Friday, September 28, 2012

Pre-Game Thoughts on Montreal @ Hamilton

Probably the biggest news is both Avon Cobourne and the returning from injury Chevon "Don't Call Me Siobhan" Walker playing. How much they'll play together may depend on ratio issues. Right now, the Cats start 3 non-import offensive linemen, Andy Fantuz and Samuel Giguere. With four receivers and a fullback in, non-import Daryl Stephenson is in at fullback. For five and six receiver sets, Stephenson comes out and non-import Dave Stala comes in (note I'm inferring this from the depth chart which may be different than what actually happens in the game). So that's six non-import starters on offense and you need seven total. The Cats start two non-imports on defence so they're up by one.

For Walker and Cobourne to be on the field at the same time that pretty much precludes Stephenson (although they could have some odd formations, especially on short yardage or he could be a tight end), and I assume it would be Williams, Grant, Fantuz and Giguere at receiver. That could be interesting, especially if one swings out and Burris does some play action to the other. I'll try and keep track of who is on the field if and when Cobourne and Walker are both on at the same time.

In other injury news Colclough is in at linebacker for Knowlton and Young is back at one of the corners.

Who knows what the Cats will do tonight? They have a 500 record at home, while the Alouettes have a losing record on the road. This game is not must win, but it is close to it, both to stay ahead of the Bombers and to try and catch Edmonton for the cross-over playoff spot. If they lose this game, things become a lot more problematic. 

Luca Congi Article in the National Post

There's an article in the National Post about Luca Congi and his kicking success this year in the CFL this year, including awesomeness over 40 yards and Paul Osbaldiston as some mystical Bagger Vance figure (although considerably pastier than Will Smith). Last year I did a post comparing Paul McCallum's kicking with NFL kickers. Maybe on the weekend I'll make a post comparing Congi's year thus far, provided he doesn't honk it up tonight.

CFL Predictions 2012 Week 14

Montreal at Hamilton
Getting close to must win territory for the Ticats to qualify for the playoffs. For the Alouettes not so much, although historically the Alouettes haven't exactly been a team that takes the brakes off. The past two games the Cats have looked good and then mediocre. The Als are only one point favourites on the road. The Cats are going to play both running back Chevon Walker and Avon Cobourne this game which has fans hopeful. The Cats have a 500 home record and the Als actually have a losing record on the road. I'll go with the Cats this week and their sense of urgency, although I probably shouldn't.
Cats 28 Team Marois 24

Edmonton at Calgary
Esks are starting their third string quarterback (who didn't look too good when he played against Hamilton two weeks ago) and are unsurprisingly seven point underdogs on the road. I think that's valid. Esks losing streak continues.
Calgary 37 Edmonton 19

Toronto at Winnipeg
Winnipeg has Buck Pierce starting (assuming he hasn't slipped on a banana peel this week) and the Argos have career backup and not particularly young Jarious Jackson. After beating Hamilton last week, the Bombers have a glimmer of a playoff spot. I'll take playoff urgency over backup starting quarterback and the Bombers will cover the three points they've been given.
Bombers 31 Team Suck 23

BC at Saskatchewan
The Lions are only 2.5 favourites on the road. Considering the Lions only managed to beat the currently lowly Eskimos by a single point and the Riders good showing against a good Stamps team last week, plus a rowdy crowd at Fertilizer Field (Mosaic), that to me says Riders win.
Riders 29 Lions 24

Thursday, September 27, 2012

CFL Power Rankings 2012 Week 13

1. BC Lions
Can't argue with keep winning, even if they only managed to beat the swooning Eskimos by a single point. I'm starting to think that the Lions are pretty much a defensive power house and just average on offense. That's a lot in 2012's CFL.
2. Montreal Alouettes
Anthony Calvillo is in a groove of late and the Alouettes have risen above all the other teams save the Lions. Easily handled the Argos last week at home and are close to locking up the East final in Montreal.
3. Calgary Stampeders
Sure they lost to the Riders, but only by five points and there's a lot of mediocre teams in the CFL. Jon Cornish is a good weapon to have. Glenn having a good year. Not much more to say.
4. Saskatchewan Rough Riders
Have the Riders turned it around? Maybe. I need to see more proof, but they managed to win last week which is something.
5. Toronto Argonauts
Lost to Montreal badly in Alouetteland last week and have lost Ricky Ray for some indeterminant period of time. Being stuck with Jarious Jackson a career backup doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. Still not a bad defence.
6. Edmonton Eskimos
Down to their third string quarterback due to injuries whose name I can't be bothered to look up, and losers of four straight, things are looking grim for the Eskimos. Thanks Ron Lancaster for the cross-over playoff spot
7. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Pretty close to basement level, especially after losing to the Bombers in a semi-must win game. Offence is powerful, but inexplicably coughs up a furball in the third quarter.
8. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Sure they won a game, with Buck "One Game Played without Injury" Pierce back. Win two in a row and we'll start talking.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ticats Lose to Bombers 34 to 12

Well looks like it's official, the 2012 Hamilton Tiger-Cats are a bad team. It didn't look like it going into the season, but that's why they play the games.

The final score favoured the Bombers as the Cats were in if for most of the game and even leading at one point, but a combination of penalties and ineptness on offense finally ground down a Ticat defence that played relatively well.

The turning points were either the Fantuz fumble after gaining a first down or the contacting the kicker penalty that extended a Bomber drive. The Bomber
offense was helped by numerous penalties, some justified, some incredibly chintzy (including one of the weaker facemask penalties of the season) and not by the awesome play of Buck Pierce, although you wouldn't know it from the way the TSN personalities were massaging his prostate gland.

For the Cats to make the playoffs likely requires them to go 4 and 2 over the last 6 games, which considering their personnel is possible, although considering they are 4 and 8 now somewhat unlikely. Either Edmonton or Saskatchewan could also totally collapse as well, but now the Bombers are inexplicably back in the mix one game behind the Ticats.

I'll be curious to see if the coaches make any changes this week before the next home game. I'm not really sure what they could do either.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ticats At Bombers Preview

Can the Cats continue from last week and get into the crossover playoff race with Saskatchewan and Edmonton? After last week's dominating performance on offence and defence one would hope so, but the Cats have underachieved their expectations this year.

For the offensive lineup, nothing too remarkable, at least on the lineup card posted on the Cats website. Cobourne starts at running back for the still injured Chevon Walker. Dile is in at right tackle and no more Hage in the middle, with O'Neill in, but that was true last week as well. Jones is listed ahead of Bakari Grant at slot.

For Winnipeg Buck Pierce is listed as the quarterback. Insert Buck Pierce injury joke here. Pierce has given the Cats trouble over the years as have the Bombers at home.

On defence, the front four is Boudreaux and Peach outside and McElveen and Davis inside. Last week they had five sacks which compared to their previous efforts over the first ten games was impressive. With Pierce's propensity to hang on to the ball there may be some sack opportunities available.

Brock Campbell is in again at Markeith Knowlton's spot at linebacker. He had a sack last week.

The defensive backfield again has the rarity of two Canadian starters in Rwabukamba as one of the corners and Bucknor as the safety.

Looking over the Bomber depth chart, one problem seems to be their non-imports are pretty mediocre. No real non-import receiver of note and that's going to hurt you especially if you're starting two import offensive tackles like the Bombers. Compare that to the Cats trio of Fantuz, Stala and Giguere. I know the Bombers are a running team, but if they lose this game and have written off a playoff spot, I'd be throwing in whatever non-imports at slot and receiver for the remaining games and hope somebody or somebodies develop for next year.

Andy Fantuz Bad Season?

Andy Fantuz was signed to the Cats this year to a high value contract in CFL terms. After 11 games some consider him somewhat of a bust. However looking over the list of receiving leaders for the CFL, I don't think this is really the case. Chris Williams is third in the league with 900 yards receiving, however Fantuz is a respectable 12th on the list with 553 yards. Considering Fantuz missed some playing time due to injury his per game average performance would probably move him up the list of CFL receivers.

Fantuz still has seven regular games go this year and could still crack the 1000 yard mark. Fantuz always draws coverage helping out the other Ticat receivers. The Cats offence hasn't been the problem this year and neither has Fantuz.

Chris Williams has the chance to be the first CFL receiver to crack the 1,000 yard mark this year if he gets triple digit receiving yards against the Bombers tonight. That's impressive for only his 12th game this year.

CFL Predictions 2012 Week 13

Hamilton at Winnipeg
Can the Cats make it two in a row? Can Winnipeg stop their suck? Hamilton is only a 3.5 favourite, but that's on the road so it's not like the oddsmakers have any confidence in the Bombers. I can't remember if Buck Pierce is supposed to start this game or not, but even if he does, the odds he would make it through the game are slim. The Cats offence looks to be back on track and Winnipeg's defence isn't what it was last year. I feel safe picking the Cats by a TD, but then I thought the Cats would beat the Bombers last time, so what do I know.
Cats 35 Team Last Place 25

BC at Edmonton
Esks have looked bad of late, getting absolutely hammered in the Hammer last week. The Lions have won two in a row and are 8 and 3. Yet they're only favoured by 3.5 points. Doesn't seem to make a lot sense, although Steven Jyles may again be the quarterback. I don't really think that matters.
Lions 30 Eskimos 21

Toronto at Montreal
The only battle of teams with winning records in the CFL this week, that pretty much makes it the premium matchup. Montreal is favoured by 4 points, but they are 5 and 1 at home. So go with the home team.
Alouttes 25 Team Suck 21

Calgary at Saskatchewan
The Stamps are only favoured by 2 on the road, although the Riders home record is only 3 and 2. The Stamps have won four in a row, while the Riders have lost one. Durant looks to be healthy for this one, which is something at least. I still don't think the Riders are that great a team. I don't the Stamps are fantastic either, but they've got two great players in Nik Lewis and Jon Cornish on offence. That's enough.
Stamps 37 Riders 33

Thursday, September 20, 2012

CFL Power Rankings 2012 Week 12

1. BC Lions
The Lions keep rolling in a league full of mediocre teams. Sure last week's game against the Argos was close, but the Lions still won. You can't blow out teams every week.

2. Montreal Alouettes
The Alouettes aren't at the Lions level, but they have won a lot of games behind Anthony "Dorian Grey" Calvillo. I'm not really keen on the fact the Alouettes having significantly less points scored than points allowed. That generally indicates a lucky team and teams don't stay lucky forever.

3. Calgary Stampeders
Was quarterback Drew Tate going down with a season ending injury addition by subtraction. The Stamps are better with Kevin Glenn playing who benefits from Jon Cornish's running. The Stamps offence is enough to beat most teams in the CFL, but Kevin Glenn can strike with a boneheaded pick at any time. Just wait.

4. Toronto Argonauts
Made the game against the Lions close in BC, which is saying something for Eastern teams. Chad Owens is having a career year, proving that the Argos weren't totally deficient in receivers last year, more that they were stuck with Cleo "the Party" Lemon at quarterback.

5. Saskatchewan Rough Riders
Getting close to 500 is positive, although doing it by racking up games against Winnipeg isn't that impressive. Play a real team and we'll see what you can do.

6. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The Cats are back! Maybe. At least for one game where everything clicked. The Cat offence is capable of doing damage quickly, or burning time with a long drive. The Cat defence is capable of blowing leads for the offence. Fortunately the Ticats have Winnipeg to build up their confidence this week.

7. Edmonton Eskimos
Is the Ricky Ray trade coming home to roost for Eric Tillman and the former Evil Empire? Trotting out a geriatric Curtis Joseph didn't turn out too well last week in the Hammer. Inexplicably the Esks ran little last week, which they really should, even if they're behind. Maybe the Esks will realize that this week.

8. Winnnipeg Blue Bombers
What happened to the Swaggerville defence of last year? Why didn't the Bombers sign any free agents this off season? Who knows, but the Bombers are proving this year that you can go from the penthouse to the doghouse in one season in the CFL. If the Bombers lose this week they're pretty much done, if they're not already. At least they have a new stadium to look forward to next year.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Points For and Points Against Weirdness

After this week's games, Hamilton at 4 and 7 actually has more points scored than against with 348 to 347. Montreal with a 7 and 4 record has only scored 301 points versus 327 allowed. Saskatchewan at 5 and 6 has scored 284 points versus 234 allowed.

Monday, September 17, 2012

2012 Olympic Statistics Blog

For work I ended up collecting some data from the athletes of the 2012 London Olympics. I thought about making blog posts with some statistics here, but Ticat and Olympian stuff doesn't really overlap in terms of readership so I made a separate blog called Olympic Statistics. Here's a post with histograms of the ages of Olympians. I'll continue making posts at that blog whenever I end up making some new plots and I'll probably cross post them here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ticats Annihilate Eskimos 51 to 8

Well that was enjoyable. Especially after the Cats were down 8 zip after the first quarter. Probably the play of the game was Dee Webb blocking an Eskimo kick and then Bakari Grant returning the ball for a TD with no time left. Grant seems to be returning to form after injury with four catches for 66 yards. Williams had another good game with 125 yards on eight catches plus a TD and Dave Stala had another strong game with 2 catches for 98 yards and a TD where he basically schooled the Eskimo defender. Cobourne had a good game with 121 yards on 18 touches with a TD. Not a great average, but he always had positive yards it seemed.

Burris had a good game with over 400 yards with 23 completions out of 33 attempts and 3 TDs, but he did have 2 picks.

The defence surprisingly stepped up with five sacks by five different quarterbacks. Considering the feeble amount of sacks the Cats had going in to the game, that was quite the accomplishment. Kerry Joseph couldn't seem to get much going after the first quarter and then it was all downhill for the Esks.

Certainly the win was important, pulling the Cats to within one game of Edmonton for a crossover spot and going two games ahead of Winnipeg. If the Cats can win next week in the Peg, that's pretty much it for the Bombers to catch the Cats for the East's final playoff spot.

Some weirdness in the game was at the end of the third quarter where there was a series of penalties that extended it. It was like the quarter that wouldn't end.

Eskimos at Cats Game Day Thoughts

Is this a must win game for the Cats with eight games remaining. Mathematically no, but the Cats have a decent shot playing Edmonton at home with the rather crotchety Kerry Joseph at the controls. With Winnipeg losing already this week, a win would get the Cats two games up on the Bombers and probably more importantly another win in their battle against the Riders for the crossover playoff spot.
Potentially if the Riders get hot the Esks could be a crossover possibility as well, so beating the Esks is potentially doubly important.

The Esks have also lost back to back games against the Stamps. The Cats have lost five straight so neither team can claim much momentum. The Cats have lost some close games although last week the Argos pulled away in the fourth quarter.

The Cats still have injury issues. Hage is apparently gone at centre for the season, but O'Neill hasn't been really been an issue as a replacement. Knowlton is still missing at linebacker which hurts due to his ability to make big plays, something the defence has been lacking this year.

The Cats strength this year has been their offence. To win this game and their remaining games the Cats are going to have to score enough points to compensate for their rather woeful defence. That's somewhat obvious. What the Cats should do knowing this is go for it on third down more often to keep drives alive and keep the Cat defence off the field. Sure there will be failures, but statistically the Cats should be going for it always on third and two or less. Porter also has to step on quarterback sneaks. Last year they were a strength, this year not so much.

I'm not sure what the Cats can do about their front defensive four. Certainly bringing in new personnel like the trade this week for Peguese and seeing who can play is one thing the Cats can do. People argue that sacks are an overrated stat, but the Cats are dead last in the CFL in sacks by a rather large margin and probably not coincidentally are 3 and 7. More blitzing? Probably easier said than done and the Cat secondary isn't anything to write home about this year, although considering they are starting two Canadians isn't terrible.

Cobourne is starting again at running back according to the online depth chart. He doesn't have blazing speed, but he is good as a receiver. Hopefully Burris uses him today.

CFL Predictions 2012 Week 12 Part B

Edmonton at Hamilton
This is a really important game for Hamilton, which is kind of sad considering there are still eight games left in the season. Edmonton has been on a bit of a mini-slide lately and starts the geriatric but still fast Kerry Joseph in place of Steven Jyles. The Cats are favoured by 3.5 at home which probably speaks to Joseph starting despite the Cats losing five straight. The Cats should have a chance in this one, but there's been other games where they did too yet sucked. The Cats main problem is defence, specifically run defence and unfortunately for the Cats Edmonton has good running backs up the wazoo plus Joseph will probably tuck and run plenty. No joy in Mudville.
Eskimos 27, Cats 19

Toronto at BC
The Argos have won two straight and are a reasonable team. The Argos offence is average, but Ricky Ray can still burn teams with a long bomb, which sadly a lot of CFL teams can't do. Too bad BC is at home and just a better team rounding into form after pummelling the Alouettes last week. Lions favoured by 7, but I expect more.
Lions 39 Team Suck 25

Saskatchewan at Montreal
The Riders have won back to back games against the Bombers. The Alouettes are at home and favoured by 6. The Als aren't the Bombers and will bounce back from last week's mauling in Vancouver.
Alouettes 29 Riders 21

Friday, September 14, 2012

CFL Predictions 2102 Week 12 Part A

Winnipeg at Calgary
Calgary is hot, coming off back to back wins against the Eskimos, is at home and favoured by 9.5 points. The Bombers are not hot coming off back to back losses to the Riders. I don't think things are going to change although going by Kevin Glenn's history this is one of those games he usually losses inexplicably.

Stamps 33 Bombers 21

CFL Power Rankings 2012 Week 11

Unfortunately little time today.

1. BC Lions
2. Montreal Alouettes
3. Calgary Stampeders
4. Toronto Argonauts
5. Edmonton Eskimos
6. Saskatchewan Rough Riders
7. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
8. Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Random Thoughts on the Argos Game

I attended the game Saturday at Dead Ted's Dome in box 305. It made going to the Dome considerable more enjoyable although watching the Ticats honk it up in the fourth quarter sucked. Probably the best part was the view. Way better angle than the seats below for watching a football game.

Other notes from the game totally at random.

First Half

Congi to me looks like he has kind of a weird low trajectory on his field goal attempts, but he seems to make them so I'm not complaining.

Time count violation really? All's well that ends well.

Nice break up of a TD by the Cats number 6.

Where's the Ticat cheerleaders? Lazy.

Two Argo kickoff penalties? Afraid of Williams?

Giguere you had your chance.

Fantuz a bust?

Ricky Ray running?

Second Half

Bad Ticat defence.

Nice catch by Stala.

Giguere makes a TD catch.

Most box fans Ticats fans?

Bad kickoff and punt coverage.

Ray can still make the big completion.

Birds in the Dome?

Argo receiver off the goalpost.

Argo missed field goals?

Last call at end of third quarter in the box too, but they come and ask you for an order. Nice.

Kackert TD and it's over.

50/50 $6100.

5:15 42 17 put in Porter.

Bad interference call against Argos at end.

Last play incompetent pass.

Friday, September 7, 2012

CFL Previews 2012 Week 11

Calgary at Edmonton
Calgary won a squeaker last week at home against Edmonton. I expect Edmonton to return the favour at home this week. I assume the Eskimos will have non-import running back Jerome Messam in the lineup this week. How they fit him in with Hugh Charles and Cory Boyd is a bit of conundrum, but I guess Messam can always be a quasi-fullback and an option to run or catch. Last week Boyd was a scratch so who knows who will play. I'm unsure who will start out of Kerry Joseph or Steven Jyles this week, but I'll assume the Eskimos will run a lot for a CFL team. Kevin Glenn has looked relatively good this year playing for the Stamps, but I just can't see him winning against Edmonton twice in a row. The Esks are favoured by three, by I see them covering.
Edmonton 29 Calgary 23

Hamilton at Toronto
The Ticats are a better team than their record would indicate. I would say the Argos are a slightly worse team than their record would indicate. Burris looked poor last week in Hamilton while Ray had a decent game. I expect the Cats to be looking for revenge, plus receiver Bakari Jones is back from injury, which should make the offense potent enough to cover for a fairly shabby defence. Argos are favoured by three, but that's mainly because they're at home. Expect a fair number of Ticats fans at Dead Ted's Dome (including potentially me).
Ticats 37 Team Suck 31

Montreal at BC
Seems to be a theme that whoever lost last week will win this week. I think this also holds true for the Als versus the Lions in the battle of the 6 and 3 teams. Montreal was the better team last week and Calvillo had yet another 300 yard game in a row (that's eight now). The Lions are historically excellent in BC Place, especially against Eastern teams (although this isn't a night game). Lions are favoured by 5.5, I expect them to cover.
Lions 33 Alouttes 25

Saskatchewan at Winnipeg
The Bombers got absolutely spanked by the Riders last week, with nothing good to say about their play at all. I expect them to also lose this week at home in the Banjo Bowl, but not by as much and by more than the three points the Riders are favoured by. Is Buck Pierce back? I don't know, but I'll guess no.
Riders  34 Bombers 19

Thursday, September 6, 2012

CFL Power Rankings Week 10

1. Montreal Alouettes
The Alouettes beat the Lions last week, albeit at home, but still that's enough for me. I'm not sure if the Als will hold on to this spot for very long, but after the Labour Day weekend games, the Als are looking good.
2. BC Lions
Obviously still a good team. Can take back first place by winning this week. Getting Elimimian back from the NFL would make them better.
3. Calgary Stampeders
Who won the Kevin Glenn Henry Burris switcheroo? Looks like Calgary after they won the Labour Day classic at home against Edmonton. Cornish is arguably the best running back and Canadian to boot.
4. Edmonton Stampeders
Edmonton has an abundance of riches now that non-import running back Jerome Messam is back from the NFL. Of course they have Steven Jyles and now that he is injured Kerry Joseph as quarterback. Joseph is probably better than most backup quarterbacks in the CFL right away, but he's really old. We'll see how the Esks do during the second half with their quarterback tandem.
5. Toronto Argonauts
Winning on the road on Labour Day at Ivor Wynne. Can't really argue with that. Chad Owens had a monster game receiving and on special teams and Ray also had a good game. The Toronto secondary also looked good, but that might just be Henry Burris.
6. Saskatchewan Rough Riders
Wow the Riders absolutely spanked the Bombers. No Joey Elliot heroism here. Are the Riders back after losing five straight? Who knows, but they get to play the Bombers this week, which is pretty convenient.
7. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Before the season started, people probably weren't expecting the Cats to be 3 and 6. So much for Smiling Hank. A weak defence, with a poor secondary and a toothless pass rush means an OK offense and awesome special teams isn't going to amount to much except for a lot of games lost by a small margin.
8. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
How did this team get to the Grey Cup last year? OK Buck Pierce wasn't injured that much and Doug Brown was still around clogging the middle. The Bombers didn't seem to do anything in the off-season which seems pretty stupid now. I'm tempted to put them in ninth place behind McMaster.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ticats Honk it Up On Labour Day

So the Cats lost a close one yesterday 33 to 30 to the Argos, the last Labour Day game at Ivor Wynne. In some ways the Cats looked like they were in it and in other ways they didn't.

Burris played mostly horrible when you look at the stats, 13 for 30 for 218 yards with 2 TDs and 2 picks. Plenty of Burris' random throws that aren't near the receiver. Dave Stala actually led the Ticat receivers with four catches for 62 yards. No catches for wide receiver Simon Giguere which is problematic and only one catch for Chris Williams, although that was for 52 yards and he did return a punt for TD to break the league record in only nine games. Fantuz only caught 2 passes for 22 yards which isn't good enough considering there were 30 pass attempts.

Ray had a much better game passing, with 32 completions out of 45 attempts for 375 yards and a TD. Chad Owens roasted the Cats with 11 catches for 176 yards. Doesn't really say a lot for the Ticat secondary or the pass rush, which went sackless.

Chevon Walker did have an excellent game in his return from injury, with 111 yards on only 14 rushes. No pass receptions though which is almost a must for a running back in the CFL.

The Cats did find themselves ahead at the half and during the second half. Probably the turning point was when the Cats gave up a safety and then promptly a TD. I don't know if that has a name, but that's never good.

The Cats are now 3 and 6 heading back to Toronto. Right now they're behind the Riders for a cross-over playoff spot, where most observers certainly didn't expect the Cats to be at after Labour Day and also a game ahead of the Bombers for last place in the CFL. So much for the last season at Ivor Wynne.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

CFL Predictions 2012 Week 10

Winnipeg at Saskatchewan
Suck versus suck. The Bombers have the slightly worse record, while the Riders have the suck momentum with five straight losses. The Bombers have fried their head coach. They have Joey Elliot as quarterback which doesn't evidently impress the odds makers considering the Bombers are seven point underdogs on the road. I don't think the Riders are that good, but they do have home field advantage.
Riders 24 Bombers 19

Toronto at Hamilton
Who knows what will happen here. The Cats on paper would seem to be a good team, but find ways to lose including three straight. The Argos haven't looked particularly good of late, with the lack of good receiver options for Ricky Ray. The Cats are favoured by 3.5 at home. Probably home field advantage and a full house wins out here.
Ticats 37 Team Suck 26

Edmonton at Calgary
Edmonton has the slightly better record and Steven Jyles as quarterback. Calgary now has Kevin Glenn starting who has been effective. The Esks have Cory Boyd as a running back who should by now be more integrated into the Edmonton offense. The Stamps are favoured by 3.5 at home, but Edmonton seems to have weirdly won games this year.
Eskimos 30 Stamps 26