For this Monday Night Football piece we're going to center our philosophy entirely around what each of these teams seems to be missing as they come into the game.
For the Baltimore Ravens, it's the lack of running backs,and to a certain extent, wide receivers. As you may or may not know, the Ravens are playing without the three top running backs in their rotation (Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, JK Dobbins) as well as wide receivers Miles Boykin and Rashod Bateman.
The Las Vegas Raiders are more or less starting from square one as far as their offensive line is concerned. Kolton Miller is still there, but Gabe Jackson, Rodney Hudson and Trent Brown are gone, and Richie Incognito is out with a calf injury.
So let's keep things relatively simple as we give you our best NFL player props for tonight's game.
We also recommend reading our in-depth Ravens vs. Raiders week 1 preview.
Lamar Jackson Week 1 Props Pick: Over 18.5 Completions
MNF Props Odds: Over 18.5 Completions -125 / Under 18.5 Completions -105
Not that I would necessarily expect Jackson to be "pass happy," but I would, for this game, expect him to take things into his hands a little more. And rather than venture a guess as to how many yards he's going to have, the more judicious way to go is to look at the frequency with which he will exercise the passing attack.
With the running back shortage, Baltimore may elect to utilize the short passing game as sort of a substitute.
Over his last 30 games, Jackson has completed just under 17 passes per game. And he has topped this posted number just three times in his last 14 regular season starts.
But let's face it - this is an unusual personnel situation for them, so I would look for him to throw it more than he has normally done.
Lamar Jackson Week 1 Props Pick: Over 74.5 Rushing Yards
MNF Props Odds: Over 74.5 Yards -135 / Under 74.5 Yards -105
Yes, I would take an "over" here as well. In fact, I would expect that Jackson is going to fill that hole left by his running backs, and I wouldn't put it past offensive coordinator Greg Roman to call a number of designed runs. I would readily admit that we're getting closer to that stage of his career when Jackson is going to have to move more to a dropback game, because defenses are going to figure out ways to slow him down.
But he is a guy who's gone over 1000 yards on the ground two years in a row, and I wonder if the staff really trusts the ground game in the hands of Ty'Son Williams or any of these guys who haven't really practiced all that much with the team, like Le'Veon Bell or Latavius Murray or Trenton Cannon.
Let's put it this way - we may lose one of these Jackson prop bets,but we're not going to lose both. And I think we could sweep them.
Mark Andrews Week 1 Props Pick: Over 57.5 Receiving Yards
MNF Props Odds: Over 57.5 Receiving Yards -115 / Under 57.5 Receiving Yards -115
Listen, faced with a situation where he is missing running backs or doesn't have the big downfield threat in Bateman, Jackson is very likely to turn to a connection that has been very reliable during the short time he's been in the NFL. And that guy is Andrews, the tight end from Oklahoma whom he has turned into a star.
These two have had a 65% catch rate these last couple of seasons, and for what it's worth, Andrews has found the end zone in each of his last seven regular season games. He's the guy to watch.
Marquise Brown Week 1 Props Pick: Under 3.5 Receptions
MNF Props Odds: Over 3.5 Receptions -150 / Under 3.5 Receptions +120
He's been slowed down in training camp and missed a month with a bad hamstring. He is also the guy who is potentially most dangerous. He'll get attention.
We can't be all that certain how close to 100% he is, but he has just begun practicing. Will he be a big piece of the puzzle?
Derek Carr Week 1 Props Pick: Under 260.5 Passing Yards
MNF Props Odds: Over 260.5 Passing Yards -125 / Under 260.5 Passing Yards -105
Carr hasn't averaged more than this since his third year in the league. He's always been a pretty good "numbers" guy, but I wonder whether those numbers might get disrupted just a bit by faulty protection. For most of his career, Carr hasn't suffered a lot of sacks, although he took 51 in 2018 when his guys were banged up.