Two teams that are going to be chalk full of brand new players duke it out at McMahon Stadium in a Thursday night CFL betting fight when the Toronto Argonauts travel to face the Calgary Stampeders.
Toronto Argonauts (3-15, 7-11 ATS in 2009) - Going 3-15 in finishing well outside of the playoff race didn't sit well for the Boatmen in 2009, and the very predictable result now sees Toronto with an entirely new look for the '10 season. The QB Kerry Joseph era is mercifully over for the Argonauts after three very disappointing seasons. Now, former NFL journeyman QB Cleo Lemon is set to take over. Hopefully for the Argos' sake, he does better than he did in the preseason. The former Miami Dolphin went just 10/26 for 99 yards with an interception, and he generated a grand total of zero drives that ended with points being scored. That won't cut it at this level, especially against a Calgary team that is known for its offense. WR Jermaine Copeland should provide a new spark in the receiving corps that was simply missing over the course of last season. However, RB Jamal Robertson is gone following a 1,000 yard campaign last year, and his replacement is still very much so up in the air.
Calgary Stampeders (10-7-1, 7-11 ATS in 2009) - QB Henry Burris is back for the Stamps after coming up just short of his second straight 5,000 yard season in '09. The problem that he is going to have, especially at the outset of this season, is that his receivers all seem to be out of the lineup from a year ago. Leading receiver WR Jermaine Copeland is now an Argo, while Ryan Thelwell and Ken-Yon Rambo are both on the shelf with various leg injuries. Look for WR Nik Lewis to have a great game on Thursday, as he had 70 catches for 1,013 yards, and a score last year. RB Joffrey Reynolds is still one of the elite backs in this league, as he ran for 1,498 yards and 11 TDs last year, averaging a whopping 6.4 yards per tote on the year. Three offensive linemen from last year's team are all gone, while very little has appeared to replace them. Don't count out the loss of K Sandro DeAngelis either. He was the best kicker in this league for quite some time and will now be replaced by rookie K Rob Maver.
You're going to have to lay nearly two touchdowns on Thursday night, but it's hard to see, even with all of the injuries and replacements, that Burris won't be able to find a way to take care of Toronto. This is going to be a very, very long CFL betting campaign for the Argonauts if Lemon can't complete at least 63-64% of his passes, as a ton of drives will end in nothing, just as they did in the preseason.
Selection: Calgary Stampeders -13 at BetCanadian