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Edmonton-Winnipeg square off as 1st-place teams
By: Nick Bracken - StatFox
Published: 10/15/2011  at  2:38:00 AM
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Kickoff: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Edmonton -2.5, Total: 49

Two teams that are tied for first in their respective divisions will clash on Saturday night as the Edmonton Eskimos host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Winnipeg is tied with Montreal in the East, and Edmonton is tangled up in a three-way tie in the West with B.C. and Calgary.

Winnipeg has been a strong bet this year going 10-4 ATS which includes an equal 5-2 ATS home and away. The Blue Bombers also have been outstanding when marked as an underdog, notching a 7-1 ATS record. As for Edmonton, the Eskimos are a lackluster 6-17 ATS as a favorite over the last three years and 6-16 ATS against non-conference opponents in that same time span. The Blue Bombers should show no signs of backing down against a quality opponent in Edmonton considering they have gone 9-1-1 ATS in their past 11 games against teams with a winning record. Edmonton has certainly not dominated on its home field, going just 4-3 (3-4 ATS) and is 7-7 ATS overall. WINNIPEG is the pick here to travel to Edmonton and win by a touchdown.

Here are some rare four-star FoxSheets trends to bet the UNDER on Saturday night.

WINNIPEG is 11-1 UNDER (+9.9 Units) in road games after the first month of the season over the last 2 seasons. 
The average score was WINNIPEG 18.8, OPPONENT 24.2 - (Rating = 4*).

WINNIPEG is 12-1 UNDER (+10.9 Units) as a road underdog over the last 2 seasons. 
The average score was WINNIPEG 19.8, OPPONENT 23.6 - (Rating = 4*).

Winnipeg would like to create some momentum going into the playoffs considering last week’s 33-17 win over Hamilton was just its second win in six weeks. That win guaranteed the Bombers a playoff spot, but everyone knows getting hot at the right time is the key. Quarterback Buck Pierce had a solid game last week, completing 16 of his 25 passes for 239 yards and a touchdown. The key to last week’s victory though was the running game led by Chris Garrett who ran for 131 yards on 18 carries. Winnipeg wins games by running the ball and controlling the clock with its defense, which leads the CFL in yards allowed (328.6 YPG). With reliable running back Fred Reid injured, Garrett and the defense will have to continue their quality play for the Blue Bombers to get hot for the playoffs.

Edmonton is coming off an ugly 17-1 victory against the Roughriders last week in which their defense was outstanding. The Eskimos D held Saskatchewan to just 145 yards passing and 244 yards of total offense. The usually sharp Ricky Ray, completed 17-of-26 passes for just 197 yards and didn’t find the end zone. Ray was also on his back a lot, being hurried, knocked down and eventually sacked three times. Edmonton needs to get running back Fred Stamps back in the swing of things. Stamps has just 123 yards total in his last three games, and when the Eskimos offense was rolling during that 5-0 start, Stamps was running all over the place.

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