BC Lions Favored Over Toronto Argonauts in CFL Season Opener

  • What: BC Lions vs Toronto Argonauts
  • When: Sunday, June 9th
  • Where: BMO Field

The CFL season officially begins this week and on Sunday, we have an intriguing Week 1 matchup between two solid teams in the BC Lions and the Toronto Argonauts. The kick-off at BMO Field is scheduled for 7 PM ET. BC was phenomenal last year, ultimately making it to the Division Finals before losing to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Toronto meanwhile was also in the conference finals after a 16-2 season but they lost to eventual Grey Cup winners and rivals, the Montreal Alouettes. Both of these organizations have something to prove in 2024 and Sunday marks the beginning of their journeys. It’ll be important to get started on the right foot. Continue reading for the BC Lions vs Toronto Argonauts picks.

Before we look at the odds and preview for this clash, check out all the Sports & Competitions to bet on in 2024. Here’s also where you can see the latest Sports Betting Odds & Picks.

Lions vs Argonauts Odds

TeamBetOnline ReviewBovadaBetUS Review
BC Lions-255-270-250
Toronto Argonauts+215+220+205

The Lions are the clear favorite here with -255 moneyline odds for an implied win probability of 71.83%. They’re also a five-point favorite on the spread. The Argos meanwhile sit at +215, which gives them only a 31.75% chance of coming out victorious.

These two only met once in 2023 but it was all Toronto as they went on to win 45-24 last July.

Can Lions Get to Grey Cup?

Okay, maybe this is a big question for Week 1. However, the Lions haven’t won the Grey Cup in 12 years and it so happens to be held in Vancouver this season. That’s going to be a huge motivation for BC to get there. After making back-to-back appearances in the conference finals, the Lions did a nice job of keeping most of their roster intact, giving them a legitimate chance of dethroning Winnipeg as the West champions. They also managed to bring in some NFL talent this offseason in Vancouver native Christian Covington, receiver Travis Fulgham, and RB William Stanback.

Vernon Adams Jr was the leading catalyst behind the Lions’ wonderful 23′ season. The quarterback put up eye-popping numbers, leading the league with nearly 4,800 passing yards. He threw for 31 touchdowns against 18 interceptions while also rushing for over 300 yards. British Columbia will need Adams to have another campaign like that if they’re going to be a title contender.

The Lions did also lose a couple of players to the NFL, but this is still a strong team on both sides of the ball. Week 1 may look like a difficult task because of how good the Argos were last year, but they’re facing issues of their own, especially at quarterback. That alone will have BC feeling confident about a road win in the season opener.

Although British Columbia’s record was respectable, they weren’t good against the spread, finishing 8-9-1. That was much in part due to a cold spell in the latter stages of the season.

QB Problem For Argos

Toronto was unstoppable all year long in 23′ but things went downhill in the East Final as they became a turnover machine and got run out of the building by Montreal. That didn’t hurt their spirits for this season until QB Chad Kelly was suspended for a minimum of nine games for violating the league’s gender-based violence policy. The Argonauts have not signed another signal-caller to step in for him and will likely turn to Cameron Dukes, who was Kelly’s backup a year ago and looked good in minimal action. Kelly was the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player last season so Dukes has some massive shoes to fill here.

The Argonauts do at least have a dominant offensive line in front of Dukes, which is surely going to make his life easier. They also bolstered their running back room this offseason with the signing of Ka’Deem Carey. Toronto couldn’t be stopped at BMO Field last year, going a perfect 9-0. Defensively however, Toronto lost their DC and Rookie of the Year Qwan’tez Stiggers, who was selected by the New York Jets in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Argos can’t exactly expect Dukes to be an offensive pillar right away therefore the defense will need to step up and be the strength.

The Argonauts were a reliable ATS team in 23′, going 13-5. That’s a promising sign if you’re looking to bet on the spread on Sunday because it’s just five points. For what it’s worth, Dukes completed 63 of his 96 passes last season for 760 yards and two TDs against three picks. Not a huge sample size, but he’s not hopeless. Needless to say, Dukes must step up massively.

BC Lions vs Toronto Argonauts Picks

It’s going to be a major adjustment for Toronto without Kelly, who is the backbone of the team. While I’m not saying Dukes won’t figure it out, I think the BC Lions undoubtedly have the advantage in this matchup. It could be a close one, so take the moneyline at -255.

BC LionsTo beat Toronto Argonauts
★★★★★
-255
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Quinn Allen

Quinn Allen hails from the city of Vancouver, Canada. Currently based in the town of Kelowna, Quinn has established himself as a an expert sports betting journalist, particularly in the realm of basketball. He crafts picks and predictions for various esteemed sites, including MTS, OSB, and SBD. Quinn serves as an associate editor at ClutchPoints, a position that showcases his keen editorial skills. Quinn graduated from British Columbia Institute of Technology, and holds a degree in broadcast journalism. As a former college baseball player and lifelong basketball fan, Quinn brings a genuine passion and firsthand experience to his sports coverage. In his free time, Quinn enjoys playing soccer and spending quality time with his dog.