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September 15, 2021

Weekly Predictor: All in on the Alouettes

The Canadian Press

CFL Pick ‘Em presented by TotalEnergies 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.


Okay, three weeks.

That was the answer to how long it took us to figure things out in the CFL and be able to find out who is who.

The first three weeks of our prognostications were a little erratic. Okay, deplorable.

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Recently it’s been going smooth(er). 2-10 in the first 12 games of the season to 9-2 in the last 11 is either a sign of things to come or I’m about to be humbled with my picks this week. Because this week is not easy.

The storylines on quarterbacks, and now coaches, are throwing some wrenches into my plans and picks. And I’m going to try and cheat on one so let’s see if my bosses allow me to get away with a double pick this week.

Calgary at Hamilton
Friday, 7:00 p.m. ET

Can Bo Levi Mitchell get a win at Tim Hortons Field this Friday? (Walter Tychnowicz/CFL.ca)

The Tiger-Cats are dominant at Tim Hortons Field, although we only have one example of this so far this season.

Here’s the wrench for this game: as of the time of this ‘expert’s’ picks – which is too late at night for anyone to believe I’m coming up with sound and sane commentary – I don’t know who is starting at quarterback. Sounds like David Watford. But it also could be Jeremiah Masoli.

On the flip side, we saw the Calgary Stampeders flip the script on the Edmonton Elks from Labour Day and storm into Commonwealth Stadium with a win. The defensive line of Calgary was dominant, giving Trevor Harris fits all game long. Can they repeat history on the road in their first eastern swing?

Bo Levi Mitchell was still missing on a lot of throws, but again, he’s been sitting and healing over the last few weeks.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats offence has sputtered a lot more than Calgary’s has and now more questions at quarterback for the Tabbies? I’m going with Bo.

PICK: CALGARY (50 confidence bonus)

Toronto at Saskatchewan
Friday, 9:45 p.m. ET

Will Cody Fajardo be healthy enough to start for the Riders this week when they take on the Argonauts? (Matt Smith/CFL.ca)

Oh … boy … what to think of this game when we have defensive coaching changes on the fly in Toronto and quarterback question marks and defensive injuries in Saskatchewan.

Hmmmm.

Cody Fajardo appears to be trending toward playing against the Argonauts but we won’t know until later on in the week.

Then you have the Riders beaten up by Winnipeg the last two weeks with some key players like Ed Gainey and Mike Edem trending the opposite way of their quarterback from playing and A.C. Leonard is now on the second of his two game suspension.

The Argonauts defence will have a new play caller this week, albeit a veteran one in Rich Stubler. Plus, Nick Arbuckle is comfortable at Mosaic Stadium having won there in his first ever start in 2019.

So here’s my cop out.

IF Fajardo starts:

PICK: SASKATCHEWAN (50 confidence index)

IF Harker starts:

PICK: TORONTO (0 confidence bonus)

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

Coming back from their bye, can the Alouettes get a win over the Lions this weekend? (Patrick Doyle/CFL.ca)

Oh, the Pick ‘Em fun isn’t over yet! Now we have the question on what Montreal will do without Khari Jones on the sidelines because of COVID-19.

The Alouettes come off their bye week rested as the BC Lions make the long trip east after beating up on the Ottawa REDBLACKS.

I think the loss of Khari Jones won’t be as huge as you might think. He’ll have them prepared and ready to go with virtual meetings this week. Plus, I expect the Alouettes to keep it rolling on the ground to test the Lions defensive front four as they were gashed in Week 3 against Edmonton.

The Lions need to prove they can beat a sound opponent as their wins came against an ailing Bo Levi Mitchell and two wins against Ottawa.

PICK: MONTREAL (75 confidence bonus)

Winnipeg at Edmonton
Saturday, 9:45 p.m. ET

With the league’s best record, the Bombers will look to add another W to the win column this weekend against the Elks (Jason Halstead/CFL.ca )

The biggest question I have is what will the Bombers look like after two emotional and dominant wins over their rival, Saskatchewan Roughriders.

My fear is there might be an emotional let down after they took it to the Riders. The Bombers rested a lot of players in their first day of practice this week, so we’ll watch their injury report closely leading up to the game against the Edmonton Elks.

The reason I wouldn’t hesitate to pick the Bombers is the fact the Stamps just chewed up the Elks offensive line and the Bombers defensive line is better than Calgary’s.

I see a mismatch in the trenches on the other side as well and as good as the Elks have looked against the run so far this season, Winnipeg is a different animal if Andrew Harris continues to work off the rust to start the season.

PICK: WINNIPEG (100 confidence bonus)

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