- BetOnline has the Raiders as 4-point home underdogs to the Ravens on Monday Night Football
- The line has moved in Las Vegas’ direction after Baltimore suffered a slew of knee injuries
- Jon Gruden has yet to post a winning record in three seasons since signing a 10-year, $100M deal with Las Vegas
After NFL football made a glorious return to our lives on Sunday afternoon, there is still one more game on the Week 1 calendar. The Las Vegas Raiders welcome the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football.
Once among the the top handful of Super Bowl contenders, John Harbaugh’s club suffered a rash of injuries over the final two weeks of the preseason. That’s caused the line to move a half-point in the direction of the Raiders, who will be welcoming Raiders Nation to new Allegiant Stadium for the first time after COVID-19 forced them to play to limited capacity in 2020.
Before we look at the odds for Monday Night Football and make our picks, check out our free tips and advice for betting on NFL football games.
Monday Night Football
|Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Baltimore Ravens||-4 (-110)-||-205||Ov 50 (-115)|
|Las Vegas Raiders||+4 (-110)||+175||Un 50 (-110)|
Raiders vs Ravens
It has been one gut punch after the next for Baltimore. After promising sophomore running back J.K. Dobbins went down with a torn ACL in the preseason finale, replacement RB Gus Edwards and two-time All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters suffered the same fate in practice last week. The Ravens have since brought in former Saint Latavius Murray and Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman, who are both well past their expiry dates.
The offensive burden will now fall on Lamar Jackson, but he may be limited through the air with free-agent addition Sammy Watkins already banged up and first-round pick Rashod Bateman on IR after groin surgery.
Lamar Jackson is special… but he’s not an elite quarterback! pic.twitter.com/RJBTkhEjLj
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) September 8, 2021
The league seemed to catch up with the Ravens attack last year after Lamar’s 2019 MVP campaign and with their pass and run game weapons already depleted, it’s hard to see Greg Roman’s stale offense evolving this season. Regardless, the Raiders defense will be hard-pressed to stop them after ranking 28th in defensive DVOA and rush defense DVOA a year ago.
Jon Gruden hopes new DC Gus Bradley can breathe life into the unit, but with he and GM Mike Mayock picking stiff after stiff on draft day, it won’t be easy.
MNF Best Bets
Ravens cover 4-point spread. Everything seems to be pointing at an upset for the Silver & Black. Baltimore will be playing in front of a raucous Las Vegas crowd and their injuries at cornerback should make it easier for Derek Carr to move the ball up and down the field. Still, Don “Wink” Martindale is one of the top defensive coordinators in all of football and his unit has allowed only 19 points combined in the home opener over the last four seasons.
Despite a rash of injuries, the Ravens shouldn’t have trouble generating offense against a bad Raiders defense. After all, they averaged 37.2 points and 430.4 yards per game, including 267.4 yards on the ground, over Lamar’s final five healthy games of 2020.
Lamar Jackson in season openers….
•599 passing yards
•8 passing tds
•10 car for 51 yds pic.twitter.com/CBU3z8YquF
— 𝙕𝙖𝙘𝙝🦦 (@NewEraZach_) September 5, 2021
Bet the UNDER on 50 points. Jon Gruden will put some points on the board with a few scripted drives at the start of the game, but the Ravens will put the clamps on from there. And with both teams no stranger to running the ball, time will fly off the clock fast.
Expect legendary kicker Justin Tucker to be busy in this one. Ravens win 26-20.
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