Monday Night Football Predictions: Saints at Raiders Odds and Picks
One Monday Night Football game, one controversy. As if the 2020 season would have started any other way. Last Monday, we saw the Los Angeles Rams sneak by the Dallas Cowboys thanks to a very questionable offensive pass-interference call that went against Dallas with time running down in the fourth quarter. At that point, Dallas was trailing by three points and was driving into field goal range before the penalty set them back and ultimately cost them the game. Many said it was a very weak call, while some said that’s about par for the course with NFL officiating. I’m on the fence. It was offensive pass-interference by rule, but, man, was it ever soft, and Jalen Ramsey (the victim) sold the hell out of it.
This week, we should have fireworks in a much different way as the Saints and the Raiders hook up in Las Vegas at the newly minted Allegiant Stadium. The only thing missing from this game besides a star-receiver is the fans that would really make this stadium a tough place to play. The Saints have Super Bowl aspirations, while the Raiders are just hoping to make the postseason for just the second time since 2002.
Saints at Raiders Betting Story Lines
There are a few storylines that could bat leadoff in this section, but I believe the absence of Michael Thomas takes the cake. Michael Thomas has easily been one of the best three receivers in the league for the past handful of seasons. And without him, the Saints offense figures to be knocked down a peg or two. Don’t get me wrong, they still have Drew Brees and Alvin Kamara, but Thomas is their go-to receiver. And without him, the defense should be able to focus in on stopping (read: slowing down) Kamara. If Thomas was playing, we believe this spread could have been upwards of 7.5 as we saw how porous the Raiders’ defense was against a Carolina squad that gained nearly 400 yards and 259 yards through the air.
Given the fact that this is a Monday night game, we expect the Raiders’ defense to show up in a big way and play much better than they did in Week 1. As for the Raiders offense, I was really impressed with how they moved the ball up and down the field with Derek Carr throwing for 239 yards and a touchdown, while Josh Jacobs scampered for 93 yards and three touchdowns. You could make the argument that the Raiders have more weapons than the Saints with the absence of Thomas, as Jacobs, Ruggs, Waller, and Agholor all demand attention from opposing defenses.
The biggest battle of the game will come in the trenches as the Saints defensive front has been among the NFL’s best over the last couple of seasons. They have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 44 straight games dating back to November 2017 when Samaje Perine (of all people) eclipsed that mark. The Raiders’ offensive line did a great job of making holes for Jacobs to run through and protect Derek Carr (who was pressured on just 10% of his dropbacks in Week 1 – the best number in the league).
Saints at Raiders Betting Odds and Trends
Depending on which sportsbook you look at, the Saints are laying -5.5 or -6 (-110) with the total set at 49 or 49.5. On the moneyline, the Saints are -250 while the Raiders are +210. If your feeling crazy, the alternate lines offer up plenty of value as the Saints are on the alternate are -9.5 (+155), -2.5 (-188) and -13.5 (+240). The Saints are 1-0 ATS this season and enter this game on a 4-0 ATS run as road favorite and 27-13-1 ATS vs a team with a winning record. The Raiders are also 1-0 ATS against the spread after winning last week against Carolina and come into this game with great betting trends such as 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 Monday games, and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games as a home underdog.
Saints vs Raiders Betting Predictions
Week 2 is the biggest overreaction week of the year as we have a limited sample size to go off of and people tend to believe that a team is as good or as bad as they looked in Week 1. The Raiders are a team that’s a work in progress and the offense played well, but the defense left a lot to be desired. The Saints beat down a very underwhelming Tampa Bay team, so the perception is that this game is going to fly over the number based on last week’s performances. Without Michael Thomas, the Saints almost become one-dimensional, which is why we believe the Raiders are a live dog at home as they open up their new stadium. The Raiders should be pumped up to play the Saints. And if the defense can step up, they should be able to cover this number.
Play: Raiders +5.5
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