CFL Wednesday Night Prediction: Ottawa vs. Toronto

Oh-Canada Oct 06, 2021

Here's the analysis on Tonight's CFL game according to resident handicapper Nick Christenson.

Wednesday, October 6, 7:30 pm EDT
Ottawa RedBlacks at Toronto Argonauts
Toronto -9, Total: 47

So, Ottawa broke out last week under first time CFL QB Caleb Evans,
beating Edmonton at home, 34 - 24.  This was a strong performance for
the RedBlacks on both sides of the ball.  However, this looks to me a
lot less like a "turning the corner" game for the RedBlacks than it
does an "any given Tuesday" situation.

First, as was discussed last week, in many ways this was as good a spot
as Ottawa was going to see on their schedule.  This week, they're on
the road against a good team coming off a bye.  Caleb Evans looked quite
capable for Ottawa, but they were playing another rookie QB whose team
out gained them, outperformed them in terms of yards per play, and got
seven more first downs than they did.  The differences in the game?  Edmonton
had 3 more penalties for 23 more yards, and they turned the ball over 4
times to Ottawa's 0.  If each turnover is typically worth 3.5 points, then
had the turnover margin had been zero, we might plausibly expect Edmonton
to have won the game by 4.

Of course, it's not that simple.  Ottawa played from in front.  From the
10 minute mark of the first quarter, there were only 3 more minutes of
the game where the RedBlacks weren't up by at least two scores.  So, they
were happy to give up yards and play bend but don't break defense, which
accounts for some of Edmonton's statistical dominance.  Also, Evans
deserves a great deal of credit for not turning the ball over at
all in his debut.  At the same time, pretty much everything went right
for Ottawa, and because of it they managed to win a ballgame at home
against the second worst team in the league.  It's by far their best
effort of the year, but I'm not yet impressed.  Nonetheless, Ottawa is
a game back of the third playoff spot in the East, and at least they
showed for the first time this year they were capable of putting a
complete game together.

My number on this game is Toronto -9.5, so I think this line is about
right.  My total on this game is 49, so I lean over here on what should
be a nice, if slightly breezy, night for football.

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