Hamilton Tiger-Cats (5-5)
at Calgary Stampeders (8-2)
Friday, 9 p.m. (EDT)
The Stamps have won three in a row and seven of their last eight, while the Ticats earned their first huge win of 2013 over B.C. last week. Henry Burris, the CFL’s leading passer, could eclipse 50,000 career passing yards this week (he has 49,782) and bask in toppling his former team in front of Calgary friends and family. After a sluggish start to the year, Hamilton is finally rolling, but must at least slow the buzz saw that is Jon Cornish, the league’s second-leading rusher. Barring vast improvement to Kevin Glenn’s health, quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell will make his second consecutive start for the CFL’s hottest team, another chance to show the Stamps perhaps he is worth protecting in the expansion draft.
The pick: Calgary
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2-8)
at Edmonton Eskimos (1-9)
Saturday, 6:30 p.m. (EDT)
A pair of last-place teams get together. Edmonton is the only CFL team without a single win at home (0-5). The sorry Esks haven’t won since July 7 – eight losses in a row. The Bombers were also riding an embarrassingly long losing skid until they pulled a surprise upset of league-leading Saskatchewan on the road last week. The Bombers made a dramatic move this week, trading away former starting quarterback Buck Pierce to B.C. in exchange for receiver Akeem Foster. Maybe it will help Winnipeg’s passing attack, which currently ranks last in the CFL.
The pick: Winnipeg
Toronto Argonauts (6-4)
at Saskatchewan Roughriders (8-2)
Saturday, 9:30 p.m. (EDT)
The Riders suffered an uncharacteristic loss to an inferior foe last week – six giveaways and letting quarterback Darian Durant get sacked eight times – leading one to assume the team is angry and refocused for this one.
Toronto, on the other hand, had a character-building, come-from-behind road victory over Montreal with young QB Zach Collaros standing in for Ricky Ray (shoulder).
Both of these teams stand atop their respective divisions with little breathing room. Collaros won’t have star receiver Chad Owens (ribs), but running back Chad Kackert is likely to return from a knee injury.
The pick: Saskatchewan
Montreal Alouettes (4-6)
at B.C. Lions (6-4)
Sunday, 4:30 p.m. (EDT)
Think back to the great theatre that unfolded the last time these two met in Week 9: The Als stunning the Lions 39-38 in a dramatic comeback staged by rookie quarterback Tanner Marsh. This time, they meet in Vancouver, where the Lions are a CFL-best 5-0. Marsh hasn’t showed quite the same poise since, suffering three picks against Toronto last week.
The Lions are allowing Travis Lulay to take a repeated pounding lately, but somehow the warrior quarterback keeps standing up. The Leos have fallen to third in the West, and better find consistency soon, before the division title gets too far out of reach.
The pick: B.C.