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August 11, 2021

Weekly Predictor: Betting on the Argonauts

Larry MacDougal.CFL.ca

Total CFL Pick ‘Em is back for 2021, allowing fans to pick a winner and set their confidence level in every game this season. It’s free to play, and with weekly winners and a season-long prize of your name etched on the Grey Cup Fan Base and $1,000 in cash, there’s nothing to lose. *View rules regarding streaks and prizing.


CFL Pick ‘Em may be my new nemesis now that Matt Cauz has started 0-4.

You see, each week the CFL asks me to explain my mistakes before I make them and as the 2021 season takes shape, I can only tell you what I know for sure; the league is completely unpredictable right now.

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But me and my fellow CFL.ca contributors will put our reputations on the line, if we have any left, so you REDBLACKS fans can shame us when we all pick against them.

So here I am again, guessing my way through Week 2 of the CFL season.

To say I’m nervous is an understatement as I don’t know if I want to risk any bonus points this week in the confidence index.

BC at Calgary
Thursday, 9:30 p.m. ET

Can Bo Levi Mitchell and the Stampeders get their first win of the season this week? (Larry MacDougal/CFL.ca)

Nathan Rourke looks set to make his second-straight start with a little more mental preparation than he received in Saskatchewan last week. Rourke settled in and started to look capable of moving the ball late in the game.

Although the test won’t be easy with the Calgary Stampeders rarely losing back-to-back, let alone losing back-to-back at McMahon Stadium.

I feel like if you give Dave Dickenson and Bo Levi Mitchell more film throughout the season, they’ll be able to game plan an offence that will have a little more spark than what we saw in the opener.

BC’s defence still has too many questions for me after giving up three-straight touchdowns against the Roughriders.

PICK: CALGARY (50 confidence bonus)

Toronto at Winnipeg
Friday, 8:30 p.m. ET

McLeod Bethel-Thompson led the Argos to victory last week but can he do it again against the defending champs? (Larry MacDougal/CFL.ca)

I’ll be watching the injury report right until Thursday’s final declaration of the depth chart with Winnipeg having three key members of the defensive line limited or not participating in practice early this week.

If Willie Jefferson and company can’t play, give me the Toronto Argonauts building from their first win of their new look roster.

The talent is deep and the Argos rebuilt roster started to come along as the game went on, taking advantage of fourth quarter mistakes by the Stampeders.

However, if the Bombers are full strength on defence, guess what they’ll do? They’ll do what they always do: own the line of scrimmage, run the ball, own the time of possession and try to make you start to force it offensively and take advantage with some turnovers.

It’s the Bombers recipe for success and it worked for them again in Week 1.

PICK: TORONTO (0 confidence bonus)

Montreal at Edmonton
Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET

Will Edmonton spoil the Montreal Alouettes season opener? (GoElks.com)

The Elks stat page against Ottawa read like a 40-12 win. Instead it was a 16-12 loss as the offence of Edmonton just couldn’t finish drives in the end zone.

The Elks defence looked strong and if the offence starts to punch in touchdowns in the red zone, they’ll be a tough matchup every week.

The twist on this game is completely guessing how Montreal looks without seeing them first hand in Week 1 as they had a bye week.

I believe it is advantage for the Elks because they have a game under their belt. Montreal gets to prep with some film work but they haven’t played a down yet this season, so the Elks are guessing what Vernon Adams Jr will have in store for his season opener.

Adams Jr. will not be as easy to get to as Nichols was. But I think breaking off the rust will be the difference for Edmonton compared to a rusty Montreal offence.

PICK: EDMONTON (100 confidence bonus)

Hamilton at Saskatchewan
Saturday, 10:00 p.m. ET

Jeremiah Masoli and co. will be looking for a win in front of Riderville on Saturday night (Jason Halstead/CFL.ca)

Who are the real Saskatchewan Roughriders? The team that went up 31-0? Or the team that was outscored 29-2 the rest of the way against BC?

You could argue that their offence was crisp and sharp until they admittedly started to wear down physically and mentally as the game progressed.

You could also argue they took advantage of a rattled rookie starting quarterback and they won’t get the same courtesy with Jeremiah Masoli in town.

The Tiger-Cats injury list though has to be a concern, though it appears more players will be back like Ted Laurent and potentially Tunde Adeleke. Chris Van Zeyl’s return would be welcome to the offensive line as well.

I think the Tiger-Cats defensive line will put pressure on the Riders offensive line, who had an okay debut against BC. Though the Lions were far less CFL proven than the front seven of the Tiger-Cats.

PICK: HAMILTON (0 confidence bonus)

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