3DownNation CFL picks: can Winnipeg clinch first place in the West Division?

Photo: Nik Kowalski/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

We’ve officially reached Week 12 of the CFL season, starting with an East Division matchup on Friday followed by a triple-header on Saturday.

Expect to see some fresh faces in Saskatchewan’s receiving corps, a couple of West Division teams looking to snap losing streaks, and Bo Levi Mitchell make history in Calgary. The Blue Bombers are in for an exciting week as well as they look to clinch first-place in the West Division for the first time since 1972.

Without further ado, here are the picks.

Friday, October 22
Toronto Argonauts at Montreal Alouettes, 7:30 p.m. EST
Betting Line: Als -1

Montreal acquired quarterback Trevor Harris from the Edmonton Elks this past week, though Matthew Shiltz will make his second consecutive start with Vernon Adams Jr. out of the lineup. The Argos are getting healthy at the right time as Henoc Muamba will return to his spot at middle linebacker after missing three games due to a hamstring issue.

DUNK: It’s never as easy as it seems. ALS

HODGE: Matthew Shiltz played pretty well against Ottawa. This ain’t Ottawa. ARGOS

ABBOTT: With competition for his job freshly arrived in town, a motivated Shiltz pulls the upset. ALS

BALLANTINE: Toronto proves the road to the Grey Cup goes through The Six. ARGOS

FILOSO: Toronto in a rout. ARGOS

GASSON: Toronto is finding its groove. ARGOS 

HUDSON: Toronto all the way. Chris Jones’ defence will confuse Matthew Shiltz. ARGOS

LUDWIG: Montreal hasn’t had a lot of success against good teams. ARGOS

MCGUIRE: Chris Jones’ defence gives Toronto an ‘it’ factor that Montreal hasn’t got. ARGOS

SMITH: Toronto’s defence feasts. ARGOS


Saturday, October 23
Ottawa Redblacks at Hamilton Tiger-Cats, 4:00 p.m. EST
Betting Line: Ticats -15

Caleb Evans has been unable to recreate the magic of his first CFL start, throwing one touchdown and seven interceptions over his last three games. The Redblacks are in next-year territory, which is perfect for a Hamilton team that has struggled to finish games as of late. The Ticats need to start stacking wins now if they want any chance of earning a bye to the East Final.

DUNK: Much more desperation in Hamilton. TICATS

HODGE: Hamilton needs to learn to close out games. They’ll close this one out. TICATS

ABBOTT: I picked the Redblacks last week. Never again. TICATS

BALLANTINE: Nice warm up for the Tabbies as they thump the lesser thanks. TICATS

FILOSO: Ottawa is banged up and their offensive line has given up 16 sacks the last two games. This will get ugly. TICATS

GASSON: I don’t know what to say. TICATS 

HUDSON: Hamilton at home needing a win to get back home-field playoff advantage. TICATS

LUDWIG: You guessed it: not Ottawa. TICATS

MCGUIRE: Hamilton has a shot at being decent by the time it’s all said and done. Ottawa doesn’t. TICATS

SMITH: You cannot lose at home to the Redblacks coming off a bye. You just can’t. TICATS


Saturday, October 23
B.C. Lions at Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 7:00 p.m. EST
Betting Line: Bombers -11.5

The Blue Bombers have won seven games in a row and are one more win away from clinching first place in the West Division since 1972. B.C. hasn’t been the same since they lost Lucky Whitehead to a broken hand and will need to pull off a major upset at IG Field on Saturday if they hope to snap their three-game losing streak.

DUNK: y coming in the official CFL standings beside Winnipeg. BOMBERS

HODGE: Winnipeg punches its ticket to the West Final. BOMBERS

ABBOTT: There is peaking at the right time and then there is what B.C. is doing. BOMBERS

BALLANTINE: Winnipeg needs to be careful to stay sharp while not getting complacent. BOMBERS

FILOSO: Winnipeg is a juggernaut and a Lucky-less Lions squad isn’t going to stop them. BOMBERS

GASSON: B.C. might be in some trouble. BOMBERS 

HUDSON: B.C. looked listless vs. Calgary’s front-seven and Winnipeg has the best D-line in the league. BOMBERS

LUDWIG: It’s honestly a shame we don’t get to see Winnipeg vs. Ottawa this year. BOMBERS

MCGUIRE: B.C. is trending downward while Winnipeg is not. BOMBERS

SMITH: The road to the Grey Cup out west goes through Winnipeg. BOMBERS


Saturday, October 23
Saskatchewan Roughriders at Calgary Stampeders, 9:45 p.m. EST
Betting Line: Stamps -1

The Riders may have Shaq Evans and Duke Williams in the lineup, which would be a huge boost to the club’s receiving corps. Saskatchewan has dropped back-to-back games against Calgary — losing the season series in the process — but can still gain a two-point lead with a game in hand on the Stamps in the standings with a win. Watch for Bo Levi Mitchell to make history as he needs just two completions to set a new Stampeders club record.

DUNK: Bo Levi Mitchell and Dave Dickenson continue to assert Sask dominance. STAMPS

HODGE: I’m taking Saskatchewan for the third straight week. Don’t let me down again, boys. RIDERS

ABBOTT: The Riders can’t afford to get swept and they know it. RIDERS

BALLANTINE: Dave has some sort of special read on Craig. No reason that changes this week. STAMPS

FILOSO: Calgary has Saskatchewan’s number, it’s as simple as that. STAMPS

GASSON: Big time game for the Riders. Surely they can’t lose three in a two to one team? RIDERS 

HUDSON: I promised the 3Down chat that I’d take Saskatchewan this week no matter since they’re coming off the bye. RIDERS

LUDWIG: If Saskatchewan manages to get swept and make me look bad, fine. RIDERS

MCGUIRE: The game of the week. New Saskatchewan receivers will make the difference. RIDERS

SMITH: Calgary is getting hot at exactly the right time. STAMPS


2021 records

Gasson 25-17
Dunk 24-18
McGuire 24-18
Hudson 22-20
Ludwig 21-21
Ballantine 20-22
Hodge 20-22
Smith 18-24
Abbott 15-27
Filoso 15-27