Baltimore Ravens vs Las Vegas Raiders Predictions, Odds & Picks
- Ravens have lost their star running back JK Dobbins to a season-ending torn ACL
- Raiders QB Derek Carr will get the football to WR Henry Ruggs and TE Darren Waller
- The last time these two teams played was in 2018 when the Ravens beat the Raiders, 34-17
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Ravens vs Raiders Odds
Odds taken 13 Sep, 2021 from DraftKings Sportsbook
|Baltimore Ravens||-4 |
|Las Vegas Raiders||+4 |
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Ravens vs Raiders Predictions and Picks
The Ravens defense should be able to shut down these Raiders in Week 1 enough to cover this spread for what looks like an exciting opening to Monday Night Football in 2021.
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Now that the Ravens have lost their young star running back JK Dobbins to a season-ending torn ACL, Baltimore will have to rely on the run game of QB Lamar Jackson and RBs Gus Edwards and Justice Hill while counting on some key receptions from WR Sammy Watkins and Marquise Brown.
The front office of the Las Vegas Raiders used this offseason to beef up their front-line depth including rookie RT Alex Leatherwood, hoping the extra protection will better protect QB Derek Carr so he can get the ball to Henry Ruggs, Hunter Renfrow, and TE Darren Waller.
These two AFC franchises have met each other 12 other times (including 1 postseason game), with the Las Vegas Raiders winning just 3 of those games and the Baltimore Ravens winning the other 9 games.
Can the Ravens Running Attack Recover from Losing RB J.K. Dobbins?
One of the main reasons most NFL franchises refuse to play their stars in the preseason is what happened to the Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear to his knee in August against the Washington Football Team.
Now the Ravens, who last season boasted the number one rushing attack in the league after averaging almost 192 yards on the ground per game all season, must figure out how to keep their run game a primary part of their offense.
They will do that with RB Gus Edwards, who averaged 5 yards per carry on 144 attempts last season for 6 touchdowns along with 9 receptions for almost 130 more yards, and they will do that with the legs of QB Lamar Jackson, who last season ran the ball 159 times for over 1,000 yards and 7 touchdowns himself.
Can the Raiders Offense Score Against Ravens Potent Defense?
Last season, the Raiders offense was a top-ten scoring operation, averaging just over 27 points per game with a passing attack (ranked 7th) that was slightly better than their run game (ranked 14th).
But in Week 1, Las Vegas faces a Baltimore defense run by coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale that was seventh-best in the league last season and, despite losing some key talent in the offseason, could still be a top-ten squad in 2021.
The Raiders have a run game that features Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake, a one-two punch that could help them in the red zone, plus Las Vegas has one of the sneakier slot receivers in the league, Hunter Renfrow, who will take full advantage of the mid-field space that deep threat WR Henry Ruggs seems to create.
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Ravens Key Player: (WR) Sammy Watkins
The entire football world knows about the potency of the Ravens rushing attack, but now they are set to have an equally threatening passing game with the addition of star veteran receiver Sammy Watkins in the offseason.
Watkins has spent the last three season catching passes from Patrick Mahomes with the Chiefs and earned a Super Bowl ring with Andy Reid’s team in 2019, so he brings a veteran star presence to the Ravens’ locker room on a Ravens team that ranked last in the league in passing in 2020.
Now Watkins has been kept out of the preseason due to an undisclosed injury and appears to be on track for a Week 1 start, a speedy threat that QB Lamar Jackson is counting on.
Raiders Key Player: (TE) Darren Waller
Arguably one of the best tight ends in the league now is Darren Waller, a 6’ 6” 255 beast of a player who can block almost as well as he can catch the football, a five-year veteran who gives the Raiders a legitimate mid-range threat on every down.
Last season, Waller was a huge contributor on offense, posting 107 catches for almost 1,200 yards and 9 touchdowns while helping the Raiders front line open rushing holes for RB Josh Jacobs, a production that keeps defenses having to game plan differently every week.
What having a threat like Waller on the roster also does for the other receivers is draw double teams from the linebackers and safeties which allows extra room for the other Raiders receivers to run, something that could help in Week 1 against this speedy Ravens secondary.
How to Watch Ravens vs Raiders
|Ravens vs Raiders Information|
|What||Baltimore Ravens vs Las Vegas Raiders|
|Where||Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada|
|When||Monday, September 13, 2021; 8:15 PM ET|
|How to watch||ESPN, ABC|
More Games to Watch on Week 1
- Dallas Cowboys vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Minnesota Vikings vs Cincinnati Bengals
- Cleveland Browns vs Kansas City Chiefs
- Pittsburgh Steelers vs Buffalo Bills
- Arizona Cardinals vs Tennessee Titans
- Seattle Seahawks vs Indianapolis Colts
- Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots
- Green Bay Packers vs New Orleans Saints
- Chicago Bears vs Los Angeles Rams
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]