The first Sunday of the 2021 NFL season was an absolute hit as the day was filled with a combination of close contests and high-scoring matchups. Now, that’s all in the past and the NFL will turn its attention towards the first Monday Night Football clash of the year as the Baltimore Ravens are slated to take on the Las Vegas Raiders.
Both teams had different experiences in 2020. The Ravens finished the campaign by going 11-5 and qualified for a playoff spot for the third season in a row. Unfortunately, Baltimore was eliminated in the Wild Card Round for the second time in as many years. Meanwhile, the Raiders went 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the 17th time in 18 years. Nevertheless, this week’s Monday Night Football matchup is giving both teams the opportunity to start the 2021 season on a better note.
Here’s a look at tonight’s matchup with odds courtesy of BetOnline.
Ravens vs Raiders General Information and Statistics
Tonight’s contest will be held at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. EST. You can view the Ravens-Raiders Monday Night Football game on both ESPN and ABC.
The Ravens and Raiders had similar offensive production last season. Baltimore averaged 27.3 points per game (PPG) in 2020, which ranked 9th in the NFL. Meanwhile, Las Vegas’ offense averaged 27.1 PPG — the 10th-best total. Defensively, things couldn’t be more different. The Ravens surrendered the fewest amount of points per game last year at 18.5. The Raiders were not as fortunate as their defense gave an average of 29.9 PPG, which ranked third-worst leaguewide.
Monday Night Football Odds: Ravens vs Raiders
Odds via BetOnline as of Monday, September 13
- Baltimore Ravens (0-0) vs Las Vegas Raiders (0-0)
- Moneyline: Ravens (-197) vs Raiders (+172)
- Spread: Ravens -4.0 (-112) vs Raiders +4.0 (-108)
- Total: 50.5 — Over (-110), Under (-110)
Complete odds list and prop bets available at BetOnline.ag.
Monday Night Football Week 1 Preview
The Ravens enter their Week 1 Monday Night Football matchup as the -197 favorites over the Raiders (+172) and that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Baltimore surely has the better team on paper and has actually been getting results over the past couple of years. The Ravens likely could’ve made more noise in the playoffs last year had they had a better passing game.
Baltimore owned the worst aerial game in the NFL last season, averaging just 171.9 passing yards per game. That has to change if the team wants to be successful going forward, which is why the Ravens went out and upgraded their pass-catching options over the offseason. Now, quarterback Lamar Jackson will have a guy like veteran wideout Sammy Watkins to target in addition to his favorites in Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and tight end Mark Andrews. The Raiders were mediocre at stopping the past last year, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can build momentum starting with tonight’s game.
On the other hand, Las Vegas actually had a solid aerial game last year that was once again anchored by former Pro-Bowl TE Darren Waller. However, the Raiders are hoping that one of their young wideouts like Bryan Edwards or Henry Ruggs III will step up to take a load off of Waller’s shoulders. That’ll be tough to do in a matchup against a Ravens defense that surrendered the eighth-fewest receiving yards to wide receivers in 2020.
One of the main keys to the Raiders winning this game will be to stop Baltimore’s rushing attack. The Ravens owned the best ground game last season and they’ll look to cement that by rushing the ball early during Monday Night Football. Fortunately, for the Raiders, Baltimore is dealing with issues in their backfield. J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards were supposed to be the lead backs, but both were lost to season-ending injuries over the past few weeks. Now, the Ravens will lean on 2020 undrafted running back Ty’Son Williams to be their go-to guy after he impressed in the preseason. Still, Williams has yet to play a regular season NFL snap, so Las Vegas will have to silence him early.
Nevertheless, this should be an exciting matchup that could dictate what both Baltimore and Las Vegas’ 2021 campaigns will look like.