article featured image background
Article preview

Monday Night Football Betting Breakdown

NFL Bets



Week 1 comes to a close with a Monday Night Football showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and the Las Vegas Raiders. This will be the first Raiders’ regular-season home game with fans in attendance, so it should be an exciting night.

(Join this FREE contest at DraftKings Sportsbook to earn your share of $20,000.)

Unfortunately, the Raiders are not expected to be real contenders this season. They’re listed at just +350 to make the playoffs on FanDuel Sportsbook.

The Ravens were slightly disappointing last year, but they have the talent to make a deep run. They’re -310 to make the playoffs on FanDuel Sportsbook, and they’re +1500 to win Super Bowl LVI. That puts them behind the Chiefs and the Bills among AFC squads.

Can the Raiders pull off the upset in prime time? Let’s dive in.

Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders Week 1 Odds 

Date/Time: September 13, 8:15 p.m. ET
Arena: Allegiant Stadium
How to watch: ESPN/ABC
Opening odds: Ravens -5 | O/U 51.0

Latest Ravens-Raiders odds

Looking for the latest odds for this matchup? Here they are, with the best prices from DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • Ravens -4.0
  • Total: 50.5

For up-to-date odds, check out DraftKings Sportsbook.

Opening odds – Ravens at Raiders

The Ravens opened up as five-point favorites in this matchup, but the line has moved in the Raiders’ direction. The line is down to Ravens -4 in most locations, but there are still some Ravens -4.5 hanging around. Ultimately, the betting activity on this contest has been split pretty evenly, with the Ravens garnering 56% of the spread tickets and the Raiders receiving 51% of the spread dollars.



The total has also dipped slightly since opening, thanks in part to some steam moves on the under early in the week. That said, most of the betting activity on the under came with the total set at 51.0 or even 51.5. Now that it’s lower across the industry, there doesn’t appear to be as much interest.

Quarterback analysis – Lamar Jackson vs. Derek Carr

Lamar Jackson is one of the most intriguing quarterbacks in football. He’s known more as a runner than a passer, and he’s put together some prolific seasons with his legs. He’s averaged at least 6.3 yards per attempt in each of his past two seasons, and he’s racked up at least 1,005 rushing yards in both campaigns.

With that in mind, it’s not surprising that the Ravens have been the most run-heavy team in football. They led the league with a run rate of 55.04% last season, and only two other teams were above 48%. That makes them a bit of a throwback in the modern game.

Still, don’t sleep on Jackson’s proficiency with his arm, either. He led the league in passing touchdowns, touchdown percentage and QBR in 2019, which propelled him to the MVP award.

Jackson has also thrived when playing outside of Baltimore. He owns a 13-5 record against the spread on the road during the regular season, including a mark of 9-4 as a road favorite.

Conversely, Derek Carr has been pretty average as a home underdog. He’s 16-16-1 ATS in that situation, which is actually worse than it sounds on paper. Most competent quarterbacks tend to thrive when getting points, so the fact that Carr is just .500 is not that inspiring.

Carr is the grilled chicken of NFL quarterbacks. Is he effective enough to get the job done when you’re hungry? Sure. Are you going to be excited about it? Definitely not.

He’s coming off arguably the best season of his career in 2020-21. He averaged a career-high 8.2 adjusted yards per attempt, and his 5.2 TD% was the second-best mark of his career.

The biggest problem with Carr is a lack of weapons. Henry Ruggs was basically invisible as a rookie, and Nelson Agholor is now in New England. Perhaps Ruggs or Bryan Edwards can take a step forward in their second seasons, but expect to see a ton of Darren Waller in the passing game. The Ravens ranked merely 22nd in Football Outsiders DVOA vs. the TE position last season, so this is a good spot for him.

Latest Ravens betting news & info

Injuries are the big story with the Ravens at the moment. They have been decimated at the running back position, losing J.K. Dobbins, Justice Hill and Gus Edwards to season-ending injuries in a short time span. As a result, they’ve signed basically every available running back with a pulse recently: Le’Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman, Latavius Murray and Trenton Cannon. Experience is good for many things in life, but playing running back in the NFL is not one of them.

(Join this FREE contest at DraftKings Sportsbook to earn your share of $20,000.)

The injuries don’t stop there. Rookie first-round wide receiver Rashod Bateman is also sidelined with an injury, while cornerback Marcus Peters was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Peters was elite in terms of generating turnovers, so his absence will be felt.

Finally, Derek Wolfe has also been ruled out vs. the Raiders, while Jimmy Smith is questionable. Losing Smith would be a big deal since the Ravens secondary is already thin.

Latest Raiders betting news & info

Things look much better for the Raiders from an injury perspective. They are going to be without one of their starting lineman in Richie Incognito, which will force John Simpson into the starting lineup. Simpson played nearly 250 snaps for the Raiders at guard last season, and his results were mostly poor. That said, he did play arguably his best game of the season in Week 17 vs. the Broncos, who boast an outstanding pass rush. That provides at least some optimism for him vs. the Ravens.

Ravens vs. Raiders betting picks – NFL Week 1

I’m a bit conflicted on this game. I do think the Ravens have the talent to contend for a Super Bowl this season, and Jackson’s record on the road is impressive.

That said, the sheer volume of injuries they’ve sustained this early in the season could be a major factor. They’ve been hit at virtually every position — running back, wide receiver, defensive line, quarterback — and they’re playing a team that is essentially at full strength.

The environment in Las Vegas should also be electric. The Raiders have one of the best fan bases in the league, and this will be their first chance to support their team in their new stadium. They had more than 50,000 people in attendance for a preseason game, so I’m expecting them to be out in full force.

With that in mind, I have the Raiders as my preferred side. That said, I would not play this number if it were to dip below four. Four is a vital number in NFL betting — arguably the second-most important number after three — so this will be a pass if the number slides to +3.5.

FTNBets best bets

  • Raiders -4.0

For more information, betting picks and analysis, check out the FTN NFL Bet Tracker.

How to bet on this game

If you want to bet on this matchup and don’t already have a sportsbook account setup, check out FTNBets’ top sportsbooks page. You can see what shops are available in your state while also comparing lines, odds, promotions and bonuses to ensure you get the best value for your investment.

Previous Week 1 Game-by-Game Breakdown Next Top 3 NFL DraftKings betting picks for Week 1