Thursday’s game will see the fortunes change for one of these two teams as the Eskimos roll into steeltown and look to go to a perfect 4-0 on the year. The hometown Ticats are on the other end of the spectrum as they are in search of their first win of the year where they currently sit at 0-3. Hamilton are in a world of trouble right now as many predicted the Black and Yellow to have a better showing thus far. The biggest problem for Hamilton lies in their inability to score enough points while their defense has been getting torched. Through three games this year the Ticats are negative 49 points in score differential with the rock solid Eskimos in town.
Mike Reilly has been sharp for Edmonton so far as the new father has completed nearly 72 percent of his passes and has four touchdowns with no picks on the year. The Eskimos aren’t a high scoring team as their 76 points for is better than only Hamilton, however their defense is tops in the league. This is a very generous line as a field goal for the top ranked team in the league is way too easy to pass up on. Until Hamilton shows the ability to put up points this should be a cakewalk for Edmonton’s high flying defense.
Fri July 21st Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs BC Lions (-4.5)
Friday night football sees a big time battle go down in the West coast s the Blue Bombers and Lions square off in a very competitive western conference. The Bombers are 2-1 and coming off an impressive 33-25 win over the Argos, and will look to make it two in a row.
The BC Lions are 3-1 on the year and are looking to make it four straight wins to give them sole possession of first place in the West. BC started Travis Lulay under center for last weeks 41-26 blowout win over the Ticats and was an impressive 29-36 for 436 yards and three majors and the offense rolled over a suspect Hamilton defense. Lulay will likely get the nod again this week although will have to be much sharper against a stout Lions defense.
Matt Nichols have been effective for Winnipeg through its first three games this year however he really needs to tighten up his reads as his three picks through three games are not conducive to winning amongst the Western conference elites. Wideouts Weston Dressler and Darvin Adams have been key to the Bombers passing attack this year as the duo have combined for 33 catches and 468 yards and three touchdowns through three games.
This game should be a close one and the over/under is pegged at 56.5 points which seems like a high number.
Sat July 22nd Saskatchewan Roughriders vs Calgary Stampeders (-10)
The biggest mismatch of the week goes down in Calgary where the home team will look to ‘stampede’ the competition after dropping it’s first game of the year last week against Montreal.
Calgary did not look sharp in their most recent game at Montreal and will look forward to feasting on the last place Roughriders. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell has been feasting on secondaries all year long and is averaging nearly 346 yards per game with 7 touchdowns and two interceptions on the year. The trio of Kamar Jorden, Marquay McDaniel and Lemar Durant have been lethal thus far as they’ve provided their quarterback with three viable passing options and have accounted for over 850 yards and five scores. Mitchell has typically destroyed Saskatchewan’s secondary in his six year career and will look to get back on track Saturday night.
Saskatchewan are 1-2 and are already in better shape than they were this time a year ago however there are still a multitude of questions surrounding their running game. Cameron Marshall doesn’t seem to be living up to the hype as the primary halfback for the Riders and his 55.3 yards per game with zero touchdowns is not going to cut it for a team looking to get back to respectability. If they can’t sustain drives and run the ball against Calgary it will very likely mean a long day for the defense.