Rams vs. Raiders odds: Picks, predictions for Jon Gruden's return by proven expert who is 13-1 on Los Angeles games

Monday Night Football features a classic battle pitting the self-assured young gun against the grizzled NFL legend. The Oakland Raiders host the Los Angeles Rams at 10:20 p.m. in the nationally-televised doubleheader finale. It's a matchup between reigning Rams Coach of the Year Sean McVay, 32, and 55-year-old John Gruden. While the Rams are eager to prove their NFC West crown won last year was no fluke, the Raiders seek redemption after a 6-10 campaign. The NFL odds have been moving rapidly in this game leading up to kickoff. The Rams are six-point road favorites, up big from a -2.5 open. The Over-Under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, has fallen from 49.5 to 47.5.

But before you make your Raiders vs. Rams picks, you need to see what R.J. White has to say. White, one of SportsLine's most proficient NFL prognosticators, cashed big in the world's most prestigious handicapping tournament, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest, tying for 18th out of 2,748 contestants with a 52-29-4 mark against the spread last year. It was the second time in three years he's gone deep. 

He is focused on the NFL season right now and is on a remarkable 13-1 hot streak on his selections involving the Rams. Anyone who has followed his advice is up big. He has scrutinized Rams vs. Raiders from every possible angle to reveal a strong point-spread pick that he's sharing only over at SportsLine.

White knows that Jared Goff, the overall No. 1 pick of the 2016 draft, was being written off as a major disappointment before completing his rookie season. But in 2017, with the unwavering support of McVay, Goff was nothing short of sensational. He raised every level of his game last season, significantly upping his completion accuracy, yards per game and touchdown total, which ballooned from 5 to 28. But his success was helped in large part by running back Todd Gurley, who racked up nearly 2,100 yards from scrimmage last season. Together, they made the Rams the highest-scoring team in the league.

Just because the Rams have plenty of firepower doesn't mean they'll cover on Monday night. Derek Carr is the Silver and Black's spark plug on offense. After a down year, Gruden's arrival could ignite a fire under the Raiders' signal-caller.

Carr must get his mojo back. His stats dropped significantly from 2016 to 2017 as he threw for nearly 500 fewer yards and six fewer touchdowns. And his interceptions rose drastically from six to 13. A successful Oakland season, and Monday Night Football showing, depends on striking just the right mix of pass and run.

Thankfully, the Raiders can count on two backfield heavyweights to accomplish that goal. Marshawn Lynch, now 32, rumbled for 891 yards and seven scores last season. He notched an impressive 4.3 yards per carry and was key in keeping drives alive with his third-down heroics. Former Buccaneer Doug Martin, who notched two 1,400-plus-yard seasons in Tampa Bay, expects to be a key component of the Oakland offense.

White has evaluated all of these circumstances and has found a critical stat that determines which side of the line you need to jump on.

So which side of the spread should you back for Rams vs. Raiders and which critical stat determines the outcome? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to be all over, from the expert who's on a monster 13-1 Rams heater, and find out.

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