Lions vs Argonauts Prediction, Picks, and Odds for Week 1

Despite Chad Kelly's suspension, oddsmakers have overadjusted when it comes to Toronto's expected offensive output. Rohit Ponnaiya has you covered with his expert Week 1 handicap for Lions vs. Argonauts.

Rohit Ponnaiya - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Rohit Ponnaiya • Betting Analyst
Jun 7, 2024 • 15:27 ET • 4 min read
Kurleigh Gittens Jr. Toronto Argonauts CFL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Week 1 in the CFL wraps up on Sunday night with a clash between the BC Lions and Toronto Argonauts. The Argos are expected to struggle out of the gate with star quarterback Chad Kelly serving a nine-game suspension, but I believe oddsmakers have overreacted to that news. 

Find out why my Lions v. Argonauts predictions expect Toronto's offense to produce in our CFL picks for Sunday, June 9. 

Lions vs Argonauts prediction

My best bet
Argonauts team total Over 19.5 (-115 at Bet99)

My analysis

The BC Lions are a Grey Cup contender with plenty of continuity, especially on offense. That said, they're favored by too many points on the road ahead of Sunday's Week 1 opener. Besides, the Toronto Argonauts are 4-1 SU and ATS in the last five meetings at BMO Field and are coming off a season in which they averaged more than 30 points per game. 

This spread opened at Lions -6, and while it has ticked down to 5.5, the difference between the team totals is seven points. The Argos TT is set as low as 19.5, and the main reason for that number is due to the absence of reigning CFL Most Outstanding Player Chad Kelly. The star quarterback has been suspended for at least the first nine games of the season for sexual harassment, which leaves Cameron Dukes as Toronto's starting pivot. 

Dukes doesn't have the pedigree of Kelly, but he did look sharp in limited playing time as a rookie last year. The 25-year-old made two starts in 2023, completing 17-of-24 passes for 231 yards against a tough Winnipeg defense on the road in Week 17, and torching Ottawa for 317 yards in the regular season finale. He also completed 14-of-18 passes for 180 yards in the preseason, so don't expect the drop-off from Kelly to Dukes to be as steep as oddsmakers seem to think — especially with the league's best offensive line protecting him. 

Keep in mind that while the Leos had the best defense in the league for the first half of last season, they struggled down the stretch. BC surrendered 31.8 ppg in the final nine regular season games before allowing 54 points in two playoff contests. That stop unit could be even worse off this year, with reigning Most Outstanding Defensive Player Mathieu Betts now in the NFL and All-Star DB T.J. Lee on the IL.

Lions vs Argonauts same-game parlay (SGP)

Argonauts team total Over 20.5

Ka'Deem Carey Over 57.5 rushing yards

Alexander Hollins Under 5.5 receptions

Despite the Boatmen losing 1,000-yard rusher A.J. Ouellette in the offseason, the signing of Ka'Deem Carey will soften that blow. Carey led the CFL with 1,088 rushing yards in 14 games in 2022 and has racked up 70+ yards in four of his last six contests — including a 75-yard performance against BC in last year's West Semi-Final.

Alexander Hollins is one of the league's most explosive wideouts, but the Leos have a deep WR corps and quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. likes to spread the ball around. Hollins had fewer than 5.5 catches in 15 of 20 games last year and was limited to three receptions in the lone meeting against the Argos. 

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

Lions vs Argonauts odds

Lions vs Argonauts live odds

Lions vs Argonauts opening odds

  • Spread: BC -6 (-110) | Toronto +6 (-110)
  • Moneyline: BC -300 | Toronto +240
  • Over/Under: Over 47 (-110) | Under 47 (-110)

Lions vs Argonauts spread and Over/Under analysis

  • The Argos were the most dominant team in the regular season last year, going 16-2 straight up and 13-5 against the spread before getting upset in the Eastern Final by the Alouettes.
  • The Lions were 13-7 SU last year, but went just 2-8 ATS in their final 10 games.
  • The Argos racked up 68 sacks in 2023 thanks to a deep D-line. Despite losing a pair of key linemen during the offseason, Folarin Orimolade leads a stacked front four.
  • The Leos have the third-best Grey Cup odds at bet365 (+350), while the Argos are right behind them on the futures board at +425.

Lions vs Argonauts trend

The Over is 8-1 in the Lions last nine games overall. Find more NBA betting trends for Lions vs. Argonauts.

Lions vs Argonauts game info

Location: BMO Field, Toronto, ON
Date: Sunday, 6-9-2024
Kick-off: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: TSN

Lions vs Argonauts key injuries

Lions: Keon Hatcher WR (Out), T.J. Lee DB (Out), Francis Bemiy DL (Out).
Argonauts: Tunde Adeleke DB (Out), Damonte Coxie WR (Out), Dave Ungerer WR (Out), Kevin Mital WR (Out), Shawn Oakman DT (Out), Deionte Knight DL (Out).
Find our latest CFL injury reports.

Lions vs Argonauts weather

Not intended for use in MA.
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