Ottawa RedBlacks at Toronto Argonauts Week 20 Pick
The Toronto Argonauts can sweep the season series SU against the Ottawa Redblacks at BMO Field this Saturday, but covering the -6 points against a division foe might prove difficult. The 52.5 total is a little surprising, considering both teams have had trouble scoring this year. Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, October 26, at 4 pm ET.
Ottawa’s losing ways continued last week as they fell 33-12 last week against the first-place Hamilton Tiger-cats. The Redblacks did put up a decent fight in the first half going into the break only down 6-3, but the Ti-cats woke up in the second half and went on to cover the 16.5 points as Ottawa struggled to find the endzone once again.
Toronto lost SU 24-27 last week in Montreal in a game that had the Argos as +10.5 road dogs, a number they easily covered. Starting QB Mcleod-Bethel Thompson played the entire match as Argo Head Coach Corey Chamberlain is still putting more emphasis on winning games than evaluating talent for next year.
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The third and final bout of the season between these two won't have the playoff implications the schedulers hoped it would have as both teams have been out of it for some time now. Toronto has controlled the series so far, winning SU and ATS both times. The first meeting in September saw the then "emerging" Argos go into Ottawa and beat the RedBlacks quite handily 46-17. The re-match in Toronto a couple of weeks ago was a closer contest with the Argos holding on for a 21-28 victory.
Ottawa showed signs of life last week with rookie QB Will Arndt under center for the RedBlacks offense, which didn't punch in any majors, but they held onto the ball long enough to give their defense a break as well as some much-needed hope. Considering that – in my opinion- Hamilton is the best team in the league right now, it wasn't that poor of a performance. Toronto is an improved team to be sure, but they're not Hamilton if the Redblacks can duplicate their effort from last week, they definitely have a chance to cover, or even upset a much weaker opponent in the Argos.
Toronto has gone back to QB Mcleod-Bethel Thompson, and the team has responded by playing hard again. MBT gave this team hope earlier in the season, and the Argos were looking like they were going to make an improbable playoff run, but they lost a pivotal game at home to a tough Calgary team which was enough for the Argos to return to their intended starter Jermain Franklin the next week. Rumor has it the decision to go back to Franklin was made by then GM Jim Popp, who had brought Franklin in, which would explain why Popp was fired two weeks later when his guy flopped. The Argos lost 16-41 the next week at home to the Riders and then were embarrassed 55-8 in BC by the lowly Lions. When the results from games in which Franklin started are removed, the Argos are 2-0-1 ATS in their last five. There is a lot of excitement in the Toronto locker room right now, this team really believes in MBT as their leader, and oh, by the way, there is a WR by the name of Worthy that dominated last week, and I'd be shocked not see more of him this week.
The weather Saturday afternoon is expected to be sunny with light winds and a temperature of around 50.
On offense, the Redblacks will be without Receivers Raphael Araujo-Lopes and Devonte Dedmon, as well as running back Moses Madu. On defense, Ottawa will play again without their leader as Safety Antoine Pruneau remains on the six-game. Toronto is healthy on offense, but they've been banged up on defense this year with eight starters out of line up, and on the six-game, DB Alden Darby is latest to go down and won't suit up this week.
- Get more details: Ottawa at Toronto CFL Match-up Stats
Because these teams are out of the playoffs, there has been a lot of talk in the media about possibly putting other QBs in the game for evaluation purposes. I expect both starters to play the entire game unless the score gets out of hand. Both of these teams have already seen all their QBs play this season. Ottawa is starting their third-string QB, to begin with, so I don't see them going to their fourth-string unless they're losing badly. Argos HC Corey Chamberlain stated to the media on Wednesday that his focus is on winning at home for fan appreciation night, and QB Mcleod-Bethel Thompson would only be replaced if they had a comfortable lead in the fourth. Considering the QB match up and the positive energy in Toronto right now, I'm going to back the team on the upswing and lay the -6.