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Thursday, October 12, 2017

WEEK 17 CFL PICKS 2017


CALGARY AT HAMILTON, FRIDAY
(Stampeders favoured by 9.5-points)

Hamilton is 4-2 under interim head coach June Jones, whose first decision was to promote backup Jeremiah Masoli to starting quarterback ahead of incumbent Zach Collaros. Masoli threw for 338 yards and two TDs while running for 48 yards in the Ticats' 30-13 road win over Winnipeg. On July 29, Calgary (12-1-1) throttled the Ticats 60-1 and is coming off the bye week following a 59-11 victory over Montreal. The Stamps are 5-1-1 both on the road and against the East Divison this year.

Prediction: Calgary.
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OTTAWA AT SASKATCHEWAN, FRIDAY
(Riders favoured by 3-points)

It was a triumphant return for Trevor Harris.

After missing nearly a month with a shoulder injury, the veteran quarterback came back to rally Ottawa past the B.C. Lions 30-25 last weekend. Harris helped the Redblacks erase a 19-point deficit to secure the victory, passing for 380 yards and three TDs.

With Harris back, Ottawa's offence now becomes much more balanced and therefore more dangerous. William Powell is running well and the Redblacks possess a deep and potent receiving corps as Greg Ellingson (seven catches, 149 yards, two TDs) and Diontae Spencer (three catches, 116 yards, one TD) excelled against the Lions.

And that's the challenge facing the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who host Ottawa on Friday night.

Defensively, the Riders can't concentrate solely on Harris because of the threat Powell presents. What's more likely to be their approach is to first try to shut Powell down so Ottawa becomes one-dimensional in its attack.

And while Saskatchewan has managed just 22 sacks this season, Willie Jefferson has eight to stand second overall in the CFL. And defensive back Ed Gainey has a league-best eight interceptions.

Saskatchewan is 4-2 at home this year but the Redblacks are a solid 4-4 on the road. Where the Riders hold a big advantage is their 5-1 record versus East Division competition while Ottawa is 2-6-1 against Western rivals.

Prediction: Saskatchewan
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BC AT WINNIPEG, SATURDAY
(No line set)

It seems Winnipeg (10-4) will have starting quarterback Matt Nichols back for this one. He suffered an apparent hand injury last week against Hamilton but practised this week. That's important because the Bombers can cement a playoff berth with a win. B.C. (6-8) has lost three straight games and six of its last seven. A loss to the Bombers would eliminate the Lions from playoff contention.

Prediction: Winnipeg
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TORONTO AT EDMONTON, SATURDAY
(Eskimos favoured by 7-points)

Edmonton (8-6) snapped a six-game losing streak Monday against Montreal. More importantly, star quarterback Mike Reilly is expected to play after suffering a lower-body injury. One of those losses was a 34-26 decision to Toronto (7-8) as James Wilder Jr. ran for 190 yards and a TD in that game. He left Saturday's loss to Saskatchewan in the fourth quarter and it's unclear if he'll play Saturday.

Prediction: Toronto.

Last week: 1-3.

Overall: 45-19-1.

(Canadian Press)

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