Thursday, August 18, 2016
CFL THIS WEEK PRESENTED BY DRAFTKINGS
Henry Burris gets the start for Ottawa (4-2-1). Last season's CFL outstanding player threw for 341 yards and two TDs in the Redblacks' 23-20 home win over Edmonton on Aug. 6. Ottawa won the first meeting with Montreal (2-5) 28-13 on June 30, a game that saw Als receiver Duron Carter bump Redblacks coach Rick Campbell on the field. Carter received a one-game suspension for the incident but appealed it and will be eligible to play until an arbitrator makes a final ruling. Then again, even with Carter, the Alouettes are averaging a league-low 18.6 points per game.
Pick - Ottawa
CALGARY AT BC, FRIDAY
There'll be more at stake than top spot in the West Division when Calgary Stampeders and B.C. Lions meet Friday night at B.C Place Stadium.
Calgary (5-1-1) has the CFL's top record, just ahead of B.C. (5-2). But the teams have split their previous two meetings, meaning the winner not only assumes first in the West but also clinches the season series, which is the tie-breaker should they end the season tied.
Calgary is unbeaten in the six games since its loss to B.C. Mitchell leads the CFL in TD strikes (12) and is second in passing (2,194 yards) with only four interceptions.
Running back Jerome Messam of Brampton, Ont., is the CFL's second-leading rusher with 431 yards (5.8-yard average) and is tied for the league lead in TDs (three).
B.C. has won two straight and sports the CFL's highest-scoring offence at 32.3 points per game. Since being pulled from a 25-14 home loss to Toronto on July 7, quarterback Jonathon Jennings has thrown for 300-plus yards in four straight games with 10 TDs.
Jennings is third among CFL passers with 2,048 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions but Calgary's defence is allowing a league-low 21.7 points per game.
Pick - Calgary
EDMONTON AT TORONTO, SATURDAY
Home field hasn't exactly been an advantage for Toronto (4-3). The Argos are just 1-3 at BMO Field and come off a 34-17 loss there to Winnipeg last week. Logan Kilgore threw five interceptions in his second CFL start but remains the Argos' starter. Defensively, Toronto had difficulty containing receiver Clarence Denmark, who had seven catches for 195 yards and two TDs. Edmonton (3-4) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 23-12 win over Montreal, holding the Alouettes without a touchdown. Quarterback Mike Reilly is the league's passing leader and has two game-breaking receivers in Adarius Bowman and Derel Walker.
Pick - Edmonton
SASKATCHEWAN AT HAMILTON, SATURDAY
Hamilton (3-4) has lost two straight and is 0-2 at Tim Hortons Field but quarterback Zach Collaros makes a second consecutive start. Collaros threw for 331 yards and two TDs last week in his season debut, a 45-38 road loss to B.C. Collaros had been out with a knee injury suffered last September versus Edmonton and while he showed some rust, Collaros did rally the Ticats from a 32-12 half-time deficit. Saskatchewan (1-6) has lost three straight, including a 19-10 decision last week to Calgary. Darian Durant completed 24-of-37 passes for 267 yards and ran for a game-high 74 yards but the Riders are averaging just 19.7 points per game and 0-3 on the road.
Pick - Hamilton
Last week: 2-2
(Canadian Press/Dan Ralph)