The Baltimore Ravens travel to Las Vegas to face the Raiders in the first Monday Night Football game of the 2021-22 NFL season.
Our team of experts at VSiN has the game covered from all angles, with a market report from South Point oddsmaker Chris Andrews, along with a pick on the game from VSiN's Matt Youmans and a player prop from Ben Brown of Pro Football Focus.
Baltimore Ravens (-3.5, 50.5) at Las Vegas Raiders
Market report from Chris Andrews: I opened Baltimore -4.5 earlier in the year. Sharps took the Raiders at + 4.5 and + 4. When Baltimore suffered major injuries in practice the other day, I dropped to 3.5 on the news. Nobody played back on the favorite through the weekend. I’ve had a lot of small bets so far. Sharps took Under my opening total of 51. I’m at 50.5 right now.
Youmans: Will a new-look Las Vegas defense be able to contain Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson? It’s possible. The Ravens are at far less than full strength on offense after a rash of injuries, and they had the NFL’s worst passing offense (171.2 yards per game) last season. Even if the Raiders’ defense breaks down, Derek Carr can trade shots in a shootout. Carr put the team in position to sweep the Chiefs last season, passing for six touchdowns and leading the way to 71 points in a split of the two games with the AFC champs. Finally, after a year with no fans inside Allegiant Stadium, the Raiders will get to experience a true home-field advantage. It will be an electric atmosphere for “Monday Night Football,” and most signs point to the home ‘dog hanging close and maybe pulling the upset.
Pick: Raiders + 4
Lamar Jackson over 202.5 Passing Yards
Brown: If it wasn’t at all obvious, the entire Baltimore offense will center on Jackson in 2021. Even before key losses to the entirety of their running back room, the Ravens knew their best option was opening up Jackson through the air. Now that it’s been forced upon them, Jackson to showcase his arm is setting up as one of the best bets all weekend.
The Raiders may not provide much in the way of resistance with their secondary ranked as the third-worst unit in our coverage grades last season. If they do, it will be because Casey Hayward Jr. returned to his 2019 form, when he ranked sixth among cornerbacks in PFF coverage grade. The bad news for the Raiders is Hayward will be chasing Marquise Brown as a decoy downfield, which should open up underneath for Mark Andrews and Sammy Watkins to shine.
Jackson may be able to dip-and-dunk his way over this modest total, which is the second-lowest passing yardage prop listed for Week 1. Often the bottom of the ranges makes for the best target, especially when all the recent information is pointing toward the bottom end improving.