Argonauts (1-0) vs. Lions (0-1)
Week 2 Home Opener!
The defending Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts pay a visit to the BC Lions on Thursday night as the Leos look for their first win of the season in their home opener.
Date/Time: Thursday July 4, 10:00 PM
Venue: Turf of BC Place
Argos vs. Lions Betting Lines from Bodog.ca
Toronto Argonauts +6½ -110 Ov 53 -120
B.C. Lions -6½ -110 Un 53 +100
The Lions lost their Week 1 matchup against another of the CFL‘s power teams the Stampeders while the Argos looked impressive in their first game of the year topping the Ti-Cats 39-34. Many have this game circled on their calendars as a possible Grey Cup preview – it should be a good one!
The Toronto Argonauts looked in midseason form in their first match of the season. Ricky Ray threw for 368 yards and Chad Klackert ran for 112. Chad Owens wasn’t spectacular as advertised in the return game but a man of his talent won’t be held down for long. He did finish with nine catches for 95 yards and 140 return yards in the game – still not too shabby!
Toronto, which had suffered through years of anemic offenses suddenly looks potent and very well balanced.
Toronto’s defense was Jekyll and Hyde last week. The Argos gave up 31 points in the first half against Hamilton, but just three in the second half. Improvement on the defensive side of the ball was a key for this team and it looks as though they figured a few things out after an ugly first half.
Toronto may be without their kicker Swayze Waters this week which could be an issue. We all saw what the absence of a team’s normal kicker can mean to a team when “the beard” failed to do BC any favors last week.
The BC Lions had a ton of reason for excuses last week – playing on the road in an emotional setting, injuries to both linebacker Solomon Elimimian and veteran kicker Paul McCallum and the lack of a contribution from their offensive line. But excuses are weak – the Leos know they have to execute better or face the prospect of starting 0-2.
Elimimian and McCallum should be back this week and there is no way that Andrew Harris has only three rushes for 20 yards. It seems unlikely that the league’s best defense is shredded to the tune of 450 yards (200 on the ground) either.
So things appear to be looking up for BC – right?
Maybe not! The offensive line still appears to be a huge question mark – they allotted zero room for Andrew Harris and they did nothing to help Travis Lulay who went 21 for 36 and 283 yards. Lulay was sacked three times and the constant pressure led to one interception.
The Lions D-line looked ugly last week too – it just may be that they miss Kalif Mitchell who returns to BC with an enormous chip on his shoulder as a member of the Toronto Argonauts.
Dave B’s Free Week 2 Prediction
A few trends to consider:
• TOR are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 road games.
• BC are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 Thu. games.
• BC are 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 games in July.
• BC are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 home games.
• Under is 14-4 in the last 18 meetings.
If the BC Lions play anything like they did last week they will be in a heap of trouble against the defending champs. Not much went well for BC including the defense which was their fall-back last year.
The Argos looked as complete a team as there was in Week 1 – no holes after a rather sketchy first half of play.
The Lions lose their second straight game Thursday night – disappointing but not a time to panic just yet.