August 13, 2019

#TotalPickEm Preview: Week 10

Matt Smith/

It’s hard to believe we’re already into double-digits on the 2019 Canadian Football League season, but here we are: Week 10.

There’s been breakout performances — Cody Fajardo leading the Riders to a 5-3 record, Lucky Whitehead exploding onto the scene in Winnipeg, etc. — and disappointing starts. There’s been returns up the ying-yang.

Along the way, this #TotalPickEm column has amassed a 28-7 record.

Let’s dig into the Week 10 matchups.

Thursday | BC at Winnipeg (8:30 p.m. ET)

The final Thursday night contest of the season goes this week at IG Field, where the West-leading Bombers (6-2) will host a BC (1-7) team desperate for a win.

Running back Andrew Harris is having another monster season for Winnipeg, though his percentage of the Bombers’ total offence over the past two games can’t be sustainable — can it?

With that said, this is a Winnipeg team that’s found ways to win at home — be it via defensive turnovers/stops, a Matt Nichols air show or a grinding performance by Harris — consistently in 2019.

BC is not far from must-win territory at this point, trailing everybody else in the West by four games.

PICK: Winnipeg, because the Bombers are 4-0 at home this season and appear to have a significant advantage in the trenches.

Friday | Edmonton at Toronto (7:30 p.m. ET)

An intriguing Friday night matchup pits the visiting Esks (5-3) against the Argos (1-6) at BMO Field.

It’s Toronto’s Exhibition 2-for-1 game, meaning there should be a solid crowd to watch the Argos in their first action since an inspired win over the Bombers two weeks ago.

McLeod Bethel-Thompson will be looking to steer the Argos to a second win in as many outings (The Canadian Press photo)

In Edmonton, it’s been the play of the Esks’ league-leading defence that has more often than not earned the headlines for Jason Maas’ squad; whether it be ball-hawks in the secondary or a monstrous D-line, Phillip Lolley’s defence has been downright scary at times.

PICK: Edmonton, because the Esks are 3-1 against the East and have more established playmakers on both sides of the ball than Toronto.

Saturday | Hamilton at Ottawa (4:00 p.m. ET)

A mighty tasty game afternoon game on Saturday has the East-leading Ticats (6-2) squaring off against the struggling REDBLACKS (3-5) in the nation’s capital.

Hamilton has continued to get results in the absence of star QB Jeremiah Masoli, and backup Dane Evans played a key part in last week’s fourth-quarter comeback against BC.


It took a bit of time, but it appears Ottawa is now feeling the effects of losing the majority of its offensive firepower from last season; QB Dominique Davis has thrown a league-worst 11 INTs, and the team released a pair of receivers (Julian Feoli-Gudino and Noel Thomas) early in Week 10.

PICK: Hamilton, though it could be a close one. Evans has more high-end offensive pieces around him than Davis, and the Ticats could take a big step towards running away with the East if they can engineer a road win in Ottawa.

Saturday | Montreal at Calgary (7:00 p.m. ET)

Week 10 wraps up at McMahon Stadium, where the Stamps (5-3) are expected to welcome star QB Bo Levi Mitchell back to the lineup against Montreal (3-4).

Calgary has managed to stay within a game of first in the West in Mitchell’s absence, with its defence largely holding it in games.

The Als will have some changes this week, as QB Vernon Adams Jr. is expected to return to the lineup and the team optimistic on the status of RB Will Stanback.

PICK: Calgary, because the Stamps are likely to add Mitchell to a core that’s remained competitive in his absence. Montreal has not won against the Stamps at McMahon since 2009.