After years of construction, Allegiant Stadium is finally ready. Tonight, NFL football will indeed be played in Las Vegas, as Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints head to Sin City to try their luck against Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders. Sean Payton's squad is fresh off of a 34-23 win against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With the lack of a preseason, it wasn't the Saints' cleanest performance, but Alvin Kamara's two touchdowns were enough to score a divisional victory. The Raiders also won their Week 1 matchup, a 34-30 victory against the Carolina Panthers. Josh Jacobs had 139 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns, but it will be tough to repeat that performance against New Orleans' defense.
The Saints have won three out of the past four against the Raiders, and the all-time series is tied at 6-6-1. With Brees potentially entering his final season in the NFL, the Saints are more motivated than ever to make it back to the Super Bowl. The Raiders are just trying to make the postseason in a tough division and build on their 7-9 campaign that had its bright spots last year.
Below, we will get you caught up on the most intriguing betting angles to get you locked in before kickoff. All odds are via William Hill Sportsbook.
How to watch
Saints (-5.5) at Raiders
The line has moved around quite a bit, but the Saints have always been clear favorites. Last Monday, the line was Saints -5.5 but moved to Saints -6.5 on Tuesday. Eventually, it fell back to Saints -5.5.
The pick: Saints -5.5. The Saints didn't put together a good performance in Week 1, yet they still beat the 2020 offseason champions by double digits. With this game being on the road in a new and exciting environment against a lesser opponent, it could be something that leads to a big game from New Orleans. I still trust the Saints offense even without Michael Thomas, as Emmanuel Sanders can step up in his place and tight end Jared Cook recorded five receptions for a team-high 80 yards last Sunday. Additionally, Kamara appears to finally be healthy and will again make an impact on the ground and through the air. As far as the Saints' defense, I was impressed with what I saw in Week 1. Cameron Jordan and Demario Davis are legitimate stars while the secondary is in good hands with Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins. Even safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson led the team with 10 tackles against the Buccaneers. Give me the Saints by a touchdown.
Over/Under 48.5 points
The Over/Under actually opened at 51.5, but has fallen to 48.5 since. One has to wonder if Thomas' availability affected this.
The pick: Under 48.5. This is one of the higher Over/Under totals this week according to William Hill, so I'm leaning towards taking the Under.
Alvin Kamara and Jared Cook to score touchdowns: (+350). Kamara scored two touchdowns last week and Cook was the leading receiver with 80 yards. I believe the former Raider will get into the end zone on Monday night, as will Kamara.
Latavius Murray total rushing attempts: Over 8.5 (Was +100, now -115). Murray averaged a little over nine rushes per game last season for the Saints. Obviously those stats were a bit inflated because of Kamara's health, but he did lead the Saints in rushes and rushing yards against the Buccaneers with 15 rushes for 48 yards. He's a legitimate part of this offense and will easily clear nine carries if New Orleans jumps out to an early lead and needs to chew up the clock.
Derek Carr total passing completions: Under 23.5 (-110). According to SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh, Carr's projected stats on Monday night are 21.2 completions for 239 yards and 1.4 touchdowns -- so he expects Carr to hit the Under on this prop. Carr completed 25 or more passes only six times last season, so it's not something that happens more often that not. Even though Las Vegas trailed Carolina in the fourth quarter last week, Carr still completed just 22 passes. Another thing worth pointing out is that while the Saints as a whole did not play well in their season opener, the secondary did. Tom Brady completed just 23 passes and also threw a couple on interceptions, so I'm going to take the Under for Carr's completions this week.
Now off board:
Alvin Kamara total rushing touchdowns: Over 0.5 (+190). Kamara rushed for just five touchdowns last season, but it was pretty clear he wasn't healthy for the majority of the year. He rushed for eight touchdowns during his rookie season and 14 in his second season, and I feel like he's ready to have another great year now that he's back to 100 percent. He only rushed 12 times against the Bucs but did record a rushing touchdown. The Saints put an emphasis on him in the red zone last week, so I'm going to bet he rushes for a touchdown on Monday night. Thomas being out only helps this prop's chances in my mind.