar but Jim Popp has quietly amassed a good team with depth at key positions. Backed up by a stout defence, Dominique Davis leads Ottawa to a playoff berth at the Ticats expense. Als gonna Al.

Gasson

West Division

Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Calgary Stampeders
B.C. Lions
Saskatchewan Roughriders
Edmonton Eskimos

The Bombers have to make it eventually and they seem poised to make a big run this year. Calgary will still be good but will need some time to gel, same with the Lions. I don’t really know what to make of the Riders — nothing between 2nd and 5th would surprise me.

East Division

Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Toronto Argonauts
Ottawa Redblacks
Montreal Alouettes

Hamilton is the easy pick and sometimes you just can’t overthink it. Corey Chamblin is a good coach who can get a lot out of his players. Ottawa is due for a bit of a down year with all the turnover and Montreal is Montreal until proven otherwise.

Smith

West Division

Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Calgary Stampeders
B.C. Lions
Saskatchewan Roughriders
Edmonton Eskimos

It’s now or never for the Bombers. It feels wrong to pick anyone but Calgary taking top spot, but I’m all-in on Winnipeg this year. The Riders feel like a team that will take a big step back after a couple of solid years.

East Division

Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Ottawa Redblacks
Toronto Argonauts
Montreal Alouettes

It’s always foolish to bet on the Ticats, but Hamilton is the only team with a proven QB and that puts them ahead of the pack. No team lost more talent this off-season than Ottawa but I think they will do just enough to squeak by Toronto for the second playoff spot.

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