Someone is going to be getting their first CFL betting victory of the season on Saturday afternoon at Ivor Wynne Stadium, as both the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats try to get off to mark in 2011.
Could it be true that the Riders really just needed to get out of Regina for the first time this year to turn things around, or are the defending Western Division champs really set to push the panic button? Right now, things definitely don't look good, especially on the defensive side of the ball, and Saskatchewan really could be in some major trouble. If there is one thing for the fans in green to be at least slightly consoled about, it's that the offense of the Edmonton Eskimos really does look to be the real deal this season, while there wasn't a person in Regina that didn't think that the Montreal Alouettes had the ability to drop at least 400 yards of offense on their beloved team last week. However, if the defense allows 400+ yards and 30+ points again this week to a Hamilton offense that can't get out of its own way, there could be some major, major issues. Of course, it's really not helping that QB Darian Durant just continues to be a turnover machine. Durant continues to be a highlight reel, making a ton of huge plays to help out the offense, but he has also accounted for four turnovers just on his own in two games.
We knew that last season could have been a fluke for the Tiger-Cats, and we just were never so sure that this was going to be a competitive team this year. The Tabbies really only beat up on the bad teams last season, but to their credit, they did take care of business when they really needed to. However, there's a reason that you have to go back a decade to find the last playoff game that this team has won, and there isn't a heck of a lot of promise right now for this season either. The offense has scored just 26 points in two games this year, fewer than what Saskatchewan gave up in the first half to the Eskimos two weeks ago. QB Kevin Glenn is leading an offense that isn't even averaging 300 yards per game on the campaign and has just as many turnovers as touchdowns (2). The pickup of RB Avon Cobourne just hasn't really paid off either of yet, and as a result, the entire offense is just stuck in neutral. The defense hasn't been absolutely atrocious in terms of scoring, but allowing over 500 yards to Edmonton last week is definitely nothing to be proud of.
The time is here for the Riders to step up to the plate and prove that they are still indeed contenders in this league. However, the pretending Ti-Cats are really set to just go away until they make the switch to QB Quinton Porter to give the team a jolt. Until that point though, we'll stick with Saskatchewan +2.5 on the CFL betting lines in Week 3.