- FREE AGENCY
Welcome to our #TotalPickEm preview column.
Our record this season is 24-3 (.888), and Week 7 saw us go 4-0.
Thursday | Winnipeg at Toronto (7:00 ET)
Week 8 kicks off at BMO Field, where the winless Argos (0-6) will hope to defy the odds and upset the West-leading Bombers (5-1).
It remains to be seen who will have the keys to Toronto’s offence; with Winnipeg likely to open as a double-digit favourite, most people probably won’t bother waiting to see the Argos name their QB-1 before locking in the Bombers.
Argos RB James Wilder will also miss Thursday’s contest with a nagging injury.
PICK: Winnipeg, because the Bombers will be eager to right the ship and Toronto’s offence has gone five-plus quarters without a touchdown.
Thursday | Hamilton at Saskatchewan (9:30 ET)
All eyes will be on Regina later Thursday evening, as the resurgent Riders (3-3) host the Ticats (5-1) at Mosaic Stadium.
Saskatchewan took care of business against the last-place Lions (1-6), sweeping both ends of a home-and-home over the last two weeks; Cody Fajardo has looked decent, William Powell exploded for a rushing hat-trick last week and the defence has looked steady.
In Hamilton, Orlondo Steinauer’s team needs to adjust to life without star QB Jeremiah Masoli quickly, after he suffered a season-ending ACL injury in last week’s win over Winnipeg.
PICK: Saskatchewan, because Dane Evans was unimpressive in relief of Masoli last week and the Riders appear to have rounded a corner.
Friday | Ottawa at Montreal (7:00 ET)
In terms of Week 8 divisional contests, they don’t come much bigger than Friday Night Football’s REDBLACKS (2-4) at Alouettes (3-2) tilt in la belle province.
An Als win would create a 2.5-game gap between the top and bottom half in the East, and put Montreal on-track to host a playoff game for the first time since 2014.
Dominique Davis is described as ‘very hopeful’ to return under centre for Ottawa, which looked offensively lost for long stretches last week vs. Calgary.
PICK: Montreal, because the duo of QB Vernon Adams Jr. and RB Will Stanback is in better form than Ottawa’s duo of QB Davis/Jennings and RB John Crockett.
Saturday | Edmonton at Calgary (7:00 ET)
While they have taken different paths through the first third of the 2019 campaign, the Stamps and Esks are deadlocked entering the first edition of the Battle of Alberta at 4-2.
Edmonton has been the more dominant of the two, but also holds a 1-2 record away from the friendly confines of Commonwealth (where the Esks are 3-0); Calgary’s a more balanced 2-1 both at McMahon and away from home.
PICK: Edmonton, because Calgary’s running back situation is murky and the Esks just have more proven playmakers in the lineup right now.