Kick-off for this clash is set for 7 PM (ET) at the Rodgers Center and the game will be broadcast in Canada on TSN. Should you include them in your football picks this week?
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It is time for Hamilton to try and turn a new leaf after a disastrous 2012 campaign left it 6-12 straight-up and out of the playoffs after three-straight appearances. The Tiger-Cats have been opened at +700 to win the Grey Cup this season behind Montreal and Toronto in the division, which are both listed at +450 to win it all. To turn things around, the biggest issue they will have to address is a defense that was torched for an average of 32 points a game last season.
Fortunately, Hamilton still has an offense that can light up a scoreboard behind quarterback Henry Burris, who threw for a league-high 5,367 yards and 43 touchdowns last year. The team was ranked first in the CFL in scoring with an average of 29.9 points a game. Given these kinds of numbers it is no big surprise that 13 of their 18 games went OVER the total including seven of nine games on the road.
The Argonauts proved the theory that all you have to do is get in the postseason to give yourself a chance to win. After posting a very pedestrian 9-9 record both SU and against the spread, they went on a 3-0 run SU and ATS in the playoffs that culminated with a stunning 35-22 victory over Calgary in the Grey Cup Championship as 1.5-point underdogs. The total went OVER the 55.5 point line.
To have a chance to repeat, Toronto will need another strong performance from quarterback Ricky Ray, who completed 68.6 percent of his attempts for 4,059 yards and 20 touchdowns. He did suffer through some health concerns throughout the season, so keeping him upright in this game will fall on the shoulders of one of the more solid offensive lines in the league.
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Hamilton vs. Toronto Betting Lines and Trends
The Argonauts have been opened as 4.5-point home favorites by BetOnline and the total has been set at 55 on its CFL betting lines listing.
The Tiger-Cats are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games and 19-43 ATS in their last 62 opening day games. The total has gone OVER in seven of their last 10 East Division games.
The Argonauts are 5-2 ATS in their last seven season openers and 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall. The total has gone OVER in five of their last six games.
Head-to-head in this series, Hamilton is just 6-17-1 ATS in their last 24 games played on the road against the Argonauts and 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings overall. The total has stayed UNDER in 20 of the last 28 meetings in Toronto. The Argos won three of four games last season both SU and ATS.
Hamilton vs. Toronto Free CFL Pick
The crowd at the Rodgers Centre is sure to be fired-up on Friday night as the home-town team begins defense of its title. This will be a tough environment for Hamilton to overcome especially with quite a few new faces in the lineup on both sides of the ball. In this East Division battle, take Toronto giving the 4.5 points in what should be a fairly easy win for your sports picks.
CFL Pick: Toronto -4.5 at Bet365
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