Edmonton Eskimos (6-4) at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (5-5)
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
The Ticats’ offensive line was a patchwork offering in their 30-point loss to Montreal last week. Marwan Hage returns at centre but tackle Brian Simmons may not play. Another possible injury scratch is star linebacker Markeith Knowlton. The Eskimos are smarting, too, after their beating from Calgary and keen to rebound. Offensively, receiver Fred Stamps should be better after last week’s return from the injured ranks while cornerback Rod Williams’ recovery from a sore hamstring will upgrade Edmonton’s defence. The Eskimos beat Hamilton by 18 points in their first meeting, but that was way back in Week 2.
The Pick: Hamilton
Toronto Argonauts (2-8) at Saskatchewan Roughriders (3-7)
Saturday, 4 p.m.
The Roughriders have won two straight since losing to the Argos in Week 8, benefiting greatly from the coaching change. Expect pivot Darian Durant and receiver Chris Getzlaf to flourish even more this week under Miller and bet on Andy Fantuz getting further involved. While new Toronto quarterback Steven Jyles will have another week of practice under his belt and is keen to show his mobility and connection with receiver Jeremaine Copeland, he’s still without starting left tackle Rob Murphy and leading the CFL’s worst offence in scoring, passing and total yards, a group that keeps settling for field goals.
The Pick: Saskatchewan
B.C. Lions (4-6) Calgary Stampeders (7-3)
Saturday, 7 p.m.
The Lions have become a defensive force led by a ferocious pass rush (Keron Williams, Aaron Hunt, Khalif Mitchell) and middle linebacker Solomon Elimimian, the league’s leading tackler. Then there’s the fun part: watching Lions’ defensive back Korey Banks work against Calgary slotback Nik Lewis. Both men are physical, both are talkers. Look for fireworks. The Stamps will make personnel changes on defence due to injury. Johnnie Dixon comes in to play cover linebacker while Brian Bulcke will be added for depth on the line. B.C. has won three of its last four games; Calgary has won five of its last six.
The Pick: Calgary
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (7-3) at Montreal Alouettes (6-4)
Sunday, 1 p.m.
This game will decide temporary possession of first place in the East. The Bombers are coming off two straight losses and suffering from key injuries. Quarterback Buck Pierce is day-to-day with bruised ribs, and middle linebacker Joe Lobendahn -- one of their best defensive players -- is done for the season with a torn ACL. Still ranked No.1 in the CFL, the Winnipeg defence has given up seven touchdown passes in the last two games. Montreal looked like its old championship self last week against Hamilton, playing its most complete game of the year and seems primed to take advantage of struggling Winnipeg.
The Pick: Montreal
Last week 2-2, Season 26-14
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