Edmonton Eskimos (9-6) at Toronto Argonauts (4-11)
Friday, 6:30 p.m.
The Esks face an unpredictable Argos squad not destined for the postseason, yet one that trapped the Stampeders last week. Coming off a win over Winnipeg, Edmonton is tied with B.C. atop the West Division. It could be a battle of running backs as Cory Boyd had a sudden burst last week, and Edmonton’s Jerome Messam is 151 yards shy of 1,000 – a mark no Canadian rusher has reached in a decade. Quarterbacks Steven Jyles and Ricky Ray beware: Toronto cornerback Byron Parker needs an interception return for a touchdown to become the CFL all-time leader in that category, while the Esks defence picked off three passes last week.
The Pick Edmonton
Saskatchewan Roughriders (4-11) at Calgary Stampeders (8-7)
Friday, 9:30 p.m.
The Stampeders are in the West playoffs but are so disenchanted with their play backup quarterback Drew Tate has drawn his first CFL start. Tate, a 27-year-old Texan, has played well in brief periods this year, but starting a game is new territory and makes him a question mark. The Riders will stick with Darian Durant, who has been dogged by a season’s worth of inconsistencies. If Durant is on his game, receivers Weston Dressler and Chris Getzlaf can be a handful for Calgary’s defence.
The Pick Calgary
Montreal Alouettes (10-5) at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (9-6)
Saturday, 3 p.m.
The best of the East Division faceoff in the tie-breaking game of their season series, with first place hanging in the balance. Despite their spectacular start this year, the Blue Bombers have lost three of their last four games. They dominated Hamilton two weeks ago, but followed that with a sloppy loss to Edmonton. The Als started slowly but a four-game win streak now has them atop the division. Keep an eye on Als receiver Jamel Richardson, who is within one game of matching the all-time CFL record for most 100-yard games in a single season (11).
The Pick Montreal
B.C. Lions (9-6) at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (7-8)
Saturday, 7 p.m.
There are some interesting subplots to this clash of the cats. B.C. receiver Arland Bruce III makes his return to Hamilton, to face the team that traded him away in August. The B.C. offence is purring; the Hamilton defence is hobbled by injuries. The Lions are 5-3 on the road; the Ticats are 5-3 at home and look committed to shuffling between quarterbacks Kevin Glenn and Quinton Porter. This could be a high-scoring affair, which plays nicely into the hands of B.C. pivot Travis Lulay and his high-flying teammates.
The Pick B.C.
LAST WEEK 2-2; SEASON 35-25
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