- Free Agency
Both BC and Montreal are in a ‘win now’ scenario for the remainder of the season, as both teams try to crack the playoffs. The addition of DeVier Posey certainly helps strengthen a beaten up receiving corps with the Lions, and Antonio Pipkin has made the Als interesting to watch the past few weeks.
CFL Simulator returned this week, showing that the Stampeders and Tiger-Cats have the best odds of meeting in the 106th Grey Cup in Edmonton. It’s only Week 14, but guess what? Stamps vs. Tabbies at Tim Hortons Field! The two teams have only met once, and that was way back in Week 1 of the season.
Total CFL Pick ‘Em is back in 2018 and if you can pick the winners with regularity, you’ll have a chance to win $5,000. *View rules regarding streaks and prizing.
With the first game tabbed to kick off on Friday, here are my picks for Week 12 of the CFL season.
Friday | 7:30 p.m. ET
Antonio Pipkin remains the starter and has allowed the Montreal Alouettes to start gaining a sense of belief in themselves that maybe they can climb into a playoff spot.
The biggest reasons the Alouettes have been successful in their two game winning streak. The offence has been converting second downs at a higher clip than they have all season and similar story for the defence. The defence gave up over 500-yards in the four games previous to the win streak and under 350 in the two wins. That results in the Alouettes winning the time of possession battle for the first time since week one.
The B.C. Lions come in after a big win over Ottawa and a chance to tie Winnipeg for the final playoff spot. The playoff carrot is right in front of them and within reach.
DeVier Posey’s addition is a welcome one as the Lions needed a playmaker on offence after Emmanuel Arceneaux was injured and it’s good news that Travis Lulay is back after taking a hard hit last week.
As much as I like the Pipkin story, and almost talked myself into taking the upset with the Alouettes at home. I have to side with the B.C. Lions.
PICK: B.C. (25% confidence)
Saturday | 4:00 p.m. ET
A potential Grey Cup preview the way these two teams are going. The Tiger-Cats are finding their groove again and the Stampeders just lost a thriller against the Eskimos.
If I’m the Stampeders, who just allowed Mike Reilly to throw for three and run for three touchdowns, I’d be concerned about the equally mobile Jeremiah Masoli. Masoli has been airing it out this season and now has a ground game that compliments the pass.
The Tiger-Cats defence is now slouch either allowing the second fewest points and yards and is best in terms of passing defence. Bo Levi Mitchell isn’t going to have an easy day on the road.
I’m siding with the home side on this one and the Stampeders lose their second straight on the road.
PICK: HAMILTON (25% confidence)
Saturday | 9:30 p.m. ET
Zach Collaros plays, so the Riders win.
This should feel like a statement game from the Ottawa REDBLACKS perspective after two let downs against below .500 teams in which Ottawa has scored just 25 total points in those two games.
Where did the offence go that scored over 40 points three times in the first half of the season? Good luck doing that against Saskatchewan, however, and in Regina nonetheless.
The Roughriders got a sigh of relief that Collaros is healthy and will start as the offence performs better, though not quite to the satisfaction of their coordinator quite yet. But Collaros does get wins.
I believe we see a better Ottawa team, but I can’t see the Riders momentum stalling out under the lights at home.
PICK: SASKATCHEWAN (66% confidence)
QUARTERBACK – Jeremiah Masoli – The Hamilton Tiger-Cats pivot is against a tough matchup here but after seeing Mike Reilly put up big numbers against the Stampeders, I think Masoli’s traits of being able to take off and run and extend the play could fit well with another big night. You know he’s likely going over 300-yards.
RUNNING BACKS – Tre Mason / Jeremiah Johnson – Mason had over 100-yards rushing as the Roughriders are going more and more to Mason. On a chilly and maybe wet evening in Regina, why not run down the defence? Jeremiah Johnson is in a favourable matchup with the Lions likely wanting to dictate the play and own time of possession on the road in Montreal.
RECEIVERS/FLEX – Luke Tasker / Jordan Williams-Lambert / Reggie Begelton – Target machines are all three of these players for their respective offences. Begelton showed he can play with the best of them out of Calgary’s receiving group as targets went his way after Kamar Jorden went down. He showed Mitchell can rely on him. Tasker and Williams-Lambert are QB favourites on key downs. As much as I’d like to play Brandon Banks, the budget just doesn’t work this week.