3DownNation CFL picks: can the Redblacks finally get their first win of the season?

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Week 7 of the CFL regular season is set to get underway with a rare Thursday night double-header. The Ottawa Redblacks are still looking for their first win, while the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have yet to suffer their first loss. A lot can change over the course of one week, so let’s get into the picks.

Justin Dunk remains atop our picks standings, albeit in a tie with Brendan McGuire. Meanwhile, Santino Filoso continues to make excellent picks against the spread, sitting one win ahead of Joel Gasson.

Thursday, July 21: Montreal Alouettes at Ottawa Redblacks – 7:00 p.m. EDT

The Alouettes took 13 penalties for 193 yards in Danny Maciocia’s debut as head coach, which was ironic given that Khari Jones was fired because the team lacked discipline. Caleb Evans played relatively well in his first game as Ottawa’s starter, though the team still clearly missed Jeremiah Masoli under centre. Nick Arbuckle will dress for his first game with the Redblacks as the backup behind Evans.

DUNK: Caleb Evans FTW!

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

HODGE: If Caleb Evans can keep using his legs, I think Ottawa has a decent chance to get off the schneid.

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

ABBOTT: If Maciocia could find a way to lose against Edmonton, he might just hand Ottawa their first win.

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

BALLANTINE: No Masoli, no chance. 

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

FILOSO: Ottawa has done nothing but lose close games all year long. No reason to think Thursday night will be any different.

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

GASSON: Montreal gets back on the board.

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

HUDSON: Caleb Evans is simply too much of an unknown at this point.

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

LUDWIG: Assuming Caleb Evans plays most of the game, I like Montreal to keep a small edge.

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

MCGUIRE: Montreal has a for sure quarterback, while Ottawa does not. Montreal is in disarray, while Ottawa is not. It’s a coin-flip, really.

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

SMITH: Weird things happen sometimes.

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

TOTALS STRAIGHT-UP: Montreal 6, Ottawa 4

TOTALS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Ottawa 7, Montreal 3

Thursday, July 21: Hamilton Tiger-Cats at British Columbia Lions – 10:00 p.m. EDT

The Ticats finally got their first win of the season last week, overcoming five turnovers to beat the Redblacks on a late touchdown pass from Dane Evans. B.C. is coming off their second of three bye weeks and have had extra time to examine how things went wrong in Week 5 against Winnipeg. Coming off a short week and a cross-country flight, the Ticats could be in tough on the west coast.

DUNK: Nathan Rourke bounce-back game. 

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

HODGE: Flying across the country on a short week makes it extremely tough to win.

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

ABBOTT: B.C.’s opportunistic defence will be licking their lips for a chance at a bounce-back game against turnover-prone Dane Evans.

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

BALLANTINE: Hamilton’s winning streak comes to a halt at one. 

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

FILOSO: Hamilton should have lost last week, so B.C. will roll.

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

GASSON: Why is Hamilton in a late game on a Thursday night? 

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

HUDSON: It’s time to see if B.C. is still for real after getting clobbered by Winnipeg.

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

LUDWIG: Travel and rest make it impossible not to like the Lions.

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

MCGUIRE: Late west coast start against a winning team isn’t good for a Ticats team with a losing record.

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

SMITH: What Joel said.

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

TOTALS STRAIGHT-UP: B.C. 10, Hamilton 0

TOTALS AGAINST THE SPREAD: B.C. 9, Hamilton 1

Friday, July 22: Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Edmonton Elks – 9:00 p.m. EDT

Winnipeg got an elite performance from Greg Ellingson in last week’s win over the Stampeders, improving their record to a perfect 6-0. The Elks completed a 19-point comeback over Montreal to improve to 2-4 last week but still haven’t won a home game since Oct. 12, 2019. Can they end the streak against the CFL’s top team?

DUNK: The Elks are scrappy but Winnipeg flexes. 

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

HODGE: Edmonton shocks the world, knocking off the two-time defending Grey Cup champions.

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

ABBOTT: The Bombers have been accused of playing down to their opponents, but a Mike O’Shea team can only bend down so far.

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

BALLANTINE: Winnipeg was in tough last week, thankfully they have this practical night off before facing Calgary again next week. 

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

FILOSO: There won’t be any Elks rally this week.

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

GASSON: It might be closer than some expect after a couple of big games for Winnipeg. 

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

HUDSON: Winnipeg hasn’t played outstanding football but that’s still easily better than Edmonton.

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

LUDWIG: One team has lost one meaningful game ever with Collaros at quarterback and the other hasn’t won at home in over 1,000 days.

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

MCGUIRE: I struck gold in choosing the Elks on a TV show once but I’m not courageous enough to go to that well again this week.

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

SMITH: Weird things happen, but not this weird.

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

TOTALS STRAIGHT-UP: Winnipeg 9, Edmonton 1

TOTALS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Winnipeg 7, Edmonton 3

Saturday, July 23: Toronto Argonauts at Saskatchewan Roughriders – 7:00 p.m. EDT

This is a rematch of last week’s drama-filled Touchdown Atlantic game that saw Riders’ receiver Duke Williams throw a helmet at Argos’ defensive back Shaq Richardson during a pre-game altercation. Craig Dickenson said Cody Fajardo is “50/50” to play this week due to his lingering knee injury, while the Riders have cancelled back-to-back practices due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

DUNK: All aboard the good ship. 

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

HODGE: Between a COVID-19 breakout, two players suspensions, and Cody Fajardo’s ailing knee, the Riders are suddenly in deep trouble.

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

ABBOTT: You need healthy bodies to be able to win games.

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

BALLANTINE: COVID plus two suspensions leaves the Riders as a team in turmoil.

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

FILOSO: There’s just too much uncertainty around Saskatchewan’s roster.

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

GASSON: Everything is going against the Riders. So, naturally they’ll find a way. 

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

HUDSON: Assuming Fajardo plays, they win.

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

LUDWIG: The Riders had the game in hand last week but their problems have only grown.

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

MCGUIRE: McBeth is on a roll and Saskatchewan has a lot of stuff to sort out before they can play at their best again.

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

SMITH: Too much up in the air to feel comfortable taking the Riders.

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

TOTALS STRAIGHT-UP: Toronto 8, Saskatchewan 2

TOTALS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Toronto 8, Saskatchewan 2

Records to date (straight-up)

DUNK — 17-6
MCGUIRE — 17-6
GASSON — 16-7
FILOSO — 15-8
LUDWIG — 15-8
ABBOTT — 14-9
HODGE — 14-9
SMITH — 14-9
BALLANTINE — 13-10
HUDSON — 13-10

Records to date (against the spread)

FILOSO — 17-6
GASSON — 16-7
DUNK — 14-9
ABBOTT — 12-11
SMITH — 12-11
BALLANTINE — 11-12
HODGE — 11-12
LUDWIG — 11-12
HUDSON — 10-13
MCGUIRE — 10-13

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