Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:15 AM EST.
4:00 PM EST. After back-to-back blowout wins over Edmonton and B.C., the 4-4 Roughriders are a hot item coming into this Labour Day Classic. As one of the league's more popular team, it's always interesting when the Roughriders are in the mix. TSN eats it up and so do the local papers. From the outside, all seems to be right in Riderville, but let us not forget this is still just a .500 football team that a few weeks ago was searching for answers after getting pounded by the Lions in Vancouver. In Saskatchewan, just about everything that involves the Roughriders is blown out of proportion including the wins and the losses. It wasn't long ago that the Riders faithful were looking to run the football operations department right out town after a horrible season and cutting ties with some popular players. Now football czar Chris Jones is a genius and this is the best offense in the CFL. Sure, the Riders have scored 95 points in their last two games but that small sample size isn't nearly as impressive as it looks. A huge win in Edmonton looks great on paper but the Eskimos were never as good as their 7-0 start with a defense loaded with practice squad fodder. Can the most prolific offense in the league really be led by Kevin Glenn? We think not.
Labour Day weekend has not been kind to the Bombers in recent years, but the final Labour Day Classic at historic Taylor Field in 2016 was a different story. Winnipeg was hell bent on making sure this last tilt on the hallowed grounds where it all started wouldn't be a warm and fuzzy memory to be passed down for generations. It wasn't pretty, a 17-10 win as an 8½-point road favorite but it's a game that still sticks in the craw of Rider Nation. Fast forward to Week 1 and it was the Blue Bombers who got the call to open the brand new $278 Mosaic Stadium and another opportunity to send the rowdy Regina crowd home unhappy. After a 43-40 victory in an overtime thriller, the Blue and Gold did just that. That win set the tone for the Bombers season and despite a couple of bumps in the road, this team is firing on all cylinders. Winnipeg should relish in another chance to make history on the backs of the Roughriders in their brand new barn. As quarterback Matt Nichols so equality put it this week, “The Blue Bombers are ready for a fist fight”.
This game is one of the biggest on the calendar in any season but with the Riders recent resurgence and the Bombers streaking, there's a little more sizzle. If you believe the press clippings this game is destined to be a classic. The line suggests this game has all the makings of a close contest with the Riders as a small -3 point favorite. However, once the hype train has been fueled and the whistle blows, it's impossible to predict what will happen on the field but all the pressure is on the home team, as they try to make some hay in the ultra-competitive West. Saskatchewan only has five games left, including today against West Division teams and two of those are with Calgary. If the Riders are for real we will find out shortly but for now their stock is higher than it’s been in some time and because of those two aforementioned lopsided scores recently, you are going to pay to back the Riders here, which is something we refuse to do. The 7-2 Blue Bombers are being sold short here.
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Winnipeg +3 -109 (Risking 2.18 units - To Win: 2.00)