Monday Night Football Betting Preview: Ravens at Raiders

Our model loves the Ravens' chances in the season opener of Monday Night Football. Where is the best place to wager on the game?

After the buffet of NFL games yesterday, tonight's game features the Las Vegas Raiders and the Baltimore Ravens. Former MVP Lamar Jackson is looking to put the offense on his shoulders and secure his bag, whereas the Raiders are hoping a win will start to cool down some potentially hot seats.

Here is how numberFire ranks each team heading into tonight’s game using our nERD metric and Net Expected Points (NEP):

TeamnERDnERD RankOff NEP RankDef NEP Rank
Baltimore Ravens4.34375
Las Vegas Raiders-4.39281929

How the Ravens and Raiders Finished 2020

The Ravens finished the season hot, winning their last five games before going 1-1 in the playoffs. During the last four weeks of the regular season, Baltimore was second in Offensive NEP per play and first in Rushing Success Rate.

The Raiders lost three of their final four games in 2020 to sputter to an 8-8 finish. The Raiders' offense lost 7th-most Offensive NEP due to sacks (min 300 passing att.) and had the highest NEP lost per sack average. Justin Houston and the Ravens' pass rush will be looking to take advantage of a young and unsettled offensive line.

Inside the Bets

Our models give the edge to the Ravens, as it has them winning outright 68.5% of the time per oddsFire. and at -196 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook, we see that as the bet to make when considering moneyline, spread and over/under bets.

Last season, the Ravens led at halftime in 12 regular-season games and went on to win 10 of those games, surrendering leads only to Pittsburgh and Tennessee. With a strong history of holding leads, taking a Baltimore double-result bet (leading at end of the second and fourth quarters) at +105 odds should be a great value.

It also seems like a foregone conclusion that Lamar Jackson will rush for a touchdown given all of the Ravens' injuries at running back. Last season, Jackson rushed for touchdowns in six regular-season games last season (37.5%). On that premise, paying for the -130 odds (implied probability of 57%) for a touchdown scored (rushing or receiving) does not seem to have much value.

A Final Note

Baltimore was 3-1 against-the-spread (ATS) in their final four away games in 2020, and Las Vegas was 0-4 ATS in their final four home games last season.