Wednesday, September 21, 2016
CFL THIS WEEK PRESENTED BY DRAFTKINGS
An important game for both teams with Ottawa (5-5-1) standing second in the East Division ahead of Toronto (5-7). They're also playing to avoid the crossover with Edmonton (5-7) standing fourth in the West Division. The winner of this contest cements the season series 2-1, which is the tie-breaker should they end the season tied. Former Argo Trevor Harris completed 28-of-31 passes (CFL-record 90.3 per cent) and 392 yards in Ottawa's 30-20 win at Toronto on July 13. Dan LeFevour makes a third straight start for Toronto, which is 3-2 on the road. Ottawa is 1-3-1 at home.
Pick - Ottawa
B.C. AT EDMONTON, FRIDAY
Edmonton (5-7) has dropped three straight, including last week's 26-23 overtime decision to Saskatchewan. CFL passing leader Mike Reilly threw for 306 yards and a TD but a fourth-quarter interception helped the Riders force overtime. Adarius Bowman recorded nine catches for 152 yards but was stripped of the ball by Ed Gainey on a second-quarter defensive TD. B.C. (8-3) comes off the bye having won three straight,. Receiver Terrell Sinkfield, who joined the Lions last weekend, has practised with the starting offence this week and could see action against the Eskimos.
Pick - B.C.
WINNIPEG AT CALGARY, SATURDAY
Matt Nichols and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will try to accomplish something no other CFL team has this season: beat the Calgary Stampeders at home.
Calgary (10-1-1) hosts Winnipeg (8-4) on Saturday afternoon in a matchup between the CFL's two hottest teams. The Stampeders have won nine straight and are riding an 11-game unbeaten streak while the Bombers are 7-0 since Matt Nichols became their starting quarterback.
The Stampeders are 6-0 at McMahon Stadium, the CFL's lone unbeaten home team. But the Bombers are 5-1 away from Investors Group Field, tied with B.C. Lions for the league's best road record.
Two factors have contributed to Winnipeg's winning ways: ball security and a rugged defence.
Nichols has thrown just one interception since becoming the starter - with eight TDs - and Winnipeg has a league-low five overall. The Bombers have also committed just 18 turnovers, second only to Calgary (13).
The Bombers have also scored 110 points off turnovers, tops in the CFL.
Trouble is, the Stampeders rarely beat themselves. Not only does their offence boast the CFL's second-leading passer in Bo Levi Mitchell (3,936 yards, league-best 22 TDs) but also the top rusher in Jerome Messam (739 yards, 5.2-yard average, eight touchdowns).
Pick - Calgary
HAMILTON AT SASKATCHEWAN, SATURDAY
Hamilton (6-6) sits atop the East Division after last week's 20-17 home win over Montreal and earned a 53-7 victory over Saskatchewan (2-10) at Tim Hortons Field on Aug. 20. But the Riders are coming off an overtime win over Edmonton, thanks to Darian Durant's TD run in the extra session. Receiver Chad Owens, offensive lineman Peter Diakowski, safety Courtney Stephen and running back Ross Scheuerman are all out for the Ticats with receiver Luke Tasker and running back C.J. Gable uncertain. But quarterback Zach Collaros is healthy and defensive lineman John Chick returns to Regina for the first time since being released this off-season by the Riders.
Pick - Hamilton
Last week: 3-1
(Canadian Press/Dan Ralph)