It was a high scoring week in the CFL last week. The Riders and Redblacks put up a total of 85 points, while the Ti-Cats put up 64 on the Argos. Last week I went 2-1 straight up and 3-0 against the spread. I’m now 5-2 straight up and 6-1 against the spread on the season. This week there are a couple of crucial early season matchups. let’s see how I see them playing out.
(2-0) Edmonton Eskimos @ (1-0) Winnipeg Blue Bombers Thursday 8:30pm ET
For what my money is worth this will be the game of the week. The Eskimos have looked really good while being guided by QB Trevor Harris while I think Winnipeg is the best team on paper in the CFL. These could be the final two teams in the West at the end of the year. The Esk’s have had a good balance of run and pass and their defence has been very good as well. Last week they sacked B.C. Lions QB Mike Reilly seven times. It was domination for the Eskimos especially in the second half and they have really caught my eye early this season. For Winnipeg they had a bye last week but looked good against B.C. in week 1, they will have a challenge on their hands against Edmonton. If you asked me after week 1 who would win I would have said Winnipeg but after what the Esk’s showed me last week, I think they win in a close one.
Prediction: Eskimos win 34-31
(0-1) Montreal Alouettes @ (2-0) Hamilton Tiger-Cats Friday 7:30pm ET
Montreal had a bye in week 2, and it looks like Antonio Pipkin won’t be ready to start this week, That means Vernon Adams Jr. should get the start. He has shown flashes of brilliance in the past and is a capable fill in QB. Montreal held their own against Edmonton in week 1 and they shouldn’t get blown out like Toronto did against Hamilton this week. Hamilton looked near perfect against Toronto last week. Sean Thomas-Erlington had 165 total yards last week and Jeremiah Masoli threw for 338 yards and 3 TDs in the win. This team looks good and I expect them to get to 3-0 this week.
Prediction: Tiger-Cats win 37-20
(0-2) B.C. Lions @ (0-1) Calgary Stampeders Saturday 7:00pm ET
The Lions offensive line looked terrible last week and for a lot of fans the sky is falling. However, the line looked pretty good against another tough front seven in Winnipeg in week one so it may just have been a bad week. No need to push the panic button quite yet. The Lions need to establish a run game early this week to take some pressure off of Mike Reilly. They haven’t ran the ball well in either game this season. They had 4 yards in week 1 and 53 yards this week but half of those yards were due to Mike Reilly running for his life. This week that has to change or they will be 0-3. The Stamps got a bye week after a surprising loss in week 1. No one should be ready to write off the defending champs quite yet. Yes, the offence couldn’t do anything with 4 turnovers in week 1 and Ottawa pulled out a win but, Calgary always finds a way. Until I see a couple games from them they are still the champs in my mind. This week I think Calgary gets in the win column.
Prediction: Stampeders win 29-22
(0-1) Toronto Argonauts @ (0-2) Saskatchewan Roughriders Monday 7:00pm ET
The Argos had one of the worst performances I’ve seen in recent memory. They were dominated by Hamilton in every facet of the game. The offence sputtered, the defence was dominated and Brandon Banks took one to the house. It was bad, bad. I don’t know if I trust James Franklin to be the guiding force at QB that this team needs. Mcleod Bethel-Thompson is their backup and I just feel like he has more confidence than Franklin when he is under centre. This week I think Franklin needs to have a short leash and James Wilder Jr. needs more than six touches in the run game for this team to be successful. It happened all year last year too. He doesn’t get the ball enough and is an elite talent in this league. That needs to change. The Riders were in a shootout in Ottawa last week. Cody Fajardo made his first career CFL start and looked very good in the process. He went 27 for 34 for 360 yards and 2 TDs. There is some optimism in Riderville after his great performance. The defence didn’t look good and they are better than what they played. This week the Riders should get their first win under the belt as long as Fajardo continues to play well.
Prediction: Roughriders win 31-21
Point Spread Betting Odds (Bodog)
Season record: 6-1, 3-0 last week
Edmonton @ Winnipeg: Take Edmonton +4.5
Montreal @ Hamilton: Take Hamilton -13.5
B.C. @ Calgary: Take B.C. +10.5
Toronto @ Saskatchewan: Take Toronto +12
This week could really show us who the contenders are and who is going to have to battle to try and get into the playoffs. The Esks and Bombers game could be a clash of the titans early in the season, Montreal is in tough against Hamilton, The Lions and Stamps need to show that their early season losses were just stumbles and the Riders need to keep pace in the very tough West Division. Each game has multiple storylines that will be exciting to follow! I can’t wait for week 3. Thanks for reading and remember to check out the Squib Kick Radio podcast for more in depth football conversations!