MNF Best Bet: Ravens vs. Raiders Pick ATS

by | Sep 9, 2021 | nfl

Baltimore Ravens (11-5 SU, 10-6 ATS) vs. Las Vegas Raiders (7-9 SU, 8-8 ATS)

Date/Time: Monday, September 13, 8:15 PM EST

Where: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas


Point Spread: Balt -4.5/LV +4.5 (BAS - Did you know you can bet on games at -105 instead of -110?)
Over/Under Total: 51

The first Monday Night Party of 2021 will be held just off the Vegas strip to round out the week 1 NFL slate. This match will be the first time fans have been allowed in Allegiant Stadium for a Raider game, and there is no doubt the pregame show will be 5-star, and the fans will make this a party to remember. What better way to join in the party than doing some investing? And the best investment is taking the Ravens to cover the 4.5 point spread at Here are three reasons Ravens tickets will cash.

Baltimore Is the Far Superior Team

The NFL in 2021 is all about throwing the ball down the field, creating mismatches in the passing game, with a bit of running sprinkled in to control the clock and keep defenses honest. One of the few exceptions to this doctrine is the Ravens, who are living in the 1980s – really in the 1980s NCAA world. Baltimore runs the ball so efficiently and so relentlessly that teams with any flaw in their run defense have no chance at slowing down their attack. Baltimore was 7th in the league in scoring in 2020 despite being dead last in passing yards. They led the league in rushing yards by over 300 yards while averaging 5.5 yards per carry, one of only three teams to be above 5 yards per carry. Of course, QB Lamar Jackson is the engine that powers the train, and in 2020, he recorded his second consecutive 1000 yard rushing season while averaging well over 6 yards per carry. Teams with bad defenses designed to stop the pass have no chance against the Ravens running attack. J.K. Dobbins would have been the lead back in the attack, but he tore his ACL in pre-season, leaving Gus Edwards to lead the backfield. On September 9th, Edwards also went down with a season ending injury (torn ACL), leaving 25-year-old, second-year UDFA Ty’Son Williams to play the “next man up” role. The Ravens have also added Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman to their roster. Whoever gets the snaps is likely to have instant success, as the team is filled with road grader offensive linemen. In addition, left tackle Ronnie Stanley will miss this contest. This would be an issue against stronger opponents, but it shouldn’t hamper the Ravens in this one. Baltimore’s ground attack will be in mid-season for on Monday Night.

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Baltimore’s defense is also built to dominate bad teams. The offense generally gets ahead against these weak opponents, leaving opponents to become one-dimensional and pass on nearly every down. Baltimore’s cornerback trio of Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey, and Tavon Young is the best in the league and can lock down any receiving group. The Ravens were 2nd in the league in points allowed last year and 2nd in opponents’ yards per passing attempt. They were only 14th in sacks but ranked 2nd in quarterback hits. Their elite secondary allows them to employee a complex blitz scheme that will confuse and overpower the Raiders on Monday. Baltimore’s D is built to dominate bad teams and will show it Monday night. Update: Marcus Peters went down with a torn ACL on 9/9 and will miss the rest of the season.

The Raiders Are Bad

The Raiders brought back Jon Gruden (64-77-3 ATS as a head coach) to rejuvenate the franchise in 2018. Three seasons later, they have won 19 games and are the consensus worse team in the AFC West in 2021. Gruden’s offenses have been competitive, and he has gotten everything he can out of Derek Carr, but this year looks to be a step in the wrong direction. Gruden’s once stellar offensive line lost All-Pro center Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, and Trent Brown and is now a big question mark. The offense was able to sustain a running game behind the elite offensive line, and Carr had the time he needed to move the ball through the air. This week neither will be the case. Josh Jacobs averaged only 3.9 yards per carry behind last year’s O-line and will struggle to reach that level this week. LV’s receiving corps of Bryan Edwards, Henry Ruggs III, and Hunter Renfro will have little chance to get separation against Baltimore’s corners, especially with Carr having no time in the pocket. Tight End Darren Waller could be effective, but Baltimore will be able to focus their efforts to stop him.

The real reason the Raiders are so bad is their defense. They were 30th in points allowed last year, 23rd in opponents rushing yards per carry, and recorded only 21 sacks. There is no reason to think they will be able to slow down Baltimore this week. They did add pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue, who had eight sacks in 2020 in the off-season, but he won’t move the needle very much and probably won’t be able to chase Jackson down. The Raider linebackers are slow and will struggle to contain Jackson and Edwards in the running game or Raven tight end Mark Andrews in the passing game. The Raiders are in over their heads this week on both sides of the ball.

Baltimore Steamrolls Bad Teams

Superior teams that do their damage passing the ball can take their foot off the gas in games they are strolling to victory in and start killing the clock running the ball. The Ravens do their damage in the run game and never take their foot off the gas. Here are the winning margins for the Ravens last year against bad teams – Texans 17 points, Washington (week 4) 14 points, Eagles 2 points, Bengals 24 points, Cowboys (week 13) 17 points, Jags 26 points, Giants 14 points, and Bengals encore performance 35 points. It doesn’t matter on the road or at home. The Raven running game travels and is just as hard to stop in Las Vegas as it is in Baltimore. John Harbaugh’s teams are always ready to play on both sides of the ball, and they have arguably the best special teams in the league. On the other hand, Las Vegas has been spending their pre-season on how to stop the Chiefs and other teams passing games and will have no chance against the Ravens’ running schemes.

Lay 4.5 Points and Take the Ravens

Allegiant Stadium will be electric on Monday night, and it would be great drama to see the home team pull off an upset in front of 60,000 crazy Raider fans. But it ain’t happening. Count on the Ravens taking care of business and rolling over Las Vegas to close out NFL week 1. Bet your MNF picks for FREE by taking advantage of a 100% REAL CASH bonus on your first deposit of $50 to $300 at MyBookie Sportsbook!