Winnipeg’s season is a write-off but the Banjo Bowl vs. the Saskatchewan Roughriders is always a classic
The Saskatchewan Roughriders visit their prairie rivals, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Sunday in the much anticipated rematch of last Sunday’s Labour Day Classic. The Banjo Bowl, a phrase originally coined by former Bomber kicker Troy Westwood, is always circled on the calendar as a “must win” game for the Bombers and a playoff-like atmosphere is expected at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg.
WEEK 11 CFL – RIDERS (-8.5, O/U 55) at BOMBERS
The Blue Bombers played competitive football last week as we saw some progress from the Blue and Gold offense. QB Justin Goltz put up solid first-half numbers and had his team up 18-14 at the break but like a broken record, the Bombers failed to make the appropriate half-time adjustments. The Riders took control for the last two quarters and went on to win 48-25.
Even though they were behind the Bombers remained in the game until late in the fourth quarter when a poor decision by Goltz derailed any chance of a Winnipeg comeback. His pass was picked off and from there the wheels fell off for Goltz and the Bombers. Rookie QBs are expected to make bad decisions from time to time and this was one the Bombers would never recover from.
The loss was Winnipeg’s seventh in a row but there was enough to leave Bomber fans a little more optimistic about their chances in the Banjo Bowl rematch. The Riders have been asleep during the first-half of their last few games and have had to rely heavily on rushing leader Kory Sheets to wake them up in the second-half. The Bombers and their league-best run defense had an answer for Sheets the better part of three quarters but could not find a way to shut down Darian Durant and the passing game.
CFL BEST BETS
On paper, the Riders dominate almost every part of the matchup but as we saw last week the Bombers can make things interesting if they grab an early lead on the typically slow starting Green Riders. With the Riders prolific offense and the Bombers weak secondary we like this game to hit the high side once again. The Riders almost covered last week’s total on their own and the better team should win this game straight-up but this is the CFL and anything can happen. Either way, expect to see plenty of scoring.
Pick: Take the Over
KEYS TO THE GAME – BLUE BOMBERS
Score first to take advantage of the Riders slow starts
Continue to shut down Kory Sheets
KEYS TO THE GAME – ROUGHRIDERS
Continue to exploit a weak Bombers secondary
Former NFL receiver Mike Sims-Walker draws into the lineup for his first-ever CFL game and RB Will Ford takes over from Chad Simpson, who is nursing a sore foot. DB Dwight Anderson will be sitting this one out for the Riders. Read more on the CFL with our Week 11 Power Rankings