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August 25, 2021

Weekly Predictor: Taking the Tiger-Cats

Jason Halstead/CFL.ca

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‘Expert’

I feel there is too high a standard set by the CFL when they refer to me or any of our other colleagues, with the exception of Marshall Ferguson, as an expert.

You see it, it raises the expectation of what we are supposed to be doing when we make our weekly suggestions.

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I think we should just be given cute rhyming names, like the radio station in which I’m employed calls me ‘Sports Guy.’

Matthew Cauz: Football Paws. Rolls off the tongue doesn’t it?

Chris O’Leary: Pick ‘Em bleary.

Jim Morris: CFL thesaurus.

Okay, my rhymes are as good as my picks this year but you see there are plenty of things you can rhyme with my name that are a lot more accurate than ‘expert’ (which does not rhyme, BTW)

Rye: The drink in which you all think I’ve over-consumed while I make my selections.

Dye: My next plan to change my appearance so nobody can identify me in public.

Lie: As I’m starting to feel like my entire career has been now up to this point.

Pie: The food I’m consuming a lot of lately to fill my stomach where my gut feeling used to be when I could guess a correct upset properly.

Tie: The only thing we haven’t seen this season to make this season even more random than it already has been.

So without further ado, here are your ‘expert’ picks for Week 4.

Hamilton at Montreal
Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET

Brandon Banks and his Tiger-Cats will be looking to get their first week of the season this weekend (Jason Halstead/CFL.ca)

Hamilton returns from their bye week with plenty of motivation after seeing their offence sputter throughout the first two weeks of the season. But let’s give them a little bit of a break. They’ve lost to Winnipeg and Saskatchewan, who are arguably the best two defences in the league to start the season.

The Tiger-Cats are hoping to get a few weapons back, although they could still be missing a few key pieces on the offensive and defensive lines.

Montreal is at home for the first time after splitting their road trip in Alberta and must feel like they coughed one up against rookie quarterback Jake Maier in Calgary last week.

Montreal was thoroughly impressive in Week 1 and looked like it again in the first quarter last week, until they stumbled to the finish line.

If the Alouettes can establish William Stanback early and find the pressure they had from Week 1 against a questionable offensive line in Hamilton to start the season, this should be a Montreal win. But like Calgary and Edmonton coming out of the gate to a 0-2 start, it seems unthinkable Hamilton would start 0-3. Calgary and Edmonton avoided that fate and I do think the Tiger-Cats offence has a lot more to show after falling flat in two of the toughest places to play.

PICK: HAMILTON (0 confidence bonus)

BC at Ottawa
Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET

Michael Reilly and the Lions are hoping to leave TD Place with a win on Saturday (Paul Yates/BCLions.com)

This is another tough pick for me.

I know on paper it looks like Michael Reilly should be able to throw for 400 yards and lead the BC Lions to victory as Ottawa has allowed the most passing yards per game this season.

However, the Ottawa defence did a great job against Edmonton on the road and then again on the road against Fajardo and the Roughriders. Now they have the home edge with BC making that long trek across the country.

The issue I have though is Ottawa can’t create much of a pass rush and BC’s two losses have come against teams in Edmonton and Saskatchewan who can get after the quarterback.

Give Reilly too much time and he’ll be able to pick you apart with a talented receiving group. I also will have a hard time picking Ottawa to win until Matt Nichols and the rest of the offence can start making a move from the bottom of most offensive categories.

PICK: BC (50 confidence bonus)

Calgary at Winnipeg
Sunday, 7:00 p.m. ET

Zach Collaros and co. will be looking for a win at home on Sunday when they host the Calgary Stampeders (The Canadian Press)

Jake Maier looked like a pretty darn good quarterback against Montreal in his debut.

Now he must face one of the best defences in the league. Now that the opponent has some film on Maier, look for Richie Hall of the Bombers to come ready for the Stampeder quarterback.

He’ll also have to deal with the loudest stadium in the CFL in his second-ever start.

Winnipeg suffered their first loss last week after looking like a team finding a next gear early in Toronto. It’s always hard to win back-to-back games, with the second one on the road against the same opponent.

Zach Collaros and the offence should get back to the ground game and if Andrew Harris is at all ready to go, it’ll be a motivated reigning Grey Cup MVP to get a solid start to his season.

Either way, I see this going well for the home side.

PICK: WINNIPEG (50 confidence points)

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