Saskatchewan at Edmonton -2 O/U 46
I cashed an Under ticket in the first meeting earlier this season between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Edmonton Eskimos in a low scoring 17-1 win for Saskatchewan and I see a similar game unfolding here in the Week 7 rematch tonight.
You could easily say that Saskatchewan has played 18 out of 20 quarters of stellar defense in its first five games. They allowed just 16, 1, and 20 points in their first three games of the season. In their last two games, they had allowed just 14 points to Hamilton and 18 to Calgary after three quarters before the roof caved in defensively in the 4th quarter of both games. It led to consecutive blown double-digit leads and the Roughriders dropped from 3-0 to 3-2. Head coach Cory Chamblin preached to his team throughout their bye week how they needed to learn how to finish games particularly on the defensive side of the football and I would expect the Roughriders to give a tremendous effort on defense for the full 60 minutes against an anemic offense that they already have shut down.
The Edmonton offense needs work…lots of work and it starts with the inadequate production from the quarterback position. Stephen Jyles has struggled all season with accuracy, consistently overthrowing his receivers, and has still yet to develop any sort of chemistry with any of his receivers most notably top option Fred Stamps. I need more than two hands to count the number of plays already this season where Jyles either missed Stamps on an easy throw or they have miscommunication in terms of route running which caused an incomplete pass. Jyles ranks dead last in passing yards with 998 and dead last in touchdowns with just three along with three picks in five games this season. The Eskimos have played five games this season and they haven’t figured things out offensively yet and I’m not sure they will here despite coming off a bye.
It’s also fair to surmise that Saskatchewan won’t be putting up points in bunches here either. They only scored 17 in the previous meeting against Edmonton this season and the Eskimos have been a terrific defense all season. They’ve held their previous opponents to 15, 17, 14 and 23 points this season. It’s worth noting the game in which they allowed 23 points which was a game at Winnipeg was their second straight road game on a short week in tough scheduling spot with their bye week looming. I would expect the bye week to recharge the batteries so to speak of this Edmonton team and it all starts with their defense. The Eskimos know that with all their struggles on offense that it is their stop unit which must carry the mail for them. The Edmonton defensive unit ranks #1 in the CFL for points allowed on the season. They are fueled by a stellar red zone defense that forces teams into kicking field goals as oppose to scoring touchdowns. That strength often makes the difference in cashing any Under bet especially in the CFL where opportunities to score points present themselves more often.
Saskatchewan and Edmonton have seen their last three head-to-head meetings going back to 2011 cruise Under the total. The total has climbed slightly from the opener of 45 to 46. That is a lower total for a league like the CFL but having said that, it's warranted and I think we have enough room to work with here to recommend the Under.
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