TORONTO — It looks to be another unanimous week when it comes to picks.
The CFL.ca writers have selected the Edmonton Eskimos, Saskatchewan Roughriders, and Montreal Alouettes to win in their respective Week 11 matchups.
After being the lone writer to go with the Montreal Alouettes over Calgary last week, Chris O’Leary is at it again. He and Jim Morris have decided to take the 1-8 BC Lions against the East-leading Hamilton Tiger-Cats, adding extra intrigue to Saturday’s contest.
The opening matchup of the week is the game that holds the most weight in terms of the league standings.
With a victory on Friday night, Edmonton could move into a tie for first place in the West division. Everything is clicking for the Esks currently. Their defence leads the league in sacks and yards allowed per game and quarterback Trevor Harris is on track to set a career-high in passing yards. Additionally, C.J. Gable is second in the league in rushing yards and Greg Ellingson, Ricky Collins Jr., and DaVaris Daniels have created arguably the best core of receiving in the CFL.
Ellingson had 170 yards and two touchdowns in Week 10 against the Argos while Daniels had 155 on five catches. Collins had one score and 71 yards. Harris posted 420 yards through the air and three touchdowns in the victory.
Winnipeg did get the victory over BC in Week 10, however, they lost quarterback Matt Nichols at the tail end of the contest. He’ll be out for anywhere from 4-6 weeks, making it Chris Streveler‘s show under centre for the Bombers. Andrew Harris has failed to rush for 70 or more yards just three times this season, and he’ll be relied on again to help anchor the Winnipeg’s attack.
The crowd at Commonwealth will be treated to one of the most exciting games of the year.
Writers: 100% EDM
Fans: 65% EDM
LeoVegas: EDM -3
OTT at SSK
The REDBLACKS will make the trip to Mosaic Stadium for a matchup with the Riders on Saturday.
Ottawa has won just one of its last seven games and after scoring just seven points at home against Hamilton in Week 10, the offence needs to have a strong bounceback performance. Dominique Davis was pulled at one point of that game in favour of Jonathon Jennings. He completed 50 percent of his passes for 238 yards.
Caleb Holley had 83 yards receiving while Dominique Rhymes had 73. Each had five catches. With John Crockett out of the lineup, Mossis Madu rushed for 55 yards in the loss.
Saskatchewan is coming in off a bye week and their Week 9 game against Montreal was called early due to inclement weather. They’ve won four straight games and their offensive attack is rounding into form. Cody Fajardo is now the starting signal-caller for the Riders, and he’s thrown for 1,871 yards and seven majors in eight games. William Powell has scampered for 527 yards in 11 games and Kyran Moore and Shaq Evans have formed a dynamic duo in the pass game. The Saskatchewan defence also had two forced fumbles against the Als that were recovered for touchdowns.
If Saskatchewan can make it five straight, they’ll move to 6-3 on the year. Depending on the outcome of the Friday game, they could be in a tie for second by weeks end.
Writers: 100% SSK
Fans: 94% SSK
LeoVegas: SSK -10.5
HAM at BC
Saturday night’s late game will feature a rematch from Week 9.
The Tabbies and Lions met up in Hamilton, with the hosts taking the win with a last-minute touchdown connection between Dane Evans and Brandon Banks.
Since taking over for Jeremiah Masoli, Evans has been taking strides every week. He threw for 300 yards and a touchdown against the REDBLACKS in Week 10. Bralon Addison finished with 100 yards and Luke Tasker had 83 yards receiving. Cameron Marshall also rumbled for 92 yards on the ground. It was the Ticats’ defence that shined for the team against Ottawa, however. They held the REDBLACKS to just a single point in the first half and seven on the game.
Mike Reilly completed 16 passes for 177 yards but he was sacked seven times by the Bombers. John White had 53 yards and a touchdown on 11 rushes and Lemar Durant had 108 receiving yards on five catches. The Leos need to figure out how to protect Reilly or they’re going to continue to run into trouble.
BC is looking to gain momentum while Hamilton is aiming to widen its lead atop the East standings.
Writers: 66% HAM
Fans: 64% HAM
LeoVegas: HAM -4.5
MTL at TOR
The CFL returns to the Maritimes for the fourth time as Moncton, N.B. plays host to Touchdown Atlantic.
Toronto and Montreal will meet up for the first time this season. This is the first time that the Argos will face an opponent from their own division since the first game of the year. They got their first win of the season at home in Week 8 against Winnipeg, but they fell to Edmonton last week.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson has looked more comfortable under centre over that stretch as well, and Derel Walker and S.J. Green are starting to find more consistency with their quarterback. It’s still not clear what role James Wilder Jr. will play in the Argos’ offence on Sunday, but if he’s not used in the backfield, those duties will fall to a committee of Brandon Burks and Chris Rainey. They combined for 101 yards on the ground against the Esks.
Montreal proved that no lead is safe in their thrilling comeback victory over the Calgary Stampeders in Week 10. Vernon Adams Jr. was on fire, completing 65 percent of his passes for 407 yards and two touchdowns while adding 37 yards and a pair of rushing scores. Jeremiah Johnson rushed 107 yards on 13 carries in the absence of William Stanback while DeVier Posey and Eugene Lewis had 181 and 115 yards respectively — each individual also had 10 catches apiece.
These two teams will meet once more in Week 19, and with playoff spots in the East still up for grabs, this game could play a part in the standings at the end of the season.
Writers: 100% MTL
Fans: 86% MTL
LeoVegas: MTL -6
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