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TORONTO — Week 16 arrives with a feeling of order being upended.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are on a high, having handed the Winnipeg Blue Bombers an emphatic defeat in Week 15. The Black and Gold have won three of their last four and are a win away from the .500 mark, when just a few weeks back that felt very unlikely. Out West, the Edmonton Elks are coming off of a big fourth quarter performance against the Saskatchewan Roughriders that let them run away with their fourth win in five games.
So as the Ticats and Elks ready to face teams that have been powerhouses this season, in the Toronto Argonauts and the BC Lions, respectively, choosing a winner doesn’t feel like the comfortably open-and-shut case that it might have been just a few weeks earlier.
You could also make the same argument for the other two games that Week 16 offers up. Let’s dive into the uncertainty and see where our writers and the fans playing CFL Pick ‘Em presented by Old Dutch have landed.
» Visit the Game Zone and play Pick ‘Em presented by Old Dutch
» Nye’s Weekly Predictor: Hangin’ with Hamilton
» MMQB: Has Hammer time arrived?
» Power Rankings: A restless herd mobilizes
» Landry’s five takeaways from Week 15
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SSK at OTT
Yes, the REDBLACKS are on a seven-game losing streak, there’s no getting around that. If you’re a play-the-hot-hand/play-against-the-cold-hand type of picker, you’re going with Saskatchewan here. That losing streak has been threaded with close games though, with the average margin of defeat just 5.3 points and only two losses with a margin of 10 points or more. We’ll find out on Friday if the REDBLACKS can pick up their first win in almost two months.
Writers: 83% Saskatchewan
Fans: 63% Saskatchewan
BC at EDM
Daunting stat of the week: The Elks are yet to score a point against the Lions this season, dropping both games they’ve had by a combined 49-0. Those two losses stand out in the Elks’ 0-9 start to the season, however that horrible start is being pushed into the rearview thanks to the Elks winning four out of their last five with Tre Ford, who hasn’t faced the Lions’ defence yet this year. The odds remain against the Elks overall this season, but there’s some cautious optimism from the writers this week that they can keep this run going. The fans see it a different way.
Writers: 50-50 split
Fans: 71% BC
MTL at CGY
This game, with the Stamps sitting on just four wins and the Als riding a four-game losing streak that’s dropped them under .500, could feel like two people wandering through the dessert and finding an oasis at the same time. The writers are leaning toward the rested Stamps at home, as they come off of a bye week, while it should be noted that the Als’ losing streak comes from a gruelling stretch of the schedule that saw them play a combo of BC, Winnipeg and Toronto four times. A slim majority of the fans see it that way too.
Writers: 66% Calgary
Fans: 54% Calgary
HAM at TOR
The Argos welcome the Ticats to BMO Field on Saturday night to close out Week 16 (where is this season going and why is it happening so fast?). They’re also looking to close the chapter on their season series by running the table on their arch-rival. The Argos have owned this series, winning 32-14 in Week 2, 31-15 in Week 7 and 41-28 in Week 13 on OK Tire Labour Day Weekend. The Ticats have begun to turn their season around, winning three of their last four, which includes wins over the BC Lions and last week’s takedown of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Can some post-clinching the East malaise hit the Argos this week? Two of the writers think so. The fans?
Writers: 66% Toronto
Fans: 82% Toronto