Baltimore Ravens (0-0) at Las Vegas Raiders (0-0)
The season hasn’t begun yet, but the Ravens have already lost significant talent to injury, most shockingly their top-3 running backs JK Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill, who are all out for the season. On top of that, cornerback Marcus Peters is out for the year, while tight end Nick Boyle and Rashod Bateman are beginning the season on injured reserve and will miss at least the first three weeks of the season. Veteran defenders Jimmy Smith and Derek Wolfe are also unlikely to play through nagging injuries. This line has somewhat adjusted, but the Ravens are still favored by 4 points on the road in Las Vegas.
I don’t like the Raiders that much and have them finishing sub-.500, but I still have this line calculated at Baltimore -3, so we’re getting some line value with the Raiders, who also have a big advantage in their first home game with fans in Las Vegas, on Monday Night Football against a banged up Ravens team that has to travel cross country for a night game. Pacific time zone teams cover at about a 2/3rds clip against Eastern time zone teams night games and the Raiders will have the added benefit of a rapid crowd behind them. I wish I liked the Raiders more and haven’t decided if I want to bet on them yet, but I might decide to do so before gametime. Even getting +4.5 might be enough for this to be worth betting.
Baltimore Ravens 24 Las Vegas Raiders 22
Pick against the spread: Las Vegas +4