3DownNation CFL picks: can the Bombers’ backups stack up against B.C.’s best?

Photo courtesy: Tiffany Luke/B.C. Lions

Week 19 of the CFL season is officially upon us and fans may need to start shelling out for a program.

With the Bombers’ now turning to backups with their regular-season supremacy assured, contenders battling injuries, and basement dwellers officially playing for the future, expect some unfamiliar names to appear on depth charts league-wide. For some, stardom awaits. For others, getting pushed into the deep end will simply be too much to handle.

Our paid prognosticators won’t get the same rest as Winnipeg’s finest, however, as their heated battle for the title continues. Santino Filoso has jumped back in front of the straight-up picks leaderboard and is pushing to double dip, sitting tied with Ryan Ballantine against the spread.

Friday, October 14: Montreal Alouettes at Ottawa Redblacks – 7:00 p.m. EDT

Familiarity breeds rivalry, as these two bilingual foes met just four days ago in what was a Redblacks upset victory with a couple of questionable headshots. As a result, Ottawa will be without star receiver Jaelon Acklin for this game, while running back William Powell and returner DeVonte Dedmon are also on the injured list. The Alouettes, meanwhile, have lost centre Sean Jamieson and receiver Reggie White Jr. for the season due to injuries, but sit just one win away from clinching a playoff berth.

DUNK: Bob Dyce has it going on as Ottawa’s head coach. 

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

HODGE: Montreal extends Ottawa’s home losing streak to eleven.

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

ABBOTT: I’m rolling the Dyce with this pick.

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

BALLANTINE: Montreal needs a win to stay in the hunt for the division.

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

FILOSO: I’m buying what Bob Dyce is selling.

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

GASSON: The Als will be looking for revenge. 

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

HUDSON: Montreal can wave goodbye to any chance of a bye if they lose.

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

LUDWIG: I want very badly to champion the Redblacks but their injuries make it difficult.

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

MCGUIRE: Bob Dyce is supposed to keep the seat warm for the next guy but it will be very hard for the Redblacks to not remove the interim tag if he runs the table.

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

SMITH: Montreal got a wake-up call on Monday.

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

TOTALS STRAIGHT-UP: Als 6, Redblacks 4

TOTALS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Als 6, Redblacks 4

Friday, October 14: Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Calgary Stampeders – 9:45 p.m. EDT

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats can book their ticket to the playoffs if they simply win each of their final three games, with Calgary offering by far the biggest test. Quarterback Dane Evans hit a downturn last week, so expect plenty more of Wes Hills after his hundred-yard outing. With deep threat Malik Henry out of the Stamps’ lineup, it should be a battle of running backs with Ka’Deem Carey toting the rock. However, the Ticats should have an ace up their sleeve with Simoni Lawrence returning to the linebacking corps.

DUNK: Dave Dickenson coming off a bye week, yadda, yadda, yadda. 

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

HODGE: Hamilton comes back down to earth after last week’s physical performance.

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

ABBOTT: Hold your vomit Calgarians, the Stamps are about to do something nice for the Riders. 

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

BALLANTINE: Calgary costs Hodge a beet, and helps a charity get a fat donation. 

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

FILOSO: Calgary is at home. Enough said.

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

GASSON: Hamilton only won last week cause of who they played. 

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

HUDSON: You worry about no Henry discombobulating the offence again but I figure Hamilton blows another fourth-quarter lead.

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

LUDWIG: I can see this being a one-score game, actually.

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

MCGUIRE: The Tabbies have lots to play for but so does Calgary, and the Stampeders are the better team by a country mile.

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

SMITH: Hamilton has not won at McMahon in 18 years. This year will not be the year that streak ends.

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

TOTALS STRAIGHT-UP: Stamps 10, Ticats 0

TOTALS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Stamps 7, Ticats 3

Saturday, October 15: Toronto Argonauts at Edmonton Elks – 7:00 p.m. EDT

McLeod Bethel-Thompson may be leading the league in passing, but to be or not to be good offensively seems to always be the question for McBeth and the Argos. Long trips out West have been a recipe for disaster for the team this year but this time it’s a visit to Commonwealth with a chance to extend the Elks’ pro football record home losing streak to 16 games. The only team already eliminated from the playoffs, Edmonton can’t bear any more embarrassment.

DUNK: The Argos struggle out west. 

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

HODGE: Edmonton’s home losing streak continues.

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

ABBOTT: The Argos’ penchant for inconsistency breaks the Commonwealth curse.

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

BALLANTINE: It’s a game in Edmonton, and the Elks have never won one of those. 

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

FILOSO: Toronto has much more at stake.

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

GASSON: It’s time. 

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

HUDSON: Edmonton wants a home win but I’m past believing embarrassment gets them there.

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

LUDWIG: This is little more than a contrarian pick to make up lost ground on the writers’ leaderboard.

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

MCGUIRE: The Boatmen stick it to me each time I bet against them and Edmonton does the same each time I bet on them to win at home.

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

SMITH: I want to say Edmonton but I just can’t.

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

TOTALS STRAIGHT-UP: Argos 6, Elks 4

TOTALS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Argos 4, Elks 6

Saturday, October 15: Winnipeg Blue Bombers at B.C. Lions – 10:00 p.m. EDT

Nathan Rourke may be back practicing in a limited capacity, but B.C. still has a few more weeks left to endure the ups and downs of Vernon Adams Jr. under centre. Offensive injuries are wearing the Lions down, but the Bombers have nothing left to play for and will be resting several starters. That includes quarterback Zach Collaros, who will give way to promising youngster Dru Brown in Vancouver.

DUNK: Bombers play hard but BC takes advantage of Winnipeg resting key starters. 

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

HODGE: Dru Brown is the real deal.

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

ABBOTT: The headline will be Collaros sitting out, but I think potential changes on the offensive line have a bigger impact.

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

BALLANTINE: B.C. gets a gift as Collaros sits out. 

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

FILOSO: If Winnipeg wasn’t in early bye-week mode, it’s an easy choice. But backups won’t beat B.C.

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

GASSON: Winnipeg adding a bye week. 

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

HUDSON: No Collaros gives B.C. a shot at a win. I figure Brown wins the second game if he gets the rematch.

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

LUDWIG: You’d hope B.C. can win a meaningful — for them — game against a B-team.

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

MCGUIRE: Winnipeg could roll over and play dead but they won’t. Essentially a pick ‘em game and it should be.

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

SMITH: The Bombers have it all sewn up and B.C. does not.

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

TOTALS STRAIGHT-UP: Lions 9, Bombers 1

TOTALS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Lions 8, Bombers 2

Records to date (straight-up)

FILOSO — 45-24
BALLANTINE — 44-25
DUNK — 44-25
LUDWIG — 42-27
GASSON — 42-27
MCGUIRE — 41-28
SMITH — 41-28
ABBOTT — 41-28
HODGE — 41-28
HUDSON — 39-30

Records to date (against the spread)

BALLANTINE — 39-30
FILOSO — 39-30
GASSON — 37-32
ABBOTT — 35-34
SMITH — 34-35
HODGE — 34-35
DUNK — 33-36
LUDWIG — 32-37
HUDSON — 30-39
MCGUIRE — 27-42