Have the Lions had a soft schedule?: 'We play who's on it, give me a break with that'
Every week TSN CFL stats guru Jon Perlberg takes a deep dive Inside the Numbers to give bettors an edge.
This week, he takes a closer look at the marquee matchup for Week 8 in the CFL.
After losing back-to-back games to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in convincing fashion, the Roughriders returned to form with a comfortable 30-16 win last week against the Toronto Argonauts.
Quarterback Cody Fajardo led the way for the Riders and provided a dual threat with two touchdowns through the air and another on the ground.
Despite some lower totals in recent weeks, Fajardo is poised to top his current over/under of 215.5 passing yards tonight in Vancouver.
Fajardo only managed 212 yards last week against the Double Blue, but game script dictated a heavy lean towards the run in the fourth quarter, which saw only five pass attempts from the Riders’ pivot.
A closer game in this divisional clash will see Fajardo throwing the ball more when it matters, and as a result, the relatively low yardage total set for him will be surpassed.
The prediction: Fajardo over 215.5 passing yards
When it comes to the game itself, I like the Riders to stay in the win column for a second consecutive week.
Saskatchewan’s only two losses this season were both against the Blue Bombers, owners of the league’s best record at 6-1.
In contrast, the Lions have built their 4-2 record by feasting on the weaker teams in the East Division.
The opponents BC has defeated in their current three-game winning streak? Ottawa, Ottawa, Montreal. Enough said.
Take the Green Riders this week as they look to cement second place in the West and stay in hot pursuit of the Bombers in the standings.
The Prediction: Riders -1
Two-time CFL All-Star defensive back Ed Gainey returns to the Riders lineup after a two-game absence. The veteran ballhawk is the only CFL player with double-digit picks in a season since 2007 (Gainey had 10 INTs in 2017 and his career total stands at 22).
The Lions have three questionable game-time decisions on offence. While Michael Reilly has started the last four games under this designation, keep an eye on the status of receivers Bryan Burnham and Lemar Durant.
Kian Schaffer-Baker, SSK at BC: Over the past two games, the rookie receiver is the Riders leader with 16 catches, 19 targets, 172 yards and one touchdown. Considering the 61 pass attempts by Saskatchewan during that time, Schaffer-Baker’s target share is an astounding 31 per cent of the team total. Currently valued as the 32nd most expensive receiver, the former Guelph Gryphon is an excellent (and affordable) option to improve your lineup this week.