B.C. Lions (8-4) at
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
(2-10), Friday, 8 p.m. (EDT)
The bottom-of-the-league Bombers continue to wade through the muck of a troubling season, having lost two straight and nine of their past 10. They are likely to start Max Hall at QB, but their erratic succession of pivots could also have Justin Goltz on the field. Backup Thomas DeMarco will start for the Lions in place of the injured Travis Lulay, hoping to build on the magic he discovered in last week’s dramaticccomeback victory in Regina. Former Bomber Buck Pierce could enter if DeMarco struggles. The Lions have strained to find consistency, but are still just a game back of the West-division lead.
The pick: B.C.
Calgary Stampeders (9-3)
at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (6-6),
Saturday, 6 p.m. (EDT)
The Stamp lead the West and have the CFL’s best record, despite last week’s loss to Toronto, which ended a four-game win streak. Kevin Glenn was inconsistent under centre and intermittently replaced by Bo Levi Mitchell and Drew Tate. Although running back Jon Cornish hasn’t scored in four games, he’s still a headache for defensive co-ordinators. Calgary’s pass defence was porous last week, which may help Hamilton’s pass-happy offence. Henry Burris, the league’s leading passer, cooled last week, but a brilliant fake field goal made up for it along with four field goals from new kicker Brett Lauther. The Ticats hunger to gain on the Argos in the East.
The pick: Hamilton
Toronto Argonauts (8-4)
at Edmonton Eskimos (3-9),
Saturday, 9 p.m. (EDT)
The East-leading Argos are riding a three-game win streak on the road and look to secure a playoff spot. Their latest victory was over the league-leading Stamps behind a big showing from increasingly confident backup pivot Zach Collaros. The Esks are coming off two straight wins – albeit both over Winnipeg – and look like they could run down a crossover playoff spot. Edmonton’s Mike Reilly is another inexperienced quarterback turning heads, especially when hitting slotback Fred Stamps. The Argos have remained in Alberta all week, so they’ll either be weary from the road or galvanized by a lot of team-bonding time.
The pick: Toronto
(8-4) at Montreal Alouettes (4-8), Sunday, 1 p.m. (EDT)
Not long ago, the Riders were unbeaten and the toast of the CFL, but now they’re on a three-game losing skid. Since star running back Kory Sheets suffered a knee injury, the offence is off kilter and leaning heavily on the arm of quarterback Darian Durant. The Alouettes’ defence can’t let up late in the game as it did in losing to the Ticats last week, nor can the team expect to win with such a weak running game. Montreal, just 2-4 at home, desperately needs every win possible to keep alive the hope of a playoff spot.
The pick: SaskatchewanReport Typo/Error