Ottawa -6.5 at Toronto O/U 48.5
Two teams heading in opposite directions will do battle here in this game to kickoff the CFL Week 8 slate as the Ottawa Redblacks who have won two straight games face the Toronto Argonauts who have dropped three in a row. Ottawa got the better of Hamilton last week 21-15 winning outright as 6 point road underdogs in an ugly, low scoring grinder in which neither offense got on track but the Redblacks managed to make just a few more plays to pull out the victory. Ottawa’s defense stole the show last week in the win forcing turnovers at key times and holding Hamilton out of the end zone until the Ticats managed a late TD in the 4th Qtr but it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback. Ottawa’s offense didn’t reach the end zone once yet still managed to win the game and that is something the Redblacks and QB Trevor Harris were extremely vocal about heading into this game. They are intent on trying to fix their red zone execution which was problematic last week. There are plenty of weapons for Ottawa to work with in this offense so for them to not reach the end zone a single time last week is a bit of an anomaly in my mind and one that will likely be rectified tonight. The Toronto defense is struggling and dealing with injuries and attrition at linebacker and in the secondary. It showed last week as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers hung 40 points on this beleaguered and shorthanded Argos defense. On the other side of the football, Toronto’s offense surely will be looking at improving in all facets heading into this game as the Argos have been stagnant on that side of the football for weeks being held to only 69 points in their last four games combined all of them with James Franklin at QB after Ricky Ray’s season ending injury. Toronto Argos head coach Marc Trestman has decided to make a QB change for this game to try and spark the team’s struggling offense. Former NFL journeyman and now new Toronto starting QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson has been named the starter for this game. He played well in his lone preseason appearance with the Argos. While it’s true that playing a regular season game is much different than preseason, the Toronto offense can only improve at this point from the struggles they have repeatedly endured during the last few weeks with Franklin under center. We have two teams very much focusing in on improving their offense heading into this game which leads me to think we’ll see some better execution on that side of the ball and also a few more points in this game than this low total of 48.5 suggests. I’ll play this game up and Over the total.