BC Lions +6 at Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Recommendation: BC Lions
We’ve seen some heavy movement in the betting markets on this game with Winnipeg jumping from a -3.5 home favorite to as high as -6. The origin of the move is the news that the Blue Bombers may have starting quarterback Matt Nichols back on the field after suffering an injury in training camp. Even if Nichols plays, however, there is some uncertainty regarding how sharp and efficient he will be given the fact he played less than a quarter in one preseason game and has had no extended practice reps on the field until just this past week. BC’s defense is very young in the secondary and also not getting an immense amount of pass rush from their front seven so far this season but it still remains to be seen if Nichols can find that rhythm and chemistry with this offense in his very first game back. On the flip side, Winnipeg’s defense has not exactly performed at a high level through the first three weeks. They shut down a very anemic Montreal offense in Week 2 but outside of that, the Bombers stop unit surrendered 31 points in a loss at Hamilton last week and 33 points to Edmonton in their season opener against two good offensive teams. I find it troubling laying significant points and asking teams to win by margin when they are not getting enough stops on the defensive side of the football and that has been the repeated problem for Winnipeg. The question is can the very inconsistent BC Lions offense take advantage of it. Jonathon Jennings is feeling the pressure after a lackluster performance last week in Edmonton and there are even some that believe another subpar showing from him could result in Travis Lulay replacing him as early as next week. I believe Jennings has what it takes to eventually be a viable starter in this league but the clock is ticking. One thing we know about Jennings is that he’s played some of his best football over the years during his CFL career against this Winnipeg team. BC has scored 26+ points in five of the seven meetings against Winnipeg that have been with Jennings under center for the Lions. Each of the last 6 meetings between the Lions and Blue Bombers have been decided by single digits which is why with this line steaming up a full 2.5 points, I’m willing to step in and take the generous points being offered with BC.