Last week, we sent two for two in our Division Semi-Finals predictions; now, we focus on our East and West Finals. Will it be cold snaps and upsets be in the forecast? A trip to the Grey Cup is on the line; who will stamp their ticket to Hamilton? Find out in our CFL Division Finals predictions.
BC Lions at Winnipeg Blue Bombers
The Western Final will feature two rivals who battled for first in the West all season. The Bombers held the advantage by beating the Lions two out of three games, including a barn burner in week 18, where Winnipeg needed OT to pull out the win on the road. But home is where the heart is, and the Bombers have been fantastic at IG Field (8-1), losing only to the Lions in week 3. The question is, can the Lions do it again?
Winnipeg fans may hope for typical ice-cold November conditions to force the Lions to rely on their subpar run game, but temperatures are expected to be mild, which means the Lions should be able to activate their number-one-rated aerial attack led by Vernon Adams Jr. It’s their bread and butter and the Lions can hurt you with more than just star receiver Keon Hatcher. If Adams starts finding his rhythm, look out.
Meanwhile, Winnipeg brings a more balanced approach to their offense, including a potent running game led by Charles Oliveira, which the Lions must stop. That’s the key here: BC’s inconsistent defense has been their Achilles heel all season long, and if they allow Winnipeg to run at will, they could find themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard.
In what should be a competitive and close game, we’re taking the ‘Peg to stamp their ticket to the Grey Cup.
Prediction: Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Montreal Alouettes at Toronto Argos
The Als and the Argos meet in the Eastern Final for the second year in a row, and not much has changed, only the fact that Toronto is even better than they were last year by having one of the most dominant seasons in CFL history by going 16-2.
Not many people expected the Als to have the season they had; they were a team that had some offseason turmoil, and many thought they would take a step backwards. However, they put up a respectable regular season, beating everyone except the top-tier teams in Winnipeg, BC, and Toronto. Kids today would call Montreal “mid.”
The Als do have some nice pieces, especially on defense, but they’re up against a machine that can kill them by a thousand cuts. Toronto can burn you in the air or on the ground, and let’s not forget how stingy they are on defence, too. QB Chad Kelly had a terrific year by leading Toronto to the second-most points this year with 591. And on defence they were one of only three clubs to concede fewer than 400 points through 18 matches. They’re also great at home, going a perfect 9-0 at BMO Field.
Maybe Montreal can catch Toronto napping or underestimating their opponents, but we highly doubt that. The Argos have been game all season long and ready to prove they deserve a shot at being back-to-back Grey Cup Champions.
Prediction: Toronto Argos