Thursday Through Saturday, NFL & CFL Picks

I’m waiting on some NFL injury information before I complete the Sunday/Monday NFL picks.

So this week I’m going to give you the Thursday NFL pick and the CFL full-scale in this column.

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Then, I will put out a separate piece with the rest of the NFL “Weekly 5” prior to Sunday.

Thursday Night NFL

I said last week that the Browns were explosive enough to cover on the “over” with the Jets and they did.  Not even close.

That same explosiveness should be on display Thursday against the Steelers.  Cleveland is only giving 4-points at home.

Am I nervous about picking against Mike Tomlin? Always.  Am I concerned that the Pittsburgh team that beat Cincinnati in the opener could show up? Yes.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) throws a pass to Chase Claypool (11) during the first half of Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots. (Phil Pavely/AP)

So, what to do? I’m going to go with the “over” once again.  Simply, there is no sure bet, so I’m sticking with what I am comfortable with. 

That makes this pick an “over” and a Tier-1 play for this week.

CFL

We are on the final short slate of the season with three games featuring two East Division matchups and a rematch between the Stamps and Lions.

Hamilton at Montreal

The Ticats’ whipping of the Bombers has a lot of folks talking about them coming into top form at the right time.

Maybe.

Personally, I’m not convinced just yet.  This week is a big test and may be the key indicator about who will be a playoff club from the East.

I’m going to be careful about this one and look at the over/under.

Hamilton Tiger Cats quarterback Dane Evans (9) throws under pressure from Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive lineman Willie Jefferson (5) during first half CFL football game action in Hamilton, Ont. on Saturday, September 17, 2022. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power)

These are two offences that have faced some inconsistency, with defences that have risen to the occasion from time-to-time, so I’m playing the “under” in this one.

Toronto at Ottawa

The Argos have had a hard time getting their due respect this year.  They have improved and look like a lock for homefield in the East.

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This is the proverbial “rubber match” between two teams that have each won the head-to-heads on the road.

I admit, I still can’t figure Ottawa out.  They could rise up knowing this is the last chance to make a late season charge, but I think the Double Blue passing game will be a difference.

Toronto Argonauts’ Brandon Banks attempts to make a catch against Winnipeg Blue Bombers in July 2022. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Brandon Banks has returned to form, but even if the Redblacks shut him down the other weapons may rise up in this one.

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I’m going to take Toronto, against the spread, giving the points.  I’m making this my CFL Play of the Week.

Calgary at BC

If you read between the lines of last week’s picks you probably got  the feeling that I was thinking these squads would split the back-to-back.

I just figured that BC and Vernon Adams, Jr. would take an extra week to get, and that home- cooking would help determine the outcome.

With the Lions squeaking it out in OT last week, I have to agree with the odds makers, this game is a coin flip.

Jake Maier, Calgary Stampeders – Via Calgary Stampeders on Twitter

The Stamps are getting one point.  I’m going to try sprinkling a little extra profit and go with Calgary on the moneyline.

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Please check back in the next day or so to get the rest of this week’s NFL picks.

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