Ravens vs. Raiders Odds, Over/Under Pick, Predictions: How To Bet This Monday Night Football Matchup
Getty Images. Pictured: Derek Carr, Lamar Jackson
- The Ravens are 3.5-point favorites over the Raiders.
- Looking for the best way to bet Monday Night Football? We've got you covered with NFL odds and our expert pick below.
|Time||8:15 p.m. ET|
The Ravens and Raiders kick off their respective seasons on Monday Night Football in what will be the first game feature fans at the impressive new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Baltimore looks to follow up two successful regular seasons (25-7 combined) by getting off to another 1-0 start. It has won the past two season-openers by a combined score of 97-16.
Those two results aren’t too surprising considering the Ravens have generally come out of the gates firing on all cylinders under head coach John Harbaugh, now in his 14th season in Charm City.
Harbaugh owns a career 10-3 against the spread (ATS) in Week 1, making him the most profitable coach to back in the opening week since 2003, in addition to a 9-4 ATS clip after a bye week. That makes him a staggering 19-7 ATS (73.1%) in the regular season with extra time to prepare.
Meanwhile, the Raiders — who have missed the playoffs in 17 of the past 18 seasons — will also try for their third-straight season-opening victory. Head coach Jon Gruden enters his fourth season after a less-than-stellar 19-29 record over his first three. He hasn’t been a great coach to back historically. Of the 130 NFL coaches in our Action Labs database, Gruden has been the least profitable at 64-77-3 ATS for a -11.3% ROI.
Ravens Plagued by Offseason Injuries
You can’t talk about Baltimore’s offseason without starting with the injuries.
Amazingly, the Ravens lost all three of their top running backs on the depth chart to injuries — the latest coming just this past week with Gus Edwards tearing his ACL, the same injury that cost J.K. Dobbins his season. That leaves Ty’Son Williams as the projected starting RB1, causing the Ravens to go into scramble mode to sign a few veterans less than a week before their season opener.
A few receivers also find themselves on IR in Myles Boykin and first-round draft pick Rashod Bateman. Baltimore did add Sammy Watkins in free agency to give Lamar Jackson a more reliable possession receiver, but it’s still an underwhelming group.
Last season, the offensive line really struggled at times, particularly at center as Matt Skura seemingly forgot how to snap the ball in Baltimore’s pistol-heavy offense. An injury to All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley certainly didn’t help, but there were other issues.
Consequently, Baltimore overhauled this entire group. The Ravens lost Pro Bowler Orlando Brown to the Chiefs but brought in two veterans to man the right side of the offensive line in Kevin Zeitler and Alejandro Villanueva. They also will slide Bradley Bozeman to center and benefit from the return of Stanley on Jackson’s blind side.
Speaking of ACL injuries, Baltimore also lost linebacker L.J. Fort and cornerback Marcus Peters to that same gruesome injury. The Ravens will need a pair of second-year players in Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison to step up at inside linebacker.
Peters’ injury certainly stings, but the Ravens had plenty of cornerback depth, which is one of the reasons they traded rookie Shaun Wade to the Patriots. They feel comfortable with Anthony Averett, who would start for most teams. Plus reliable veteran Jimmy Smith, who can play safety or corner, still remains on the roster (although he’s currently nursing an injury that could impact his availability).
They will miss the big-play ability of Peters, but his aggressiveness did also lead to big plays the other way.
Not enough people are talking about the Ravens getting Tavon Young back from injury. When healthy, he’s one of the best slot corners in the NFL. More importantly, it allows star CB Marlon Humphrey to play on the outside, where his skillset fits much better. Throw in a pair of very reliable and underrated safeties, and the Ravens still have one of the league’s top secondaries.
The Ravens did lose Matthew Judon (Patriots) and Yannick Ngakoue (Raiders) but added veteran Justin Houston and drafted speedy Odafe Oweh late in the first round. It’s not the best pass-rushing group, but Baltimore heavily relies on the blitz to generate pressure under defensive coordinator Wink Martindale.
Raiders Overhauled Defensive Personnel
Over the past three seasons, no team has allowed more points than the Raiders. As a result, they made a change at defensive coordinator by replacing Paul Guenther with Gus Bradley. They also upgraded the defensive line by bringing in Ngakoue to boost a lackluster pass rush as well as Quinton Jefferson to add bulk to the interior of Bradley’s four-man front.
The secondary has really struggled in recent years, in large part due to failed draft picks. However, this unit has a chance to be much more productive after acquiring cornerback Casey Hayward and drafting safety Tre’von Moehrig. Both are projected Day 1 starters.
And after an injury to linebacker Nicholas Morrow, the Raiders bolstered that group by signing two veterans in K.J. Wright and Denzel Perryman.
It’s a different story on the offensive side of the ball — the Raiders lost wide receiver Nelson Agholor and significant talent from one of the league’s best offensive lines:
- Center Rodney Hudson (now with the Cardinals)
- Right Guard Gabe Jackson (now with the Seahawks)
- Right Tackle Trent Brown (now with the Patriots)
Additionally, projected starting left guard Richie Incognito has not been practicing and might not suit up. The Raiders would sorely miss his veteran presence up front. They really need rookie Alex Leatherwood, who many thought Vegas reached for in the draft, to work out at right tackle.
Running back Josh Jacobs is also dealing with an injury that could limit him on Monday. That may require a heavier workload for the newly-acquired Kenyan Drake.
I’ve screamed for the Raiders to make a defensive coordinator change for the past two seasons. Yes, they lacked talent, but the scheme did nothing to compensate for some of the roster deficiencies. Bringing in Bradley should provide an immediate boost in that aspect. And the overall talent of this unit has increased significantly.
Also, don’t forget then-Chargers defensive coordinator Bradley famously orchestrated a game-plan that completely bottled up the Ravens’ vaunted rushing attack in the playoffs. Questions remain about the Raiders’ secondary despite adding a few pieces, but that’s not as much of a concern against the Ravens. And don’t sleep on the impact of all of Baltimore’s running back injuries for the league’s most rushing reliant team.
When the Raiders have the ball, a very inexperienced offensive line could get overwhelmed by the Ravens’ constant blitz packages. Even without Peters, the Ravens’ secondary should have no issues locking down their receivers.
Keep in mind that if the Ravens build a big lead, they could go extra vanilla in the second half in light of all of the recent injuries. Plus, they next have a date with the Chiefs on a short week in a Sunday Night Football game that could have major playoff-seeding implications, which could also prompt them to hold some new things back in the playbook.
Pick: Under 50.5 at BetMGM | Down to 50