Last Updated: 2017-09-22
We’ll jump back to the Canadian Football League, where we’re sitting with an 18-11 record, as we get back to normal following our Hurricane Irma perils. We have a pair of games on Friday and here we’ll take a look at the Ottawa REDBLACKS and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The Bombers are favored by 7 and the total on the game is 56.
The big news for Ottawa this week is their quarterback situation, as both Trevor Harris and Drew Tate have been injured the past few weeks, forcing the team to start Ryan Lindley under center. Yes, the same Ryan Lindley who bounced around the NFL for a few seasons and never did a whole lot, throwing for three touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Lindley actually sat out last season after not getting an NFL offer and signed with Ottawa in February.
The problem with Lindley is that Ottawa doesn’t run the ball very well, averaging 81.5 yards per carry, but the REDBLACKS are one of those rare teams that tends to play better on the road than they do at home. Despite a 5-7-1 record, Ottawa is leading the East by a half-game over the Toronto Argonauts. Ottawa is 3-3 straight-up on the road and 6-0 against the spread, while going 2-4 in totals and seeing their last three games land under the number.
The Blue Bombers enter this game in better shape, coming off a bye and sitting at 8-3 straight-up. Winnipeg has been a strong over team this season, going 9-2 overall and 4-1 at home. Winnipeg did win the first meeting of the year between the two teams back in August, winning at Ottawa 33-30 as 3.5-point underdogs. The REDBLACKS did have one of their better rushing games of the season, gaining 130 yards, but not so sure they can duplicate that with Lindley under center, as the Bombers might not respect the pass quite as much as they did with Harris under center. Still, it’s a good sign for Ottawa fans that the Bombers allow 5.2 yards per rush.
From a handicapping perspective, this is a bit of a tough game, as you’re essentially trying to predict how Lindley is going to fare. He didn’t look bad in the preseason, completing 18 of 30 passes, but only for 140 yards, so Ottawa gave him some short, safer passes, which doesn’t typically lead to victory in the CFL.
My numbers actually have Ottawa winning 30-26, although that isn’t factoring in the quarterback situation, but don’t believe Harris is 10 points better than Lindley, so will go against the public and grab the REDBLACKS +7 in this one.