Week 1 Monday Night Football Betting Picks - LAR-OAK
by BetAmerica StaffAfter watching superstar linebacker Khalil Mack put on a show last night as the Bears covered in a loss to Green Bay, the Oakland Raiders will be in the spotlight when they face an uphill battle against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 1 Monday Night Football betting. Jon Gruden was already facing a truck load of scrutiny for signing a pretty ludicrous contract worth a reported $100 million over 10 years. Now he's traded possibly the team's best player for a half-decent return. Competing with the Rams on this stage is going to be a slog for Raider Nation.
It's not unfair to put Gruden on the coils, but it has distracted many fans and bettors away from the team itself. The Raiders have a lot to make up to their fans after entering the 2017 NFL season with high hopes, only to fall to 6-10 SU and 5-9-2 ATS. At the center of this was Derek Carr, who battled through a back injury to post paltry numbers of 3,496 passing yards with 22 touchdowns against 13 picks. In case you were wondering, those are below average numbers. Carr logged an 86.4 rating, ranking him the 19th most efficient starter from last season. These are not outputs you want to see from one of the highest paid players in the whole league.
Los Angeles Rams (0-0) vs. Oakland Raiders (0-0) Monday, September 10th - 10:20pm ET Week 1 Monday Night Football Betting Line: LAR -4.5 (47.5)Oakland registered just 324.1 yards per game (19th) and averaged 18.8 points (23rd) last season. There's almost nothing that suggests they're going to be able to improve those numbers. Aside from signing Jordy Nelson and Doug Martin, who both might be over the hill, the Raiders are pretty much the same team they were last year with a new figurehead leading the way.
Those of you looking for a wrinkle in Week 1 Monday Night Football betting won't find one here. Los Angeles was already a top-12 defensive team by the end of last season. This year, they grade out as one of the best scoring defenses in the NFL. They not only retained Aaron Donald, but they added Ndamukong Suh to anchor the interior and shipped in Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib to cover any and all flankers that threaten them. It's a scary good personnel, both in talent and personality.
There are also no offensive concerns. Jared Goff might still be a slightly above-average passer, but he's surrounded by so many weapons. Brandin Cooks and Todd Gurley are both terrifying game changers, with the latter hoping to put together another MVP-caliber campaign. The LA Rams led the league with 29.8 points per game and were 10th in yards per game with 361.5 on average during 2017, and those numbers can be replicated if not improved.
At the very least, given the absence of Mack in the middle of Oakland's defense, this particular game leans very heavily towards the Rams for obvious reasons. The only reason to back the Raiders is found in betting trends, where Oakland's 4-1-1 ATS record on Monday nights is seemingly more inviting than the 1-6 ATS record that the Rams have in this regard. If it tips the scales for you, the Rams are a steady road play at 5-2 ATS in their last seven trips away from home.
Forget the trends though. Flat out, the Rams are a superior collection of football talent that's led by Sean McVay, who is the reigning Coach of the Year. There are too many reasons to bet on Los Angeles in the final game of Week 1, and there aren't nearly enough counterpoints to leverage a comfortable wager on Oakland.
Week 1 Monday Night Football Betting Free Pick - LAR -4.5 (OVER)