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Argos and Roughriders Open their 2018 CFL Season

Roughriders Football

Argos Start Defense of CFL Title Against Roughriders

The Toronto Argonauts and the Saskatchewan Roughriders open their 2018 CFL Season at Mosaic Stadium on Friday. The reigning Grey Cup Champ, Argos, begin defending their title tonight. This a rematch of last year’s Eastern Final at new Mosaic Stadium in Regina.

The bitter defeat from November still lingers for Roughriders players and fans. It was a devastating loss at the hands of the Argos. Saskatchewan was less than three minutes away from a Grey Cup berth.

Then future hall of famer Ricky Ray worked his magic. He orchestrated a late touchdown drive that pulled the Argos ahead. The rest is history as Toronto went on the stun the Calgary Stampeders in the 105th Grey Cup presented by Shaw. The Argos claimed their 17th CFL title.

Oddsmakers have the Argos favored by 2.5 points. The total is at 49.5. Kickoff is at 9 p.m. ET and can be seen on TSN, RDS and ESPN2.

Can Argos Trestman Work Magic Again?

Marc Trestman and Jim Popp came in last year after Head Coach Scott Malinovich left for the NFL right before the season. In just one season, they turned the Double Blue from worst to first in the CFL. The Argos are considered by many as the top team in the East heading into the 2018 season.

The Argos’ core group from last years’ squad is intact. Ray will lead the charge on offense. He is flanked by last year’s Most Outstanding Rookie James Wilder Jr. at running back, and the seemingly ageless S.J. Green as a top target.

The Argos bolstered their already-strong defense with some strong additions. T.J. Heath is back with the Boatmen after the team traded him two seasons ago to Winnipeg. Ex-BC Lion Ronnie Yell will be making his Argos debut at cornerback on Friday.

Roughriders Have Questions Heading into Week One

The biggest question heading into Week 1 for the Riders is at quarterback. Will it be Zach Collaros or Brandon Bridge taking the snaps against the Argos?

Collaros is listed as the starter on the team’s depth chart, there is still no definitive answer.

It’s expected that Collaros will make his first start as a Rider. The veteran pivot is back to wearing his old number 17. He is looking to bounce back after a pair of disappointing seasons in Hamilton. The 29-year-old suffered a devastating knee injury back in 2015. He was on pace to be named Most Outstanding Player.

Collaros will have two of the top receivers in the league with Carter and Roosevelt at his disposal. Saskatchewan’s offense is a force to reckoned with. Riderville was shocked by the release of three veteran receivers last week.

Many Changes to the Roughriders Offense

Rob Bagg, Bakari Grant, and Chad Owens were sent packing just days before the start of the season. Bagg was a favorite in Riderville and a mainstay for almost a decade. Grant was coming off of a plus 1000-yard season. Owens brought a wealth of knowledge to the locker room.

The Riders also released offensive guard Travis Bond. Jarvis Harrison beat him out for the starting job. The Riders’ O-line will be under the microscope on Friday with the changes and some uneven preseason play.

Despite some tough cuts on offense, the Riders appear stronger on both sides of the ball. New addition Jerome Messam will look to make a statement in his return to Saskatchewan. He previously played for  them in 2014 and 2015. The 33-year-old running back is coming off of his third 1000-yard season.

On defense the Riders have added last year’s sack leader and four-time CFL All-Star Charleston Hughes. The one-two punch of Hughes and Willie Jefferson will be imposing. With the duo on opposite sides of the defensive line could cause nightmares for opposing quarterbacks.

They hope it starts with Ricky Ray, who’s not known for his foot speed.

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Recent Form

Name Record ATS Offense Defense Diff ATS Home ATS Away OU Record OU Home OU Away
Toronto 3-3 2-4 24.54 27.17 -2.63 1-2 1-2 2-4 0-3 2-1
Saskatchewan 11-9 11-9 29.42 26.80 2.62 5-4 6-5 7-12-1 5-4 2-8-1
Power Stats
Yards Per Point
Name Offense Defense Differential
TOR 15.92 13.29 2.63
SAS 12.93 13.42 -0.49

Yards Per Pass

Name Offense Defense Differential
TOR 10.58 11.22 -0.64
SAS 11.96 12.34 -0.38

Yards Per Rush

Name Offense Defense Differential
TOR 5.81 4.80 1.01
SAS 4.76 4.48 0.28
Team Records

Toronto Argonauts

Name Record Home Away ATS ATS Home ATS Away Offense Defense Diff
Overall 11-9 8-3 3-6 10-10 6-5 4-5 26.70 25.05 1.65
vs Conf 6-2 4-0 2-2 5-3 3-1 2-2 28.75 21.13 7.62
Last 3 3-0 2-0 1-0 3-0 2-0 1-0 30.67 19.33 11.34

Saskatchewan Roughriders

Name Record Home Away ATS ATS Home ATS Away Offense Defense Diff
Overall 11-9 5-4 6-5 11-9 5-4 6-5 28.10 23.75 4.35
vs Conf 4-6 2-3 2-3 4-6 2-3 2-3 27.80 26.10 1.70
Last 3 1-2 0-1 1-1 1-2 0-1 1-1 21.67 24.33 -2.66

Supergrid

Title Stat Rank Stat Rank
Away Team Overall Scoring vs Home Team Overall Defense 26.70 6 23.75 2
Away Team Road Passing vs Home Team Home Passing Defense 296.33 2 267.22 4
Away Team Road Rushing vs Home Team Home Rushing Defense 72.33 8 71.11 2
Home Team Overall Scoring vs Away Team Overall Defense 28.10 4 25.05 3
Home Team Home Passing vs Away Team Road Passing Defense 302.67 4 270.44 2
Home Team Home Rushing vs Away Team Road Rushing Defense 87.00 9 93.00 5

Head To Head Summary

Name Record ATS OU Score Rush YPR PA CP PY TY TO +/-
Toronto 6-4 5-5 5-4-1 27.70 79.80 5.25 35.80 70.11 278.80 368.70 1.60
Saskatchewan 4-6 5-5 5-4-1 27.90 113.10 5.92 35.70 61.90 287.20 414.00 1.70

Head To Head Detail

Date Away Home Score Line Total OU Result ARY APY ATY ATT HRY HPY HTY HTT Away Team Attempts Home Team Attempts Away Team Completions Home Team Completions
Nov 19, 2017 SAS TOR 21-25 102 186 330 4 56 257 322 2
Oct 7, 2017 SAS TOR 27-24 71 310 392 0 110 341 451 1
Jul 29, 2017 TOR SAS 27-38 40 356 426 0 110 325 450 0
Oct 15, 2016 SAS TOR 29-11 221 145 389 0 58 183 252 2
Jun 30, 2016 TOR SAS 30-17 66 179 252 0 79 306 389 2
Aug 8, 2015 SAS TOR 26-30 144 264 442 1 46 289 362 0
Jul 5, 2015 TOR SAS 42-40 100 250 367 1 110 469 587 2
Jul 26, 2014 TOR SAS 9-37 70 301 371 5 151 155 306 2
Jul 5, 2014 SAS TOR 15-48 116 331 447 3 161 407 568 1
Sep 14, 2013 TOR SAS 31-29 91 225 316 4 27 381 408 3

Betting Odds Trends

Team Last 5 Games

Toronto Argonauts

Date Opponent score Result line ATS Result offensive rush yards offensive passing yards offensive total yards defensive rush yards defensive passing yards defensive total yards turnovers Location
Nov 26, 2017 CAL 27-24 W 7/53 W/U 16 285 313 74 362 447 -2 H
Nov 19, 2017 SAS 25-21 W -3/52 W/U 56 257 322 102 186 330 -2 H
Nov 4, 2017 BC 40-13 W -2/52 W/O 155 343 498 37 153 205 -4 A
Oct 21, 2017 WIN 29-28 W -3/55.5 L/O 149 407 572 35 268 303 2 H
Oct 14, 2017 EDM 27-30 L 7/54 W/O 45 347 409 138 294 447 0 A

Saskatchewan Roughriders

Date Opponent score Result line ATS Result offensive rush yards offensive passing yards offensive total yards defensive rush yards defensive passing yards defensive total yards turnovers Location
Nov 19, 2017 TOR 21-25 L 3/52 L/U 102 186 330 56 257 322 2 A
Nov 12, 2017 OTT 31-20 W 2.5/51.5 W/U 212 252 464 58 442 515 -2 A
Nov 4, 2017 EDM 13-28 L -3.5/52.5 L/U 93 202 318 99 294 393 1 H
Oct 27, 2017 MON 37-12 W -16.5/51 W/U 185 221 413 58 160 231 1 H
Oct 20, 2017 CAL 30-7 W 10/50.5 W/U 150 135 302 45 128 185 -1 A

Next up:
Toronto home to Calgary Saturday, June 23
Saskatchewan at Ottawa Thursday, June 21

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