3DownNation CFL picks: Blue Bombers look to remain perfect on short week

Photo: Larry MacDougal/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

Week 9 of the CFL regular season is set to get underway with single games on Thursday and Friday before a doubleheader on Saturday.

Brendan McGuire remains atop our picks standings with a record of 24-7 straight-up, while Santino Filoso continues to be the best against-the-spread at 21-10.

Thursday, August 4: Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Montreal Alouettes – 7:30 p.m. EDT

The Blue Bombers are putting their perfect 8-0 start on the line coming off a short week following their victory over the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday. CFL all-star Jackson Jeffcoat is returning from a hip injury, which should help ignite Winnipeg’s pass-rush. Many pundits aren’t giving the Alouettes with much of a chance, though team owner Gary Stern believes Montreal can pull off the upset.

DUNK: Gary Stern provided the extra motivation Winnipeg needs in a prime letdown spot. 

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

HODGE: After two weeks of picking against Winnipeg, I won’t make that mistake again.

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

ABBOTT: Anything can happen in the CFL, except for Gary Stern looking smart.

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

BALLANTINE: There seems to be no slowing the Bombers down. 

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

FILOSO: I picked against the Bombers last week. Lesson learned.

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

GASSON: Just a gut feeling.

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

HUDSON: Unless the Montreal nightlife beats Winnipeg…

Straight-up: BOMBERS Against the spread: BOMBERS.

LUDWIG: Winnipeg will lose eventually but I can’t tell you when.

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

MCGUIRE: Someone is going to beat those Winnipeg Blue Bombers. That someone isn’t Montreal.

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

SMITH: If I didn’t pick against Winnipeg last week against a good team I sure as heck won’t pick against them playing the Als.

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

TOTALS STRAIGHT-UP: Winnipeg 9, Montreal 1

TOTALS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Winnipeg 7, Montreal 3

Friday, August 5: Calgary Stampeders at Ottawa Redblacks – 7:30 p.m. EDT

Calgary could be shorthanded this week with head coach Dave Dickenson in COVID protocol and Ka’Deem Carey, Sean McEwen, and Tre Roberson possibly out with injury. Though the Stampeders and Redblacks have very different records, they have traditionally played highly-entertaining games. Remember when they had double-overtime ties in back-to-back seasons a few years ago?

DUNK: The Stamps grind one out in the nation’s capital. 

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

HODGE: Calgary will win this game. The question is whether or not they’ll cover.

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

ABBOTT: Dickenson’s COVID scare will be a storyline, but who you pick here should depend on whether or not Ka’Deem Carey plays through his hamstring injury.

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

BALLANTINE: Calgary doesn’t lose to Ottawa, even if the Redblacks are on a winning streak. 

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

FILOSO: I’m super tempted to pick this one as a tie, but I don’t see Calgary dropping two in a row.

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

GASSON: Ottawa tends to give Calgary a game.

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

HUDSON: Calgary’s injuries will even things out but I don’t think Caleb Evans has enough.

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

LUDWIG: Tre Roberson and Sean McEwen are two of Calgary’s most important players. Their absence should mean a close one.

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

MCGUIRE: Caleb Evans is building confidence and even though he’s playing on a short week, a home game versus a hot-shot squad like Calgary is just what the doctor ordered.

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

SMITH: Ottawa is still a ways away from challenging a team like Calgary.

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

TOTALS STRAIGHT-UP: Calgary 8, Ottawa 2

TOTALS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Ottawa 7, Calgary 3

Saturday, August 6: Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Toronto Argonauts – 7:00 p.m. EDT

Toronto won three of four regular-season meetings between the two teams last year, though Hamilton won the all-important East Final. Tensions boiled over in the postseason as Argos’ strong-side linebacker Chris Edwards and assistant general manager John Murphy were disciplined following physical and verbal altercations with fans. Will cooler heads prevail this year? These clubs meet four times over the next five weeks.

DUNK: Toronto bounces back from a deflating loss. 

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

HODGE: If there’s a line on penalties in this game, take the over.

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

ABBOTT: Does anyone actually trust the Argos?

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

BALLANTINE: The Argos were terrible last week, but they right the ship this week.

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

FILOSO: After slipping up last week, the Argos rebound with a sharp performance.

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

GASSON: That’s the spread? 

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

HUDSON: Toronto continues to confuse, while Hamilton can’t finish games.

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

LUDWIG: A month from now I suspect I’ll be very tired of picking Hamilton over Toronto.

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

MCGUIRE: Who are the morons who scheduled these teams against each other four out of the next five weeks?

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

SMITH: I wouldn’t trust either team to lead a pack of ants to a picnic in their own backyard. Hamilton, I guess.

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

TOTALS STRAIGHT-UP: Hamilton 6, Toronto 4

TOTALS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Hamilton 6, Toronto 4

Saturday, August 6: Edmonton Elks at B.C. Lions – 10:00 p.m. EDT

The Elks are returning to the scene of their season-opening massacre that saw them lose 59-15 at BC Place. Chris Jones has continued to retool his roster ever since — he cut ten players during the team’s recent bye week — with his club showing signs of improvement. B.C. overcame a 13-point deficit this past week in Saskatchewan to handily defeat the team 32-17.

DUNK: Edmonton makes it competitive but the Lions nab the win. 

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

HODGE: Edmonton still loses, but they manage to cover this time around in B.C.

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

ABBOTT: The Elks now have the healthy bodies to make it a contest, but they don’t have the quarterback to finish.

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

BALLANTINE: The Lions win, but I can’t buy the spread despite what happened last time. 

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

FILOSO: B.C. is the better team, but they’re not 11 points better.

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

GASSON: B.C.’s offence is just too much. 

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

HUDSON: It’s awfully tough to pick against Nathan Rourke.

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

LUDWIG: B.C. is a deserving double-digit favourite. Maybe the Elks’ injury reinforcements help keep it close.

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

MCGUIRE: The Elks will put up a great fight and come a lot closer than opening day but it still won’t be enough.

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

SMITH: The Lions winning this game 28-17 is not outlandish. In Nathan Rourke I trust.

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

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

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

Records to date (straight-up)

MCGUIRE — 24-7
LUDWIG — 22-9
DUNK — 21-10
GASSON — 21-10
ABBOTT — 21-10
FILOSO — 20-11
SMITH — 21-10
BALLANTINE — 19-12
HODGE — 18-13
HUDSON — 17-14

Records to date (against the spread)

FILOSO — 21-10
GASSON — 20-11
SMITH — 19-12
ABBOTT — 18-13
DUNK — 17-14
LUDWIG — 17-14
BALLANTINE — 16-15
HODGE — 15-16
MCGUIRE — 15-16
HUDSON — 13-18