The Bombers are 6-3 SU/ATS their past nine divisional games including a 3-1 ATS mark on the road
[dropcap2]T[/dropcap2]he word of the day in Winnipeg is “Defense” following the Blue Bombers’ 19-11 win over the Montreal Alouettes in Week 2 and this week the Bombers will look to maintain their share of the lead in the East as they travel to Guelph, Ontario for a tilt with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
WEEK 3 CFL – BOMBERS at TIGER-CATS (-4, O/U 54)
Hamilton allowed 30 points to the visiting Eskimos in the final game of Week 2 while Winnipeg’s defensive performance at Molson Stadium turned into one for the record books. Led by CFL Defensive Player of the Week Bryant Turner, the Bombers D gave future HOF QB Anthony Calvillo and his Alouettes fits for the better part of four quarter and yet CFL odds makers have touted Hamilton as the largest pointspread favorite in Week 3 betting.
Just how good were the Bombers defensive 12? The Als ran only 47 offensive plays through 60 minutes of football, seven of which resulted in a total loss of 37 yards. That’s less than 12 plays per quarter, which is typically one good drive for the once dangerous offence. That’s just 122 yards net offence and only 2.6 average yards per play (YPP). It actually gets scarier. On (20) second down plays the Blue and Gold held Montreal to 28 total yards, or 1.2 yards per play.
It’s no wonder AC publicly lashed out at his team’s performance and although DT Turner (chest) in on the injured list for this week, the rest of the Bombers starting lineup appears to be healthy and the team has decent depth. Marquis Frazier, who was released during the preseason and then signed to the practice roster, will suit up in place of Turner.
The Tiger-Cats are 0-2 SU for the fourth straight season and like a broken record, failing once again to live up to expectations. The Jekyll and Hyde performance of Henry Burris continues with the veteran QB’s success in Week 1 being overshadowed by a poor Week 2 showing against the lifeless Eskimo squad. And although the offense struggled, the defensive side of the ball remains the main area of concern for the Cats. They have given up a combined 69 points in two games and have shown no sign of improvement from 2012, where they held the inglorious title of ‘League’s worst Defense’. Burris will have to carry the load in this game and get into a rhythm early if the Cats are to be successful.
While the Bombers offense is nothing to be scared of they did show some improvement and will continue to get better as they try and get RB Chad Simpson more involved with the attack. Winnipeg has been a turnover factory through the first two weeks and HC Tim Burke has made it a point of emphasis this week in practice but if the Bombers can reverse the turnover trend they should be able to leave Hamilton with two points.
Pick: Take the Bombers
KEYS TO THE GAME – BOMBERS
Another strong defensive performance
Protect the football
KEYS TO THE GAME – TIGER-CATS
Special teams return to preseason form
Pressure Bombers QB Buck Pierce
Pick Sixty staff writer Greg Simes has covered Canadian football for more than a decade and he’s off to a 2-0 start so far in 2013 with his CFL Best Bets. Follow Greg on Twitter for CFL betting updates throughout the week!
CFL Picks, last week: 1-1
Season record: 2-1
ATS: Against the Spread