July 17, 2019

Weekly Predictor: Can the Als keep it rolling?

The Canadian Press

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Week 6 of the CFL season has three teams you can put in the desperate file, and three teams that continue to establish themselves as the best in the West.

It all starts Thursday with what many are expecting to be a cake walk for the Calgary Stampeders when they host the Toronto Argonauts. Toronto still sits without a win, while the Stamps are trying to bounce back after a close loss to Hamilton last week.

Friday night has the Ottawa REDBLACKS visiting Winnipeg. Two weeks ago, the teams faced off in a battle of two teams without losses. Now the REDBLACKS have lost two straight, while Winnipeg continues to roll with a 4-0 start to the season. It also marks Jonathon Jennings first start at quarterback for Ottawa as he’ll try to show well with Dominique Davis injured.

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Two weeks ago, Saturday’s game against the Montreal Alouettes and Edmonton Eskimos would have had some worried how ugly it could get. Now Montreal has won two straight and it’s getting tougher and tougher to pick the Eskimos. Edmonton is the favourite, as they should be. But this one is going to be close.

The week ends in Saskatchewan, with the BC Lions and the Roughriders both looking to stay in the race in the west. Both teams have just one win. We could also see Emmanuel Arceneaux‘s debut as a Rider against his old team. Solomon Elimimian is chomping at the bit to get to Saturday’s kickoff. BC on the other hand is just trying to figure out how to block for Mike Reilly.

Here are my picks for Week 6.

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Toronto at Calgary
Thursday | 9:00 p.m. ET

LeoVegas Odds
Favourite: Calgary (-12.5)
O/U: 52.5 points

Can the Stampeders keep the Argonauts winless? (Geoff Robins/CFL.ca)

The Argonauts stumble into Calgary to face Nick Arbuckle‘s Stampeders. The Stamps were right there with a pretty good Hamilton team as Arbuckle shows he has the poise to handle things with Bo Levi Mitchell on the shelf.

Special teams was the let down for the Stamps and it’ll be interesting to see how they look on a short week. We’ve already seen BC and Saskatchewan falter with five days between games recently.

Toronto is just hoping to find some sort of spark.  They just hope anything can get the season moving in a positive direction.

But this matchup doesn’t favour Toronto at all.

PICK: CALGARY (100% confidence bonus)

Ottawa at Winnipeg
Friday | 8:30 p.m. ET

LeoVegas Odds
Favourite: Winnipeg (-10.5)
O/U: 54.5 points

Jonathon Jennings will make his REDBLACKS debut this week against Winnipeg (OttawaREDBLACKS.com)

So we’ll see if Jonathon Jennings can establish himself as a starting quarterback again in the league. Many have their doubts after losing the starting job to Dominique Davis in training camp, but Jennings has won plenty of games in his career and should be motivated on Friday.

Winnipeg showed the league in the last two weeks that they are the class of the CFL and Ottawa should be ready for the run game after the Bombers ate them alive two weeks ago on the ground. Although, Matt Nichols did leave that game early to allow Chris Streveler to showcase his running ability behind centre.

Ottawa is also coming in with plenty of injury problems, while it appears the Bombers may get a player back or two, including linebacker Adam Bighill

PICK: WINNIPEG (85% confidence bonus)

Edmonton at Montreal
Saturday | 4:00 p.m. ET

LeoVegas Odds
Favourite: Edmonton (-6.5)
O/U: 54.5 points

Vernon Adams Jr. hopes to make it three-straight for the Alouettes (The Canadian Press)

I’ve been back and forth on this pick all week. Montreal looks strong. They look like they are getting a bit of a swagger and in Week 1, they were right in the game in Edmonton.

Five weeks later, the Eskimos continue to show they can air it out and have a pretty balanced attack with C.J. Gable on the ground. We’ll see how the impact of offensive lineman Matt O’Donnell’s injury will have on the offensive line to protect Trevor Harris this week.

But I still believe the Eskimos have shown to have too many weapons that opponents have trouble containing them all consistently.

PICK: EDMONTON (25% confidence bonus)

BC at Saskatchewan
Saturday | 7:00 p.m. ET

LeoVegas Odds
Favourite: Saskatchewan (-5.5)
O/U: 50.5 points

Mike Reilly and the Lions will be looking for win number two on Saturday night (The Canadian Press)

It’s difficult to say two one win teams could be the game of the week but the home and home set for the Lions and Roughriders will be key for both teams to keep themselves out of the basement and still in the race in the West Division.

The big mismatch in this one is the Riders strong defensive line against the Lions weak offensive line. Loins offensive coordinator Jarious Jackson has his work cut out for him to try to keep Mike Reilly on his feet and moving the ball.

Saskatchewan wants to know that Cody Fajardo‘s struggles last time out against Calgary wasn’t the QB getting figured out by defences and that he can bounce back this week. After a bye week, the Riders should be fresh and hungry at home.

The Lions should feel disrespected and equally hungry to prove the doubters wrong.

PICK: SASKATCHEWAN (50% confidence bonus)

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Week 6 lineup: