Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:50 PM EST.
9:30 PM EST. The Roughriders have traded wins and losses the last six weeks but if there's been one measure of consistency it's been their poor play outside the friendly confines of new Mosiac Stadium. In three road contests this season, Saskatchewan is 0-3. In their past two road games, the Riders have been outscored 57-25 and the final scores in both B.C. and Calgary certainly flattered the guests. In Vancouver three weeks ago the Riders were out-gained by over 200 yards. Sure, the Roughies rebounded two weeks ago with a resounding 41-8 drubbing of the Leo's, but were not going to put too much stock into just one game. It's hard to beat a team in back to back weeks and the Roughriders benefited greatly from a huge four interception night from Ed Gainey. When you win the turnover battle 6-1, you better win by double digits. Any momentum the Roughriders may have gained from that home win over B.C. may be lost, as they sat out last week with a bye. Western opponents have not been kind to the Roughriders when they come to town, as Saskatchewan has lost their last 15 road games against West Division rivals including their last five trips to Commonwealth Stadium.
The Eskimos have battled injury trouble all season but made a big splash with the addition of defensive lineman John Chick in a trade with the Tiger-Cats. Desperate for a playmaker on the defensive end, the Eskies could have done worse than the three-time all-star and 8-year CFL vet. Chick was a Roughriders mainstay until he was cut for financial reasons in 2016. Because of his release, Chick missed playing with the Mayor of Swaggerville, Odel Willis who is now also in Edmonton. Willis is second in the league with six sacks while adding 18 pressures. He's been all over opposing quarterbacks this season. With the pressure of being the CFL's only undefeated team now gone, the Eskimos can focus on the big prize. Despite a rocky couple of weeks on the stat sheet, quarterback Mike Reilly is still one of the leagues' best. He's completing 71.3 percent of his passes with 15 touchdowns and just five interceptions. Reilly has been as consistent as any QB in the league and that's with his main man Adarius Bowman on the sidelines while playing behind a patchwork offensive line for most of the season.
The province of Alberta is loaded with Saskatchewan exiles and the capital is no different. Roughrider games in Calgary and Edmonton tend to draw bigger than usual crowds and tonight will be no different. There are already 40,000 tickets sold for this game which is the most so far in the CFL this season. There was a feature story in the Edmonton Journal where Mike Reilly wanted to make sure everyone knew that Commonwealth was “their” house. As far as regular season games in Edmonton goes, a visit from the Roughriders is bigger than any game other on the schedule, including the Labour Day rematch with the Stampeders. The Eskimos will not take this game lightly. For the Roughriders, this looks to be a letdown spot with next week's huge Labour Day game against the Blue Bombers in their sights. After a week off, the Roughies could also be flat footed to start this game and if that happens, the Eskies will go gate to wire with an easy win. If it doesn’t happen, Edmonton should still win and cover.
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EDMONTON -5½ -108 (Risking 2.16 units - To Win: 2.00)