Week 22 Picks
6:00 PM Sunday, November 24, 2013
75.2% - Saskatchewan
HAM 23 SSK 45.
Energy. For the Riders it's a definite advantage and for the Ticats sometimes if channeled properly it can be transformed to their advantage. There is no doubt come game time the feeling in the stadium will be electric and most of that electricity will flow green and white. Having the home crowd on your side is an empowering feeling especially when the home crowd is educated as the Rider believers are. They know when Darian Durant has the ball to be silent to allow him to communicate with ease to the other 10 chess players around him. For those watching on TV it is easy to notice the staggering difference in volume when the Riders have the ball and when they are on defence. And when they are on defence the volume explodes for the length of the game. Both Kent Austin and Henry Burris with have to have a clear plan to handle one aspect of football, crowd noise and its effects on communication.
Now, Kent Austin is a bright guy. He will flip this overall home physical advantage with the ever classic "us against the world" mentality, and it works. There is something about football players that when challenged they respond, when disrespected they react. Depending if they buy it (and they probably will) the underdog mentality can result in extreme focus because it becomes personal.
The Riders are the better football team. They beat Hamilton twice - yes, way back in July - and have three 1,000-yard receivers and a top productive running back. But in football it is not the best team that wins, it is the team that plays the best that day. This is not a seven-game series; this is one three-hour competition that at the end determines an entire season. Hamilton has to take advantage of every opportunity given. Win the turnover battle and limit any and every mistake possible. The Riders just have to be the Riders. Put a good game plan together and execute. There is part of me that says Ticats win but only a small part and it is best to suppress it. There are too many advantages for Hamilton to overcome. Riders in a close one, 31-26.
Through 77 games, Schultz is 45-32. The World is 53-24.
The World currently leads with 53 wins.