Last Updated: 2017-09-29
The first game on the Canadian Football League schedule for Friday night is an interesting one, as the Saskatchewan Roughriders find themselves as 3-point favorites over the Trevor Harris-less Ottawa REDBLACKS. The total on the game is 50.
At 5-8-1 Ottawa can’t really afford another loss, as they trail Toronto by a point in the East Division, but with David Lindley lining up behind center, it might be impossible to avoid a loss, as Lindley hasn’t been much better in the CFL than he was in the NFL.
For the REDBLACKS to have any chance of winning their defense is going to have to step up in a big way and for that they can at least be thankful they’re going up against a Saskatchewan team that isn’t all that great on the road, but are 4-0 ATS against the weaker East.
Kevin Glenn may be on the downside of his career, but he’s still getting the job done for the Roughriders, having thrown 21 touchdown and 11 interceptions for the season. The 21 TDs are the most the 38-year-old signal caller has had since he threw 25 in 2012 and his 3,184 yards are sixth best in the CFL.
Cameron Marshall has been the Roughriders’ leading rusher with 490 yards, but the ‘Riders are averaging just 72 yards on the ground per game, so they’ll look to move the ball through the air.
The key player for Ottawa could very well be running back William Powell, as the former Kansas State Wildcat is leading the team with 554 yards and a 5.4 yard per carry average on the season. The REDBLACKS will need some success on the ground to take some of the pressure off Lindley and would likely rather put their fortunes in the hands of the offensive line and running backs than they would their backup quarterback.
The teams haven’t met yet this season, but both of last year’s games were pretty good ones, with the Roughriders pulling out a pair of victories, winning 32-30 on the road and 30-29 at home. It might be a bit much to expect another barnburner type of game in this one.
My numbers have Ottawa winning 31-20, but those numbers are with Trevor Harris at quarterback and Harris is third in the league in passing yards and has thrown for 23 touchdowns against seven interceptions on the season. Lindley has thrown for zero touchdowns and two interceptions on the season, although you have to expect he’ll be a little better than he was in his first start of the year.
Going to play this one to go under 50, as the total is pretty close to my numbers and Ottawa shouldn’t be nearly as efficient without Harris.