August 18, 2021

Weekly Predictor: All in on the Alouettes

Walter Tychnowicz/

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Dear CFL Pick ‘Em followers, I’m writing to you to apologize if you consider my picks when making your own.

I know Matthew Cauz did a mea culpa last week about his 0-4 week and this week it is my turn to rise up, acknowledge my past failures, and promise to be better.

Yes, I thought Hamilton was going to have a much better showing against a team that nearly blew a 31-point lead. I was wrong.

Yes, I thought the Montreal Alouettes would have a hard time coming out of their bye week without having played to be met by a team that would have broken off the rust and fine tuned some things. Instead, we saw a team absolutely ill prepared for what was being thrown at them because, of course, they didn’t have any film to work off of, while Montreal did.

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Yes, I thought the Calgary Stampeders would rebound against a team without their starting quarterback, who just allowed 33 points the previous week. Instead, Michael Reilly played and his arm looked a lot better while we now know Bo Levi Mitchell was playing on a broken fibula.

Yes, I thought the Toronto Argonauts could shock the Bombers with an improved attack from last season. That was my upset pick and it made me upset. For the record, on my radio show I wanted to change that pick before kickoff because of what happened to the Stamps the day before and I felt I overestimated the Argos win. But now I’m using excuses and that’s probably not a good look.

So with that, here are four more potentially horrendous and equally embarrassing selections.

Edmonton at BC
Thursday, 10:00 p.m. ET

Will Michael Reilly be under centre for the Lions this week? (The Canadian Press)

Can I make this pick when I know if Michael Reilly is actually playing? No? Cool.

Though, that wouldn’t have changed my pick last week anyway. The BC Lions defence is starting to gel with the game plan put in place by Rick Campbell and after Montreal’s performance up front, I think BC has what it takes to control the line of scrimmage.

The Elks, however, have a pretty good front four themselves and the Riders were able to penetrate the offensive line in Week 1.

But when I look at two coaches trying to establish a new way, the veteran Rick Campbell has the upper edge on Jaime Elizondo.

PICK: BC (50 confidence bonus)

Montreal at Calgary
Friday, 9:30 p.m. ET


No Bo and a fierce pass rush coming in from Montreal? I’m not going to do a lot of explaining after that assessment of things.

I really do hope that Michael O’Connor steps in and makes a game of this and it’s not only because he’s Canadian but I also want to see a player take advantage of an opportunity.

But Montreal looked fantastic in Week 2 in their first game of the 2021 season and I foresee a sweep through Alberta for the Alouettes.

PICK: MONTREAL (100 confidence bonus)

Winnipeg at Toronto
Saturday, 4:00 p.m.

Zach Collaros has yet to lose a game as a starter in Winnipeg since joining the team late in 2019 (The Canadian Press)

I really start to get nervous when the favourite is the road team on the second half of a home-and-home set following a win.

I could easily slide this over to Toronto as many coaches will say it’s easier to fix the things you saw on film against the same opponent than it is to be the winning side and feel like you don’t have to make a lot of changes.

In saying that, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defence under the direction of Richie Hall has allowed 13 points this season. They even have the potential of adding Darvin Adams back on the offence as another weapon for Zach Collaros.

Toronto will be a lot better but not sure if they’ll be good enough to beat the Bombers.

PICK: WINNIPEG (50 confidence bonus)

Ottawa at Saskatchewan
7:00 p.m. ET

Cody Fajardo and co. will be looking for a win on Saturday night against Ottawa (Matt Smith/

Cody Fajardo is doing an exceptional job running Jason Maas new offence in Saskatchewan. The only thing lacking is the deep ball but when you’re passing at a clip of 85% in attempts 19 yards or fewer, Fajardo clearly has a feel for the game plan.

The Roughriders defence is flying around and causing turnovers. While Shaq Evans will be missing from the offence, there are many who have watched Paul McRoberts in the last two training camps to feel excited about the Riders replacement for their All-Star pass-catcher.

Ottawa comes in with some disrespect thrown their way. Many came away from their Week 1 win in Edmonton feeling that the REDBLACKS lucked their way to victory after the offence had fewer than 100 yards in the game.

However, you have to respect the defence side of the ball. They did not break and you know Paul LaPolice will continue to tinker with his offence until they hit their stride. Matt Nichols wasn’t 100% in Week 1 so here’s hoping a healthier REDBLACKS quarterback hits the field on Saturday evening.

But I’m not betting against the Riders at home after averaging 31.5 points per game through the first two weeks.

PICK: SASKATCHEWAN (100 confidence bonus)

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