Weekly Predictor: Standing with the Stamps
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Week 13 features the first Saturday tripleheader of the season but before we get there, you get the BC Lions making the long trip east to visit the Montreal Alouettes.
Both teams are coming off a bye week and we’ll see if the Lions offensive line looks any different after the change of coaches from Bryan Chiu to Kelly Bates.
If the Lions have any hope of changing the fate of their team, the biggest thing that needs to improve is the protection of quarterback Mike Reilly.
The Alouettes, meanwhile, comes in winning five of their last seven games and are looking at pulling ahead of Ottawa and Toronto for the race of a home playoff game.
Saturday’s tripleheader starts off in Ottawa with Jonathon Jennings now leading the REDBLACKS passing attack against the Toronto Argonauts, who are coming off back to back crushing losses.
Toronto has shown they can compete but can’t finish off games to get their second win of the season. Toronto needs a similar miracle to BC to make this season not a complete write off. This is also the first of three games between Ottawa and Toronto in the final two months of the season.
Then Saturday may get nasty with the Labour Day rematches in Winnipeg and Edmonton.
The Bombers are looking for revenge after a walk-off field goal by Brett Lauther broke Bomber hearts in the Queen City this past Sunday.
But the Riders win also means the 7-3 Riders have a chance to stake claim to first in the West Division by beating the 8-3 Bombers in Winnipeg. The Riders swept the home and home set last season and it’s been rare to see them do it two years in a row.
The tripleheader Saturday ends in Edmonton where the Battle of Alberta is looking more and more like the Eskimos are starting to feel a little desperation to keep pace in the intense West Division.
A loss on Saturday would put the Eskimos at 6-6 and two games back of third with only six games left for Edmonton.
Calgary, on the other hand, has reminded the rest of the league that with Bo Levi Mitchell back at the helm the Stampeders become an instant Grey Cup contender.
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BC at Montreal
Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Favourite: Montreal (-6.5)
O/U: 51.5 points
The bottom line to this game is you have a team that believes in each other and another one whose confidence is fragile.
Vernon Adams Jr. wins football games and the chemistry is building across his receiving corps and the defence of the Alouettes is starting to play some solid football.
BC can’t protect Mike Reilly and I can’t believe Kelly Bates has a magic wand to all of a sudden make the Lions offensive line turn the corner this quickly. I expect another long night for Reilly.
PICK: MONTREAL (80 confidence bonus)
Toronto at Ottawa
Saturday, 1:00 p.m. ET
Favourite: Ottawa (-5.5)
O/U: 51.5 points
Davis to Jennings to Davis to Jennings. When have we seen flip flopping at the quarterback position ever work?
If you can’t decide on one guy, sometimes that’s a good indication you don’t have THE guy. Ottawa comes off the bye week after getting embarrassed in Saskatchewan, while Toronto has shown some promise of late.
The Argonauts are fighting for each other (sometimes too literally) and that’s a good indication for a team that only has one win on the season that better times are ahead.
I expect win No. 2 for the Argos this weekend.
PICK: TORONTO (33 confidence bonus)
Saskatchewan at Winnipeg
Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET
Favourite: Winnipeg (-1.5)
O/U: 48.5 points
I’ve been losing sleep over this pick. On one hand you have a Saskatchewan team that admits it didn’t play well in the Labour Day Classic and left too much out there that allowed the Bombers to take a late lead. Yet, the Bombers are still without two of their key offensive weapons.
On the other hand, the Bombers looked to gain confidence late in the game and with some bad blood boiling over from Mike O’Shea towards Riders Craig Dickenson. Are the Bombers going to play closer to the edge and have a little more fire out of the gate? Also, Cody Fajardo isn’t running the offence as smoothly with the crowd noise in Winnipeg.
It was only a one point win for the Riders in the LDC, and I think that favours the home side in the Banjo Bowl.
PICK: WINNIPEG (10 confidence bonus)
Calgary at Edmonton
Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET
Favourite: Edmonton (-3.5)
O/U: 47.5 points
Bo Levi Mitchell is back and after the way the Stampeders handled business in his return against the Eskimos, you can’t think anything but here the Stamps go again.
Doubted, down but never out are the Stampeders. Even the defence is picking up for Calgary going into the back half of the season and it’s starting to feel this could turn from a four horse race in the West to a three horse race with Edmonton dropping off the pace.
However, Edmonton could flip the script in the rematch at Commonwealth. The problem in Edmonton has become the inability to score touchdowns over the last two weeks. Kudos to Sean Whyte for being exceptional at field goals but three points to end drives will not win in the West and will not beat Calgary.
The Stampeders were so impressive that with Bo’s second game back, I can’t imagine anything but more improvement.
PICK: CALGARY (50 confidence bonus)
Week 13 lineup: