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The Baltimore Ravens will hope to get off to another fast start, but they'll face a stern test against the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night Football at Allegiant Stadium. The game in Las Vegas wraps up the NFL Week 1 schedule, and the Raiders' new home should be rocking as fans return after missing the gleaming venue's debut season because of the pandemic. The Ravens have dominated in recent season-openers, but they have been hit hard by injuries to the league's top running game. They went 11-5 last season and lost in the divisional round of the playoffs, while Las Vegas was 8-8 and missed the postseason for the fourth straight season.

Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET. Baltimore is a 3.5-point favorite in the latest Ravens vs. Raiders odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 50.5. Before you lock in your Raiders vs. Ravens picks or any other NFL predictions, you have to see which side SportsLine expert Mike Tierney is on.

A national sportswriter whose work appears in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, Tierney has covered the NFL for decades and reported from seven Super Bowls. Tierney does not consider himself a pet lover, but he likes 'dogs, preferring to evaluate each game from the underdog's point of view.

Tierney has used that philosophy to crush the NFL, going 187-147 against the spread the past three seasons. In addition, Tierney is an astounding 19-9 on his last 28 picks involving the Ravens. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Now, Tierney has broken down Ravens vs. Raiders. You can head to SportsLine to see the picks. Here are the betting lines and trends for Raiders vs. Ravens:

  • Ravens vs. Raiders spread: Baltimore -3.5
  • Ravens vs. Raiders over-under: 50.5
  • Ravens vs. Raiders money line: Baltimore -180, Las Vegas +155
  • BAL: Baltimore is 10-3 in season-openers under John Harbaugh
  • LAS: Franchise is 41-29-1 all-time on Monday Night Football

Why the Ravens can cover

Baltimore has lost its top two running backs to season-ending injuries, with J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards both out with torn ACLs. Still, Lamar Jackson was the team's top rusher with 1,005 yards a season ago, and Ty'Son Williams and Latavius Murray will fill in. They will face a Raiders defense that ranked 24th in the league in rushing defense (125.8 yards) and 30th in scoring (29.9). Jackson also can throw it (2,757 yards, 26 TDs) and has dangerous weapons in tight end Mark Edwards and receiver Marquise Brown, who combined for 116 catches and 15 TDs in 2020.

The Ravens are 5-0 against the spread in their past five season-openers, and the defense will be a test for the Raiders. The Ravens are 8-5 straight up in Monday Night Football road games under John Harbaugh (since 2008) and 7-1-0 ATS in their last eight games overall.

Why the Raiders can cover

The crowd will provide a big boost, and the home team is 7-2 against the spread in the last nine meetings between the teams. Las Vegas seems to always have a chance with David Carr running the offense, as he topped 4,000 passing yards for the third straight year in 2020. He also threw 17 TD passes and had just nine interceptions. His biggest weapon is tight end Darren Waller, who had 107 catches last season, and receiver Hunter Renfrow (56 receptions) and speedy Henry Ruggs are also quality options.

The Raiders also should do damage on the ground, with workhorse running back Josh Jacobs (1,065 yards, 12 TDs, questionable) joined by Kenyan Drake, who had 955 yards with Arizona in 2020. Vegas was seventh in the NFL in passing last season but 14th in rushing, so it should be more balanced. The defense has been overhauled after allowing almost 30 points per game in 2020, with Ravens end Yannick Ngakoue, tackle Quinton Jefferson and cornerback Casey Hayward among the additions. Rookie Tre'von Moehrig also is expected to make an immediate impact at safety. 

How to make Ravens vs. Raiders picks

For Monday Night Football, Tierney is leaning under on the total, but he also says a critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back. He's sharing what it is, and which side to back, only at SportsLine.

So who wins Ravens vs. Raiders on Monday Night Football? And what critical X-factor makes one side a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Raiders vs. Ravens spread you should be all over Monday night, all from the expert who's an eye-popping 19-9 on picks involving Baltimore.