Touchdown Atlantic
Toronto +115 over Saskatchewan

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Posted at 10:45 AM EST and are subject to change.

Toronto +115 over Saskatchewan

2:00 PM EST. East Coast expansion is still high on the CFL’s list of things to do, but the pandemic washed away what was supposed to be the building of a new stadium in Dartmouth, NS, and the launch of the expansion Atlantic Schooners. With pandemic restrictions came a tightening of the purse strings, as Halifax Regional Council decided to pump the brakes on the project and the $20-million it had committed. The dream was to field a 10-team league in 2021.

It’s now 2022 and there is no timetable to get the ball rolling again, but as it had been in previous years, the CFL is committed to its “Touchdown Atlantic” tradition, which will bring us the Argonauts and Roughriders from cozy Raymond Field, home of the Acadia Axemen, the smallest, yet one of the most prolific football programs in Canadian University Sports (USports). Raymond Stadium seats around 3500 and is expected to be sold out. As Argonauts backers today, our only worry is this team getting spooked by a stadium full of fans. We kid of course, sort of, as the Argos traditionally play in front of the empty seats at BMO Field and the cavernous Skydome before that. In reality, Toronto should be pumped to play in a barn that has a bit of atmosphere.

The last time anyone saw the Argos was two weeks ago, in Week 4, in Winnipeg where they had the Bombers right where they wanted them with the game-tying extra point on the foot of kicker Boris Bede. You know what happened next. That extra point missed the mark and the Boatmen were downed by a single point 23-22. Last year’s East Division champions were expected to be the class of that division again this season. They added star power like Andrew Harris, cut some dead weight, and looked primed to make a run. Instead, the Argos are just 1-2, which is sadly still good for tops in the East. However, the Boatmen are coming off a week of rest and have had plenty of time to prepare for this roadie. Meanwhile, the Roughriders were in a dogfight with the Redblacks that saw their hotheaded defense finally blow its top.

You’ve likely seen the dirty hit from Garrett Marino that knocked Ottawa quarterback Jeremiah Masoli out of that game last week. Well, that low-hit cost Marino four games. Some thought it was not serious enough, but it was the longest suspension the league has ever handed out. The Roughriders' were already short-handed with significant injuries to their offense, but now they will now be down Marino and CFL sack leader Pete Robertson on their defensive line. Starting one inexperienced defensive end would be cause for enough concern, make it two and there is a good chance, that Sasky's D-line is going to have a bad time this afternoon.

There are many moving parts here and an untold number of variables that one would not normally have to deal with if this were just a regular old game on a Saturday afternoon, but it is much more than that. It’s a showcase for the league. The players have been fishing, doing interviews, and meeting fans. There’s so much more that goes into games like this than what you’d see in downtown Toronto, where you might have to ask four dozen people before you found one that was going to the football game. This game is a big deal and should present a “big game” atmosphere. It is with that in mind that we will point to this line for some guidance.

2½ is what we call a “dog” number. The reason for that is because it is very appealing for a market that typically leans towards siding with the favorites to cash their tickets with just a field goal. The Roughriders have all the hype coming into this game. The #1 defense, a 4-1 record in the loaded West and the most loyal and passionate fans in the market. Truth be told, on the surface, we’d be tempted to side with Saskatchewan too, but we know better. Even though this is not a “road game” per se, spotting points away from one’s home field is rarely a prudent play. That leaves us with just one option and that’s to back the Boatman to win this one outright.

Our Pick

Toronto +115 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.30)