3DownNation CFL picks: 2021 Division Semi-Finals feature coin flip matchups

The CFL postseason is finally set to get underway!

The first-place Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Toronto Argonauts are waiting at home to see who will visit them in next week’s West and East Finals. For now, we’ve got two great divisional sudden death matchups — winners moves on, losers go home.

The Montreal Alouettes are looking for their first postseason win since 2014, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are on a mission to end a 22-year Grey Cup drought, the Calgary Stampeders have won six of their last seven games, and the Saskatchewan Roughriders are still looking for their first postseason win at Mosaic Stadium.

Let’s go!

Photo courtesy: Dominick Gravel

Sunday, Nov. 28 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Montreal Alouettes (7-7) at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (8-6)
Betting line: Ticats -4.5

The Als and Ticats split their season series at one game apiece, though Hamilton did a great job of holding East Division Most Outstanding Player William Stanback to just 4.2 yards per carry. The forecast is calling for snow and we’re hoping to see lots of it, just like the classic 1996 Grey Cup at old Ivor Wynne Stadium.

DUNK: The stench of the Redblacks loss still hangs over the Alouettes. TICATS

HODGE: Hamilton held William Stanback in check during the regular season. I think they’ll do the same in the postseason. TICATS

ABBOTT: Yeah, Montreal gave up late against Ottawa, but don’t forget how the Ticats failed to show up for their last meaningful game. ALS

BALLANTINE: Ticats are perfectly capable of shooting themselves in the foot with downfield scheme, but the Als lost to Ottawa with a home playoff game on the line. TICATS

FILOSO: Trevor Harris’ big day won’t be enough. TICATS

GASSON: As much as I’d like Patrick Levels to be right — in the name of players saying interesting stuff — Hamilton is the slightly better team. TICATS 

HUDSON: Hamilton’s defence will have the advantage particularly if Geno Lewis is limited. TICATS

LUDWIG: I’m going to be boring: it’s tight across the board but Hamilton has a slight edge in more places. TICATS

MCGUIRE: The Ticats got a rhythm going last weekend and are playing at home. Montreal has neither going for it. TICATS

SMITH: Stanback is key to what the Als do and Hamilton successfully limited him twice this year. TICATS

Photo courtesy: Liam Richards/Saskatchewan Roughriders

Sunday, Nov. 28 at 4:30 p.m. ET
Calgary Stampeders (8-6) at Saskatchewan Roughriders (9-5)
Betting line: Riders -3

The Stamps won the season series against Saskatchewan two games to one, though the most recent meeting between the clubs ended in a 20-17 victory for the Riders. The Green and White are looking for their first postseason victory since the East Semi-Final in 2017, while Calgary is looking to silence the critics who buried them after their 2-5 start to the season.

DUNK: Bo Levi Mitchell lives for these moments at Mosaic Stadium. STAMPS

HODGE: This one should be close, but I see Calgary’s front-seven making life pretty miserable for Cody Fajardo. STAMPS

ABBOTT: Saskatchewan hasn’t won convincingly since Week 7. Flirting with disaster like that isn’t a recipe for playoff success. STAMPS

BALLANTINE: Saskatchewan can’t keep pace with Calgary’s passing offense with Jorden and Begelton at full strength. STAMPS

FILOSO: Calgary is finally healthy, has a better offence and is coming in hot. STAMPS

GASSON: I like Saskatchewan’s chances if they can keep Calgary from starting fast. That’s been the difference in the three games played so far. This group needs a playoff win. RIDERS 

HUDSON: The Riders should win but if Calgary really did play last week like a bye, then we could see Jorden and Begelton be a new problem for Saskatchewan. STAMPS

LUDWIG: Begelton over Duke, but Saskatchewan over Calgary. RIDERS

MCGUIRE: For no other reason than they are playing at home. RIDERS

SMITH: Cody Fajardo’s gonna really hate social media after this one. STAMPS

Records to date

Gasson 40-22
Dunk 40-22
McGuire 38-24
Hudson 37-25
Hodge 36-26
Ludwig 35-27
Ballantine 35-27
Smith 33-29
Abbott 31-31
Filoso 30-32

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