at WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS
Tonight, 7 p.m. TV: TSN. Radio: CJOB
Vegas line: Hamilton -3.5
Ticats line: Oh, look. The Tiger-Cats are at the .500 mark. What a shocker. This club cannot stand success, as evidenced by the giant egg they laid against Calgary last week. The defence allowed 233 yards against on the ground and has given up an average of 145 yards rushing per game. Offensively, they go as Henry Burris goes.
Bombers line: Joey Elliott gets the start, replacing Alex Brink, who was so-so in his three starts. Brink replaced Buck Pierce, who is so-so in the healthy department. You get the idea. Running back Chad Simpson should have a field day, provided he can stay on the field long enough to do some damage. People are coming back from injuries, too.
Bottom line: With B.C. coming and a trip to Saskatchewan after that, this is a big one for the Big Blue.
at EDMONTON ESKIMOS
Friday, 8 p.m. TV: TSN.
Vegas line: Edmonton -1.5
Alouettes line: Anthony Calvillo is the only quarterback over the 2,000-yard mark in passing yards this season. He's thrown for 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. Wasn't he supposed to be hurt? Hate to see him when he's at 100 per cent. The Als are starting to turn things around on defence, too. That can't be good for the East Division.
Eskimos line: They have only allowed 109 points in six games -- a remarkable number when you think about the football league they play in. It's incredible, really. Full marks to Kavis Reed for getting these guys ready every week. They are not an easy out.
Bottom line: Oh yeah. Cory Boyd, the CFL's rushing leader, plays for Edmonton now. Write that down. It could be important.
at CALGARY STAMPEDERS
Saturday, 6 p.m. TV: TSN.
Vegas line: Calgary -4.5
Argos line: They released Boyd last weekend, which was weird. Apparently, he wasn't the greatest teammate, whatever that means. Funny how that stuff always comes out after the guy is long gone. Where do the Boatmen go from here? Chad Kackert, that's where. Ricky Ray has to look around sometimes and go, "Huh?"
Stamps line: No one -- and we mean no one -- saw that win coming in Hamilton last week. Good for Kevin Glenn, beating his old team like that. Say what you want about the guy, but he still knows how to manage a CFL offence. Of course, it always helps when the running back is rushing for 170 yards with his legs. Hey, they don't ask how, they ask how many.
Bottom line: Big game for Toronto, just to see where everyone's head is at.
at B.C. LIONS
Sunday, 6 p.m. TV: TSN.
Vegas line: B.C. -6.5
Riders line: Turnovers are killers, eh? Nothing derails a good thing like a fumble or an interception. Saskatchewan was so good through the first three games with those pesky turnovers. They couldn't give it away if they tried. Now, riding a three-week losing streak, they can't stop giving away games. Charity begins at home? Good thing they're on the road.
Lions line: Other than Khalif Mitchell losing his suspension appeal Wednesday (he'll have to sit for two games), there is really nothing of note here. The Vancouver cats are 4-2, tied for the lead in the West Division; they look like defending Grey Cup champions. How do teams function with all this consistent, steady play? Don't they get bored once in a while?
Bottom line: The Riders beat the Lions in Week 3. That seems like a million years ago in Regina.
THE PICKS (straight up)
The Free Press has assembled a panel this season 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 (who also serves as the 'OB football game analyst), lead football writer Paul Wiecek and reporter Adam Wazny.
Irving: Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, B.C.
Lyons: Winnipeg, Montreal, Calgary, B.C.
Lawless: Hamilton, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatchewan
Brown: Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, B.C.
Wiecek: Hamilton, Edmonton, Calgary, B.C.
Wazny: Hamilton, Montreal, Calgary, B.C.
Last week (overall): Irving 1-1 (16-8); Lyons 0-2 (12-12); Lawless 0-2 (12-12); Brown 0-2 (13-11); Wiecek 0-2 (9-15); Wazny 1-1 (12-12).