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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

CFL THIS WEEK

HAMILTON 0-1 at WINNIPEG 1-0, Thursday, 6:30 pm

At Winnipeg, the Bombers (1-0) are home following a 30-26 season-opening road win over Saskatchewan. Quarterback Drew Willy had 325 passing yards and three TDs while Paris Cotton ran for 108 yards. The defence, however, allowed over 200 yards rushing. Hamilton opened with a heartbreaking 24-23 road loss to the Calgary Stampeders in a Grey Cup rematch. Zach Collaros threw for 281 yards while the Ticats (0-1) intercepted Grey Cup MVP Bo Levi Mitchell three times. Brandon Banks had a 67-yard punt return TD.

Pick - Hamilton
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CALGARY 1-0 at MONTREAL 0-1, Friday 5:30 pm

At Montreal, Calgary (1-0) needed Rene Paredes' 50-yard field goal on the final play of the game to edge Hamilton and was also buoyed by Keon Raymond's 97-yard interception return TD. Despite throwing three interceptions, Mitchell found Jeff Fuller nine times for 148 yards, earning Fuller player-of-the-week honours. Cornish, the CFL's top rusher last year, had 70 yards on 13 carries. With Crompton ailing Bridge could make his first CFL start for Montreal (0-1) but doing so against the defending CFL champion makes it an even more daunting task.

Pick - Calgary
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B.C. 0-0 at OTTAWA 1-0, Saturday, 4:00 pm

Just two weeks into the CFL season, Henry Burris and the Ottawa Redblacks are already closing on a franchise record.

On Saturday night, the Redblacks host the B.C. Lions in their home opener looking for a second straight victory. What makes that noteworthy is Ottawa won just two games all of last year in their inaugural season.

Ottawa opened its 2015 season with a 20-16 win over the Montreal Alouettes, the club's first-ever road victory. It was a rather ordinary opener for Burris, who completed 23-of-36 passes for 263 yards and a TD but also three interceptions.

The Redblacks secured the win on Jeremiah Johnson's six-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. It was set up by Jovon Johnson's interception of Montreal rookie quarterback Brandon Bridge, a native of Mississauga, Ont., who was playing after both starter Jonathan Crompton and backup Dan LeFevour suffered shoulder injuries.

Last year, Ottawa ended Lions' quarterback Travis Lulay's season. Lulay made his 2014 debut against the Redblacks following off-season shoulder surgery but quickly re-injured the joint and missed the remainder of the campaign.

Pick - B.C.
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TORONTO 1-0 at SASKATCHEWAN 0-1, Sunday 1:30 pm

At Regina, veteran Kevin Glenn starts for the Riders (0-1) with incumbent Darian Durant (Achilles injury) out. Linebacker Shea Emry (neck) also likely won't play but receiver Weston Dressler and safety Tyron Brackenridge are both expected back. Last week, Toronto's Trevor Harris threw for 347 yards and three TDs versus an Edmonton defence that allowed 300 passing yards just once last year. But the Argos (1-0) will be minus kicker/punter Swayze Waters (hip flexor), the CFL's top special-teams player last year.

Pick - Saskatchewan
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Last week - 1-3.

(Canadian Press/Dan Ralph)

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