All right, Hall of Fame weekend! New buildings! Teams moving! NFL cuts! Mid-season CFL, running time next to NFL preseason games. In actuality, pro football at its worst.
BC @ Saskatchewan - Today at 9:00
Defeating the Lions at home has become a ritual among CFL teams this year. Jarious Jackson is getting the start at quarterback for BC. After three more losses, whose neck is going to be next on the chopping block?
The Riders are favoured by seven and a half. Take it. It should be fun. It's been interesting this year to watch BC lose in many different ways to many different teams. Take the 54.5 under, as well.
Hamilton @ Winnipeg Friday at 8:30
Remember when Bob Young bought the Tiger-Cats after they came off their 1-19 season and he was going to be the guy to turn everything around?
Yeah, about that...
When the Ti-Cats play at CanadInns Stadium, I hope they hate the subpar facilities, and don't cringe when they realize, um, oh yeah, that...
My own conspiracy theory is that the Hamilton City Council backed the downtown West Harbour Stadium to chase away the Tiger-Cats who are adding to Hamilton's unfortunate reputation. This past decade was the first that the Tiger-Cats didn't win a Grey Cup since the 1900s, just like the Montreal Canadiens. Unlike the Montreal Canadiens, they didn't finish in the top four in the league last year.
Anyways, playing the Bombers each week has become sort of an annoying chore, like church, to be repeated each and every weekend because the scheduler seemed to have completely forgotten about these two teams when making up the early season schedule. Home team has won each game. Winnipeg is favoured by three, continuing a trend where only two times this year has a game been decided by fewer than three, I'll take Winnipeg. The over/under is 54. Kevin Glenn has been on fire as of late, and Winnipeg quietly has put up the third best scoring offense in the league. Go up.
Montreal @ Toronto Saturday at 7:30
The only thing that would make this Montreal/Toronto Saturday night game better is if it were played on ice. It makes you wonder how the Habs would do against the Leafs on fake grass and vice versa; how would the Alouettes fare against the Argonauts on a cold, slippery, synthetic indoor surface?
The Leafs have some big guys who could play linebacker. Dion Phaneuf would love to hear that he's legally allowed to leave his feet on hits. Dress JS Giguere up in those big pads of his and just try to see a guy run past him on the end. From a skill standpoint, they have enough speed guys to run the big field in Kessel, Versteeg and Kulemin. Francois Beauchemin is a cut guy with good vision who could be a decent quarterback.
But what kind of team do the Habs have? Their second biggest player is their backup goalie, Alex Auld. If he's as adept at stopping a run as he is stopping a puck, the team is in serious trouble. I see Michael Cammaelleri at quarterback, PK Subban at running back, and Tomas Plekanec as a defensive captain and safety.
Take the Argonauts +7 at home, with Colby Armstrong running for a couple of touchdowns. Take the over at 52.
Edmonton @ Calgary Sunday at 8:05
The first Battle of Alberta game this year is in Calgary, with the Stampeders as one of the premier teams, and the Eskimos coming into the game running routes at random, without direction. I'm sure last week I saw tackle Calvin Armstrong fall for the old "your shoelace is untied" gag from an opposing defensive lineman, leading to a Ricky Ray sack.
Take Calgary minus ten at home, and under 54. Both these teams are better defensive than offensive clubs.
I cut my thumb this week pretty badly, making my digit equivalent to every CFLer who tried out for the NFL this week. Although Dmitri Tsoumpas and Titus Ryan certainly aren't part of a very passable spaghetti sauce.