On Friday night, the unbeaten Toronto Argonauts will travel to McMahon Stadium in Calgary to face off with the Calgary Stampeders.
The Argonauts are reigning Grey Cup Champions and favorites to defend their crown, while the Stampeders have struggled through an uneven 2-5 start this year.
Calgary’s defense has been impressive statistically, yet sloppy offense and subpar special teams coverage have given opponents great field position. Boasting Javon Leake as an explosive punt returner and leading the league with an amazing +16 turnover margin.
That special teams and defense will have to be spot on if the Stampeders want to have any chance to win this game, and they will have to play turnover free football. The odds of all of those falling into place are small.
The Argonauts recently prevailed against the Roughriders 31-13 at Halifax on Saturday to improve to an undefeated record in terms of both straight-up and against-the-spread victories, with five of those wins coming by 12 or more points.
At some point in this season’s schedule, the Argos won’t remain unbeaten or cover spreads that become larger with every week; but with just four days rest between games, this Stampeders team doesn’t look likely to end the Argos win streak.
There’s simply no area in which the Stamps match up well against the Argos. Jake Maier has been unreliable at quarterback (11 interceptions), while their ground game has only averaged 56 yards per game and 4.1 yards per carry over their last three contests.
That could spell disaster against an Argos defense that leads the CFL with 14 interceptions and allows the second-fewest yards per rush attempt (3.9).
The spread seems big, but the Argonauts are clearly the better team with all of the advantages. The only advantage for the Stampeders is being the home team, but the Argonuats are a good road team so I would not bet on that being the deciding factor.
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