- Can the Roughriders and Elks keep their playoff hopes alive?
- Lions and Bombers battle for top spot in the West
- Montreal and Hamilton want home-field advantage in the playoffs
Autumn has arrived, and with it comes the unmistakable scent of CFL postseason football, just three weeks away. However, before the playoffs begin, there’s still some unfinished business on the field. Some teams are making a last-ditch effort to secure a spot in the postseason, while others are striving to lock down coveted home-field advantage. The question on everyone’s mind is, who will emerge victorious this week? The answers lie in our CFL Week 18 predictions.
As I mentioned last week, we bounce back when things don’t go our way. Following a 2-2 record in Week 16, we rallied to achieve a 4-4 record in Week 17 and are poised to build on that momentum. Our CFL Power Rankings have remained largely stable, with the only notable change being the swap of positions between Saskatchewan and Ottawa. The Roughriders are in a playoff battle and must secure a crucial win against Hamilton to keep their postseason hopes alive.
Edmonton Elks at Toronto Argos
The Edmonton Elks are fighting for a playoff spot, but their chances are hanging by a thread. Meanwhile, the Argos have secured the East division title and are resting key players as they coast through the season. Despite the odds, the last time these teams met, they delivered an intense game, with Toronto narrowly winning 43-31. Now, a determined Elks team faces a playoff-focused Argos squad, making an upset possible.
The Elks are recovering from a loss to the BC Lions, with QB Tre Ford struggling. Opponents may be figuring out their tactics, eroding their element of surprise. Although the Argos suffered a recent loss to the Bombers while resting key players, they won’t take another defeat lightly, especially at home. A motivated Argos team is a force to be reckoned with, making them the choice here.
Prediction: Toronto Argos
Winnipeg Blue Bombers at BC Lions
This marquee matchup takes the spotlight as both teams vie for supremacy in the West. The Lions and Bombers have established themselves as frontrunners in the league, but it’s essential to acknowledge that they have shown occasional inconsistency on the defensive side of the ball.
Nonetheless, it’s the offensive prowess that defines these two squads, with both ranking among the top three in the league in scoring and yards per play. They are a force to be reckoned with when they have the ball in their hands.
In their previous encounters this season, the Lions and Bombers have each notched a victory. The Lions dominated in their initial meeting, routing the Bombers with a convincing 30-6 victory in June. However, the Bombers exacted revenge in Week 9, obliterating the Leos with an emphatic 50-14 triumph.
Anticipate an electrifying showdown filled with offensive fireworks. While it may be tempting to favour the Bombers, we believe the Lions’ home-field advantage will be a deciding factor that helps them eke out a victory in what promises to be a closely contested battle.
Prediction: BC Lions
Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Saskatchewan Roughriders
Last week, the Tiger-Cats secured their spot in the playoffs, while the Roughriders find themselves in a must-win situation to punch their postseason ticket. Their opportunity comes at home, and the atmosphere at Mosaic Stadium will likely be charged with emotion this week.
Saskatchewan’s offense has shown prowess, particularly through the air, boasting an average of 260.7 passing yards per game, which places them third in the CFL. However, converting those passing yards into points has been a challenge, as they currently rank seventh in the league with an average of just 21.9 points per game. Unfortunately, you can’t win games if you can’t put points on the board, and the Roughriders’ struggle on the defensive end compounds their woes. They sit at the bottom of the league, allowing an average of 30.5 points per game.
The glaring factor in this matchup is Saskatchewan’s defense, or lack thereof. Hamilton, while already playoff-bound, is in excellent form, winning four of their last six games and posting a 4-2 record against West Division opponents. They’re also in a heated battle with Montreal for home-field advantage, providing them with added motivation to secure a victory here.
Expect a closely contested game, but our prediction leans toward the team currently playing at a higher level.
Prediction: Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Ottawa Redblacks at Montreal Alouettes
The Ottawa Redblacks’ playoff hopes are dwindling, and their recent performance against the Als didn’t do them any favours. In a disheartening 32-15 loss, they coughed up the ball a staggering five times. While the Redblacks have shown flashes of promise this season, they’ve struggled to secure the wins they desperately need.
Montreal’s victory last week clinched a playoff berth for them, but they’re not content with just making the postseason – they want home-field advantage. Montreal’s formidable defense has been a thorn in Ottawa’s side all season, consistently stifling their offense and allowing only 23.2 points per game, ranking them fourth in the league.
However, there’s a glimmer of hope for the Redblacks. If quarterback Dustin Crum can find consistency and the team can eliminate the costly turnovers that plagued them in the past, they might have a shot at keeping this matchup closer than their week 17 encounter. Nevertheless, we predict Montreal will maintain its dominance, securing a four-game season sweep.
Prediction: Montreal Alouettes