Week 17 in the CFL kicks off on Friday night with a showdown between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
This is the fourth meeting between these West Division foes within the last month and the Riders will be looking for revenge after losing by 34 points in Winnipeg two weeks ago.
CFL betting lines opened with the Bombers installed as 8-point home favourites with the total at 47.5. Here are my best free Roughriders vs. Blue Bombers CFL picks and predictions for September 30.
Roughriders vs Blue Bombers best odds
Roughriders vs Blue Bombers picks and predictions
The Blue Bombers might have creamed the Riders two weeks ago but Saskatchewan's lineup was decimated by a stomach virus at the time. More than a dozen players were sidelined and others were reportedly also affected but forced to dress due to minimum player requirements.
Not only is that situation not going to be a factor this time around, but the Riders (who have been the most injured team in the league) are beginning to look healthy.
Saskatchewan's offensive line has been its most glaring weakness but center Dan Clark is expected to return this week from a broken leg while left tackle Terran Vaughn is in line to play for just the seventh time this year.
That should be a big boost for an offense that has already looked better since wideouts Shaq Evans and Kyran Moore returned from the IL and Duke Williams is also set to rejoin them this week.
The Bombers have been the best team in the league, but they've had their share of close games (including a razor-thin battle against the Riders in Week 13) and it will be tough to cover this spread against a healthier and motivated opponent.
My best bet: Roughriders +9 (-110 at bet365)
Roughriders vs Blue Bombers spread analysis
Both of these teams are coming off bye weeks after suffering upset defeats in Week 15. The Riders lost 26-24 to the Elks, which extended their losing streak to three games after dropping consecutive contests to the Bombers in Weeks 13 and 14.
The Riders are just 2-7 SU and 3-6 ATS in their last nine games but this is still an extremely talented and experienced squad that has been decimated by injuries.
The Blue Bombers edged the Riders 20-18 at Mosaic Field in Week 13 and then blew them out of the water 54-20 the following week (albeit with Saskatchewan hindered by that previously mentioned stomach bug).
The Bombers followed up on that with a shocking 48-31 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats where their normally stingy stop-unit surrendered 424 yards and didn't force a single turnover.
That was just the second loss of the year for the Bombers who are +120 favourites to win their third Grey Cup in a row. That said, Winnipeg has covered the spread just once in its last five games and has won by more than a touchdown in five of 14 contests this year.
Roughriders vs Blue Bombers Over/Under analysis
Led by reigning Most Outstanding Player Zach Collaros, Winnipeg has one of the league's most explosive offenses. Collaros is second in the CFL in passing yards (3,578) and efficiency rating (110.4) while his average depth of yards per pass attempt (12.3) is easily the most in the league.
The Bombers have scored more than 30 points in five of their last seven games with the Over cashing in each of those contests.
Although they have a strong defense, they've been gashed for yards at times this year and have often relied on a bend-but-don't break philosophy to force turnovers and field goal attempts when pinned in their own end.
To be fair, the Riders have struggled on offense for much of the year with their line giving up way too many sacks and getting penalized at a high rate, but they should be much better with Clark and Vaughn back in the fold.
Saskatchewan quarterback Cody Fajardo threw for 292 yards in Week 13 against the Bombers and he'll look to move the chains after Hamilton and Dane Evans laid out the blueprint last week.
That said, it is worth mentioning that it's typically very tough for opposing offenses to get going at IG Field where the Under has cashed in 11 of the Bombers' last 15 home games. The Under has also gone a sizzling 10-1 in the last 11 meetings between these West Division rivals.
Roughriders vs Blue Bombers trend to know
The Roughriders are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a bye week. Find more CFL betting trends for Roughriders vs. Blue Bombers.
Roughriders vs Blue Bombers game info
|Location:||Investors Group Field, Winnipeg, MB|
|Date:||Friday, September 30, 2022|
|Kickoff:||8:00 p.m. ET|
Roughriders vs Blue Bombers key injuries
Roughriders: Frankie Hickson RB (Questionable), Anthony Lanier DT (Questionable), Jamal Morrow RB (Out), Micah Teitz LB (Out), Godfrey Onyeka DB (Out).
Blue Bombers: Drew Wolitarsky WR (Questionable), Stanley Bryant LT (Questionable), Jackson Jeffcoat DE (Questionable), Nick Taylor DB (Questionable), Malik Clements LB (Out), Greg Ellingson WR (Out), Demerio Houston (Out), Kyrie Wilson LB (Out), Mercy Maston LB (Out).
Find our latest CFL injury reports.