Bombers at Roughriders: What bettors need to know

Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Saskatchewan Roughriders (-14.5, 53.5)

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are off to their best start since 1970, when they won a franchise-record 14 regular-season games. On Sunday, Saskatchewan hosts the first game of a home-and-home series against the lowly Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who are mired in a six-game losing skid. Roughriders running back Kory Sheets surpassed 1,000 rushing yards faster than any player in CFL history last week and remained on pace to shatter the single-season rushing record with 139 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-27 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos.

Winnipeg is hoping a roster overhaul can salvage its season, which has already seen the dismissal of general manager Joe Mack. The Blue Bombers added former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker and released slotback Isaac Anderson and kicker Justin Palardy as coach Tim Burke vowed more changes could be on the way if play does not improve. New offensive coordinator Marcel Bellefeuille has his hands full fixing an offense that has produced a league-low 167 points and lacks a suitable starting quarterback - and the league-best Roughriders defense will not make things any easier for him.

TV: 4 p.m. ET, TSN

ABOUT THE BLUE BOMBERS (1-7): Quarterbacks Max Hall, Buck Pierce and Justin Goltz all took snaps during Winnipeg’s 37-14 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last week. Hall started but left in the first quarter with an injury to his passing hand, while Pierce is also listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed ailment. Goltz is 50-for-88 passing with two touchdown passes and three interceptions this season. Defensive end Alex Hall has 11 sacks - four more than anyone else in the league.

ABOUT THE ROUGHRIDERS (7-1): Quarterback Darian Durant is having a career year with 17 touchdowns, no interceptions and a 67.7 completion percentage. Durant’s favorite target remains slotback Weston Dressler, who has 527 receiving yards. Slotback Chris Getzlaf is on pace to match his production from 2011, when he set career-highs in receiving yards (1,071) and touchdowns (10). Linebacker Renauld Williams leads the team in tackles (36) and sacks (six), while safety Tyron Brackenridge and defensive back Dwight Anderson have two interceptions apiece.

TRENDS:


* The Blue Bombers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall.
* The Roughriders are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games in September.
* The under is 5-1 in the last six meetings in Saskatchewan.
* The Blue Bombers are 1-4 ATS in their last five meetings in Saskatchewan.

EXTRA POINTS:

1. The Roughriders are 4-0 against East Division opponents.

2. Saskatchewan LB Weldon Brown was fined an undisclosed amount for an illegal hit to the head of Edmonton QB Mike Reilly in last week’s game.

3. Winnipeg RB Chad Simpson has 552 rushing yards - 506 fewer than Sheets.

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