July 5, 2023

Weekly Predictor: Riding with Riders

Dave Chidley/

A weird long weekend Monday nighter means not a lot of time to digest what I saw in Toronto to properly assess what that was from the the BC Lions ahead of another big game this week against Montreal.

But we’ll get to that.

Congrats to the Ottawa REDBLACKS as they landed themselves in the win column, handing Edmonton another blow ahead of a Thursday nighter in Saskatchewan.

The Bombers defence also flexed in Week 4 as we saw Montreal up against a top team in the league.

But with BC, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg all with one loss in the West, they need to take care of their business this week to stay at the top of the division.

» Steinberg’s MMQB: The champs are (still) here
Landry’s five takeaways from Week 4
» Power Rankings: Embrace the turmoil
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Edmonton at Saskatchewan
Thursday, July 6
9:00 p.m. ET

If you look at this game you’ll instantly think, ‘Riders win.’

The Elks went to Ottawa and continued to show signs they need much more work. They’re still trying to figure out the key centrepiece of their offence at quarterback and Jarret Doege showed he needs more time as the Elks give the ball back to what should be a much more motivated Taylor Cornelius.

The Riders however are coming out of the bye week with some serious issues along the offensive line. Tuesdays final injury report and Wednesday’s depth chart will be intriguing to see who is actually going to suit up on Thursday.

The Elks were inches away from taking control of the Week 1 game if it weren’t for Rolan Milligan’s (also questionable for Thursday night) stuff at the goal line.

But since that time, Trevor Harris is looking far more in control of the offence while the Elks have continued to struggle.

The injuries to the Riders offensive line are tilting me toward a major upset but a shortish week for Edmonton and a game at Mosaic? Nope. Not going to overthink this one.


Calgary at Winnipeg
Friday, July 7
8:30 p.m. ET

The Stampeders are coming off their bye week looking to make a statement that we shouldn’t leave them out of the conversation at the top of the West Division.

However, we need to see more from Jake Maier to be convinced. Also, the playmakers are lacking on both sides of the ball in Calgary, especially now with Malik Henry’s Achilles injury.

The Stamps get to roll into Winnipeg, whose defence had their best game of the season after coordinator Richie Hall expressed his displeasure going into Montreal.

The Bombers overall have been trying to find a complete game with the offence showing up one night and then we saw the defence takeover.

When they are both humming, they are still the best team in the league. No debate. Sorry to Toronto after what they did to BC on Monday.


Ottawa at Hamilton
Saturday, July 8
7:00 p.m. ET

Ottawa had an audible sigh of relief heard across Canada that they won the battle of the basement with the Edmonton Elks. And now they draw another winless team to try and string wins together.

Ottawa hasn’t been able to beat the Tiger-Cats since 2018. We’re hoping to hear that this is the week Jeremiah Masoli is ready to go, but even then Masoli has had no game action in a year.

Hamilton is one of the three teams coming off the bye from last week and I think they’re closer than it appears in the standings.

Maybe this is the week I give up on them but I feel they are too talented to have this losing streak carry on for too long.

Throw in a struggling REDBLACKS team and a date at Tim Hortons Field and I’m taking Hamilton to land in the win column this week.


Montreal at BC
Sunday, July 9
7:00 p.m. ET

So…… about last week. Both Cody Fajardo and Vernon Adams Jr. reminded us that they will have ‘those games.’

Fajardo and the Als could only put up three points in Week 4, while the Lions QB threw six interceptions in a single game.

Equally surprising is the fact that wasn’t a CFL record for most INTs in a single game.

The Lions defence is still one of the best in the league and while the scoreboard reads 45 points, give them a break. Of the five touchdowns the Argos scored, their longest drive to end in a major was 22 yards. Yes, the offence didn’t give their defence much help with all the turnovers as well as the pick-six and punt return touchdown for Toronto.

I still really like the Lions and that was as ugly as it can get. Great teams bounce back after a dud. I believe we’ll see the Lions have a game similar to the one the Bombers had last week.

Unfortunately for Montreal, they’ll be on the short end of both of these games.


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