2011 Grey Cup: Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. B.C. Lions Handicapping Preview

Winnipeg vs. B.C. Winner Takes All

The 99th Grey Cup game comes our way Sunday and for only the 12th time in Cup history, the home town team is represented. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers rode a hot start to the Number 1 seed in the Eastern Division in 2011 while the BC Lions sizzled down the stretch to capture the West Division crown.


Date/Time: Sunday, November 27, 6:30 PM ET
Venue: BC Place, Vancouver, British Columbia
Broadcast: TSN
Bombers vs. Lions Betting Lines from
Spread: Lions -7
Moneyline: Bombers +270: Lions -325
Over/Under: 50 ½ points

Both number one seeds meet for CFL’s Holy Grail at BC Place – it should be fun!

Winnipeg beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East Final last week in frigid temperatures in Winnipeg. Buck Pierce made a successful return to the lineup after a few weeks off with a knee injury and managed 175 yards passing and a touchdown in a game that throwing the ball was nearly impossible. Running back Chris Garrett was the star posting 190 yards on the ground and a touchdown.

Offensively, Winnipeg has been nothing special this season.

They finished the regular season with the 7th ranked passing game and the 4th best rushing game in the CFL. Winnipeg scored the 5th most points in the league.

But having Buck Pierce back in the fold gives the Bombers a chance to win. Not only does he understand the Canadian game, he will also have extra motivation to beat the team that cast him off two seasons ago. Pierce hasn’t been great but he hasn’t been bad either.

Chris Garrett was a nice surprise last week and if he can build off his best effort of the season, Winnipeg may be able to control the clock and keep BC’s vaunted offense on the sidelines.

Winnipeg’s defense has been their strength all season long and there is no reason to think that this unit has slowed down especially after allowing a total of just 192 yards against Hamilton last week. The Bombers were #1 against the pass this season, 4th against the run and they allowed the third fewest points per game this year.

The BC Lions deserve to be here.

After all, they did finish the regular season with 11 of a possible 12 wins and they dispatched the Eskimos in the West Final easily – 40-23. BC’s team of today is a far cry from the one that started the season 0-5! BC is as hot as a team can be heading into a Championship game.

Montana State’s Travis Lulay performance was a total surprise to anyone watching CFL football this year. His rapid ascension to the elite class of QB could not have been forecasted. Lulay finished the season 1st or 2nd in almost every statistical QB category and battled legend Anthony Calvillo all season for the lead in passing yards and TDs.

2011 Grey Cup

2011 Grey Cup: Winnipeg vs. B.C. Handicapping

With weapons like Geroy Simon (who was 2nd in the CFL in receiving) and Arland Bruce, it is no wonder that Lulay had so much success. Last week against Edmonton, Lulay passed for two scores and rumbled for a 61 yards touchdown on the ground – incredible!

BC owned the 2nd best passing offense in the CFL this season and surprisingly just the 6th ranked running game. The Lions gained 456 yards last week versus a good Edmonton defense and should be prime to duplicate that effort this week.

BC’s defense was as good as Winnipeg’s’ this season – in some cases better. They finished 2nd against the pass and the run and they gave up the least amount of points per game in the CFL – just 21.39. BC’s defense gave up just 32 touchdowns in 18 games this year – only 20 passing scores and they registered a league second best 54 sacks.

The Lions defense is solid top to bottom and is built to terrorize the opposition’s quarterback.

Free British Columbia Lions Betting Prediction

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are 5-14 SU in their last 19 games on the road and are 3-6 SU in their last nine games in BC.

However, the Bombers have won three straight versus the Lions and are 4-2 SU and 5-1 ATS in their last six versus the Lions. The BC Lions are 11-1 SU in their last 12 games and 5-0 SU in their last five games at home.

The Lions are just 1-4 ATS in their last five games at home versus Winnipeg.

There is no doubt about who the better team is heading into Sunday’s Championship game.

The Lions have been rolling on offense and defense! We know that BC will score some points on Sunday but the big question is whether or not the Bombers will be able to match them. My feeling is that the answer is a resounding – NO! BC is at home, looking like a team of destiny. BC’s offense is on fire and the defense is stout.

When the offense stumbles, they have the best kicker in the league backing them up.

Paul McCallum may be the difference in this one although I think the Lions will use him simply to cement a rather easy win.

Pick: BC Lions -7     

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About Dave B

Dave B is from Beautiful BC. A Fantasy Football writer for 10+ years. A gambler, and a sucker for an early Vegas line. Loves to bet on the NHL, and NFL. A couch potato wannabe, BC Lions, Canucks, & Seahawks fan. Hope’s for world peace + global relaxation.
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