Last week was all it was hyped up to be. B.C. beat Edmonton by 10 points and that was the largest margin of victory in the league. Week 20 once again is stacked with playoff scenarios. The schedule makers did an amazing job this year making the season come right down to the wire with a lot of divisional games at the end of the season. I went 2-2 last week and I am now 44-25 on the season. With so much going on this week let’s get right into my picks.
(12-4) Calgary Stampeders @ (9-7) Winnipeg Blue Bombers Friday 8:30pm ET
Calgary comes into the game losers of two in a row for the first time season. The defence looked a little leaky against Saskatchewan last week especially in the defensive backfield. This week they will have to tighten up if they want to beat the CFL’s hottest team. On offence it is a work in progress as they continue to deal with a heap of injuries. Calgary better get it sorted out soon though or it could be a quick playoff run for them this season. For Winnipeg they have won four games in a row and get to play the Stamps at home. A win for the Bombers locks up a playoff spot and knocks Edmonton out of the race. The defence on Winnipeg has been the key to their big run at the end of the season. They look like the “Swaggerville” of old again. Hopefully this time they can think of a less cheesy name for the defensive group. If the offence continues to click and the defence plays lights out like they have recently I think Calgary’s losing streak stretches to three on Friday.
Prediction: Blue Bombers win 34-31
(9-7) Ottawa Redblacks @ (8-8) Hamilton Tiger-Cats Saturday 4:00pm ET
Ottawa took game one of the home and home last week and with the win took sole possession of first in the CFL’s East Division. This week they are going to have to be even better playing in Hamilton against a team that, if they lose, will also lose the division. I thought Hamilton played well last week but key injuries especially on offence really hurt them in the end. This week Ottawa is going to have to be sharp on both sides of the ball and not have one of their off games that they have been accustomed to this season. For Hamilton they have nothing to lose, except hosting the East Final. They should come out strong at home and play the well rounded game they are capable of playing. Injuries should be no excuse this weekend as they still have plenty of playmakers available on both sides of the ball. I think Hamilton puts on a show for their hometown crowd this weekend and comes away with a win.
Prediction: Tiger-Cats win 38-35
(9-7) B.C. Lions @ (11-6) Saskatchewan Roughriders Saturday 5:00pm ET
The Lions are on a roll. They have won three in a row and find themselves locked into a playoff spot. Now they are eyeing a home playoff game and Saskatchewan is the only team that stands in their way. A win this week puts them in a position to steal a home playoff game from the Riders with another win next week. If they lose, they will either finish third in the West Division or cross over and try and make the Grey Cup through the back door. I’m sure B.C. would rather play in their own building than go east and try and do something no west team has ever done and that is make the Grey Cup through the east. The key to victory is Travis Lulay playing well and the defence continuing to dominate. Lulay is the leader of this Lions team, where he goes they go. The defence has stepped it up since a week nine switch flipped and they haven’t looked back. For the Riders it is all about finding consistency on offence. Zach Collaros had his best game as a Rider last week but now he has to string a couple together to give himself, and his team confidence going into playoffs. If the combination of him and Cameron Marshall can play like they did last week against Calgary the Riders should be alright. I think this is a back and forth game but the Riders pull one out at home.
Prediction: Roughriders win 29-27
(4-12) Toronto Argonauts @ (3-13) Montreal Alouettes Sunday 1:00pm ET
Toronto won the first of a back to back with Montreal last week but they didn’t look overly impressive. James Franklin is back at QB for the Argos and I am hoping he builds a lot of confidence in these final few games going into next season because I really believe he can be a star in our league. The game, in my eyes, was kind of a wash last week. No team really took over or impressed me and the stats were almost identical. I think Toronto will want to establish more of a run presence this week to have a little more success on offence. For Montreal they ran the ball really well, now it is time to punch the ball in the end zone a few more times when they have chances. Johnny Manziel went 23 for 30 last week but just couldn’t make the big plays when they needed it late. That will have to change if they want a win this week. I picked Montreal on my podcast this week (Squib Kick Radio) but with the news of possible turmoil in the Als dressing room I’m going to switch it up and take Toronto in another close one.
Prediction: Argonauts win 30-25
This week could either determine pretty much all of the playoff positions or completely muddle everything up and make it all come down to the final week. Calgary could lock up a West Final home playoff game, The Riders could get the West Semi at home, Winnipeg could grab the final playoff spot from Edmonton and first place in the east could be decided this weekend. On the flip side literally none of those things could be determined if everything plays out a specific way. The ending to this CFL season has been madness and I can’t wait to see what week 20 has in store. Thanks for reading.
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