Toronto Argonauts at Winnipeg Blue Bombers Free Pick

Toronto Argonauts at Winnipeg Blue Bombers Free Pick

The Prariefox
Date: September 29, 8:00 pm
Location: IG Field

Betting Odds

Point Spread: Tor +7.5/WPG -7.5
Total: 48.5


The league-leading 12-1 Argonauts are +7.5 road underdogs when they take on the 10-4 Bombers at IG Field on Friday night. The much-anticipated Grey Cup rematch might go down without several key Argo players on the field as Toronto has already clinched first place in the East. Argos' head coach Ryan Dinwiddie may rest some starters, including quarterback Chad Kelly, hence the opening line of Winnipeg -2.5 moving to -7.5.

Grey Cup Rematch

The last time these teams met was last November in one of the most memorable Grey Cup championship games in a while. Midway through the fourth quarter, it looked like Winnipeg was going to three-peat after Argo's starting QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson went down with an injury, and backup Chad Kelly was forced into action. Kelly and the Argos were resilient, however, and overcame a nine-point deficit to pull off the comeback win, scoring ten points to overtake the Bombers 24-23. The Argo's special teams made amends for allowing Winnipeg to score on a 102-yard punt return by blocking a field goal attempt with 40 seconds left that would have given the Bombers the lead and likely the win. That game was played at Mosaic Stadium in Regina. Friday's game will be in IG Field, where the Argo's are 0-4 straight up (UP) and 0-4 against the spread (ATS) since 2017.

Toronto's Season

Toronto has looked comfortable in almost every game this year, obtaining the lead early and holding it until the final whistle. In their only loss this season, QB Chad Kelly went out in the first half, and backup Cameron Dukes couldn't generate any points on offense. The 4-10 Stampeders went on to win 7-20 as huge home dogs. The rash of injuries to starting QBs in the CFL this year has significantly weakened the competition the Argos have faced, but there are no easy wins in the CFL. Aside from the Calgary game, Toronto has showed up prepared and energized for every contest, regardless of their opponent's record. Friday's game will be a real test for their motivation as they have just clinched first place in the East and are basically waiting for the playoffs to start.

Winnipeg's Performance

Winnipeg, on the other hand, has been inconsistent this year, playing exceptionally well at times, dominating other teams, and, at other times, playing down to their competition. Their last game in Hamilton, against the 6-8 UP Ti-Cats, is a good example. They lost 23-29 UP as -7 point favorites, with QB Zach Collaros throwing three interceptions and almost having two more picked off. The offensive line couldn't run block or pass protect, as Collaros was sacked several times, and running back Brady Olivera accumulated only 46 yards on nine carries. The defense gave up 29 points, and the special teams missed an extra point attempt, which Hamilton returned for two points, turning the play into a three-point swing for the home side. This week, the Bombers are in a much stronger position, playing at home and coming off the bye-week. The last time they were in a similar spot, they destroyed BC 14-50.

Weather Conditions

The weather forecast predicts the game will be played in clear conditions.

Injury Reports

The injury report for the Argos is lengthy, with ten players on Tuesday not practicing or being limited. Key players confirmed to be out are defensive back Jamal Peters, wide receiver Cam Phillips, and starting quarterback Chad Kelly. Kelly is not injured and will dress, but backup pivot Cameron Dukes took first-team reps with the offense this week, and Coach Dinwiddie confirmed that Dukes will start against Winnipeg. The Bombers have two star players potentially out for Friday's matchup, as defensive lineman Jackson Jeffcoat and wide receiver Dalton Schoen were both listed as questionable.

Argos at Blue Bombers Pick ATS 9/29/23

Winnipeg is now tied for first place in the West division with BC and needs this win to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Additionally, I could see the Bombers wanting to pound Toronto after losing the Grey Cup to them last year. I fully expect Toronto to show up for this "nothing" game and play for pride, but Dukes will have to play like a seasoned vet to keep up on the scoreboard with Winnipeg. If this were the first game of the season, and Kelly was starting, it would probably be too close to call. However, with a rookie QB making his first start against a motivated team of Winnipeg's caliber, I'll lay the points with confidence.

Free Pick: Take Winnipeg -7.5
Get $60 Free Picks