August 5, 2011

Free CFL Picks: Edmonton Eskimos @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers Week 6 Preview

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Edmonton Eskimos have the two best records in CFL betting action this year. The two will collide on Friday night at Canad Inns Stadium for the final time before Winnipeg opens up a new stadium next season.

The Eskies just barely escaped with their undefeated record intact last week against the lowly Toronto Argonauts. Head Coach Kavis Reed nearly lost his mind when a Toronto team without starting QB Cleo Lemon took a 17-1 advantage in the second quarter, and from that point on, Edmonton responded. QB Ricky Ray had a sharp second half, leading to a day in which he had 261 yards and two TDs on 24-of-34 passing. His top receiver once again was WR Fred Stamps, who is already having a season that could be heading for the record books. Stamps had 101 yards on eight catches, and he now has 574 yards on the campaign. The defense allowed two majors in the first half, but the unit hasn’t allowed more than those two scores defensively since a Week 1 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Eskimos rank No. 5 in the league in terms of total defense, but No. 2 in scoring, and they are one of the just two teams in CFL betting action to allow fewer than 20 points per game on the campaign.

Unfortunately for Edmonton, the Blue Bombers are the team that have the No. 1 ranked scoring defense at 19.2 points per game. That defense came up big against QB Travis Lulay and the BC Lions last week, holding both Lulay and WR Geroy Simon in check. The Leos only ended up accounting for 297 total yards, numbers which aren’t winning man games. QB Buck Pierce had a nice day against the team that gave up on him two years ago, going 11-of-18 for 206 yards and a TD to go with 19 rushing yards. However, he was knocked out of the game for a second time in three weeks, this time suffering a concussion. QB Alex Brink looked good in mop up duty, but it’s clear that he isn’t leading this team to victories like Pierce will be able to. Pierce is considered probable for Friday night’s clash against Edmonton. RB Fred Reid is coming off of a relatively quiet game, as he rushed for just 53 yards on 13 carries, but he is still clearly the top running back in the league right now in spite of the fact that he only has 374 yards in five games.

There’s a point that the Eskimos are going to come back to earth, and this appears to be the game that it is going to happen. Winnipeg probably has a comparable team, if not the better team in this one as long as Pierce stays upright, and assuming that he can do just that, we’ll have to go with the Blue Bombers -1 on the CFL odds.

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Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.

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