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Monday Night Football Odds — Will Ravens’ Jackson Take to the Air More vs. Raiders?

Las Vegas Raiders Football

Can Raiders Take a Step Towards Contention on Monday Night Football?

By Charles Jay

Monday Night Football for the 2020 season begins with one team trying to solve a puzzle that BetAnySports patrons might find very interesting.

You see, fate threw the Baltimore Ravens a curve ball during training camp. This is a team that designs its offense around the ground game, and their “committee” of running backs have been swallowed up and swept out of the picture as if by hurricane.

Now they are scrambling around to put together enough material to carry out their preferred game plan as they prepare to face the Las Vegas Raiders. They have to go on the road for this, as they kick things off at Allegiant Stadium at 8:30 PM ET.

Las Vegas has actually improved its record the last two seasons, finishing 8-8 last year, both straight-up and against the spread. But it is now three years under head coach Jon Gruden, who has a ten-year, $100 million contract, and there have been no playoff games.

John Harbaugh has had more success in Baltimore, and comes off a season where he made the playoffs as a wild card with an 11-5 record, ultimately losing in the AFC Divisional Round to Buffalo.

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Monday Night Football – Here are the numbers…

In the NFL odds posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Ravens are laying points as the visitor:

Baltimore Ravens  -4
Las Vegas Raiders  +4

Over 50.5 points -110
Under 50.5 points -110

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Monday Night Football — About the Raiders

Some people found it curious that Las Vegas signed former Arizona running back Kenyan Drake despite already having Josh Jacobs in the lineup, especially as they have had to rebuild things on the offensive line.

Three players on that line were seen “leaving Las Vegas.” And so the team has had to compensate for letting tackle Trent Brown, guard Gabe Jackson and center Rodney Hudson go out the door. And veteran guard Richie Incognito has been ruled out of this game with a calf injury.

There are a lot of changes to coordinate, and that’s a daunting task even for an old hand like OL coach Tom Cable. On top of that, first-round pick Alex Leatherwood, the Outland Trophy winner, has been kind of slow in adapting.

Derek Carr is usually going to put up some numbers (4103 yards last year), but when a team loses its foundation, it affects things in many ways.

Defensively, there is a lot of work to do for new coordinator Gus Bradley. Las Vegas had the third-worst scoring defense in the league last year.

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Monday Night Football — About the Ravens

The biggest problem for Baltimore right now would seem to revolve around its skill position players. So let’s tell you about it.

Here is a team that relies so heavily on the ground game that it ran on third down 46% of the time last year, which is 21 percentage points above the league average. So you can imagine the kind of situation that gets created when all the top running backs get injured. And that is exactly what has happened, as the Ravens have lost Justice Hill, JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards for the season.

So they will have to piece things together. Ty’Son Williams is a holdover who will get a lot of playing time. Latavius Murray is a very useful back, and was cut by the Saints last week. Le’Veon Bell has been an All-Pro, of course, and he was placed on the practice squad and then placed on the roster. Last we heard, this was about to be done with former Atlanta Falcon Devonta Freeman. And Trenton Cannon has been picked up on waivers as well. None of these guys have practiced much with the team, except for Williams.

It was hoped that wide receiver Rashod Bateman, drafted in the first round out of Minnesota, could be the deep threat to help Lamar Jackson stretch the field, but he’s just had surgery for a groin injury. Marquise Brown just started practicing again after a hamstring issue.

Veteran Sammy Watkins is going to come in handy here, and tight end Mark Andrews is going to be sought out. Jackson, who has run for more than a thousand yards two seasons in a row, may have to constitute a considerable portion of the running attack. But remember that the window will eventually close on him being able to confound defenses.

Monday Night Football  — The conclusion

If pushed one way or the other, we would probably lay the points with the Ravens. But we prefer to look at the total. Both of these teams will be short on critical components of their offense. And the number here gives us some room. So it’s UNDER the total for us.

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Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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