Week 8 of the CFL season kicks off tonight, which feels odd given that it’s Wednesday. The game is hardly a marquee matchup, either, with David Watford leading the Ticats to play the lowly Redblacks at TD Place.
There are only three games on the slate this week with the Calgary Stampeders, Edmonton Elks, and Winnipeg Blue Bombers enjoying a bye week. If you think this week is bizarre, just wait for Week 9 when the Elks visit the Redblacks on a Tuesday.
Without further ado, here are the picks.
Wednesday, September 22
Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Ottawa Redblacks, 7:30 p.m. EST
Betting Line: Ticats -10.5
Third-string quarterback David Watford led a conservative, run-oriented offence last week for the Ticats and got a win over Calgary, albeit it with help from ‘House Call’ Simoni Lawrence. This is a great chance for Ottawa to end its four-game losing streak given that they’re coming off a bye, playing at home, and facing an opponent coming off a short week.
DUNK: If Ottawa can’t win after a bye week with Hamilton on four days rest, they might not get another ‘W’ the rest of the season. REDBLACKS
HODGE: It’s wild that David Watford is going to be Hamilton’s only undefeated starting quarterback. TICATS
ABBOTT: I basically guarantee that this is the only time I do this in 2021. REDBLACKS
BALLANTINE: Have you seen my record this season? Why are you even asking anymore? TICATS
FILOSO: This is probably the most winnable game Ottawa has in the next few weeks, so why not? REDBLACKS
GASSON: Maybe, Ottawa? No. TICATS
HUDSON: If you are willing to pick Ottawa, I admire your courage. Maybe Wednesday night football is what they need but not me. TICATS
LUDWIG: Still better to bet on not Ottawa. TICATS
MCGUIRE: Ottawa’s QB is a question mark. Hamilton’s QB is an even bigger question mark. REDBLACKS
SMITH: People are going to think I’m nuts, but coming off a bye against a team on a short week playing their third-string QB? Yeah, I’m doing it. REDBLACKS
Friday, September 24
Montreal Alouettes at Toronto Argonauts, 7:30 p.m. EST
Betting Line: Argos -0.5
Vernon Adams Jr. continued his Jekyll-and-Hyde routine in Week 7, following up a brilliant performance against Ottawa with a stinker at home to the Lions. He’ll have to be at the top of his game if he hopes to move the ball against the enigmatic Chris Jones, who will be calling plays for Toronto’s defence after officially joining the club’s coaching staff this week.
DUNK: It’s a deal where Toronto is tough at home, especially with Chris Jones in the fold. ARGOS
HODGE: Toronto played Saskatchewan way closer than the scoreboard indicated in Week 7. ARGOS
ABBOTT: Boom or bust — the Alouettes are due for an explosion. ALS
BALLANTINE: I’m worse at this than Chris Jones is at getting to the end of a contract. ARGOS
FILOSO: Montreal oscillates between a very good and a very mediocre team. Last week they were bad, so this week they’ll bounce back with a big road win. ALS
GASSON: Toronto’s defence is solid and they are good at home. ARGOS
HUDSON: Adams’ risk-taking will always lead his team to both highs and lows. I have Toronto at home. ARGOS
LUDWIG: Toronto has been playing well enough that they can fight through a couple more injuries. ARGOS
MCGUIRE: Toronto is good at home, not so much on the road. Lucky for them, they play at home this week. ARGOS
SMITH: Big Vern is due for a big game. ALS
Friday, September 24
Saskatchewan Roughriders at B.C. Lions, 10:30 p.m. EST
Betting Line: Lions -1
These clubs share a tie for second-place in the West Division with matching 4-2 records, which means this game has major playoff implications for both teams. William Powell had a breakout game for the Riders along the ground in Week 7, while Michael Reilly continues to enjoy a bounce-back season, leading all starting passers with a 119.5 quarterback rating.
DUNK: Amar Doman wants no watermelons in the crowd at BC Place. LIONS
HODGE: Michael Reilly has too many weapons working against a banged-up secondary. LIONS
ABBOTT: I’m betting on the Lions this week, but their Truth and Reconciliation initiatives at this game means the real winner will be society. LIONS
BALLANTINE: What happens when you are always wrong? You pick the team you want to lose. RIDERS
FILOSO: B.C. sends a message to the rest of the West. LIONS
GASSON: Probably the game of the week. First road win for the Green and White. RIDERS
HUDSON: Fajardo’s looked great when playing anyone other than Winnipeg. RIDERS
LUDWIG: Saskatchewan is considering sliding Purifoy to safety and I wonder if that’s about keeping a cap on Lucky Whitehead. Oh, who’s going to win? *flips coin* LIONS
MCGUIRE: The Leos are a box of chocolates in that you never know what you’re gonna get from them. When not playing the Bombers, Saskatchewan is a proven winner. RIDERS
SMITH: Western Semi-Final preview. Give me the home team by a hair. LIONS