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Ravens vs Raiders Picks Week 1 For Monday Night Football

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 9 mins

Ravens vs Raiders Picks Week 1 For Monday Night Football

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The Las Vegas Raiders have increased their win total in each of Jon Gruden’s three seasons as head coach. They look to get the 2021 season off to a hot start against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football in the finale of Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season.

Betting sites have the road Ravens as four-point favorites. Most sportsbooks and betting apps have put the Over/Under for total points at 51.5.

Let’s take a closer look Ravens vs. Raiders odds and figure out which picks makes sense.

GET READY FOR THE SEASON: Week 1 NFL Betting Lines & Analysis For All 16 Games

Ravens vs. Raiders Key Matchups

Lamar Jackson vs. Raiders Run Defense: Jackson is the game’s best running QB, accumulating 1,000-plus yards the last two seasons. The Raiders are good at containing QBs, allowing only 215 total rush yards to them, 13.4 ypg.

Raiders WRs vs. Ravens CBs: Vegas’ pass-catching future is bright with Henry Ruggs III, Bryan Edwards and Hunter Renfroe. But Baltimore’s tandem of Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters might be the top 1-2 punch in the league.

Darren Waller vs. Ravens LBs: Baltimore ranked top-10 in total defense vs. both the run and the pass, but it was a pedestrian 15th in yards allowed to tight ends. The Raiders Pro Bowl TE could find opportunities.

5 Key Ravens vs. Raiders Stats

48.8: The percentage of third-down conversions of the Ravens last year, the fourth-best mark in the NFL. Conversely, the Raiders’ defense ranked 30th in third-down stops.

58.8: The points per game average of Raiders games, thanks to an offense that ranked 10th in the NFL and a defense that was third-worst.

100: Baltimore’s track record against the spread as a favorite and in Week 1. The Ravens have covered their last five opening games, and their last six when favored.

100: The targets for Ravens WR Marquise Brown last season. Nobody else on the Ravens roster for Week 1 had more than 26. No. 2 WR and free agent addition Sammy Watkins had 55 targets for the Chiefs.

1,836: The returning rushing yards that won’t be on the field for the Ravens, with J.K. Dobbins (805) and Gus Edwards (732) lost for the season with torn ACLs suffered in preseason, and Mark Ingram (299) who is now with the Texans. Ty’Son Williams, who has zero career yards, assumes the role of lead back.

Ravens vs. Raiders Player Props To Consider

Lamar Jackson, Over 202.5 Yards Passing

Odds: -115 at DraftKings

The Raiders last season ranked fifth in rush yards allowed to QBs, but seventh-worst in pass yards allowed. No QB has been hotter coming out of the gate than Jackson. Over his last two Week 1 performances, Jackson has thrown eight TDs with zero INTs and averages 300 ypg through the air.

Lamar Jackson, Over 68.5 Yards Rushing

Odds: -115 at DraftKings

No Gus Edwards (or JK Dobbins) means it’s a one-man show in the backfield for the Ravens. The moment isn’t too big for Jackson, who rushed for 65-plus yards seven times last season and 11 times the year before. It wouldn’t be a shock to see him eclipse 100 against a Raiders defense that ranked 23rd vs. the run last year.

Nick Kwiatkoski, Over 4.5 Tackles

Odds: -135 at DraftKings

Kwiatkoski had 81 tackles in only 12 games for the Raiders last year as their starting middle linebacker. Against a team that rushes the ball early and often, and a QB that runs even more, Kwiatkoski should be in the middle of nearly every play.

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Derek Carr, Over 33.5 Attempts

Odds: -115 at DraftKings

Carr averaged 32.3 attempts in the 15 games he finished, but in losses that number rises to 36.6. The Raiders have a slew of weapons in the pass game. If the run game doesn’t pan out, Vegas will toss it a lot.

Justin Tucker, Over 2.5 Extra Points

Odds: -130 at DraftKings

As the kicker for the prolific Ravens, Tucker hit three-plus XPs in 12 out of 16 games last season. Baltimore should score early and often against a Vegas defense that allowed 30 ppg last year.

Ravens vs. Raiders Weather Forecast

Monday will be just like most days at this time in Vegas – hot and sunny. The high during the day will get to close to 100 degrees, with a zero percent chance of rain. None of that matters here, though – Allegiant’s roof will protect the players and fans from the elements.

Ravens vs. Raiders Moneyline

There aren’t many road favorites in Week 1, and only two favored by more than three points. The Ravens are one of them. But Las Vegas has been very good in the first half of seasons under Gruden, this will be the first regular season game with fans at Allegiant Stadium and it’ll be rocking. That’s reason enough to believe the Raiders (+180) have a shot at the straight-up upset and to avoid the Ravens’ big -220 ML price. It’s not enough to get me to fade Jackson, either.

Ravens vs. Raiders Point Spread

In NFL betting circles for Week 1, only the 49ers are more favored as a road team than the Ravens, who are laying four points. It may not be enough. Baltimore is a tough team to match up with, and while the Raiders have done well at slowing running QBs, their overall defense ranked 30th last year.

The Raiders should score as well, which puts fears of a back-door cover in play. When it comes to NFL spreads for Week 1, this one seems small. But it’s too close to jump all-in on the Raiders.

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Ravens vs. Raiders Totals

This total is among the highest in Week 1, but it might be the best option for those looking to make NFL picks on Monday Night Football. Baltimore’s run offense should do damage despite the injuries, and the pass attack was upgraded.

Each side can be successful against a Vegas defense that was bottom-10 against both the run and pass in 2020. The young Raiders’ offense was top-10 in scoring, yards and passing and should be better with a year of experience. Each offense has the edge – take the Over at BetMGM to hit for the sixth straight meeting between these teams.

About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.