Saskatchewan Roughriders at Toronto Argonauts (-1.5, 53)
After two weeks of regular-season action, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are the only team in the CFL without a loss. The Roughriders look to extend their hot start Thursday when they visit the defending Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts. After winning their home opener, the Argonauts dropped a road decision to the BC Lions in Week 2 and will need to recover quickly if they hope to contain Saskatchewan’s potent offense.
The Roughriders lead the league with 75 points through two weeks - 10 more than the second-place Calgary Stampeders, who lost 36-21 at Saskatchewan in Week 2. Saskatchewan’s defense, which has allowed a league-low 39 points, held Calgary running back Jon Cornish to 50 yards on eight carries. Those are concerning numbers for Toronto, especially for running back Chad Kackert, who was limited to 20 yards on eight carries against BC.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, TSN
ABOUT THE ROUGHRIDERS (2-0): RB Kory Sheets leads the league with 264 rushing yards and 292 total yards from scrimmage. Sheets, who ran for 133 yards and one touchdown against Calgary, is the catalyst in Saskatchewan’s offense, attracting the attention of opposing defenses and opening the field for quarterback Darian Durant to connect with slot backs Chris Getzlaf and Weston Dressler. In two games, Getzlaf has already matched his touchdown total from last season (two) and looks poised to eclipse his career mark of 10 set in the 2011 season.
ABOUT THE ARGONAUTS (1-1): QB Ricky Ray is off to an excellent start, completing 71.2 percent of his passes for 583 yards, four touchdowns and a career-high 113 passer rating. Ray’s favourite target - slot back Chad Owens - leads the league with 206 receiving yards. Ray and Owens will need to take advantage of the Roughriders’ mediocre pass defense (601 yards allowed) if Toronto wants to keep pace with Saskatchewan’s potent offense. Linebackers Robert McCune and Marcus Ball are setting the tone on defense with 14 and 12 tackles, respectively, while defensive back Jamie Robinson has 11.
* The Argonauts are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall.
* The Roughriders are 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine road games.
* The under is 9-3 in the last 12 meetings in Toronto.
* The Roughriders are 6-2 ATS in their last eight meetings in Toronto.
1. Saskatchewan SB Geroy Simon - the league’s all-time receiving yards leader - has yet to make his debut with the Roughriders after missing the first two games with a leg injury. He remains day-to-day.
2. Owens, named CFL's Most Outstanding Player last year after setting a professional football record in total yards, has 434 combined yards to start this season.
3. Veteran Argonauts K Noel Prefontaine performed admirably in his season debut replacing the injured Swayze Waters in Week 2, finishing 3-for-3 in field goal attempts. Prefontaine has recorded 1,558 points in his CFL career.