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Winnipeg-Calgary close out regular season
By: Nick Bracken - StatFox
Published: 11/5/2011  at  3:54:00 AM
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WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS (10-7)

at CALGARY STAMPEDERS (10-7)

Kickoff: Saturday, 4:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Calgary -6, Total: 51.5

Calgary and Winnipeg square off Saturday afternoon as two teams tied for first in their respective divisions. Winnipeg can grab home-field advantage for the division round of the playoffs with a win and Calgary can inch closer to winning the West Division.

Winnipeg has been the CFL’s best bet against the spread this year going 11-6 (65%), which includes a solid 5-3 ATS mark on the road. The Blue Bombers are looking to bounce back from last week’s tough loss and are 4-0 ATS in their past four games coming off a loss. Winnipeg also is 8-2 as an underdog this season and 12-2 as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points over the last two seasons. Calgary has been decent against the spread this year at 10-7 (59%), but is just 4-4 ATS on its home turf. The Stampeders have not had much success against the spread this late in the year, going 1-4 in their past five November games. The game will be close, with underdog WINNIPEG as the pick here.

Some more FoxSheets trends for the Bombers include this pair:

Play On - Underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (WINNIPEG) - off an upset loss to a division rival as a favorite. (45-17 since 1996.) (72.6%, +26.3 units. Rating = 3*).

Play On - Any team (WINNIPEG) - revenging a same season loss versus opponent, off an upset loss as a favorite. (76-36 since 1996.) (67.9%, +36.4 units. Rating = 3*).

The Blue Bombers are coming off a tough 27-22 home loss to Toronto. A bigger loss than the game might be the loss to their starting quarterback Buck Pierce, who severely sprained his knee and may miss some extended amount of time. Back-up Alex Brink didn’t play too bad filling in, completing 16 of his 27 passes for 217 yards and a score. Winnipeg gained a whopping 464 yards compared to Toronto’s 254 yards, but still managed to lose at home. To take the pressure off Brink, the Bombers will need another strong performance out of running back Chris Garrett who ran for 159 yards on 20 carries.

Calgary has won two in a row, including an impressive 32-27 win at Montreal. Quarterback Drew Tate completed 25-of-36 passes and two touchdowns, but did complete two passes to the wrong team. RB Jon Cornish continues to thrive in both rushing and catching the football. In the past six games, he has 692 yards from scrimmage (573 rushing) and 6 TD. The big concern after the win was the defensive performance by the Stamps. Montreal racked up 378 passing yards and another 160 on the ground. If Calgary wants to make it three in a row, it will have to stiffen up its defense and force some turnovers.

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