The Toronto Argonauts look to become the first repeat Grey Cup champion since Montreal in 2009-10 when they open defence of that championship with a visit to Saskatchewan on Friday night in Week 1 of the CFL season. The NFL, by contrast, always allows the defending Super Bowl champion to open its season at home in the annual Kickoff Game – this Sept. 6 that’s the Philadelphia Eagles vs. the Atlanta Falcons.
Roughriders vs. Argos CFL Betting Analysis
On the Sports Interaction CFL season futures, Toronto is given a win total of 8.5, with the over a slight -139 favorite. The Argos finished atop the East Division in 2017 with a 9-9 record. They are only sixth-favourites to win the Grey Cup at +750.
Saskatchewan finished fourth in the West Division last year at 10-8 and has a win total of 8 for 2018, with the over a -154 favourite. The Roughriders are +625 to win their first Grey Cup since 2013. The 2018 Grey Cup is Nov. 25 at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.
Under first-year coach Marc Trestman, the Argos were sizable underdogs to Calgary in the 2017 Grey Cup but upset the Stampeders 27-24 in the snow at TD Place Stadium in Ottawa for the franchise’s 17th title. Lirim Hajrullahu kicked a 32-yard field goal with 49 seconds left. The Argos had tied the game with 4:35 remaining on Cassius Vaughn’s Grey Cup-record 109-yard fumble return and Ricky Ray’s 2-point conversion pass to Declan Cross. Ray became the first starting quarterback to win four Grey Cup titles.
The Grey Cup MVP was receiver DeVier Posey, who caught seven passes for 175 yards – including a Grey-Cup record 100-yard score to open the second half. Posey is now trying to make the roster of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. Hajrullahu is gone too, signing with Hamilton, but Ray is back. He has a new QBs coach in CFL Hall of Famer Anthony Calvillo. Ray didn’t play in either of the team’s preseason games. He threw for 5,546 yards last year (second in league) along with 28 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
The Roughriders beat Ottawa 31-20 to advance to last year’s Eastern Final, where Saskatchewan lost to Toronto 25-21 – blowing a late 21-18 lead as Cody Fajardo won it for the Argos with a 1-yard TD run with 23 seconds left. Saskatchewan QB Kevin Glenn was intercepted three times in the first half and eventually replaced by Canadian backup Brandon Bridge. Glenn signed with Edmonton this offseason, leading Bridge to compete with newcomer Zach Collaros for the starting job. He was acquired from Hamilton for a 2018 second-round draft pick.
Collaros led the CFL in passing yards and TDs in 2015 but suffered a major knee injury late in the season and since lost his past 12 regular-season starts. He started eight games for the Ticats last season before being replaced by Jeremiah Masoli. Whichever QB it is will have one of the CFL’s top receiving groups in Duron Carter, Naaman Roosevelt and Bakari Grant – all had at least 1,000 yards in 2017. The Roughriders also added running back Jerome Messam.