Canada Day weekend has a stacked sports lineup for Canadians to enjoy and most importantly, for bettors to get action on as they celebrate the country’s 150th birthday. A full slate of CFL games serves as one of the highlights of the Canada Day sports schedule, with the B.C. Lions traveling to BMO Field to take on the Toronto Argonauts on Friday Night Football in primetime action on TSN.
The Argos will host the Lions on the back of a Week 1 win where veteran quarterback Ricky Ray posted a career-high 506 passing yards in a statement game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Battle of Ontario. Now, the Argos will look to maintain a spot at the top of the East Division standings in an East-West clash against a Lions team that dropped their season opener at home to the Edmonton Eskimos.
Following is a preview of Friday night’s clash along with with the best value bet for those who want to get in on the action this weekend:
Argos Offense Rejuvenated Under Trestman
The biggest thing we learned out of Week 1 was that the Argos offense will be far better in 2017 with former Grey Cup-winning head coach Marc Trestman at the helm in Toronto. The former Chicago Bears head coach has a resume that speaks for itself as one of the better offensive minds in football and his impact was instant in the Boatmen’s season opener. Ricky Ray looked like his former self and the 500-yard passing explosion where the veteran quarterback linked up with fellow veteran wideout S.J. Green early and often in the beatdown of the Ti-Cats.
Toronto’s new look coaching staff that pairs two former Grey Cup-winning head coaches with Trestman running the offense as head coach and former Saskatchewan Roughriders sideline boss Corey Chamblin in command of the defense appears to be the right fit to turn the Argos into a Grey Cup contender in the East Division. After a dominant offensive showcase along with a defensive performance where Toronto held Hamilton to just 15 points, the Argos appear balanced and ready to take on all comers this season after a period of struggles to get over the hump in recent years.
Lions Slow Starters in Home Opener
While the Argos exploded out of the gates with a new head coach and a new playbook, the Lions struggled to get things going in their home opener at BC Place.
The Lions failed to find the end zone in the first half, scoring just five points total in the two-quarters to open the season. To the Lions credit, they did make things interesting in the fourth quarter and scored 22 points in a far more exciting second half. However, that slow start from the Lions offense is a big concern for a team traveling to the East to take on a suddenly explosive Argos offense on the road.
Toronto Argonauts vs. B.C. Lions – Bottom Line
Last season showcased a disparity in talent where the West Division dominated East Division teams and oddsmakers appear to still be wary of that with the Argos standing as slim -1 favorites over the Lions. That line gives bettors value to back a home team that showcased plenty of promise in Week 1. At a good price hosting a team that has to travel cross-country to play on the road, it is wise to back the Argos and hope for more fireworks from Ricky Ray and another stout performance from the defense to move Toronto to 2-0 on the season.
Bet Argos -1 (1.90)