3DownNation CFL picks: something’s gotta give as winless Redblacks, Ticats clash in Steeltown

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The CFL is back with a slate of Week 6 games that will feature new starting quarterbacks, undefeated teams, winless teams, and teams playing out on the east coast. Who should you pick and who should you bet on? Check out our insight below.

Thursday, July 14: Edmonton Elks at Montreal Alouettes – 7:30 p.m. EDT

Taylor Cornelius will make his first start of the season with Tre Ford injured and Nick Arbuckle in Ottawa. The pressure is on for both clubs as they enter the week with just one win apiece. Edmonton will look to play well for their new starting quarterback, while Montreal should draw inspiration from the 2002 Grey Cup team, which will be honoured at halftime.

DUNK: The Alouettes should not be touchdown favourites over anyone. 

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

HODGE: Taylor Cornelius feels good for, what, two interceptions?

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

ABBOTT: Jones was always in Maciocia’s doghouse but he had plenty of supporters in the Alouettes locker room. The new man in charge will need more than one bye week to reunify his team.

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

BALLANTINE: Another new QB for the Elks as they take another step back. 

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

FILOSO: If Tre Ford was healthy, I think Edmonton could pull off the win, but he’s not, so…

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

GASSON: New coach bump.

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

HUDSON: It’s tough to have any faith in a team that constantly changes quarterbacks.

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

LUDWIG: No picking Edmonton straight-up until further notice, but that is a big spread.

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

MCGUIRE: Danny Maciocia needs a round of batting practice before facing the meat of the order and he’ll get some softballs lobbed his way in this one.

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

SMITH: In the long term I think the Als are going to fall flat on their face but against a team like Edmonton they should be able to eke out a victory.

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

TOTALS STRAIGHT-UP: Montreal 9, Edmonton 1

TOTALS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Montreal 5, Edmonton 5

Friday, July 15: Calgary Stampeders at Winnipeg Blue Bombers – 8:30 p.m. EDT

This has to be considered the game of the week with both teams boasting perfect records ahead of Week 6. Bo Levi Mitchell has silenced his critics after throwing for 1,112 yards, six touchdowns, and two interceptions over four starts, while Zach Collaros reminded everyone why he’s the league’s reigning M.O.P. after dominating the B.C. Lions in Vancouver.

HODGE: Winnipeg showed they were the top team in the league last week and I think that trend continues.

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

ABBOTT: Forget about the game, the real battle this week will be Hodge vs. Ballantine in the 3Down group chat… 

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

BALLANTINE: Winnipeg beat B.C. in a battle of undefeateds last week. I don’t think they will this week as Bo is getting much better at not forcing the ball.

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

FILOSO: I made the mistake of picking against the champs last week. Lesson learned. 

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

GASSON: Flip a coin. 

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

HUDSON: This is the stiffest competition either team has faced. This is a coin flip for me.

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

LUDWIG: Winnipeg still has a more dominant feel to them, and Calgary has taken advantage of a weak schedule so far.

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

MCGUIRE: Calgary showed us they were beatable against Montreal but so has Winnipeg in their game at Toronto. I’ll roll with the home team in a tight one.

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

SMITH: In a game between teams this evenly matched I will go with the home side.

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

TOTALS STRAIGHT-UP: Winnipeg 7, Calgary 2

TOTALS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Calgary 6, Winnipeg 3

Saturday, July 16: Saskatchewan Roughriders at Toronto Argonauts – 2:00 p.m. EDT

Touchdown Atlantic is back with this game set to be played in front of a sold-out crowd at Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S. Garrett Marino’s hit on Jeremiah Masoli and subsequent suspension has dominated CFL headlines over the past week, though this game will be all about lobster, Andrew Harris chasing Milt Stegall in the record books, and the Riders looking to keep pace in the West Division.

HODGE: Saskatchewan coughs one up coming off a long flight and a week of distractions.

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

ABBOTT: The Riders’ PR decision-making this week has been reminiscent of the SS Mont Blanc on December 6, 1917. Watch out for a Halifax implosion.

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

BALLANTINE: The Riders lost to an Eastern team earlier this season but think they eke one out here. At plus-3.5 I’d have taken the Argos to cover. 

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

FILOSO: Head says Saskatchewan, but for whatever reason, my gut says Dinwiddie’s squad pulls off the upset.

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

GASSON: Riders get in early, so they’ll adjust to the early start. 

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

HUDSON: The Argos have gone backward since game one and that backpedal will only quicken against Saskatchewan’s defence.

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

LUDWIG: Saskatchewan keeps having to deal with injuries and now other obvious problems, but Toronto has yet to inspire confidence.

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

MCGUIRE: The decimated pass rush and early game out east hurts Saskatchewan but not enough here.

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

SMITH: It has been a trying week in Regina but they still have more talent than the Argos.

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

TOTALS STRAIGHT-UP: Saskatchewan 6, Toronto 3

TOTALS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Saskatchewan 6, Toronto 3

Saturday, July 16: Ottawa Redblacks at Hamilton Tiger-Cats – 5:00 p.m. EDT

The Redblacks are set to begin life without Jeremiah Masoli as he is expected to sit out the next 10-to-12 weeks due to a leg injury. Caleb Evans will likely get the start for Ottawa, though rookie Tyrie Adams and recently-acquired Nick Arbuckle are also in-house. Dane Evans will look to overcome his turnover woes as he has thrown eight interceptions and lost four fumbles through just four games.

HODGE: I can see Hamilton going on a run over the next couple of months. It starts now.

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

ABBOTT: I’d bet on the Redblacks if they had Masoli at the helm but Caleb Evans in his first start of the season ain’t earning you any money.

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

BALLANTINE: Cats coming off a bye week, while Ottawa has a new starting quarterback. Hamilton gets off the schnied this week. 

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

FILOSO: Both teams have been awful — so flip a coin straight-up — but neither has been a touchdown better than the other.

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

GASSON: Evans is the better QB, I guess. 

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

HUDSON: Hamilton’s coming off a bye after beating themselves against Edmonton.

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

LUDWIG: Hamilton gets a head start on Ottawa in digging out of the hole.

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

MCGUIRE: The Hammer has a healthy quarterback while Ottawa does not.

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

SMITH: Ottawa was regressing with Jeremiah Masoli. They are dead in the water without him.

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

TOTALS STRAIGHT-UP: Hamilton 8, Ottawa 1

TOTALS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Hamilton 7, Ottawa 2

Records to date (straight-up)

DUNK — 16-3
MCGUIRE — 15-4
GASSON — 14-5
FILOSO — 13-6
LUDWIG — 13-6
BALLANTINE — 12-7
HUDSON — 12-7
SMITH — 12-7
HODGE — 11-8
ABBOTT — 10-9

Records to date (against the spread)

GASSON — 15-4
FILOSO — 14-5
DUNK — 12-7
BALLANTINE — 11-8
ABBOTT — 10-9
HUDSON — 10-9
MCGUIRE — 10-9
SMITH — 10-9
HODGE — 9-10
LUDWIG — 9-10

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