Edmonton Eskimos at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (-2.5,
The undefeated Edmonton Eskimos and Winnipeg Blue Bombers will
battle for top spot in the West Division when the former visits
the latter on Thursday. The Blue Bombers looked strong in their
opening two home games, scoring 81 points with their surprising
new-look offense. Edmonton is one win away from matching its
2013 total thanks to its revamped defense, which has 13 sacks
and a league-leading eight interceptions.
Eskimos slotback Adarius Bowman could be on pace for a career
year with 284 receiving yards and four touchdowns as
quarterback Mike Reilly’s favorite target. Winnipeg quarterback
Drew Willy engineered a last-minute touchdown drive to win Week
3 and looks comfortable in the starting role for the Blue
Bombers. Facing an Edmonton defense that includes Aaron Grymes
and Dexter McCoil – both with a pair of interceptions already –
will be Willy’s toughest challenge yet.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, TSN
LINE HISTORY: Books opened the Bombers as
2.5-point home faves. The total opened 55 and is down to 54.5.
INJURY REPORT: Bombers – SB Aaron Kelly (Out,
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “It’s a battle of unbeatens
as the Eskimos roll into Winnipeg on Thursday night. Something
obviously has to give in this matchup, and at this point I
believe it’s Edmonton that’s on slightly more solid ground. The
Bombers have needed to come from behind to win their last two
games, but can ill afford to let the Eskimos gain the early
upper hand. Edmonton has a strong enough defense to frustrate
the Bombers and should offer a significant challenge when you
consider this is Winnipeg’s first foray into the West Division
this season.” Covers Expert Sean Murphy.
ABOUT THE ESKIMOS (3-0): Defensive tackle Almondo
Sewell leads the league with five sacks, while defensive end
Odell Willis has three. Edmonton’s offensive line has also been
strong, limiting opponents to seven sacks and giving Reilly the
time he needs to make plays and throw a league-leading seven
touchdown passes. Running back John White recorded 99 rushing
yards in Week 3, eclipsing the 73 that Tyler Thomas amassed
over the opening two contests.
ABOUT THE BLUE BOMBERS (3-0): Winnipeg is
still tweaking its roster, releasing former All-Star running
back Will Ford on Monday after a preseason hamstring injury
opened the door for Nic Grigsby to record 41 carries and 218
yards in three games. Linebacker Abraham Kromah was acquired
from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats after starting the season on the
injured list. Receiver Taveon Rogers announced via Twitter he
signed with the Blue Bombers after spending time in the NFL
with the Cincinnati Bengals.
* Eskimos are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Over is 4-0 in Blue Bombers last four games in July.
* Over is 12-3-1 in Eskimos last 16 road games.
* Eskimos are 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 59 percent of wagers on
Covers Consensus are backing the Bombers.