Thursday 30 June 2011

Smitty's Selections: Week 1

Back, because I love nothing more than opening myself up to criticism every week, is my weekly column of game picks, Smitty's Selections.

Last year, I went a respectable 40-37. Sure, that's barely above .500, but this was my first time picking CFL games, and I was happy with the outcome.

But like any endeavour, you must get better with experience. So this year I am aiming for 50 wins. Will I get there? Stay tuned to find out.

Before I get 50, I have to get one. Here are my picks for Week 1 in the CFL:

British Columbia at Montreal

I think the Lions will be a very good squad this year, but winning at Percival Molson Stadium isn't easy for any team. Not to mention that the Als will be celebrating their Grey Cup win from last season. While I believe the Lions will win a good number of games, one of them will not be this one.

Winner: Montreal, 36-24

Winnipeg at Hamilton

Simply put, the Cats have to win this one. Last year, these two teams met on opening weekend and Winnipeg throttled the Cats 49-29 in Winnipeg. The Cats had huge expectations coming into that game and proceeded to lay a giant egg. History, however, will not repeat itself. Winnipeg keeps it close for a bit, but the Cats pull away in the fourth quarter.

Winner: Hamilton, 31-20

Toronto at Calgary

These two teams also met last year in Week 1, with Calgary winning 30-16, but the score does not indicate how close that game actually was. Toronto surprised a lot of people last year in posting a 9-9 record en route to the East Final. Toronto will not sneak up on anyone this year. Having said that, I have the sneaking suspicion that there will be at least one upset this week... and this will be the one. The Argos escape Calgary with a close win.

Winner: Toronto, 27-21

Edmonton at Saskatchewan

Week 1 ends with a clash between the Eskies and Riders. These two teams are the only two that hired new coaches in the off-season: Edmonton hired Kavis Reed, and Saskatchewan hired Greg Marshall. (Side note: both men are former Defensive Coordinators for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.) Edmonton is in a rebuilding mode, and growing pains are expected for them. Saskatchewan is just the better team out of the two, despite some of the changes to the Roughriders' roster. I expect Saskatchewan to handle the Eskimos rather easily.

Winner: Saskatchewan, 38-18

Montreal, Hamilton, Toronto, Saskatchewan

Season Record: 0-0

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