In the first Monday Night Football game of the 2021 NFL season, the Baltimore Ravens look to christen the Las Vegas Raiders’ pristine new stadium. According to PointsBet, the line opened Raiders -5, briefly dipped to -4, before landing at -4.5. As of Thursday, that’s where the number sits on most oddsboards, although Baltimore bettors can find -4 at some sportsbooks, including DraftKings.
Baltimore’s perennially dominant run game against a Raiders defense that gave up 4.6 yards a carry last season factors heavily into the line.
However, Baltimore comes to Allegiant Stadium carrying some injuries. Running back J.K Dobbins is out for the season, with first-round pick Rashod Bateman and veteran wideout Miles Boykin joining him on the IR. Thursday brought more bad news, with running back Gus Edwards (who was set to step in for Dobbins) and two-time All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters going down with what appeared to be season-ending knee injuries.
The total opened 51.5 and has been bet down to 50.5 on most oddsboards.
For what it’s worth, while much of this record was compiled in different eras of the franchise’s history, the Raiders are 41-29-1 all-time record on Monday Night Football.
If Jon Gruden is starting to feel the heat, you can bet general manager Mike Mayock is sweating up a storm. That’s why they signed former Pro Bowlers Yannick Ngakoue and Gerald McCoy to join Maxx Crosby on the defensive line. Ngakoue happens to be a former Raven, so he’s familiar with Lamar Jackson’s tendencies.
The Ravens’ retooled offensive line is also something to keep an eye on. Alejandro Villanueva replaces Pro Bowl tackle Orlando Brown Jr., while Kevin Zeitler takes over at right guard.
Derek Carr Vs. The Ravens Defense
According to an email Maryland Sharp received from PointsBet on Tuesday, 84% of bets and 83% of the handle have been on the Ravens to cover. A lack of confidence in Raiders QB Derek Carr is surely a reason for the overwhelming Baltimore support.
Despite the QB’s respectable numbers — three consecutive 4,000-yard seasons, 101.4 passer rating last season — the Raiders have considered every alternative. Nevertheless, the veteran starts his eighth season under center for the team. Carr’s preferred target, tight end Darren Waller, should see plenty of attention both from the QB and the Ravens defense. DraftKings sets his O/U at 67.5 receiving yards (-115 juice on either side).
The Raiders face a Ravens defense that gave up just 18.9 points per game last season and ranked seventh in yards allowed. If you’re a believer in Baltimore’s defense, Carr to throw an interception nets you +120 on DraftKings.
Rock Fight In The Desert
Both teams will look to run, as Josh Jacobs looks ready to roll and Jackson is short on weapons. That’s a factor in why 76% of handle and 53% of bets have gone with the UNDER at PointsBet.
Despite the one-sided action on the favorite, with so many Baltimore injury concerns and a packed house pent-up with emotion, don’t be surprised if the Raiders keep it close. A tight game could score you big bucks with BetRivers’ intriguing first-half wagers like +1100 for an even score at halftime.