Nik’s Picks – Week 1 2019 CFL Predictions
Saskatchewan Roughriders @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats -3:
The Ti-Cats have most of their 2018 starters on offence back plus two new stud offensive tackles — they’re loaded. Countering that group is Saskatchewan’s defence, which is arguably the best in the league. The number of intriguing matchups in the passing game stands out: Cariel Brooks vs. Naaman Roosevelt, Ed Gainey vs. Bralon Addison and Loucheiz Purifoy vs. Brandon Banks. Hamilton’s run defence against Saskatchewan’s run offence that now features all-star William Powell is another crucial matchup, one the Riders need to exploit. As long as both quarterbacks take care of the ball, this should be a close, low-scoring game. Though the speed on both rosters could suddenly put this game way over. I’m seeing the former, with Masoli’s Ti-Cats edging out a feisty Riders’ defence.
Saskatchewan 19 Hamilton 23
Best bet: Under 47.5
Montreal Alouettes @ Edmonton Eskimos -10:
The Alouettes have lost their last 10 versus Edmonton and are 10-point underdogs. They also fired their head coach on Sunday, which spin zone, could light a spark in Montreal. New Eskimos quarterback Trevor Harris may take a couple of series to get comfortable, especially since he’s not facing the lousy Als defence of years past. Montreal’s back-seven is legit and matches up well against Harris’ quick passing game. To come out strong, Antonio Pipkin should rely on running back William Stanback and receiver DeVier Posey early and often, which should result in success. Many see the Eskimos coasting to victory, but if Montreal’s going to be my 2019 underdog, they’ll need to leave an early impression. My gut says they defeat the Esks on a late drive ending in a Boris Bede walk-off field goal.
Montreal 26 Edmonton 24
Best bet: MTL +10
Ottawa Redblacks @ Calgary Stampeders -8:
Ottawa’s first two games in 2019 are setting up for disaster. The Redblacks have scored 14 or fewer points in two of their last trips to Calgary, and that’s before their offence got picked apart. Calgary’s suffered their own key losses, but my deciding factor is whether Dom Davis can go into McMahon and win with the offence around him. While this could stay tight early, the Stamps will pull away by the second half and cruise to a sizable win. Even without Kamar Jorden, Bo Levi Mitchell’s got a healthy Eric Rogers and Reggie Begelton to throw to plus other capable pass-catchers. Ottawa’s above average secondary will hold off Calgary for a bit, but Bo will eventually break through. Stamps by a lot… and happy Ottawa unders.
Ottawa 8 Calgary 36
Best bet: CGY -8
Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ B.C. Lions -2.5:
How both of these teams will come out is tough to say. Matt Nichols was average last season, while the Bombers’ losses were mostly filled by inexperienced in-house options. In B.C., chemistry could be an early issue as well as equal talent throughout their starters. The Bombers starting three new interior linemen Saturday scares me. The Lions defence should own the line of scrimmage, while halfbacks T.J. Lee and Aaron Grymes will challenge Nichols. The Lions are much-improved at home, and I’m giving Mike Reilly’s passing squad a considerable advantage over Winnipeg’s remodeled secondary. Winnipeg could have up to nine career backups or first-time starters in their starting lineup Saturday (five on offence) and I think Reilly and DeVone Claybrooks expose this. Lions in a shootout.
Winnipeg 27 B.C. 34
Best bet: Over 52
Last week: 0-0
Bet of the week:
CGY -8 -115
MTL +10 -110 1u
CGY -8 -115 2u
OTT-CGY under 52 -115 1u
WPG-BC over 52 -110 1u
OTT team total under 20.5 -115 1u
Duron Carter over 57.5 receiving yards -115 .5u
Mike Reilly over 24.5 completions -115 .5u
7-point teaser: SSK-HAM under 54.5, MTL +17, OTT-CGY under 59, CGY -1 +200 .75u
Last week: 0-0
CFL Predictions Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images