December 11, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Tiger-Cats (6-7) at Argonauts (9-4)
Tonight: 6 p.m. TV: TSN
Hamilton line: Tiger-Cats QB Henry Burris continues to lead the league in passing yards, but he's been throwing way too many interceptions in recent weeks and his touchdown to interception ratio is now a bloated 20:15.
Argos line: The Argos made CFL history last week when they won their fourth straight game on the road -- the first time a team has ever played four in a row on the road and won all four. Not only that, the Argos had to overcome a 21-point deficit last week to keep the streak alive, beating Edmonton 34-22.
Bottom line: The Argos are, weirdly, way better on the road this year at 6-1 than at home, where they're just 3-3.
Roughriders (8-5) at Lions (9-4)
Tonight: 9 p.m. TV: TSN
Saskatchewan line: After going 8-1 through the first half of the 2013 CFL season, the Roughriders have yet to win in the second half and carry a league-worst four-game losing streak into this weekend. Bombers fans can take some small consolation in the fact their team's defeat of the Riders in this year's Banjo Bowl -- one of just two Winnipeg wins all year -- began Saskatchewan's losing skid.
B.C. line: The Lions are a perfect 6-0 at home this season and backup QB Thomas DeMarco has been 2-0 as a starter the last two weeks in relief of injured QB Travis Lulay. The Lions are also riding a three-game winning streak coming into this weekend, second only to Toronto's four-game win streak.
Bottom line: B.C. doesn't lose at BC Place. It's the simplest betting angle in the CFL.
Alouettes (5-8) at Eskimos (3-10)
Saturday: 2:30 p.m. TV: TSN
Montreal line: The Als hung on for a gritty 17-12 win at home last weekend over the Saskatchewan Roughriders and could all but lock up the third and final playoff spot in the East Division with a win over the Eskimos this weekend.
Edmonton line: The Eskimos squandered a 21-point lead and lost starting QB Mike Reilly to a concussion in an ugly 34-22 loss to the Argos at home last week. Reilly has bounced back quickly, however, and was taking first-team reps at practice in Edmonton on Thursday. The Eskimos desperately need a win over the Als this week to keep alive any realistic chance of catching Montreal for a crossover playoff berth.
Bottom line: The Eskimos need this one more than the Als, which is why they're rushing Reilly back.
Bombers (2-11) at Stampeders (10-3)
Saturday: 5:30 p.m. TV: TSN
Winnipeg line: The Bombers have lost 10 of their last 11 games, including the last three in a row, and are heading into a stadium where they haven't won since George W. Bush was in the second year of his presidency. Also, they're the worst team in the league -- by a mile.
Calgary line: The Stamps have the best record in the CFL and outnumber Winnipeg in the all-important category of viable starting quarterbacks by a ratio of 3:0. Toss in a superlative running back in Jon Cornish, a deep and talented receiving corps and a dominating pass rush and this tilt looks like the worst mismatch of the entire season.
Bottom line: Winnipeg is a 16-point underdog. Calgary should be insulted.
The Free Press has assembled a panel to offer their fearless predictions every week. Joining us this year are CJOB's Bob Irving, and from the Free Press, sports editor Steve Lyons, columnists Gary Lawless and Doug Brown and football writers Paul Wiecek and Ed Tait:
Irving: Toronto, Saskatchewan, Montreal, Calgary
Lyons: Toronto, Saskatchewan, Edmonton, Calgary
Lawless: Toronto, B.C., Montreal, Calgary
Brown: Toronto, B.C., Edmonton, Calgary
Tait: Toronto, B.C., Edmonton, Calgary
Wiecek: Toronto, B.C., Edmonton, Calgary
Last week/overall: Tait 3-1/34-18; Wiecek 3-1/33-19; Lyons 2-2/32-20; Lawless 3-1/32-20; Brown 3-1/32-20; Irving 3-1/30-22
-- Paul Wiecek
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 4, 2013 C8