October 17, 2023

Prediction Time: CFL.ca writers’ Week 20 picks

Christian Bender/CFL.ca

TORONTO — It’s rare that a reduced offering of games can carry a lot of weight, but that’s exactly what we have in Week 20 of the CFL season.

There are just three games on the schedule both this week and next. As we head into this trio of games, each one could carry some playoff implications. That could change after Friday night, with the BC Lions hosting the Calgary Stampeders. A Lions win puts the pressure on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to down the Edmonton Elks on Saturday to match the Lions’ record (remember that Winnipeg holds the tie break over BC) heading into Week 21.

A Stamps win over the Lions would put the pressure on the Saskatchewan Roughriders to stay a win ahead of the Stamps in the standings (remember that thanks to last week’s dramatic Stamps win, they hold the tie break over the Riders). To do that, the Riders would have to snap their losing streak in their regular season finale against the Toronto Argonauts.

And if the Stamps were to win their Friday game and drop BC down to 12-6, it would cement the Lions into that second place spot, leaving BC as hosts of the Western Semi-Final on Nov. 4 and put the Western crown atop the heads of the Bombers for another season.

It’s one less game than we’re used to, but Week 20 is still laced with drama. Make sure you go to the CFL Game Zone to play Pick ‘Em presented by Old Dutch to get your picks in.

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CGY at BC 

The Lions have controlled the season series against the Stamps, taking their season opener in Week 1 and winning in Week 10. Ten weeks later, the Stamps are desperate for a win and the Lions need a win to keep their flickering hopes of hosting the Western Final alive. Vernon Adams Jr. was a full participant in Monday’s practice, which is a good indication that he’ll stay at the controls of the Lions’ high octane offence. While the Stamps found what they needed in the second half against the Riders last week to get a crucial win, the bulk of the pick makers don’t see it happening for a second week.

PICK 

Writers: 83% BC

Fans: 88% BC

TOR at SSK

The Argos handled the Riders 31-13 when they met in Week 8. Ryan Dinwiddie’s squad has had the East Division locked up for weeks and has continued winning, even while key players have rested. We’re all aware of the Riders’ struggles. Winless since Labour Day and their losing streak now at six games, the Riders have a chance to end their slide and their regular season with a playoff-sealing W, which would give them some good momentum going into the Western Semi-Final. The pick makers don’t see it going that way.

PICK

Writers: 83% Toronto

Fans: 81% Toronto

EDM at WPG

The Bombers come out of a bye week hosting an Elks team that’s been eliminated from the playoff hunt and is finishing up its regular season. The Bombers, meanwhile, are looking to cement their spot atop the West, dependent on the BC-Calgary outcome. Even if the Bombers don’t have something tangible to play for, those making picks this week feel that they’ll take the win over the Elks. If Winnipeg has the West secured after this week, maybe we see Mike O’Shea examine his bench depth in the team’s regular season finale. Until then, we think we’ll see a full-strength and victorious Blue and Gold squad on Saturday.

PICK

Writers: 83% Winnipeg

Fans: 95% Winnipeg

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