Saskatchewan Roughriders at Winnipeg Blue Bombers Free Pick

Saskatchewan Roughriders at Winnipeg Blue Bombers Free Pick

The Prariefox
Date: September 9, 4:00 pm
Location: IG Field

Betting Odds

Point Spread: WPG -8.5
Total: 48

Week 14 in the CFL presents the Labor Day re-match between the red-hot 6-5 Riders against their perrenial prairie rival, the 9-3 East Division leading Blue Bombers. Last week's showdown was an absolute thriller that included a successful onside kick by Saskatchewan as the opening play, a game tying field goal with seconds remaining, and an overtime session that ended with Winnipeg failing to convert a two-point convert.

Because of a slight scheduling anomaly, this is already the third meeting between the two teams, the tie-breaker is usually played after the time-honored home-and-home series in September.

The first game was played way back in week two, in a game where Trevor Harris, this year's anticipated starting quarterback (QB) for the Riders was still healthy. Harris played exceptionally well, throwing for 413 total yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions, but it wasn't enough as the Bomber offense scored relentlessly from the second quarter on, and won handily 45-27, covering the -7.5 points.

Last week in Riderville, the Bombers lost 30-32 in overtime. They fell behind on the scoreboard early and couldn't complete the comeback, losing straight up (UP) as -7 road favorites. Saskatchewan looked well prepared coming off the bye-week, as the offense moved the ball into scoring position over five times without any turnovers, the defense only gave up seven points in the first half, and the special teams executed a perfect onside kick to start the game, as well as racking up 155 yards on four kickoff return attempts.

Saskatchewan's 6'7" rookie QB Jake Dolegala is 2-2 SU and against the spread (ATS) this year. During that streak, he has thrown four touchdowns to one interception, and his two wins came against the top two teams leading the Western Division, Winnipeg and BC, but in each of those games, he had more than ten days to prepare. His two losses were both road games with five or less days between games. He will have only six days to work with before Saturday's re-match in Winnipeg, if he, and the rest of the Riders can bring the same level of energy and preparedness they showed last week to this game, they could win again.

Winnipeg has looked unsteady since their 14-50 trouncing of the BC Lions back in week nine. Starting QB Zach Collaros has thrown at least one interception in his last six starts, including a three-interception outing at home against an unmotivated Montreal squad on a short week. It's not just the offense either. The defense gave up three touchdowns in one half of football to the lowly Edmonton Elks, and the special teams have had trouble covering kicks as both Calgary and Saskatchewan have amassed more than 200 yards returning punts and kickoffs against Winnipeg's kick coverage team.

In their last two home games, the Bombers limited both Montreal and BC to 17 points or less. The stands will be packed to capacity for this event to be certain, it's feasible to anticipate the Bomber defense feeding off of the energy of the crowd again and playing to their full potential. History is also on the Bombers' side as they have crushed Saskatchewan in the last two re-matches, 20-54 last year and 9-33 in 2021, easily covering the -7 and -2.5 spreads.

The forecast for Winnipeg on Saturday afternoon is sunny and clear. The injury report out of Saskatchewan has eight players out of the line up; noteable is linebacker (LB) Justin Herdman-Reed, defensive back (DB) Jayden Dalke, and backup QB Mason Fine. Winnipeg looks to be in better shape, having only one confirmed player out in LB Shayne Gauthier, plus another key LB in Jesse Briggs did not practice, and his game status is questionable.

Saskatchewan Roughriders at Winnipeg Blue Bombers Pick ATS

The energy at IG field is electrifying almost every home game for the Bombers, but when
Saskatchewan comes to town; it's taken to another level. Saskatchewan is banged up and possibly
emotionally "hung over" from their huge win last week. Without the extra time to prepare, and
likely not being able to match Winnipeg's intensity, I don't believe the Riders can win or even keep it
close without the Bombers handing it to them. I'll fade that chance and give the Riders the points.
Bombers win big.

Free Pick: Take Winnipeg -8.5
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