3Down CFL Picks: Riders battle for No. 1 while starters battle for bench seats

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com
Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

If you love evaluating backups, rehabbing injuries and football games without real purpose, then Week 21 is the week for you!

Just kick back and enjoy a smorgasboard of backup quarterbacks and conservative offensive gameplans.

There is only one question remaining for the final week of the CFL season to answer: who will win the West Division?

Saskatchewan and Calgary remain in contention, but its the Riders who control their own fate with the ability to bring the West Final to the Mosaic faithful with a win over Edmonton.

Here are where the 3Down writers are placing their bets.

Friday, November 1
Montreal at Ottawa, 7 p.m. EST

Ottawa has already avoided the dubious distinction of being the lowest scoring team in CFL history and Montreal is looking ahead to their matchup with crossover Edmonton, so there is very little to play for in this one. If Ottawa notches the upset against Montreal’s backups, the Alouettes will be the only team beaten twice by the worst team in football.

Dunk: Glimmer of hope in Ottawa. REDBLACKS
Hodge: 3-15 it is. ALS
Alfieri: Does it matter? ALS
Ballantine: The Redblacks season ends with a whimper. ALS
Filoso: The return of Dominique Davis, John Crockett and Antoine Pruneau spark a win against Montreal’s scrubs. REDBLACKS
Gasson: Weird stuff happens in the last week but not this weird. ALS
Smith: I think Montreal could start the 3Down staff and still win this by two touchdowns. ALS


Saturday, November 2
Edmonton at Saskatchewan, 4 p.m. EST

Edmonton can’t improve their playoff positioning and will be resting most of their starters, but Saskatchewan can clinch a first-round bye with a win or tie. The real question in this one won’t be who wins, but whether or not a banged up Cody Fajardo escapes unscathed.

Dunk: Lots on the line for Saskie. RIDERS
Hodge: No Harris, no chance. RIDERS
Alfieri: Sask ends the season with a win. RIDERS
Ballantine: I can’t win the pick ’em, but I can get closer with a crazy upset, so…ESKS
Filoso: I like this pick a lot less if Fajardo doesn’t play. RIDERS
Gasson: Saskatchewan is just better, no matter their QB. RIDERS
Smith: Mosaic will be rocking for the West Final. RIDERS


Saturday, November 2
Toronto at Hamilton, 7 p.m. EST

Hamilton has a chance to make a little history as the first team since the 2009 Alouettes to record 15 wins and have a perfect home record, but they will have to do it with Hayden Moore at quarterback. The Argos will continue their prospect evaluation by rotating through multiple quarterbacks for the second straight week.

Dunk: Tabbies too good at home. TICATS
Hodge: Even with nothing to play for… TICATS
Alfieri: Toronto shows pride in last game. ARGOS
Ballantine: Even a disinterested Ticats team is good enough to win this one. TICATS
Filoso: Hamilton continues to make history. TICATS
Gasson: I want to but I can’t. TICATS
Smith: Hamilton’s backups > Toronto’s roster. TICATS


Saturday, November 2
Calgary at B.C., 10 p.m. EST

The Stampeders need a win to secure a home playoff date and will be gunning for the sweep against the quarterback-less Lions. B.C. won’t be starting any backups by choice and is hoping to notch their first win against the West Division in the final regular season game in the league.

Dunk: Home playoff game secured. STAMPS
Hodge: No Reilly, no chance. STAMPS
Alfieri: Calgary finishes the season strong. STAMPS
Ballantine: No chance Calgary doesn’t clinch some sort of home game. STAMPS
Filoso: This will be over by half-time. STAMPS
Gasson: Lions are off-season dreaming. STAMPS
Smith: As much fun as it would be to see Calgary fall to third, they ain’t losing to an undermanned Lions team. STAMPS


2019 records after Week 20:

Smith: 61-16
Hodge: 58-19
Ballantine: 55-22
Gasson: 55-22
Alfieri: 52-24-1
Dunk: 48-29
Filoso: 47-30