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Week 1 is about to come to a close in the NFL and as usual, we have some unexpected rough losses (Packers, Bills), some fun games (Vikings/Bengals, Dolphins/Pats), and a couple of expected performances (Bucs, Chiefs, Rams). That brings us to Monday Night Football between the Ravens and Raiders. Let’s break the game down and see what betting opportunities are available.
Baltimore travels across the country to visit Las Vegas and the Raiders. Last season, the Raiders were an enigma – at times they were talented beating some of the best teams in the league, then other times they looked like a disaster. Derek Carr is still one of those quarterbacks that we are looking to see just how good he actually is. Last season might have been his most effective. Now, with another year of Jon Gruden, Henry Ruggs III, and Darren Waller he could take another step forward.
Baltimore’s season is already starting on a negative note. They’ve already lost starting running back Gus Edwards after they lost J.K. Dobbins to injury as well. In addition, cornerback Marcus Peters is on injured reserve and defensive end Derek Wolfe is out for tonight. How Baltimore’s reserves step up tonight could be a good predictor of the team going forward. Running back seems to be the easiest position to replace on a football team, but I do have concerns about their defense – especially with how much Baltimore relies on that side of the ball each year.
The opening on this game saw Baltimore at almost a full seven-point favorite but has been since bet down to between four and five points. Baltimore currently sits at a -4.5 favorite. As far as a total, the opener was 51 and it hasn’t moved much, dropping down just half a point to 50.5. If the season goes anything like last year for the Raiders, this will fly over. They only had one game go under tonight’s posted total of 50.5 in their eight home games from last season. The one game that went under still had 49 points scored. Conversely, Baltimore on the road only had two games over a total of 50.5 points, everything else was very far under. I think that the injuries on the Ravens help lead this game to be a bit higher scoring and will play the over 50.5 at -104.
As far as a side, I lean towards the Raiders to win the game outright, but I’m not putting a play on it either way. I just as easily could see the Ravens controlling the ball, pacing the game and keeping Carr off the field as much as possible to escape with a victory. Ultimately, I’m passing on the game, but if you need a side, my recommendation is the Raiders +4.5.
Editors note: And if you’re new to FanDuel Sportsbook, you can skip betting the spread and get 40-1 (+4000) on the moneyline for either the Ravens or Raiders. With the Ravens being favored by 4.5 points, the smart pick would be on Baltimore to win at +4000. Max bet is $5, so you’ll pocket $200 if the Ravens pull out the victory.
A couple of player props I like are outlined below:
- Henry Ruggs III first touchdown scorer (+1800) I think there is a ton of value on this.
- I like Derek Carr to also try and target the Ravens through the air. I’m playing him to have over 1.5 passing touchdowns at -118.
- Ruggs III over 2.5 reception also seems like a steal to me even with the increased cost of -140.
- Vegas was pretty good at containing quarterback scrambles last year so I’ll play Lamar Jackson under 71.5 at -113.
Lastly, this game is the FINAL opportunity for new users to take advantage of FanDuel Sportsbook’s Week 1 40-1 odds boost promotion. Right now, new FanDuel Sportsbook users can pick the winner of any NFL Week 1 game and win $200 on just a $5 bet. That represents an incredible 40-1 odds boost. Click here to claim this offer now.