Canadian Football Betting Preview: Edmonton at Winnipeg in Western Semifinal

Eric Williams : Friday,November 10, 2017 12:47, EDT

Winnipeg will have more than home-field advantage working for them Sunday when they host the 3-point favorite Edmonton Eskimos in the West Division semifinal. The Blue Bombers’ first home playoff contest since 2011 will be against an opponent they swept 2-0 during the regular season. With this Canadian Football betting preview, you will be able to know which team offers the best value to cash in!

Eskimos (12-6) vs. Blue Bombers (12-6) Canadian Football Betting Preview

  • When: Sunday, November 12, 2017, 4:30 PM ET
  • Where: Investors Group Field
  • Canadian Football Betting Odds: Edmonton -3
  • Total: 55.5

Recent Head to Head (Last 10 Games)

  • Record: Edmonton Eskimos lead 7-3
  • Average Points Score: Edmonton Eskimos 28.60 / Winnipeg Blue Bombers 19.80
  • Rush Yards: Edmonton Eskimos 106.00 / Winnipeg Blue Bombers 81.40
  • Pass Attempts: Edmonton Eskimos 39.20 / Winnipeg Blue Bombers 35.80
  • Completion Percentage: Edmonton Eskimos 67.60 / Winnipeg Blue Bombers 62.85
  • Passing Yards: Edmonton Eskimos 315.40 / Winnipeg Blue Bombers 262.70
  • Total Yards: Edmonton Eskimos 429.40 / Winnipeg Blue Bombers 352.20
  • Turnovers: Edmonton Eskimos 1.50 / Winnipeg Blue Bombers 1.70

Road to the Semifinals

Winnipeg (12-6) snapped Edmonton’s seven-game win streak with a 33-26 home victory Aug. 17 and took the rematch 28-19 at Commonwealth Stadium on Sept. 30. However, the Eskimos (12-6) enter with momentum after finishing the regular season with five straight wins, including a 28-13 road victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders (10-8) on Saturday to clinch third place in the West Division.

The Blue Bombers locked up second place with a 23-5 road win on Friday night over the Calgary Stampeders (13-4-1). With starting quarterback Matt Nichols out of the lineup with a leg injury. Backup signal-caller Dan LeFevour completed an efficient 13 of 17 passes for 91 yards but really, it was Winnipeg’s defense that got the job done by dominating Calgary. The Blue Bombers forced an insane seven turnovers.

Nichols, who is expected to play Sunday, was the CFL’s fourth-ranked passer with 4,472 yards but also had 28 TDs — two off the league lead — with just eight interceptions. Winnipeg native Andrew Harris was also an offensive force, leading the league in rushing (1,035 yards) and receptions (105).

Nichols completed 56 of 72 passes for 628 yards and three TDs versus Edmonton this season. Harris accumulated 159 yards rushing on 19 carries and 17 catches for 201 yards. Edmonton’s Mike Reilly led the CFL in passing yards (5,830) and was tied for most touchdown passes (30). He also finished 11th in rushing with 390 yards and a league-best 12 touchdowns. Edmonton wide receiver Brandon Zylstra led the league in receiving yards (1,687) on 100 catches with five TDs. Reilly was 51 of 79 passing for 667 yards and four TDs with an interception versus Winnipeg this season. Zylstra only faced Winnipeg once — in the loss in Edmonton — registering nine catches for 152 yards.

Key Numbers

The Eskimos have been road warriors this season at 6-3, good for a tie with Winnipeg for the CFL’s second-best road record behind Calgary (6-2-1). The Bombers are also 6-3 at Investors Group Field. More importantly, Edmonton finished the regular season with five straight wins, including a 28-13 win over the Riders to lock up third in the West Division.

Edmonton’s last loss was a 28-19 decision to Winnipeg on Sept. 30. The Bombers were 2-3 down the stretch. Now, the Eskimos are the first 12-win team in CFL history to open the playoffs on the road.

Matt Nichols (628 yards passing, three TDs) and Andrew Harris (159 rushing yards, 17 catches, 201 yards) both figured prominently in the wins for Winnipeg. Both will play Sunday but Nichols is nursing a reported calf injury, hardly ideal for a Bombers’ offense that averaged a CFL-best 27.6 offensive points per game.

Despite Matt Nichols good numbers, Winnipeg is no favorite at the Canadian Football Betting Odds for the Western Semifinal.

Then again, Harris is the central figure in Winnipeg’s offense, leading the CFL in rushing (1,035 yards) and catches (105). A Bombers defense minus lineman Jamaal Westerman and defensive back Maurice Leggett finished No. 7 in points allowed (27.9 per game), second-last in offensive TDs allowed (50) and tied for last in most TD passes (33) despite registering a league-leading 24 interceptions and 42 turnovers (second-most).

Edmonton counters with CFL passing leader Mike Reilly (5,536 yards, tied for league lead with 30 TDs) who’s also a threat to run (league-best 12 rushing TDs). Brandon Zylstra (100 catches, 1,687 yards, five TDs) but veterans Derel Walker, Adarius Bowman, and Vidal Hazelton are all solid options.

Current Teams Statistics

  • Offense: Edmonton Eskimos 28.35 / Winnipeg Blue Bombers 30.78
  • Passing Yards: Edmonton Eskimos 324.00 / Winnipeg Blue Bombers 260.06
  • Rushing Yards: Edmonton Eskimos 96.18 / Winnipeg Blue Bombers 101.33
  • Defense: Edmonton Eskimos 28.35 / Winnipeg Blue Bombers 27.33
  • Passing Yards Allowed: Edmonton Eskimos 249.47 / Winnipeg Blue Bombers 303.89
  • Rushing Yards Allowed: Edmonton Eskimos 98.41 / Winnipeg Blue Bombers 96.72
  • Turnovers Differential: Edmonton Eskimos 0.06 / Winnipeg Blue Bombers -0.89

Latest Canadian Football Betting Trends

  • Edmonton is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
  • Edmonton is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 10 of Edmonton’s last 15 games
  • Winnipeg is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 games
  • Winnipeg is 10-4 SU in its last 14 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 17 of Winnipeg’s last 25 games

Expert Canadian Football Betting Pick

Edmonton is 5-0 SU and a near-perfect 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games while also going 6-3 SU in its last 9 games on the road. Winnipeg is 10-4 SU in its last 14 games and 10-3 ATS in its last 13 games. However, Winnipeg is also just 1-5 SU in its last 6 home games against Edmonton and I think they’re going down again in this contest as Mike Reilly lights up the scoreboard!

Pick: Edmonton -3