CFL Week 1 Picks: Toronto Argonauts @ Calgary Stampeders Predictions
The second CFL betting battle of the week to be televised on the NFL Network is all set for Canada Day on Friday, July 1st. In the second game of a double dip of CFL betting action, the Calgary Stampeders will take on the Toronto Argonauts.
This season has the potential to be a great one for the Argos if they can give QB Cleo Lemon some help. Last year, the top scoring defense in the league watched its coordinator go the head coaching ranks, which is going to potentially make things a tad difficult to beat the CFL odds going forward. Offensively, there is going to be a ton of pressure on both RB Cory Boyd and WR Chad Owens, both of which showed some amazing explosiveness offensively and on special teams. However, if these two are figured out, there really aren’t a lot of players that can mask Lemon if he hasn’t drastically improved. Lemon was a two and out machine last year, and really the only thing that kept this team going were special teams, big time plays out of the aforementioned Boyd and Owens, and a tremendous defense. However, we must remember that this Toronto team came up just one step short of the Grey Cup title game last season, and the talent is definitely in place to be able to pull an upset or two like this one over the course of the year.
And then there are the Stampeders, who are heavily favored in this game due to the fact that they were juggernauts statistically last year. Calgary had the No. 1 ranked defense and the No. 1 ranked offense, but both units could potentially have some holes to fill. The top three players in arguably the best secondary in the league last year are all gone now, which could put a huge strain on what is now a very young unit in the back. The front line is still fantastic defensively, but if Lemon isn’t feeling the heat, he’ll have some fresh faces to try to pick on to get the job done. Offensively, the biggest loss is one that you probably didn’t read all that much about in the offseason. OL Ben Archibald was the top offensive lineman last year in the CFL, but he left via free agency to the BC Lions. Replacing him will be difficult to say the least. RB Joffrey Reynolds and QB Henry Burris are back though, and these two have been leading the Stamps’ offense prolifically over the course of the last several seasons without any gaps. Burris is almost certainly going to amass over 5,000 yards of total offense this year and though Reynolds has been limited just a bit over the course of the last two years, backup RB John Cornish is considered a hot commodity and could start for a number of teams in the league.
We still like this Calgary team as a postseason squad, but we’re really not all that sure that this is a set of CFL odds worth laying. Toronto simply had this knack last year for hanging around in games and keeping things close, and if that remains the case on Canada Day, it is going to be the right choice and a potential upset candidate. Go with the Argonauts +7.5.