CFL Saturday: What bettors need to know

Toronto Argonauts at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (+6, 53)

Fresh off an upset victory over the Montreal Alouettes, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have another opportunity to play spoiler when they host the Toronto Argonauts on Saturday. A Winnipeg victory would put the Argonauts' hold on the East Division in jeopardy after they dropped two straight games to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Toronto has not lost three consecutive games in 2013 and the return of quarterback Ricky Ray should pay dividends against a porous Blue Bombers' secondary.

Winnipeg has allowed 287.6 passing yards per game, second only to the 300.3 passing yards per game allowed by the Argonauts. Blue Bombers quarterback Max Hall is improving as he gets more comfortable as the starter, throwing for 223 yards and two touchdowns against Montreal. Winnipeg has scored just 313 points - 112 less than the Argonauts, who lead the division with 425.

TV:
3:30 p.m. ET, TSN

ABOUT THE ARGONAUTS (9-6): Ray has completed a remarkable 78 percent of his passes and did not throw an interception until last week in his return from injury. Defensive back Patrick Watkins, tied for the league lead in interceptions with five, missed last week’s game due to a personal matter but should be available Saturday. Wide receiver John Chiles injured his hamstring in practice last Saturday and is questionable to play against the Blue Bombers.

ABOUT THE BLUE BOMBERS (3-12):
Linebacker Henoc Muamba leads the team with 89 tackles and 17 special teams tackles. Will Ford has emerged as Winnipeg’s top running back, with 108 total yards and two touchdowns last week and 1,370 total combined yards this season. Slotback Clarence Denmark leads the Blue Bombers with 714 receiving yards.

TRENDS:

* Argonauts are 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings in Winnipeg.
* Under is 9-4 in the last 13 meetings in Winnipeg.
* Argonauts are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 road games.
* Blue Bombers are 1-6 ATS in their last seven home games.

EXTRA POINTS:

1. The Blue Bombers have allowed a league-worst seven games of 300 passing yards or more.

2. The Argonauts won the previous meeting in Winnipeg 35-19. These two teams meet again in Toronto next week to close their season series.

3. Toronto is 6-2 on the road; Winnipeg is 1-6 at home.


BC Lions at Saskatchewan Roughriders (-3.5, 51)

The Saskatchewan Roughriders and BC Lions will battle for position in the West Division playoff picture when they meet at Saskatchewan on Saturday. BC trails the Roughriders by two points for second place in the division, which guarantees a home playoff game, and Saturday's winner will claim the season series and hold the tiebreaker advantage. Saskatchewan has won its last two games, while BC has stumbled to two straight losses.

One of the Lions defeats came at home against the Roughriders, who have looked rejuvenated by the return of running back Kory Sheets. Sheets ran for 80 yards and caught six passes for another 41 yards against BC and added 106 rushing yards last week against the Edmonton Eskimos, suggesting he is still in his early season form. Sheets will be in tough to record those totals again against the Lions, who have limited opponents to an average of 90.5 rushing yards with their stingy defense.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, TSN

ABOUT THE LIONS (9-6): Slotback Nick Moore is 34 receiving yards away from his first 1,000-yard season. Running back Andrew Harris has 791 rushing yards as part of 1,233 yards from scrimmage and should expect to see more carries while starting quarterback Travis Lulay is still sidelined. Linebacker Adam Bighill’s 80 tackles and eight sacks lead the team.

ABOUT THE ROUGHRIDERS (10-5):
Slotback Chris Getzlaf is within 89 receiving yards of tying his career-best mark of 1,071, set in 2011. Sheets has 1,408 rushing yards, second in the league to Calgary running back Jon Cornish. Quarterback Darian Durant has a career-best 29 touchdown passes this season as part of 3,765 passing yards.

TRENDS:


* Under is 19-7 in the last 26 meetings.
* Lions are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
* Lions are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 road games.
* Under is 4-0 in Roughriders last four games overall.


EXTRA POINTS:

1. Saskatchewan DB Carlos Thomas was fined an undisclosed amount for launching himself at Edmonton QB Mike Reilly in last week’s game.

2. Lions CB Cord Parks is tied for the league lead in interceptions with five.

3. BC won the previous meeting at Saskatchewan 24-22, but lost 31-17 at home two weeks ago.

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