CFL Week 4 predictions: best bets for Argos at Alouettes, Ticats at Redblacks

Photo: Reuben Polansky/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

Week 4 of the CFL season is almost here, featuring a clash between two unbeaten squads and a trio of winless teams looking to turn their seasons around on the road.

After going 6-2 in my predictions last week, I’m back with more picks and props for the week ahead. Let’s go.

Friday, June 28: Montreal Alouettes vs. Toronto Argonauts — 7:30 p.m. EDT

Someone’s 0 has to go — unless there’s a tie, but that doesn’t sound as fun. The defending Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes have been excellent through three weeks and are coming off a dominant performance against the Ottawa Redblacks, looking like the most complete team in the league so far this season.

Montreal’s offence is top three in the CFL in points, touchdowns, net offence, average yards per play, rushing yards, and average gain on first down. Meanwhile, their defence is tops in points allowed per game by almost a full touchdown, making for an interesting test from Toronto’s offence, which has put up big points with Cameron Dukes under centre.

The Boatmen have scored as many points as Hamilton this year despite playing one fewer game as Dukes has done a nice job protecting the football despite his inexperience. Toronto’s defence looked good late against B.C. in Week 1 but have otherwise struggled to get off the field, clearly missing Folarin Orimolade, who is on the six-game injured list.

This should be a fun matchup with both teams facing their stiffest competition of the young season. I think Toronto is a very good football team, but the Alouettes feel like they’re on another level right now.

The picks: Montreal -3 and Montreal team total over 27.5

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Sunday, June 30: Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. Ottawa Redblacks — 7 p.m. EDT

Both teams are licking their wounds after tough defeats in Week 3 and will look to get back on track in this big early-season East Division matchup.

The Redblacks came back down to earth in Week 3 following a season-opening upset win over Winnipeg. The stat line for Dru Brown ended up looking decent but a lot of his production came in the second half when the game was well out of hand.

He has shown flashes of the QB that Ottawa fans are so excited about, but some young mistakes have popped up as well.

Hamilton’s defence will look to take advantage of that, but it’s been a slow start to the season for them. The Ticats have allowed the most points in the league through three weeks and have struggled to get teams off the field, sitting eighth in opponent first downs, a stat that burned them two weeks ago when they couldn’t get a stop late against Saskatchewan.

It will be interesting to see if Brown can take advantage and help out his own defence. Ottawa is second-last in the league in opponent net offence and has allowed the second-most plays of 30-plus yards despite only playing two games.

That is music to the ears of Bo Levi Mitchell who, both positively and negatively, has been back to his old gunslinger ways through three weeks of the season. He stumbled against Saskatchewan last week trying to force things once his team fell behind but we’ve also seen more than a few flashes of Bo’s old form in a good way with a willingness to push the ball down the field.

Ottawa’s defence has struggled for two years now stopping the deep ball. If Bo is right, this could be a big game for him. We also have to assume Tim White will get things figured out at some point, though his early-season struggles have dominated the headlines around this team. Perhaps a matchup against the Redblacks’ secondary is just what he needs to get back on track.

This has all the makings of a wild CFL game in which every possession that doesn’t end in a touchdown feels like a missed opportunity. It should be a fun way to close Week 4, with the veteran QB just edging out the young up-and-comer.

The picks: Hamilton -104 and over 51.5