Argos and Tiger-Cats are One of CFL's Most Storied Rivalries
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Toronto Argonauts will meet on Saturday when at BMO Field. This is one of the CFL's most storied rivalries and today should be a good matchup. The Ti-Cats are looking to stay unbeaten and the Argos are playing their season opener.
Kickoff is at 4:00 p.m. ET and can be seen on TSN, RDS and ESPN+. Oddsmakers have Hamilton listed as 4.5 point favorites. The total is sitting at 52.5.
Two new head coaches square off today as well. Orlando Steinauer won his CFL head coaching debut in Week 1. Corey Chamblin is at the helm of a CFL franchise for the first time since 2015. There are a lot of similarities between Steinauer and Chamblin. Both head coaches are regarded as defensive gurus, and that is rare in the CFL. Both had stints as the Argos defensive coordinator, and both helped Toronto to Grey Cup victories while in that position.
Masoli is the Cog for the Tiger-Cats
Tiger-Cats quarterback Jeremiah Masoli has had success in the past against the Argos. He is fresh off being named his team’s nominee for Most Outstanding Player. He also cemented himself as a dependable option under center. Masoli has a 5-1 career record against Toronto.
The offense was largely limited by a stingy Saskatchewan Roughrider defense last week. Hamilton was only able to manage 232 yards of total offense in Week 1. Masoli passed for 169 of them. That was his lowest total in a single game since he became the Hamilton starter midway through 2017.
The Tiger-Cats were able to pull out the victory against the Riders, 23-17. They were aided by Saskatchewan starter Zach Collaros being knocked out of the game after the first play. Linebacker Simoni Lawrence was the one who delivered the knock-out blow to Collaros. He is in the lineup against Toronto. The eight-year veteran was handed a two-game suspension for his hit, but has appealed the suspension and will suit up for Week 2.
Argonauts are Ready to Get Going
This afternoon will be the first opportunity for Argos fans to get a look at off-season acquisition Derel Walker. The lofty receiver arrives in Toronto after spending four years with the Edmonton Eskimos. Walker struggled with injuries last season, but the Argonauts are hoping to see him return to form this season. That form saw him earn back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2015 and 2016. That would be a nice addition to the offense.
Walker’s day won’t be an easy one. He is expected to be matched up with Delvin Breaux, who is widely regarded as one of the best shutdown corners in the CFL. The Argos have a number of weapons at wide-out to hopefully alleviate that problem. Walker joins a receiving core that already includes S.J. Green and Armanti Edwards.
Argo QB James Franklin is looking for a statement season in 2019. Franklin was named the starter after Ricky Ray went down for the season in Week 2 last year. He failed to hang on to the job and that led to McLeod Bethel-Thompson taking over. Franklin did regain the starting role in the second-half of 2018, but Bethel-Thompson is still lurking if his play falters.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
Both teams having well-established aerial attacks on paper, but the game may well be decided on the ground. James Wilder Jr. of Toronto will match up with Canadian Sean Thomas Erlington of the Tiger-Cats. Erlington was limited to 68 yards rushing in Week 1. The entire Ticats offense was quiet as well and picked up the slack. This is his first year as a starter, and he’ll be looking to prove he belongs among the league’s best rushers. Wilder Jr. is coming off a disappointing 2018 by his lofty standards. He rushed for over 100 yards only once. That was in Week 4 against Edmonton. That was also the only game in which he was handed the ball more than 20 times. With Chamblin at the helm, Wilder Jr.’s workload could increase.
Hamilton will face the Argos on Saturday without go to receiver Luke Tasker. He is on the one-game injured list. Canadian offensive lineman Mike Filer will get the start at center for Hamilton. Last week’s starter Demetrius Rhaney missed a week of practice for personal business.
This afternoon will be the CFL debut of Argos lineman Shane Richards. He was the first-overall pick in the 2019 CFL Draft. He is slated to start at right guard for the Boatmen. He is one of two 2019 draft picks making their debut today. The other is Hamilton full-back Nikola Kalinic.
The Argos will honor CFL legend Ricky Ray prior to kickoff. Ray announced his retirement this off-season and remains the CFL’s fourth all-time leading passer.
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The Dart Throw: Tiger-Cats 28, Roughriders 23
CFL Betting Odds & Trends
|Hamilton is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games|
|Hamilton is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games|
|The total has gone OVER in 9 of Hamilton's last 12 games|
|Hamilton is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games on the road|
|Hamilton is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games on the road|
|The total has gone OVER in 5 of Hamilton's last 5 games on the road|
|Hamilton is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Toronto|
|Hamilton is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Toronto|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Hamilton's last 5 games when playing Toronto|
|Hamilton is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games when playing on the road against Toronto|
|Hamilton is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Toronto|
|The total has gone OVER in 5 of Hamilton's last 6 games when playing on the road against Toronto|
|Toronto is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games|
|Toronto is 1-9 SU in its last 10 games|
|The total has gone OVER in 6 of Toronto's last 9 games|
|The total has gone OVER in 5 of Toronto's last 7 games at home|
|Toronto is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Hamilton|
|Toronto is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Hamilton|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Toronto's last 5 games when playing Hamilton|
|Toronto is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games when playing at home against Hamilton|
|Toronto is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Hamilton|
|The total has gone OVER in 5 of Toronto's last 6 games when playing at home against Hamilton|
Hamilton home to Montreal Friday, June 28
Toronto at Saskatchewan Monday, July 1
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