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September 1, 2021

Weekly Predictor: Betting on Edmonton

Jimmy Jeong/CFL.ca

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Hey, where were all the tweets about how good we did at our picks this week?

No team’s social media teams seem to want to give us props when we pick their team right unanimously but if we get it wrong, we’re public enemy number one.

Or Week 4 gets filed under the category of, ‘even a blind squirrel finds a nut.’

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It’s likely the latter.

But let’s see if perfection can repeat itself!

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

Can Vernon Adams Jr. get the Alouettes back in the win column? (The Canadian Press)

REDBLACKS head coach Paul LaPolice is clearly frustrated with the lack of offence coming out of the nation’s capital. They’re dead last in points and yards so far this season.

Matt Nichols has been pushed publicly to be better or Dominique Davis may get the call in Ottawa. The biggest thing lacking in Ottawa is a consistent rush game. It would allow things to open up in the pass game if they can establish a run. Meanwhile, the defence continues to give the REDBLACKS chance to win, or in the case of Week 1, the defence can win a game for them.

The Alouettes, meanwhile, look equally out of sorts as Vernon Adams Jr. has a league-worst completion percentage. Their discipline has also been a big sticking point for head coach Khari Jones.

The game this week is a big one for one of these teams to shake off some early season struggles and kick start a decent mid-point of the year.

I believe the REDBLACKS are going to improve offensively but when breaking down both teams, the ceiling is higher for the Alouettes.

PICK: MONTREAL (50 confidence bonus)

Winnipeg at Saskatchewan
Sunday, 6:00 p.m. ET

Cody Fajardo will hope to keep his team undefeated this weekend (Matt Smith/CFL.ca)

Oh baby, it’s the game of the week with the 3-1 Bombers visiting their 3-0 prairie rival.

The game is a great indicator of where these teams sit going into the middle third of the season. Both defences have been solid. Both teams protect the ball, while leading the way in creating turnovers so will it be a saw-off?

Sure. And maybe we’re about to see a home-and-home split.

The Riders are coming off a bye week, carrying huge momentum into their break, while Winnipeg just escaped a great game against Calgary.

But it’s Mark’s Labour Day Weekend in Saskatchewan and the Riders have only lost one of these games in the last 15 years.

PICK: SASKATCHEWAN (50 confidence bonus)

Toronto at Hamilton
Monday, 1:00 p.m. ET

With Dane Evans now under centre, will the Tiger-Cats get their second win of the season? (John Kenney/CFL.ca)

The Tiger-Cats finally found a winning formula after struggling out of the gate. Dane Evans was efficient and they had a strong ground game along with some new faces like Tim White and Steven Dunbar contributing in the passing game.

But it was Frankie Williams on special teams and defence who made the big plays necessary to spark the Tiger-Cats to their first win of the season.

Toronto is coming off an unplanned bye week so we’ll see what they have in store for the Tiger-Cats with some fresh legs.

Nick Arbuckle, like Evans, was a spark the Argos needed behind centre in their last game out with a big win over the Bombers.

But I’m looking at the run game being in favour of the Argos, who have been pretty good running the ball while Hamilton has struggled to stop the run.

If Toronto can establish the run it will quiet down the Tim Hortons Field crowd, who are gathering for the first time in Hamilton this season.

I believe the Tiger-Cats are starting to find their stride, while Toronto loses some momentum for their lengthy lay off.

PICK: HAMILTON (75 confidence bonus)

Edmonton at Calgary
Sunday, 4:30 p.m. ET

The Edmonton Elks will be looking for a win against their Alberta rivals this Labour Day Monday (Walter Tychnowicz/CFL.ca)

I’m not going to write off the Elks, despite all the drama round the outbreak and the release of Jacob Ruby. In pro sports, sometimes these things can be galvanizing. It’s the play for Jaime Elizondo firing up his team to get a win in the Labour Day Classic.

It’s a chance for the Elks to unite and show the league a unified front with discussion of locker room issues following the COVID outbreak.

Calgary, meanwhile, looks to have the real deal in Jake Maier at quarterback, as they nearly hung on to a win against the Bombers.

Edmonton has the leading rusher in the CFL right now in a rejuvenated James Wilder Jr. and I think they can attack the Stampeders front seven and have some success.

I believe the players in Edmonton will feel they need to show up on Monday now that doubters are mounting across the province.

But Maier has looked like a cagey pro. Too bad, the Elks have that guy.

PICK: EDMONTON (0 confidence bonus)

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