Argonauts at Blue Bombers: What bettors need to know

Toronto Argonauts at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (+3, 52)

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers' defense continues to dominate with 18 sacks in three games, but the offense has yet to reach that level. Quarterback Buck Pierce aims to elevate his game when the Blue Bombers host the Toronto Argonauts on Friday. Winnipeg has just one win to show for its defensive performance as Pierce has thrown four interceptions and completed 53-of-91 passes for a career-low completion percentage of 58.2, while running back Chad Simpson has just 251 combined yards.

Toronto should welcome a chance to face an East Division opponent after dropping two straight to West Division powerhouses in the BC Lions and Saskatchewan Roughriders. Argonauts quarterback Ricky Ray is off to an excellent start, but his receiving corps needed plenty of medical attention during last week’s home loss to Saskatchewan. Wide receiver Dontrelle Inman and slotback Chad Owens - last year’s Most Outstanding Player - both looked worse for wear after facing the Roughriders, and the Blue Bombers promise to be just as tough.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, TSN

ABOUT THE ARGONAUTS (1-2): Slotback Andre Durie, who is from Mississauga, Ont., was named Canadian Player of the Week after recording 122 combined yards and a 10-yard touchdown reception in Week 3. Owens, who has 640 total combined yards, has been the focal point of opposing defenses, allowing Ray to use a variety of receivers to tally 917 passing yards. Ray has completed 79-of-110 passes and has yet to throw an interception, spreading the field with five receivers (Owens, Durie, Inman, Jason Barnes and Spencer Watt) recording more than 100 receiving yards apiece.

ABOUT THE BLUE BOMBERS (1-2): Coach Tim Burke cancelled practice Monday as Winnipeg sorted through its injury situation. Linebacker Terrell Parker will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL and defensive back Desia Dunn is out at least two weeks with a hamstring injury, while a host of ailing players including defensive end Alex Hall (league-leading five sacks) missed practice Tuesday. The Blue Bombers allowed six sacks on Pierce in their loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Week 3 and will need to protect him better if they hope to get their offense going.

TRENDS:

* Argonauts are 7-2 ATS in their last nine road games.
* Under is 4-1 in Blue Bombers last five games overall.
* Argonauts are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings in Winnipeg.
* Under is 9-3 in the last 12 meetings in Winnipeg.

EXTRA POINTS:


1. Winnipeg is looking for its first home victory at new Investors Group Field after losing to the Montreal Alouettes in Week 1.

2. Argonauts RB Chad Kackert has been limited to 55 rushing yards over the last two games after recording 112 against Hamilton to open the season.

3. The Blue Bombers were flagged for 19 penalties in Week 3.

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