Wednesday, August 19, 2015
CFL THIS WEEK
Montreal (2-5) has scored a CFL-worst 11 offensive TDs but with rookie Rakeem Cato at quarterback, that's not surprising. Maybe the exuberance of youth can make the Als forget they're 8-26-1 all-time in Vancouver, their last win at B.C. Place coming in 2000. The Lions (3-4) lost 52-22 in Hamilton on Saturday night and a defence allowing 30.1 points per game is without standout linebacker Solomon Elimimian (Achilles), last season's league MVP and top defensive performer.
Pick - Montreal
HAMILTON AT EDMONTON, FRIDAY, 7 PM
Zach Collaros and Matt Nichols both face a formidable challenge Friday night.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats (5-2) will visit Commonwealth Stadium to face the Edmonton Eskimos (5-2). Not only is it a clash between two division leaders but also one involving two of the CFL's top defences.
Edmonton is ranked first in 14 of the CFL's 25 defensive categories, including fewest points (14.4), yards (272), points (14.4) and sacks (27). Hamilton leads in five, including being tied with the Eskimos for most interceptions (11) while being first in interception yards (386) and fewest yards rushing (73.1).
But Hamilton is second in seven other categories and has scored seven defensive touchdowns. That includes a team record-tying six on interception returns, which is one off the league mark.
Edmonton is a CFL-best 5-0 at home and 3-1 versus East Division competition. By comparison, Hamilton is 2-2 on the road, the two losses being by a combined four points.
Pick - Hamilton
CALGARY AT SASKATCHEWAN, SATURDAY, 5 PM
Saskatchewan (0-7) comes off the bye to face a Calgary (5-2) team that impressively beat Ottawa 48-3 last weekend. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw two TD passes and scored twice against the Redblacks. Five of the Riders' losses have been by a combined 14 points, including a 30-26 decision in Toronto on Aug 8 where they had three TDs called back due to penalties. Flags have been an issue as the 2013 Grey Cup champions are the league's most penalized and hurt themselves with untimely infractions.
Pick - Calgary
OTTAWA AT TORONTO, SUNDAY, 2 PM
Toronto (5-2) plays at Rogers Centre for just the second time this season. Quarterback Trevor Harris remains the starter with veteran Ricky Ray (shoulder) back on the six-game injured list. Ottawa (3-4) must forget last weekend's lopsided loss to Calgary and would receiver a big boost if receiver/returner Chris Williams returns. The Argos have habitually rallied for wins this year but if they're serious about wanting to finish atop the East, they must prevail in games like this.
Pick - Toronto
Last week: 4-0.
Overall record: 15-13