3Down CFL playoff picks: Does Semi-Final Sunday produce any surprises?

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

It’s never as easy as it appears in the Canadian Football League, especially in the sudden death post-season.

Consensus around the country is Montreal and Calgary advance to their respective division finals, but talented opponents stand in their way.

The Alouettes and Eskimos have met in the playoffs just once before on November 15, 2008 in the East Final with Montreal winning 36-26. Meanwhile familiar foes square off in Cowtown, the playoff contest meeting represents the third time that the Stamps and Bombers have met in the last 23 days.

Anything can happen, so let’s find out who the 3DownNation crew has picked to click.

Eastern Semi-Final
Sunday, November 10

Edmonton at Montreal, 1 p.m. EST

Dunk: Montreal will be rocking all the way to the East Final. ALS

Hodge: Khari Jones’ incredible first year as a head coach keeps rolling, topping the Esks in Maas’ last game before bouncing to B.C. ALS

Alfieri: The Esks will have the ball on the final drive of the game with a chance to win it, but they won’t. ALS

Ballantine: Edmonton has the best defence in the CFL this season and beat Montreal early in the year. The western team has done some damage in this game before. Jason Maas saves his job with a win this week. ESKS

Filoso: The only teams Edmonton beat this season are Ottawa, Toronto, B.C. and Montreal (early in the season). Easy choice. ALS

Gasson: Montreal could throw as little as possible and probably win. Edmonton isn’t great against the run. Khari > Jason. Vernon Adams Jr. knows how to win big games. Edmonton didn’t beat anyone of consequence this year other than Montreal before they were good. It’s a tough trip for Western teams. They’ve expanded capacity. ALS

Smith: Edmonton was an abysmal 1-10 against their fellow playoff teams this year. They were also just 3-6 on the road. There is no good reason to think the green and gold have any chance in this one. ALS


Western Semi-Final
Sunday, November 10

Winnipeg at Calgary, 4:30 p.m. EST

Dunk: Winnipeg wanted Winterpeg at McMahon Stadium and wish came true. The last two games played in Calgary between the Bombers and Stamps have been one-score, closely contested games. Mike O’Shea’s group finally makes enough plays to escape with a win. BOMBERS

Hodge: Winnipeg should keep this one tight but Calgary just have too many weapons. If the Bombers are going to win, Janarion Grant will be the difference. STAMPS

Alfieri: The Stampeders have been there, done that in the playoffs. Bo Levi Mitchell will find a win. STAMPS

Ballantine: Mitchell is as dialled in as he has ever been right now, and the addition of Kamar Jorden can’t hurt at all. Calgary has been to the Grey Cup three straight years because they know how to win playoff games. STAMPS

Filoso: Collaros winning would make for a great story but Calgary is peaking at the right time and — more importantly — are playing at home. STAMPS

Gasson: The weather is going to be one heck of an equalizer here. This is probably going to be an ugly, old school football game. I can’t wait to watch it. I think Calgary finds a way though. STAMPS

Smith: The Bombers were No. 1 in rushing, while the Stamps were No. 9. With cold weather comes the need to run the football and temperatures in Calgary could be very low on Sunday. I think that’s the difference and Winnipeg pulls off the upset. BOMBERS


Records after the 2019 regular season:

Smith: 65-16
Hodge: 62-19
Ballantine: 58-23
Gasson: 59-22
Alfieri: 55-25-1
Dunk: 51-30
Filoso: 50-31