Rams-Raiders Betting Preview: Fade the Public and Bet on Jon Gruden?
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jon Gruden
Betting odds: Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Raiders
- Spread: Rams -4
- Over/Under: 48
- Time: 10:20 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
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Betting market: Bettors are not buying Jon Gruden’s plan to make Raiders football 1999 again. Seventy-seven percent of bets and 74% of dollars are laying the points with the Rams.
Trend to know: Like Jon Snow, we know nothing about the NFL in Week 1 — or at least not as much as we think we do.
When there is lopsided betting action — 75% or more of tickets on a game — the best time to fade the public is early in the season. Since 2003, teams receiving 75% or more of bets in September have gone 66-82-3 (45%) against the spread. — John Ewing
Injury watch: The Rams’ decision to hold out nearly every key starter during the preseason has paid off, as only tight end Gerald Everett (shoulder) and outside linebacker Dominique Easley (knee) appear to be at risk of missing the game due to injury.
Defensive tackle Aaron Donald finally received a much-deserved contract extension, but it remains to be seen whether the team will rest him in Week 1 like the Rams did after his training camp holdout last season.
Other than right tackle Donald Penn (foot, questionable), the Raiders’ biggest concern is the status of kicker Eddy Pineiro (groin). — Ian Hartitz
DFS edge: Todd Gurley is expensive, but he’s worth it as a game script-independent running back.
He averaged 22.9 touches per game and 1.12 points per touch in PPR leagues last season, and he leads all skill positions in FantasyLabs floor, median and ceiling projections in Week 1 against a Raiders team that just traded Khalil Mack — their No. 1 run-defender by Pro Football Focus. — Justin Bailey
Bet to watch: There is a Bet Labs system (200-143-6, 58% ATS since 2003) and a steam move bet signal — an indication of sharp money — on the Rams. But I don’t need any of that.
This is a gut play for me. I have no faith in Gruden as a coach or general manager. When Derek Carr is healthy, he’s an average quarterback at best. And the defense that finished 29th in Football Outsiders DVOA a season ago will be even worse without Mack.
I like the Rams to cover -4. — John Ewing