Prediction Time: CFL.ca writers make their Week 8 picks
TORONTO — Heading into a full slate of Week 8 action, there are a pair of teams who could breeze to victories.
The CFL.ca writers have all picked the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Montreal Alouettes to win in their respective matchups.
Hamilton will travel to Saskatchewan to begin the Dane Evans era against the Roughriders while the Calgary Stampeders welcome the Edmonton Eskimos to McMahon Stadium for the first installment of the Battle of Alberta in 2019.
Here are the CFL writer picks for Week 8.
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WPG at TOR
We open the week with a matchup between a team who’s coming off their first loss of the season and another that has nothing to lose.
The Bombers jumped out to a 5-0 start to the campaign but were handed their first loss of the season in Week 7 at the hands of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Toronto, on the other hand, hasn’t tasted victory yet this season and is coming home having dropped every game on their Western road trip in convincing fashion – the last one being a 26-0 defeat to the Edmonton Eskimos. McLeod Bethel-Thompson will start under centre again for the Boatmen while running back James Wilder Jr will sit out his second consecutive contest.
Matt Nichols threw for 209 yards and three touchdowns while Andrew Harris rumbled for 116 yards and a touchdown against the Argos defence the last time these two teams met one another in Week 5. They’ll be aiming to replicate that success this time around.
Writers: 100% WPG
Fans: 97% WPG
LeoVegas: WPG -14.5
HAM at SSK
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats got their biggest win of the year in Week 7, beating the then-undefeated Blue Bombers at Tim Hortons Field. However, it came at a cost, as quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was lost for the season after he tore his ACL.
Dane Evans takes over under centre for the Tabbies in Week 8. He completed 13 of 25 passes for 94 yards against the Bombers, and while he didn’t have a touchdown pass, he did what was necessary to help his squad to a victory. Brandon Banks will miss this game as he’s been placed on the one-game injured list, so someone will have to be a spark plug for the Tabbies in the receiving game.
Saskatchewan is being led by a quarterback who ran with the opportunity he was presented in Cody Fajardo. He tossed for 169 yards and a touchdown in the team’s 45-18 victory over the BC Lions in Week 7. The star of the show was running back William Powell, who will be trying to best last game’s 146-yard, three-touchdown output in this matchup.
Writers: 66% SSK
Fans: 66% SSK
LeoVegas: SSK -2.5
OTT at MTL
It’s been a rough stretch for the REDBLACKS, who have lost their last four games and are looking to avoid a fifth against one of the league’s hottest teams in the Alouettes.
Ottawa held the lead late in Week 7 against the Stampeders, but a late-game call to concede a safety allowed Calgary to win the game on a field goal in the closing seconds. Jonathon Jennings had his best game of the season, completing an efficient 15 of 18 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately for him, Dominique Davis is once again healthy and should assume the starting duties for this game.
Montreal comes into this game off a bye week. They’ve won their last three games and quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. has been a catalyst for the surging Als. William Stanback has also been a stud in the run game, registering 75-plus yards on the ground in all but one of his appearances this season.
The writers are unanimous across the board on this game, but with Davis back under centre, perhaps the REDBLACKS could play spoiler on Friday night. We’ll have to wait and see.
Writers: 100% MTL
Fans: 85% MTL
LeoVegas: MTL -7
EDM at CGY
Familiar foes will renew pleasantries for the first time this season as the Edmonton Eskimos travel to Calgary for a showdown with the Stampeders.
Both teams are coming off victories – but one certainly had an easier time than the other.
Edmonton is looking for its second straight win after a 26-0 win over the Argos at home in Week 7. Trevor Harris threw for 298 yards while Shaq Cooper rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown while adding 48 yards receiving on five catches. C.J. Gable should return to action, giving the Esks another weapon to work with.
The Stampeders got the win in Ottawa, but it came down to a Rene Paredes field goal to walk it off. The offence failed to get into the end zone, but Nick Arbuckle played great, completing 81 percent of his passes for 370 yards. Calgary also got 70-plus yard receiving games from Markeith Ambles, Reggie Begelton, and Eric Rogers, as well as a solid performance from backup running back Terry Williams – who should start for the injured Ka’Deem Carey in this contest.
These teams meet twice more following this game, so the opener should set the table for what’s to come for the rest of this series.
Writers: 66% EDM
Fans: 55% CGY
LeoVegas: CGY -1