3DownNation CFL picks: can Andrew Harris exact revenge on his former team?

Photo courtesy: Jeff Vinnick/B.C. Lions

Our contributors are off to a strong start to the CFL season with everyone having at least an 8-4 record in picks. Leading the way is the fearless Justin Dunk, whose 11-1 record has set the gold standard for the rest of 3DownNation‘s pundits to try to match.

All of our contributors are at least .500 against the spread, which isn’t easy to do. The most accurate predictions so far have come courtesy of Santino Filoso, whose picks will have made a good chunk of money for anyone tailing them this season.

Without further ado, here we go — Week 4 of the CFL season.

Thursday, June 30: British Columbia Lions vs. Ottawa Redblacks – 7:30 p.m. EDT

B.C. is off to a strong 2-0 start after dominating Edmonton and Toronto at home by a combined score of 103-18. The only thing that might slow the Lions down is that they’re coming off a short week having played this past Saturday. Ottawa should be well-rested from last week’s bye after back-to-back close losses to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

DUNK: Difficult short week for B.C. but Nathan Rourke still plays well and if the Lions win that would be an impressive feat. 

Straight-up: REDBLACKS. Against the spread: REDBLACKS.

HODGE: Ottawa takes full advantage of a Lions team on a short week.

Straight-up: REDBLACKS. Against the spread: REDBLACKS.

ABBOTT: The Lions look unstoppable right now, but a short week can bring even the best teams to their knees.

Straight-up: REDBLACKS. Against the spread: REDBLACKS.

BALLANTINE: I’ll pick the Lions until there is a reason not to. Another tough test for Ottawa.

Straight-up: LIONS. Against the spread: LIONS.

FILOSO: Game of the week. In a fairly even matchup, B.C.’s injuries cost them dearly.

Straight-up: REDBLACKS. Against the spread: REDBLACKS.

GASSON: Lions traveling cross country on a short week. 

Straight-up: REDBLACKS. Against the spread: REDBLACKS.

HUDSON: I think there’s regression in B.C.’s future but I’m also not as high on Ottawa as others are to start season.

Straight-up: LIONS. Against the spread: LIONS.

LUDWIG: This game is very interesting for a matchup between a winless team and an unbeaten team. I’m thinking the Lions get their first close win.

Straight-up: LIONS. Against the spread: REDBLACKS.

MCGUIRE: Rourke has yet to give anyone a reason to doubt him. Masoli has yet to give us a reason to have faith in him.

Straight-up: LIONS. Against the spread: LIONS.

SMITH: One team is playing on short rest while the other is coming off a bye.

Straight-up: REDBLACKS. Against the spread: REDBLACKS.

TOTALS STRAIGHT-UP: Ottawa 6, B.C. 4

TOTALS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Ottawa 7, B.C. 3

Friday, July 1: Edmonton Elks vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats – 7:30 p.m. EDT

Something has to give this week in a battle of 0-3 teams. Edmonton has gradually gotten more competitive since their Week 1 manhandling in Vancouver, while the Ticats regressed badly in last week’s loss in Winnipeg. The Elks might be the most desperate team as, despite having identical records, Edmonton is four points further out of first place in their division than Hamilton.

DUNK: Colin Kelly can’t fix all that’s wrong with the Ticats offence instantly. 

Straight-up: ELKS. Against the spread: ELKS.

HODGE: The Ticats are far too good to fall to 0-4, especially after upgrading their offensive line.

Straight-up: TICATS. Against the spread: ELKS.

ABBOTT: Edmonton has been improving each week and Hamilton hasn’t. It’s just that simple.

Straight-up: ELKS. Against the spread: ELKS.

BALLANTINE: Edmonton showed a little better every week. Not enough to win if Hamilton doesn’t give it away, but enough to beat the spread. 

Straight-up: TICATS. Against the spread:ELKS.

FILOSO: Fans can go ahead and hit the panic button in Steeltown. 

Straight-up: ELKS. Against the spread: ELKS.

GASSON: Surely Hamilton isn’t this bad? 

Straight-up: TICATS. Against the spread: ELKS.

HUDSON: Hamilton finds ways to lose, but Edmonton’s constant roster upheavals are hard to overlook.

Straight-up: TICATS. Against the spread: TICATS.

LUDWIG: The week I don’t pick Edmonton will be the week they win, I’m sure. But anyways, Nick over Dane.

Straight-up: ELKS. Against the spread: ELKS.

MCGUIRE: Edmonton looks like they’re improving. Not sure about the Hammer.

Straight-up: ELKS. Against the spread: ELKS.

SMITH: This is a must-win for the Tabbies.

Straight-up: TICATS. Against the spread: ELKS.

TOTALS STRAIGHT-UP: Hamilton 5, Edmonton 5.

TOTALS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Edmonton 9, Hamilton 1.

Saturday, July 2: Montreal Alouettes vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders – 7:00 p.m. EDT

Montreal blasted the Riders 37-13 in Montreal in Week 3, though this contest will be played under much different circumstances. Saskatchewan isn’t coming off a short week, while franchise quarterback Cody Fajardo won’t be hobbled by a knee injury. It appears Trevor Harris will get a second-straight start under centre for the Als despite Vernon Adams Jr. returning from a bout with COVID-19.

DUNK: Revenge is on the minds of the Riders who had everything against them in Montreal.

Straight-up: RIDERS. Against the spread: RIDERS.

HODGE: Saskatchewan will scratch and claw to win this game at home.

Straight-up: RIDERS. Against the spread: ALS.

ABBOTT: The 13th man can compensate for the Riders’ current injuries, but only slightly.

Straight-up: ALS. Against the spread: ALS.

BALLANTINE: The game wasn’t close enough last week to make me think it is fixable in just one week. 

Straight-up: ALS. Against the spread: ALS.

FILOSO: I’m not convinced Montreal’s defence and special teams can carry them to another win, especially in such a hostile environment. 

Straight-up: RIDERS. Against the spread: ALS.

GASSON: A longer week between games does the Riders good. 

Straight-up: RIDERS. Against the spread: RIDERS.

HUDSON: Home-field makes this one close but I’m still giving the edge to Montreal.

Straight-up: ALS. Against the spread: ALS.

LUDWIG: Surely with better rest Saskatchewan won’t get smoked back to back.

Straight-up: RIDERS. Against the spread: RIDERS.

MCGUIRE: No way does Fajardo lay two straight eggs against an East Division opponent.

Straight-up: RIDERS. Against the spread: ALS.

SMITH: With everything being equal this week the Riders show they are the much better team.

Straight-up: RIDERS. Against the spread: RIDERS.

TOTALS STRAIGHT-UP: Saskatchewan 7, Montreal 3.

TOTALS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Montreal 6, Saskatchewan 4.

Monday, July 4: Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Toronto Argonauts – 7:30 p.m. EDT

Get your popcorn ready because Andrew Harris is about to face his former team for the first time since departing his hometown as a free agent this past off-season. Winnipeg has been unable to get its ground game going, though their defence looks as dominant as ever. The Argos remain atop the East Division standings at 1-1 despite a terrible performance last week in Vancouver.

DUNK: The Argos will be motivated but Winnipeg wants to avoid another letdown in Toronto. 

Straight-up: BOMBERS. Against the spread: BOMBERS.

HODGE: A motivated Andrew Harris is good, but not as good as Winnipeg’s defence.

Straight-up: BOMBERS. Against the spread: BOMBERS.

ABBOTT: In a battle of underwhelming offensive units, I’m betting on Andrew Harris’ vengeance.

Straight-up: ARGOS. Against the spread: ARGOS.

BALLANTINE: The Bombers haven’t looked themselves, and the Argos have looked old. 

Straight-up: BOMBERS. Against the spread: ARGOS.

FILOSO: Harris gets the headlines, but Winnipeg gets the win.

Straight-up: BOMBERS. Against the spread: ARGOS.

GASSON: The Bombers might be the better team but I think they stub their toe at BMO. 

Straight-up: ARGOS. Against the spread: ARGOS.

HUDSON: I trusted the Argos last week in a tough travel game — not this time.

Straight-up: BOMBERS. Against the spread: BOMBERS.

LUDWIG: Picking Toronto after last week? Not happening.

Straight-up: BOMBERS. Against the spread: BOMBERS.

MCGUIRE: Winnipeg is still a known entity. Toronto is not. 

Straight-up: BOMBERS. Against the spread: BOMBERS.

SMITH: I don’t think the Argos are any good and Winnipeg has shown that even a B-minus game from them gets them a comfortable win.

Straight-up: BOMBERS. Against the spread: BOMBERS.

TOTALS STRAIGHT-UP: Winnipeg 8, Toronto 2.

TOTALS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Winnipeg 6, Toronto 4.

Records to date (straight-up)

DUNK — 11-1
GASSON — 10-2
FILOSO — 9-3
MCGUIRE — 9-3
ABBOTT — 8-4
BALLANTINE — 8-4
HODGE — 8-4
HUDSON — 8-4
LUDWIG — 8-4
SMITH — 8-4

Records to date (against the spread)

FILOSO — 10-2
GASSON — 8-4
HUDSON — 8-4
MCGUIRE — 8-4
BALLANTINE — 7-5
DUNK — 7-5
ABBOTT — 6-6
HODGE — 6-6
LUDWIG — 6-6
SMITH — 6-6

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