CFL Football Betting: Toronto Argonauts at Ottawa Red-Blacks

CFL Football Betting:  Toronto Argonauts at Ottawa Red-Blacks

Friday CFL action features a pair of teams with losing records as the 0-2 Ottawa Red-Blacks play their first official home game against the 1-2 Toronto Argonauts. The Red-Blacks (which may be the strangest nickname in all of professional sports) are the third CFL team to play in Ottawa but the city is extremely excited for their first professional football game since 2005. Ottawa is 0-2 both straight up and against the spread but have played well at times. What they haven’t been able to do is put together two halves of solid football. The Toronto Argonauts are the CFL’s oldest and most storied team with 16 Grey Cup victories. They finished 11-7 last season but based on their effort so far in 2014 could be due for a significant drop off in performance this season.

Ottawa’s biggest strength is on offense where veteran quarterback Henry Burris gives them plenty of experience and poise. Burris is the all time rushing leader among quarterbacks in CFL history though he’s not as elusive as he once was (sacked five times last week). That’s not much of a surprise in his 16th season in the league but his passing hasn’t been particularly sharp this year. He gets help from running back Chevon Walker but like so many elements of this team Walker needs to be more consistent. The defense is good but not great and–surprise, surprise–has been better in the first half so far but has shown a tendency to get worn down in the second half.

Toronto can still put points on the board with Ricky Ray at the pivot but their problem is stopping their opponents. The Argonauts are the #1 ranked offense in the CFL but have the worst defense in the league. That puts them in a position where they have to outscore their opponent to win and that’s never an easy thing to count on at any level of professional football. The Argos haven’t been particularly good in the role of a favorite over the past few seasons and enter this game on a 7-12-1 ATS run when laying points.

Ottawa should be able to score points against a porous Toronto defense and there’s no reason they can’t steal a win in what will no doubt be an emotional home opener.