How do you judge a matchup that has had such varied outcomes during the regular season? Earlier in the season (Weeks 12 and 13), the Roughriders won the Labour Day home and home with the Blue Bombers. They were both close games (31-23; 32-27), but they won both.
Fast forward to Week 18 and the Blue Bombers shut the Roughriders down, 31-0.
Back in Week 12 and 13, neither team’s pivot had an exceptional game, but Zach Collaros was definitely the better of the two. But in Week 18, Matt Nichols played well enough for the Blue Bombers while Collaros struggled.
The key in all three games was essentially the play of the defence. More than likely that will be the case in this game as well with the winner being the team that can force the other into more mistakes.
So—who’s going to win?
The Roughriders have the more impressive body of work over the course of the season (12-6 record next to Winnipeg’s 10-8). They have the toughest pass defence in the league and the second toughest run defence. But they are only fourth when it comes to points allowed per game (24.7) while Winnipeg is second (23.3)
Offensively, they aren’t much different. They rank No. 1 (Winnipeg) and No. 2 (Saskatchewan) running the ball. While the Roughriders have the second-worst passing game in the league, Winnipeg is only about 24 yards a game better.
The turning point is going to be turnovers—and Winnipeg is the better of the two at forcing them and taking advantage of them.
So, take the Blue Bombers to win over the Roughriders and against the spread. As for the over/under—take the under.