3DownNation CFL picks: backup quarterbacks prepare for battle

A number of big-name players will be forced to miss out on the action in Week 7 of the CFL schedule.

Quarterback injuries have thrown a damper on hopes in Edmonton in Hamilton, while Rider Nation suffered a lucky break this week when Cody Fajardo bounced back from a mild concussion. Every legendary CFL passer started somewhere, so best of luck to Taylor Cornelius and David Watford in their first career starts.

Without further ado, here are the picks.

Friday, September 17
Calgary Stampeders at Hamilton Tiger-Cats, 7:00 p.m. EST
Betting Line: Ticats -2

Fourth-year quarterback David Watford makes his first career start as Hamilton is without Dane Evans and Jeremiah Masoli due to injury. Bo Levi Mitchell got the Stamps a big win in his return to the lineup from a fractured fibula last week and will be looking to rally his team up the West Division standings.

DUNK: Stampeders stomp the Ticats. STAMPS

HODGE: No disrespect to David Watford, but Calgary really lucked out here not drawing Evans or Masoli. STAMPS

ABBOTT: Bo Levi Mitchell’s leg could still be broken and Calgary would still have more confidence in their starter than Hamilton. STAMPS

BALLANTINE: The Swagger has returned to Calgary’s offence. STAMPS

FILOSO: Bo Levi never loses to Hamilton, who doesn’t have their No. 1 QB, No. 2 QB or No. 1 receiver. STAMPS

GASSON: I don’t really have a good reason. Just a gut feeling. TICATS

HUDSON: No Evans or Masoli? I’ll take an upset by Mitchell on the road. STAMPS

LUDWIG: Hamilton’s defence needs to score at least once to break this. STAMPS

MCGUIRE: One team just lost its quarterback. Another got theirs back. STAMPS

SMITH: Bo has never lost to Hamilton and he won’t take his first ‘L’ going up against a David Watford-led attack. STAMPS


Friday, September 17
Toronto Argonauts at Saskatchewan Roughriders, 9:45 p.m. EST
Betting Line: Riders -3.5

Cody Fajardo is good to go following a concussion scare stemming from a big hit in the Banjo Bowl. The Argos got back to their winning ways in Week 6 with a victory over the Ticats and currently sit atop the East Division at 3-2. Defensive tackle Shawn Oakman had his breakout performance against Hamilton, recording three sacks.

DUNK: Saskatchewan silences its critics after two losses to Winnipeg. RIDERS

HODGE: The Riders have gotten awfully banged up at a bad time. ARGOS

ABBOTT: The Boatmen have yet to pull together this season, but oars are pretty useless in the prairies anyway. ARGOS

BALLANTINE: The Argos had a lot of turnover in the booth, but that doesn’t change that the Riders aren’t who they were in the first few weeks. ARGOS

FILOSO: Even with the turmoil in their defensive coaching staff, Toronto keeps sailing up the standings. ARGOS

GASSON: The Riders aren’t Winnipeg good, but they can prove they’re still above average. RIDERS

HUDSON: Picking Saskatchewan last week before injuries and suspensions were announced was a mistake, but I’m going to do it again because I like excuses. RIDERS

LUDWIG: Toronto is flying higher, whether Cody Fajardo is good to go or not. ARGOS

MCGUIRE: The Argos have been good at home but bad on the road. RIDERS

SMITH: Toronto is too inconsistent to take, especially on the road in a hostile environment. RIDERS


Saturday, September 18
B.C. Lions at Montreal Alouettes, 7:00 p.m. EST
Betting Line: Als -3

B.C. spent the last three weeks beating up on Ottawa, so playing a more challenging opponent should give them a chance to prove their 3-2 record isn’t a fluke. The Als are coming off a bye week, though they’ll be without head coach Khari Jones along the sidelines as he recently tested positive for COVID-19.

DUNK: Feels like a close one. ALS

HODGE: The Lions looked good in back-to-back wins against Ottawa. Here’s a real opponent. ALS

ABBOTT: The Lions cover better than anybody in the league, but this feels like a game where William Stanback can control the pacing. ALS

BALLANTINE: Montreal moves up the power rankings as they down the Lions even without Jones on the sideline. ALS

FILOSO: Feels like Khari Jones’ absence will be a factor. LIONS

GASSON: Long trip for B.C. with a bye for Montreal. ALS

HUDSON: Two teams coming off of Ottawa-inflated highs. One must fall. ALS

LUDWIG: Montreal is volatile and B.C. can match them explosion for explosion. Plus, they have a better secondary. LIONS

MCGUIRE: A pick ’em, so I’ll take the home team. ALS

SMITH: This should be the best game of the weekend. I’ll take the home team by a hair. ALS


Saturday, September 18
Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Edmonton Elks, 9:45 p.m. EST
Betting Line: Bombers -7

Trevor Harris was added to the six-game injured list due to a neck injury on Thursday, causing the betting line in this game to shift drastically. Taylor Cornelius is expected to make his first career CFL start, though he has experience playing under Jaime Elizondo dating back to their time together in the XFL.

DUNK: The Elks season might already be over. BOMBERS

HODGE: Winnipeg is well on their way to winning the West Division. BOMBERS

ABBOTT: Jefferson and Jeffcoat smell fresh meat. Watch out! BOMBERS

BALLANTINE: Boy, are the Elks in trouble this week. BOMBERS

FILOSO: Lock of the week. BOMBERS

GASSON: I mean, yeah. BOMBERS

HUDSON: Winnipeg is clearly better than Calgary. BOMBERS

LUDWIG: Part of me believes the Elks might be a strong stylistic matchup against Winnipeg, but I still wouldn’t have picked them with Trevor Harris. BOMBERS

MCGUIRE: The Elks are without their general. BOMBERS

SMITH: Until given a reason to, or a really strong gut feeling, I’m riding with Winnipeg. BOMBERS


Records to date

Dunk 14-9
Gasson 13-10
Hodge 12-11
Hudson 12-11
McGuire 11-12
Smith 11-12
Ludwig 10-13
Abbott 8-15
Filoso 8-15
Ballantine 7-16

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