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NFL Monday Night Football Week 2 Odds
Are you ready for some football? How about a Monday night party? Though the Week 2 installment of Monday Night Football doesn’t offer up a doubleheader for NFL bettors to sink their teeth into, it’ll still be must-see TV when the Las Vegas Raiders open up beautiful new Allegiant Stadium for a clash with Drew Brees and the NFC favorite New Orleans Saints. Both squads looked pretty darn good in their season debuts as the Raiders went into Carolina and scored a closing moments win and cover against the Panthers, while the Saints held serve against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first of two scheduled regular season matchups. Is there a better way to open up the NFL in Sin City than with a barnburner? The game total is on the rise up to 51.5 after hitting the board at 50.5, while the betting markets have also sided with the visiting Saints in early betting with New Orleans up to 5.5-point favorites after opening -4.5.
NFL Monday, September 21, 8:15pm | ESPN
New Orleans Saints -5.5
Las Vegas Raiders +5.5
Tensions were high when the Saints battled the Bucs in both teams season opener last Sunday afternoon. Tampa Bay looked to be all business early on by stopping New Orleans on its initial possession. It then went on an 11-play drive that ended with a Tom Brady plunge into the end zone to give the visitors the initial 7-0 lead; it was short-lived. New Orleans would go on to score the game’s next 17 points fueled by a pair of Alvin Kamara touchdowns both on the ground and through the air. Then right out of the break, Janoris Jenkins pick-sixed Brady to give the home team a commanding 24-7 lead with a bulk of the second half remaining. Though Tampa Bay answered less than a minute later to pull to within 10 and got as close as seven points at the tail end of the third, New Orleans would put the finishing touches on the 34-23 win in the fourth quarter to cover the closing 4-point spread; the combined 57 points also surpassed the 48.5-point total which was bet lower leading up to kick-off.
Though Brees completed 60 percent of his passes and threw for a pair of touchdowns, he only threw for a total of 160 yards. Everything he threw was underneath and on screens. He didn’t test the Bucs secondary once all game long, and was only able to connect with Michael Thomas three times for a total of 17 yards; much to the chagrin of his fantasy and player prop backers. Thomas also hurt his ankle late in the game so be sure to check the injury reports to gauge his participation level. While the Saints lack of a field stretching passing offense isn’t going to come into play against the Swiss cheese defense of the Raiders, it could be a major issue when it runs up against better stop units down the road. The ultimate equalizer could however prove to be No. 41 who looked 100 percent healthy in running circles around a very tough and physical Bucs defense.
There are two things we know for a fact heading into the Raiders Week 2 home opener. The offense is going to be tough for opposing defenses to contend with all season. It was already solid with Josh Jacobs in the backfield, but the addition of another Alabama standout – Henry Ruggs III – makes the passing game one in which defenses must take into account every time the offense trots up to the line of scrimmage. Jacobs was nothing short of electrifying in his 2020 debut rushing for 93 yards and a trio of touchdowns, but it was the excelled level of efficient play from the receiving corps that really opened eyes in the team’s 34-30 comeback win and cover as 3-point road favorites against the Carolina Panthers.
Derek Carr completed 22-of-30 passes for 239 yards and 1 TD, but his 45-yard connection with Ruggs for a near score let it be known that Las Vegas has a passing attack that can finally stretch the field with success. Ruggs did have a bit of a scare when he was tackled awkwardly in the second half, but the first-year stud believes he’ll be ready to go for the Monday nighter. If he can’t, it’ll be a downer but the Raiders still have capable pass catchers in Darren Waller, Nelson Agholor, Hunter Renfrow and Nelson Agholor to fall back on. Either way, it’ll be Jacobs that must show up against the Saints stout run defense if it’s to have any shot at protecting its house and winning Allegiant Stadium’s debut for the world to see. It would also help if the defense was able to get in front of someone, but that likely won’t occur since it just allowed Teddy Bridgewater and company to rack up nearly 400 yards of combined offense and convert 7-of-13 third down tries.
Trend bettors take note: the Saints have covered each of their last four when favored on the road, but stand just 2-5 ATS their last seven MNF appearances. Vegas has covered at a 6-2 ATS clip the last eight times they were dogged at home, and it’s gone 4-1-1 ATS the last six times it played on a Monday night. The road team has won and covered four of the last five meetings since the turn of the century.
Monday Night Football Betting Schedule
Since 2006, week one features a Monday Night Football doubleheader and this year’s twin bill of the Steelers at Giants and Titans at Broncos is appointment viewing. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is likely down to his last season and shot at a second Super Bowl title while Joe Judge begins his Giants coaching career. The Titans and quarterback Ryan Tannehill will try to prove that last year’s stunning playoff run was no fluke while Denver will be looking to maintain the momentum of a strong 2019 finish.
Week two wastes no time in welcoming Las Vegas to the NFL with the Saints and Raiders matching up from Sin City. Can anyone say party time?
Week three features what most expect to be an AFC championship game preview between futures board co-favorites Kansas City and Baltimore.
The Packers will host the Falcons in a week 4 matchup of NFC playoff contenders. Lambeau Field is always a draw and Green Bay’s home field is a true advantage.
No team moves the ratings needle like the Cowboys and they will be hosting the Cardinals in week six as a bona fide contender and NFC East favorite.
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers will invade MetLife Stadium in a winnable but important game at the Giants in week eight. MetLife Stadium is the venue again the following week as the Jets host the Tom Brady-less Patriots.
The Bears will host the Vikings in a week ten showdown of NFC North rivals with potentially high stakes and first place on the line in week 10.
Brady and his Bucs will host the Rams in week 11 as NFC playoff spots could well be on the line. Can the Rams get back to their 2018 NFC championship level after falling back last year?
Week 12 is a strong matchup of NFC playoff contenders with the Seahawks at the Eagles. Seattle’s suspect defense is a question that should be answered by the time this game is played.
The Bills will make two road appearances in the final four weeks of the season with a week 13 matchup at San Francisco and a week 16 showdown at New England in what could be for the AFC East division title.
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