Jeremiah Masoli and his REDBLACKS will hope to get their first win of the season on Thursday against the Lions (Patrick Doyle/CFL.ca)
Never under estimate the power of preparation. Last week it was the Riders who played Saturday night and then had to travel across the country to take on an 0-2, hungry Montreal team.
This week it’s the BC Lions who have that unfavourable schedule as they take on a very hungry 0-2 Ottawa team. Keep in mind, this is the same Ottawa team who held their own in back-to-back weeks against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
I know Nathan Rourke and the Lions have started red hot, but they’re also a banged up group after a very physical and costly victory over the Toronto Argonauts last week.
Jeremiah Masoli has also had success through the air with an improved team in Ottawa coming off a bye week well rested and healthy.
PICK: OTTAWA (25 confidence points)
Edmonton at Hamilton Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Dane Evans and co. are still searching for win No. 1 this season (The Canadian Press)
I will begin by giving credit to the Tiger-Cats for hanging in against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. They could have very well won that game if it weren’t for some unlucky bounces that went Winnipeg’s way.
Dane Evans is clearly frustrated with the start to the season after being named the unquestioned starter as they chose him over Masoli going into this season.
The Tiger-Cats offensive line has had some early season struggles, but so too has the Edmonton pass rush. It could be a favourable matchup for Evans and company to find a groove.
Nick Arbuckle, however, appears to be starting to settle in at quarterback as they had the lead against Calgary and Saskatchewan in back-to-back weeks but couldn’t close it out. Chris Jones is also starting to find the best players to have on the field each and every week but the change over from week to week needs to stabilize before I’ll have faith picking the Elks.
PICK: HAMILTON (50 confidence bonus)
Montreal at Saskatchewan Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET
Will the Riders get win No. 3 this weekend against Montreal? (The Canadian Press)
Another lesson I learned last week is how disruptive an injury to a key centre for an offensive line can be. Yes, Winnipeg survived without Couture, but they have an extremely veteran group in Winnipeg. Saskatchewan will have another week of growth without Dan Clark but it’ll be the first go around in Montreal with a new centre after that late-game injury to Sean Jamieson last week.
The Roughriders defence is a lot better than what they showed in the game last Thursday in Montreal and they’ll test the new centre for the Alouettes early and often.
There are many questions for the Riders as well with the injury to Dan Clark, but also without Shaq Evans in the receiving corps. Someone needs to step up outside of Kian Schaffer-Baker and Duke Williams.
PICK: SASKATCHEWAN (50 confidence bonus)
Winnipeg at Toronto Monday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Willie Jefferson and the Bombers will be looking for a win in Toronto on Monday night (The Canadian Press)
I’ll be honest, I’m going to have a hard time picking against Winnipeg this season. I know they won’t go 18-0. Not a chance. But a team with Zach Collaros playing with great poise and efficiency, and the dynamic playmakers on defence coming to play each and every week, the Argos have a heck of a test this week.
Toronto was able to beat the Bombers at BMO Field last season so by no means am I completely dismissing the Argos in this one.
Plus, the Andrew Harris factor is going to be very interesting. Harris will be wanting to run right over Winnipeg and I imagine the veteran probably has some bonus meals for the offensive line if they get it done.
PICK: WINNIPEG (50 confidence bonus)
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