Lions best bets in post-season

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:06 AM ET

The playoffs are finally here, yet they're still five whole days away.

That means it's time to handicap the full field for the 94th running of the CFL post-season, complete with the odds of them hoisting Earl Grey's mug on Nov. 19 at Canad Inns Stadium.

B.C. Lions (2-1)

Why they'll win: A healthy Dave Dickenson at quarterback is never a bad thing, nor is Geroy Simon as the No. 1 receiver. Their stifling defence allowed the fewest yards and second-fewest points during the regular season.

Why they won't win: Umm ...

CALGARY STAMPEDERS (4-1)

Why they'll win: When they're rolling, they're tough to beat. Henry Burris threw the most touchdown passes this year, and some regard running back Joffrey Reynolds as the league's top tailback.

Why they won't win: They have to go through B.C. Place just to get to the Grey Cup, and Burris has a knack for making bad decisions at the wrong time.

MONTREAL ALOUETTES (6-1)

Why they'll win: Despite a down year, quarterback Anthony Calvillo is still the best quarterback in the East, and he has a solid receiving corps at his disposal. They also need to win only one home game to get to the big game, and they have lots of Grey Cup experience on their roster.

Why they won't win: Calvillo's not the same as he once was, their O-line isn't as formidable as it used to be, their running game is hot and cold, and their secondary is so-so.

TORONTO ARGONAUTS (8-1)

Why they'll win: Their speedy receiving corps has the ability to rack up a lot of yards after the catch, and tailbacks John Avery and Ricky Williams are skilled. The defence gave up the fewest points during the regular season, and defence wins championships.

Why they won't win: Only Hamilton's offence was worse this season when it came to total yards, points and rushing yards. The Argos were dead last in passing yards.

WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS (10-1)

Why they'll win: They have league rushing king Charles Roberts, a dangerous receiving corps with Milt Stegall and Derick Armstrong, and a defence that finished third in total yards allowed during the regular season.

Why they won't win: Quarterback Kevin Glenn has a wonky knee and ankle, the defence, despite limiting yards, allowed the most points among the six playoff teams, and placekicker Troy Westwood made only 30 of 41 field goal attempts.

SASK. ROUGHRIDERS (15-1)

Why they'll win: Tailback Kenton Keith leads a potent running attack behind an excellent offensive line, and their defence was No. 1 against the rush and second in yards allowed behind the Lions. If they can get by Calgary, they beat the Lions in three of four meetings this season.

Why they won't win: They have to go through Calgary and B.C., who were a combined 16-2 at home this season. And that's just to get to the Grey Cup.


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