Roughriders Ready to Take First Step Toward the 2018 CFL Grey Cup Championship

David Schwab

Monday, November 5, 2018 8:07 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 5, 2018 8:07 PM UTC

The CFL regular season came to a close on Saturday in advance of a six-team playoff field taking aim at winning this year’s Grey Cup Championship Game later this month. This Sunday, British Columbia will be on the road against Hamilton in one division semifinal matchup and Saskatchewan will play host to Winnipeg in the other.

CFL Betting Pick of the Week: Blue Bombers at RoughridersSunday, 4:30 p.m. ETFree Pick: Roughriders -2.5Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Saskatchewan came very close to winning the West Division this season at 12-6 straight-up and they have the added bonus of coming off a Week 21 bye to play Winnipeg at home in this Sunday’s West Division semifinal matchup. Also in the Roughriders’ favor is the best SU record in the CFL over the second half of the season.

Betting Overview

Winnipeg brought a five-game winning streak both SU and against the spread into Saturday’s season finale against Edmonton, but it ended up on the wrong end of a 33-24 loss as a five-point road underdog. One of those five victories was a stunning 31-0 shutout over Saskatchewan on Oct. 13 with the Blue Bombers closing as 3.5-point home favorites. This helped to avenge back-to-back losses (SU and ATS) in an early September home-and-home series against their bitter division rivals.

With Matt Nichols taking the majority of the snaps at quarterback and a running game fueled by Andrew Harris as the CFL’s leading rusher this season, Winnipeg was able to lead the CFL in scoring with an average of 30.6 points per game. Its defense did have some issues keeping opposing teams out of the endzone at times, but during the Blue Bombers’ recent five-game winning streak, this unit allowed just 14.0 PPG.

The Roughriders’ run to the postseason included a 9-2 SU record in their last 11 games with a 7-4 mark ATS. They closed things out by beating Calgary 29-24 in Week 20 as 8.5-point road underdogs coming off that lopsided road loss to Winnipeg. The total went OVER or ended as a PUSH in eight of those final 11 contests. Saskatchewan was 4-1 ATS in its final five home games and the total went OVER in four of their last six games at home.

There was an almost even balance between total points scored (450) and total points allowed (444) with Saskatchewan this season. Big plays and timely scores accounted for more than a few victories under the guidance of Zach Collaros at quarterback for 14 of the Roughriders’ 18 regular season contests. He passed for 2,999 yards and just nine touchdowns against 13 interceptions, but wins and losses are the only things that count on the stat sheet.

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Head-to-Head Betting Trends

The Roughriders had the 2-1 edge in the season series both SU and ATS with the total going OVER in two of the three games. The Blue Bombers have failed to cover in four their last five road games in this West Division matchup and the total has gone OVER in each of the last nine meetings in Saskatchewan.

Betting Prediction

The Roughriders are a seven-point home favorites for Sunday’s 4:30 p.m. kickoff at Mosaic Stadium against a very familiar foe. They have been a very tough out at home lately against a team that has failed to cover in three of its last five road games.

This should be an entertaining battle that once again pushes the limits on the total line, but I still have Saskatchewan making good use home field advantage and the extra time off to cover ATS.

Other CFL Division Semifinal


Sunday, Nov. 1

The Lions go on the road as a crossover team from the West to face the Tiger-Cats, who are in the midst of a three-game slide both SU and ATS. I would still lead towards Hamilton at home SU and ATS, but the best way to go in this one could be the UNDER on the total line.

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