- Free Agency
There are four inter-division games on the Week 16 schedule. After this week, there are only four inter-division games left all season (and three are next week).
It starts off Friday with a potential Grey Cup preview. In fact, many had the Bombers and Tiger-Cats pegged to face off in Calgary at the start of the season and we get to see how they matchup this late into the season.
The Bombers are fired up after an emotional collapse against Montreal. All of sudden the Bombers find themselves in three-way tie with Calgary and Saskatchewan with four losses each at the top of the West Division.
We’ll see how road weary the Tiger-Cats are with this being their third-straight week on the road against a Western opponent. They were a blocked field goal away from sweeping Alberta and the test is even tougher in Winnipeg.
Saturday’s tripleheader begins with Ottawa hosting Edmonton. The intrigue here is if Ottawa can find some life at the end of the season, there is a small chance they pressure the Eskimos’ chances at a crossover.
The way Ottawa has been playing you may not think it’s possible but with Logan Kilgore possibly set to start his second game, you can never say never in the CFL.
Ottawa is going with a potential rotation at quarterback, which rarely turns out being successful.
Down the highway in Toronto is where the Roughriders visit the Argonauts. James Franklin is back at the helm of the Argos as Corey Chamblin gives the ball back to his Week 1 starter to prove if he can be the starter going forward in Toronto.
It’s a big test for Franklin, who was actually injured in Week 3 when the Argos visited Saskatchewan and got blown out.
That was also the game Cody Fajardo grabbed the starters job in Saskatchewan and he hasn’t let go with a 8-2 record since that Week 3 victory.
And finally, the BC Lions are going to try for a third straight victory as they take on Matt Shiltz and the Alouettes.
BC would love to up-end the Als to prove their two game win streak against Ottawa wasn’t just beating up on the worst team in the league. The Lions are also a long shot but by stringing a few wins together could start to make Edmonton a little nervous down the stretch.
Hamilton at Winnipeg
Friday, 8:30 p.m. ET
Favourite: Winnipeg (-4.5)
O/U: 48.5 points
Reporters in Winnipeg noted an animated and charged up Bombers team to begin the work week after the drama in Montreal over the weekend. They have to feel a bit ripped off knowing the quarterback that led the Als to the comeback should have been ejected. But how that impacts their performance this week is yet to be seen.
Hamilton has impressed on a tough road trip through the West and this will be their biggest test yet as they play in one of the loudest stadiums in the league and against one of the toughest defensive lines. Dane Evans will have his work cut out for him.
In the end, I think Hamilton will start to wear down. Three straight road games in the other division has to get to you.
PICK: WINNIPEG (50 confidence bonus)
Edmonton at Ottawa
Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET
Favourite: Coming soon..
O/U: Coming soon..
While I’m not sure yet, it appears Logan Kilgore gets another start for Edmonton. I think the key for this one is C.J. Gable. If the Eskimos demoralize the REDBLACKS on the ground and down have to put too much pressure on Kilgore to win, they should be just fine.
Ottawa’s quarterback rotation will be interesting to see how it plays out. I like that Rick Campbell isn’t painting himself into a corner and admits he has a plan to use both guys but if the starter shines, he’s willing to shelve that plan. Bottom line for the REDBLACKS to win, they have to show a lot more fight and toughness.
PICK: EDMONTON (80 confidence bonus)
Saskatchewan at Toronto
Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET
Favourite: Saskatchewan (-6.5)
O/U: 49.5 points
The Roughriders come off the bye week with some injured players looking ready to go. There is a chance their best offensive lineman Brendon LaBatte returns at left guard and Charleston Hughes’ injury likely only cost him one game.
As stated previously, the Riders are 8-2 in their last 10 games. The offence hasn’t shot the lights out a lot recently but the Riders defence continues to lock it down.
James Franklin starts again and this will be his last shot in Toronto to prove the Argonauts need to invest further in Franklin. The Argonauts found some life recently and aren’t going down without putting some pressure on these contending teams. If the Riders comeback from the bye week feeling too good about themselves they could be up for a surprise in Toronto.
PICK: SASKATCHEWAN (60 confidence bonus)
Montreal at BC
Saturday, 10:00 p.m. ET
Favourite: BC (-6.5)
O/U: 49.5 points
If Vernon Adams Jr. is starting I don’t think this is much of a question but with Matt Shiltz, it’s going to open the door for the Lions to win a third straight game.
Plus, I can’t ignore history. Whether the teams were good or bad, it doesn’t matter.
Montreal just can’t win in BC. They’ve won just twice in their last 19 trips to Vancouver.
2-17 with their most recent victory in 2015.
I know Montreal has a lot going for it, but with a lack of a pass rush and the Lions improving on the offensive line. I smell upset.
PICK: BC (10 confidence bonus)
Week 16 lineup: