A lot of people like the Los Angeles Rams to win the Super Bowl this season. A lot of people liked the Las Vegas Raiders to contend for a Super Bowl last year. They flopped, so just never know. The Rams are slight road favorites at Mybookie.ag for the second game of the NFL Week 1 Monday night doubleheader in Oakland.
Rams at Raiders MNF Week 1 Lines & Betting PickLos Angeles / OaklandStream Option: WatchESPNOpening NFL Lines: Rams -3 (49.5)
Last MeetingNormally, I would have a regular-season meeting between the Rams and Raiders here but that was four years ago. These teams played in Week 2 of this preseason and the Rams won 19-15 at home. Rookie John Kelly rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown for the Rams. Chris Warren rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown for the Raiders. But both teams rested nearly all of their presumptive starters and used no significant parts of their playbook because they didn’t want to show their hand for Week 1. So, take nothing from that game basically.
Why Bet on LA Rams?It sounds as if arguably the best defensive player in the NFL, reigning Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, will be back with the team for Week 1. He held out all of preseason and camp looking to become the highest-paid defender in NFL history. By the time you read this, he probably will be. Offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth and receiver Robert Woods recently agreed to restructure their contracts, creating about $7 million in cap space. The only reason for them to do that is so the team has enough cap room to sign Donald. A first-round pick in 2014, Donald is entering the final season of his rookie deal and is scheduled to earn $6.9 million.To this point in the NFL’s league year, only the top 51 salaries count against the salary cap. Next week, when rosters have been set, all 53 salaries, practice squad and injured reserve count against the cap. The Rams have signed wide receiver Brandin Cooks (five years, $80 million) and running back Todd Gurley (four years, $60 million) to extensions this offseason. Cooks has 280 catches for 3,943 yards and 27 touchdowns in four NFL seasons. He was acquired this offseason from New England.Rams coach Sean McVay didn’t play most of his offense this entire preseason, including QB Jared Goff and Gurley. During seven games as a rookie in 2016, Goff threw five touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing 55 percent of his attempts. In 15 games last season, Goff posted a 28-to-7 TD-to-INT mark and completed 62 percent of his throws. He finished 10th in passing yards (3,804) and fifth in touchdowns.Gurley exploded for a league-high 2,093 yards and 19 touchdowns from scrimmage last year. One year after averaging a dreadful 3.2 YPC, Gurley exploded for 4.7 YPC. He saw his receiving workload increase dramatically in 2017, hauling in 64 passes for 788 yards after totaling 64 catches for 515 yards during his first two seasons.
Why Bet on Oakland?While the Rams are expected to have their defensive star and former Defensive Player of the Year back for Week 1, the Raiders aren’t expected to have theirs: 2016 DPOY Khalil Mack. Things are so sour around Mack and the team that the sides aren’t even speaking and Mack reportedly is ready to miss regular-season games (and game checks).The Raiders seem to be willing to trade Mack rather than pay him – but it would cost another team two first-round picks, according to reports. No club is doing that. A pair of first-round picks AND a new contract is a lot for a team to give up, even it means adding a defensive game-changer to the roster.As a team, the Raiders’ combined 56 sacks over the past two seasons are the second fewest in the league. And last season, when they had 31 sacks, only half of one of those sacks came from an interior defensive lineman. Thus, they need Mack, who has 40.5 career sacks, including three straight seasons with at least 10.5 sacks. Rookies Maurice Hurst, P.J. Hall and Arden Key have stepped up in Mack’s absence thus far.Oakland is set at QB with Derek Carr, although he regressed last year. After throwing 60 touchdowns and 19 interceptions during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, it appeared Carr — a second-round pick in 2014 — was well on his way to emerging as one of the game’s top passers. The wheels fell off in 2017, as Carr posted a 22-to-13 TD-to-INT mark while falling off in nearly all efficiency categories.It’s not clear who his backup will be. Recently asked who it is, new coach Jon Gruden responded, “I don’t know.” Connor Cook and E.J. Manuel have both been lousy this preseason. The Raiders could sign another backup after cuts.Oakland may have made some solid defensive moves this offseason, but the offense will be relying heavily on a quarterback who has underachieved, two older running backs (Doug Martin, Marshawn Lynch) and three wide receivers coming off poor 2017 seasons (Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson, Martavis Bryant).
Latest NFL Betting Trends for Rams at Raiders
- LA Rams are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 games overall.
- LA Rams are 1-6 ATS in the last 7 Monday games.
- LA Rams are 184-232 ATS in all games since 1992.
- Oakland is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 games in September.
- Oakland is 3-9-2 ATS in the last 14 games overall.
- Oakland is 76-105 ATS in home games since 1992.