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Week 8 brings with it some key divisional games at the midway point of the season.
While the cream may still be rising to the top in the West, it is a wide open race in the East Division.
As for my fellow predictors, I’m not going to say anything now that I’ve ran up the leaderboard after feeling like I had a better shot of letting my three year old make the picks for me.
So straight to it:
Hamilton at Ottawa
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET
David Watford did just enough in his first start for the Tiger-Cats. He played safe football, while allowing an excellent defence dominate against the Calgary Stampeders. The Tiger-Cats are still without Brandon Banks but Tim White and Papi White are filling in their own speed for ‘Speedy B.’
The Tiger-Cats appear to start to gain some traction after a slow start. The biggest difference is the ability to turnover the football, while protecting it on their offence. They were -8 in turnover differential in their first two games and have been +10 in their last four.
And now the Tiger-Cats have the REDBLACKS, who have struggling the most on the offensive side of the ball. Watford again shouldn’t be tasked to stretch the field and be aggressive on offence but the REDBLACKS defence is underrated. They’re on the field a lot and I give them a lot of credit for hanging in there.
Ottawa isn’t out of the race yet, however, and they’ll hope to see the offence start to click soon.
PICK: HAMILTON (100% confidence bonus)
Montreal at Toronto
Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET
The Argonauts have a new boss on defence with Chris Jones signed this week, while the Alouettes have their head coach back with Khari Jones returning after missing last week’s loss because of COVID-19.
The Alouettes have to be disappointed with what happened last week, as they dropped a decision against the BC Lions that I felt they had every chance of winning. Looking back at the game, Vernon Adams Jr. had 14 pass attempts beyond 20-yards, which is an extraordinary amount. He only complete three of them in the loss. Another loss this season was in Calgary when Adams went 4 of 14 on deep throws. In the other three games (two wins) the most he attempted deep was seven passes.
I know the moniker is ‘Big Play VA’ but he needs to manage the game better. William Stanback is close to an unstoppable force so with Khari back on the sideline, I’m sure the coach will try to rein in his quarterback.
The Argonauts, meanwhile, have brought in Chris Jones to make a mark on the defensive side of the ball. Their defence needs to create some noise as they’ve only turned the ball over three times in the last four games. I’m waiting for the Argonauts to have a breakout game on offence with Nick Arbuckle being able to up his completion percentage.
PICK: MONTREAL (50% confidence bonus)
Saskatchewan at BC
Friday, 10:30 p.m. ET
Oh my goodness, this is an absolute coin flip in my opinion. I can make a strong case for both teams.
So here they are.
BC’s aerial assault will take advantage of a banged up Riders secondary. Michael Reilly’s arm will be much better than it was in the opener when he almost willed the Lions to a remarkable comeback.
The odds of the Lions being down 28-0 in the first 20 minutes is slim to none.
The Lions defence continues to improve and gel together.
The Riders run game just went off on Toronto and Montreal just ran over the Lions … William Powell should be licking his chops.
The Riders strength of schedule has been far tougher so far than the BC Lions, so the Riders are more battle-tested.
Cody Fajardo is starting to find some chemistry with new playmakers on offence.
The Riders secondary will be improved with Ed Gainey’s potential return.
So… what’s the difference… home field, I guess.
PICK: BC (0 confidence bonus)