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The Las Vegas Raiders have a history of thriving as home underdogs in prime-time games on a national stage. They will get a chance to do so again when they make their franchise debut in Sin City against the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. Kickoff from the brand-new Allegiant Stadium is set for 8:15 p.m. ET. Last year, the Raiders started their season in Oakland with a victory over the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football as a home underdog, and later did the same in a Thursday night showdown against the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Saints will be without star wide receiver Michael Thomas, who is dealing with a high ankle sprain. New Orleans is a four-point favorite after the spread moved as high as 5.5, while the over-under is 48.5 in the latest Raiders vs. Saints odds from William Hill. Before making any Saints vs. Raiders picks of your own, make sure you see what SportsLine senior analyst Larry Hartstein has to say

A former lead writer for Covers and The Linemakers, Hartstein combines a vast network of Vegas sources with an analytical approach he honed while working for Pro Football Focus. Last year, he went 58-39 on his against-the-spread NFL picks, giving his followers a profit of nearly $2,000.

He already has picked up where he left off, posting a 4-0 mark in Week 1. His winners included urging SportsLine members to back the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs (-9) against the Houston Texans. Kansas City cruised to a 34-20 victory, giving Hartstein's followers another easy winner.

In addition, he has also been in tune with the tendencies of these clubs, achieving a 28-16 record on against-the-spread picks involving the Saints or Raiders over the past four seasons. Anyone who has consistently followed him is way up.

Now, Hartstein has locked in on Raiders vs. Saints from every angle and released a confident against-the-spread pick. You can only see it here. Here are the NFL odds and betting trends for Saints vs. Raiders:

  • Raiders vs. Saints spread: New Orleans -4
  • Raiders vs. Saints over-under: 48.5 points
  • Raiders vs. Saints money line: New Orleans -210, Las Vegas +180
  • NO: The road team has covered four of the past five meetings in the series.
  • LV: Raiders are 6-2 against the spread in their last eight games as a home underdog.

Why the Saints can cover

The Saints built the core of their defensive front through the draft, with Cam Jordan, Marcus Davenport and Sheldon Rankins taken in the first round. David Onyemata recently signed a lucrative extension after being taken in the fourth round of the 2016 draft, while former New England Patriots stalwart Malcom Brown was signed as a free agent before the season. Davenport missed the opener with an elbow injury, but his teammates picked up the slack. Trey Hendrickson logged four tackles and a sack while playing 56 percent of the defensive snaps. 

The Saints also allowed just 86 rushing yards last week, a shade below last year's average of 93.9 yards per contest. That mark ranked fourth in the NFL

Why the Raiders can cover

The Raiders have worked to provide quarterback Derek Carr with a variety of weapons, and the effort appears to have paid dividends. Josh Jacobs, last year's first-round pick, looks like a franchise cornerstone. He had 93 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the opener. Tight end Darren Waller, who received a lucrative contract following a 90-catch campaign in his first season, grabbed six passes for 45 yards. 

Free agent pickup Devontae Booker should provide backfield depth. He rushed four times for 29 yards and also had three receptions for 23 yards last week. Wide receiver Nelson Agholor scored a touchdown on his lone reception, a 23-yard grab in the second quarter. The sure-handed Hunter Renfrow, drafted last year out of Clemson, caught two balls for 21 yards.

How to make Raiders vs. Saints picks

Hartstein has analyzed this matchup and while we can tell you he's leaning Under the total, he has discovered a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. He's only sharing it at SportsLine

Who wins Saints vs. Raiders on Monday Night Football? And what critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Saints vs. Raiders spread you should jump on Monday, all from the expert who is 28-16 on against the spread picks involving New Orleans or Las Vegas, and find out.