Back to work in the CFL as we try to improve upon our 17-5 ATS record on the year. One game on the board for Friday and we like a side play:

BC LIONS AT TORONTO ARGONAUTS 4:35 PM PACIFIC

This is a battle of teams that are 2-6 on the year, but we’ve liked a lot of what the BC Lions have done so far this season. Not only are they a better team than their SU record indicates, they’ve put forth a better effort than their 3-5 ATS mark would suggest as well. We’ve been looking for a good opportunity to use the Lions and it looks like we’ve found one here against the Toronto Argonauts.

Both teams are coming off victories—BC thumped the slumping Edmonton Eskimos while Toronto outlasted the hapless Saskatchewan Roughriders—but we look for the Lions to be the better team going forward. Toronto has settled on Cleo Lemon at quarterback for now and he’s been receiving love from the local media for his performance in his last two games. Lemon has struggled with his accuracy during his brief CFL career and threw more interceptions than touchdowns in his rookie campaign. He’s thrown 5 touchdowns and 1 INT in his last two contests but we’re thinking that may have more to do with matchups than any improvement in Lemon’s on-field decision making. Toronto faced a couple of teams without impressive secondaries in their last two games including the worst scoring defense in the CFL (Saskatchewan).

BC has the edge at quarterback in our view—if you’ve read our CFL previews throughout the season you already know that we’re big on the Lions’ Travis Lulay and he continues to improve every week. The Oregon native played his college football at Montana State and reminds us something of a CFL version of Brett Favre at his best. He’s a tough, gutty competitor who provides great on field leadership and will do what it takes to help his team win. Lulay is coming off a 373 yard, 4 TD pass performance against Edmonton and we look for him to shred the Argos’ secondary here. He’s got a pair of talented receivers to target—Geroy Simon and the recently acquired Arland Bruce.

Toronto does have former University of South Carolina Gamecock running back Cory Boyd back in the lineup, but they’re being careful not to overwork him like the did at the end of the 2010 season. Boyd could be an elite CFL running back for years to come and in the ‘big picture’ the Argos will be better off not subjecting him to the physical battering that cost him several games this season.

The Argos haven’t been a good investment at the Rogers Centre in recent years (8-13 ATS there since 2009) while the Lions have made money away from home (14-11 ATS since 2009). At a short price we’re going to back the better team and that’s BC—we expect them to win by a touchdown or more.

Bet BC Lions -1 over Toronto Argonauts

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