While you're thinking of Thanksgiving turkey, the cisblog.ca crew has been cogitating over the new twist to its weekly football picks — point spreads! Call it a way to spice up this weekly exercise in gridiron guruhood. Six of this week's 10 games have a line of at least 25 points, so good luck guessing which gang of lovable misfits and serial tackle-missers will rise up and keep the score almost respectable.
No. 1 Laval at No. 6 Montreal (+10), Saturday, 1 p.m.
The one thing this game will come down to is whether Montreal's offence can get anything going against Laval. Montreal won't have to deal with the road crowd as they have home field, and we should look for a good performance from their team but I still don't see this game being too close. Laval is too good, and Montreal has too many questions offensively.
Book's pick: Laval 28-13
Bishop's at No. 4 Sherbrooke (-16.5), Saturday, 7 p.m.
Sherbrooke should win, but Bishop's is not a pushover team. Believe it or not, the Gaiters and QB Jordan Heather lead the nation in passing yards (337.2 per game) and two of their losses have been close. They also score more on the road (30 points a game). It’s a bonechilling set of stats for Sherbrooke, but they have been very disciplined defensively this year. One last thought: with a match against Laval approaching on Oct. 23, how much of that is weighing on Sherbrooke at the moment?
King's pick: Sherbrooke 34-28.
No. 8 Saint Mary's at St. Francis Xavier (+34.5), Friday, 6 p.m.
Don't expect a shootout between these two teams, with St. FX being one of the nation's lowest scoring teams averaging just over 14 points per game. SMU, fresh off their forfeit victory over Montreal, and their actual victory over Acadia last week 8-3, the Huskies will be looking to set the tone in the first game of their home-and-home against the X-Men.
Daum's pick: SMU 24-10
Guelph at No. 2 Western (-35.5), Saturday, 1 p.m.
Western is far and away the better team even with starting QB Donnie Marshall out 6-8 weeks nursing an injury and young quarterback Ben Rossong taking over. The Mustangs will win and win big. Guelph does not have the offence to sustain drives and their defence ranks eighth in the 10-team OUA against the run; Gryphons coach Stu Lang joked this week that the only way his team could slow down the purple ponies is to use all 47 players on defence at once. The interesting part of this game will be watching Rossong and seeing how he adapts to the starting role.
Radoslav's pick: Western covers.
Queen's at No. 10 Windsor (-8), Saturday, 7 p.m.
Austin Kennedy, a dual-threat QB who is the OUA's most efficient passer across the first five weeks, leads resurgent Windsor into a measuring-stick game against one of the conference's name-brand programs. Two reasons to like the Lancers here are that they have the motivation, being at home and perhaps feeling doubted, plus their offence can gobble up yardage in many ways. Kennedy offers a rushing threat to complement Shomari Grant, while top receivers Jordan Brescacin and Cory Fernandes should also be a handful for a Gaels secondary in which cornerbacks Andrew Lue and T.J. Chase-Dunawa have been beaten on a few deep routes already this season.
Queen's homers, not that anyone on this blog could be described as such, probably had this circled as a trap game from the moment the schedule was released. It is the third consecutive week on the road for a young team, after all. Their offence can't be as bad as it was on Sept. 30 in a putrid puntfest at Toronto, when Big Arm Billy McPhee and the boys struggled to adjust in wet and cold conditions. (And it's supposed to be near summery conditions in Ontario this weekend.) Also, if you discount garbage time against Laurier, the Gaels' usually well-prepped defence has allowed only five touchdowns in close to five games. Whatever Windsor gets off the the Gaels will likely come by virtue of having more playmakers, which should be enough. Fortunately for Queen's, the game won't be decided by which city has a better Ontario Hockey League franchise.
Sager's pick: Windsor 23-20.
The rest of the schedule:
The rest of the schedule:
Toronto at No. 5 McMaster (-27.5), Thursday, 7 p.m.
Laurier at Waterloo (+32), Thursday, 7 p.m.
Acadia at Mount Allison (+29), Saturday, 1 p.m.
McGill at Concordia (-10), Saturday, 1 p.m.
York at Ottawa (-25), Saturday 1 p.m.