Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season concludes Monday night when Derek Carr and the Raiders play host to Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. The atmosphere will certainly be electric as the game will mark the first time the Raiders will be playing before fans in Allegiant Stadium—after being forced to play the entire '20 season without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Las Vegas Raiders
- Spread: Baltimore Ravens -4 (-110) | Las Vegas Raiders +4 (-110)
- Moneyline: Baltimore (-200) | Las Vegas (+165)
- Total: 50 Over (-110) | Under 50 (-110)
- Public (Spread) Betting Percentages: BAL 41% | LVR: 59%
- Game Info: Monday, Sept. 13, 8:15 p.m. ET | ESPN
It's difficult to decipher whether the line move in this AFC clash is more in support of the home field advantage the Raiders are expected to have in their first home game at Allegiant Stadium with fans or a numbers play against a Ravens team that has lost three important starters in the past several weeks. Either way, we have seen a big move here as the Ravens, who opened as 5.5-point road favorites, have since moved to only a 4-point favorite at SI Sportsbook.
Baltimore, who ais 5–0 straight-up in its last five season openers, has been hit hard with injuries. The club has lost both of its top two running backs as J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards have suffered season-ending ACL knee injuries. On the defensive side of the ball, the Ravens have also lost their top defensive back Marcus Peters (ACL) for the season.
My projections have Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown being the strongest bets to see more volume in the passing game, as Baltimore will likely depend more on Jackson in the passing game, with each player hauling in five-plus receptions in Week 1. Andrews's anytime touchdown at +115 on SI Sportsbook is a very attractive play.
On the other side of the ball, Las Vegas will lean on the dynamic connection of quarterback Derek Carr and tight end Darren Waller. The fifth-year star, who grabbed 107 receptions for 1,196 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020, is arguably one of the best tight ends in the league and is a player who my projections have leading the club in total receiving yards (89.5) in Week 1. I would also suggest attacking Waller’s anytime touchdown at +120 on SI Sportsbook.
Bettors believe that new Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley could have the Las Vegas defense in peak form in 2021 after adding star lineman Yannick Ngakoue to a group that already includes Maxx Crosby. The biggest key in this matchup will come down to how well the Raiders can contain elusive Ravens star Lamar Jackson who will likely be asked to shoulder the majority of the work on the ground as Baltimore turns to Ty’Son Williams and newly signed Latavius Murray.
Look for both teams to commence their seasons in a lower-scoring affair than the oddsmakers are predicting.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Public Betting: 59% of money on Las Vegas
- Line Move: Ravens -5.5 to -4
2020 Against-the-Spread Record
- Baltimore Ravens: 10-5-1 ATS (Home: 5-3 ATS, Away: 5-2-1 ATS)
- Las Vegas Raiders: 8–8 ATS (Home: 4–4 ATS, Away: 4–4 ATS)
BET: Under 50 (-110)
2021 SI Betting NFL Football: 0–1 ATS
2020 SI Betting NFL Football: 72-58-1 ATS (55%)
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Frankie Taddeo is a successful high-stakes fantasy football player who created the first-ever DFS program ever offered in a Las Vegas sportsbook. Frankie is SI Betting's Senior Analyst and provides his significant experience and resources in the sports betting scene. You can follow Frankie on Twitter @Frankie_Fantasy for his latest betting and fantasy insights from Las Vegas.