TORONTO — Following a slew of divisive picks in Week 18, there’s just a single team that didn’t receive a unanimous vote to win in Week 19.
The CFL.ca writers were all on the same page this week, as there wasn’t a single individual that picked against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and Calgary Stampeders this week.
However, there is one that does think that the Toronto Argonauts can pull off the upset in Montreal. That is Marshall Ferguson, who has gone against the grain to add some intrigue to the opening game of this week’s slate of games.
This will be the second and final time the two East Division rivals will meet this season. The first time came at Touchdown Atlantic in Week 11, where the Als pulled out a 28-22 victory with a goal-line stop in the final seconds.
Montreal head coach Khari Jones is planning to sit Montreal’s veterans down the stretch in an effort to keep them healthy for playoffs. Defensive lineman John Bowman is the most notable absentee from the Als’ lineup for Friday’s game.
Vernon Adams Jr. will still play, as will his full complement of receivers. Additionally, William Stanback factors back in and will likely split touches with Jeremiah Johnson. Adams had a season-high four interceptions against the Bombers in Week 18, however, he still managed to toss for 266 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the loss. Quan Bray had 99 yards and a major while Eugene Lewis and Jake Wieneke each finished with over 50 yards — Wieneke also had a touchdown reception.
The Argos got back into the win column against Ottawa in Week 18. McLeod Bethel-Thompson tossed for 300 yards and two touchdowns while completing 75 percent of his passes in the victory. It was a banner day for receiver S.J. Green, who hit two milestones while hauling in 10 catches for 170 yards. Both of McBeth’s scoring tosses landed in the hands of Armanti Edwards, who had 54 yards on the evening. The Argos’ defence also finished with four sacks and three interceptions on Will Arndt.
Montreal already knows it will be hosting the Eastern Semi-Final, and with Hamilton having already locked up the East crown, it’s just about building momentum towards the postseason for the Als.
Writers: 83% MTL
Fans: 96% MTL
LeoVegas: MTL -10.5
SSK at BC
Saskatchewan will travel to play a Lions squad that will miss the postseason, however, they’re not taking the matchup lightly.
BC will be without Mike Reilly for the remainder of the season after he fractured his left wrist against Edmonton in Week 18. Danny O’Brien will make his first career start on Friday. After coming in to relieve Reilly against the Esks, he threw for 103 yards while completing just over half of his pass attempts. He’ll have nearly every weapon in the lineup. Running back John White and receivers Bryan Burnham, Duron Carter, Shaq Johnson, and Jevon Cottoy will all play.
Saskatchewan will be trying to retake first in the West this week away from home. Cody Fajardo completed 62 percent of his throws in Week 18 for 209 yards and a touchdown. William Powell had 84 all-purpose yards with both a receiving and rushing touchdown while Naaman Roosevelt and Cory Watson each had 50-plus yard receiving games.
With every game being crucial to deciding the West Division winner, BC could play spoiler on Friday.
Writers: 100% SSK
Fans: 93% SSK
LeoVegas: SSK -7
OTT at HAM
To open the doubleheader on Saturday, we’ll get the team sitting atop the league standings going up against the team at the bottom.
This will also be the final time these two teams match up in 2019. Hamilton took the first meeting by double digits.
The Tabbies are coming into this game off their final bye week of the campaign. They took their last game in comfortable fashion, beating the Edmonton Eskimos by 30 points at home. Dane Evans completed 75 percent of his passes in that outing for 277 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Tyrell Sutton had 88 yards on 11 rushes, Brandon Banks caught eight passes for 81 yards, and Bralon Addison reeled in five catches of his own for 53 yards. The Ticats’ defence also had five sacks and three interceptions in the win.
Will Arndt will get another shot under centre for the REDBLACKS on Saturday. Despite throwing three picks against the Argos, he still managed to air it out for 288 yards and two touchdowns. His two favourite targets were R.J. Harris and Dominique Rhymes, who finished with 96 and 70 yards, respectively, and a touchdown each. They didn’t go to the run often against Toronto, as the committee of Brendan Gillanders and Greg Morris filled in for the injured Mossis Madu.
This one isn’t pegged to be very close by the books currently. Judging by just how dominant Hamilton has looked on both sides of the ball this season, Ottawa could be in for another long night.
Writers: 100% HAM
Fans: 98% HAM
LeoVegas: HAM -17.5
WPG at CGY
The week closes with a massive clash with equally massive implications on the West standings.
This will be the second of three games between the Bombers and Stamps. Winnipeg took the first meeting and could wrap up the season series on Saturday with a win.
Bo Levi Mitchell has looked increasingly better with every game he gets under his belt since returning from injury. The Calagry pivot nearly completed 80 percent of his passes for 298 yards and two throwing majors against Saskatchewan in Week 18. He’s getting not only his top options involved but also some newer names, like Hergy Mayala and Josh Huff. Reggie Begelton led the way among receivers, catching all six of the balls thrown his way for 90 yards. However, it was Mayala’s 70-yard, two-touchdown outing that stole the headlines.
Chris Streveler continues to be a threat on the ground and through the air. He had 174 passing yards and a touchdown while adding 64 yards rushing — it’s the fifth time this season he rushed for over 60 yards in a game.
This could very well be a matchup in the playoffs, and with another head-to-head looming in Week 20, this game is undoubtedly the biggest game of the week.
Writers: 100% CGY
Fans: 94% CGY
LeoVegas: CGY -7
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