The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will begin a significant portion of their upcoming schedule without No. 1 quarterback Matt Nichols beginning Friday night in Edmonton in a battle of first-place contenders in the CFL’s West Division.
Winnipeg lost Nichols to injury last week and now will turn to Chris Streveler, who is a very capable runner but still must develop as a proficient passer. The defense and special teams remain solid for Winnipeg, and there is no doubt the team will rely on those units as its offense starts to get settled in to playing with Streveler.
Edmonton is 4-0 straight up at home and has taken a ton of money in this game as the Eskimos opened -3 and are now as high as -7 in many spots, mostly due to the Nichols news.
Edmonton looked very impressive in a commanding win at home against Toronto last week. But it will be a much taller order against a Winnipeg defense that is among the best in the CFL.
I believe this line has gotten to the point of being a mild overreaction. Winnipeg has lost only a single game all season by a TD or more, and this is a lot of points to be getting with them here. The value in the spread at the current number lies with the road underdog.
The play: Winnipeg, +6¹/₂.