Week 1 Monday Night Football

[6.7 Units] Oakland Raiders (+4) at home with Rams

6.7 Units – OAK +3.5 or more

3.5 Units – OAK +3

No Action – OAK +2.5 or less

In 2016, the Raiders went 12-4 and looked like they had the young core in place to rattle off a long run of winning seasons.  That all came to a halt last year when the Raiders stumbled to a 6-10 record before canning Del Rio in favor of none other than Jon Gruden himself.  In 2016, Goff looked like potentially one of the bigger QB busts of all times, as the Rams went 4-12.  Last year, Goff was a legitimate MVP candidate, as the Rams ripped off 11 wins.  Clearly, a lot of things have changed for both teams over the last couple of years, but there is definitely a difference in public sentiment for each of these teams moving forward.  People LOVE the Rams right now…and why wouldn’t you?  They added Suh to pair with Aaron Donald on the interior D-line, got Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib from the Chiefs and Broncos, respectively, to start at corner, and added Brandin Cooks from the Patriots.  This was all accomplished while getting Gurley a new deal and not losing anyone a Rams fan would be sad to see go.  We get it; they have some big name guys at key positions.  

On the flip side, Khalil Mack got traded to the Bears for future picks and the public now thinks the Raiders defense is going to be trash after Mack singlehandedly dismantled the Packers during the first half last night.  We understand that 95% of the public is on the Rams and this GreenZone play usually gets our subscribers feeling uncomfortable early in the season.  That is ok though, we don’t get blinded by names or by off-season hype.  Our models see this game as about a pick ‘em for the Raiders at home.  The spread has bounced all the way out to +6 at time of writing and that HAS to be due to the Mack showcase on Sunday night.  One move a lot of people aren’t talking about is the starting of the 15th overall selection at LT for the Raiders.  Rookie, Kolton Miller, played well enough in camp and preseason to bump Donald Penn to RT.  The same Donald Penn who has made multiple Pro-Bowls and is perennially a top tackle.  The edge rushers and linebackers for this Rams defense leave a lot to be desired.  If the two tackles can take care of business on islands (we think they will), you are going to be surprised by how effective this Carr/Gruden led offense can be against the vaunted Rams D.  A now 6-point home dog for a team that could easily win 9 to 11 games is the type of scary value we have to take advantage of early in the year!  Trust the system, not the media, or your gut on this one.  Let’s get to a 5-2 Week 1 finish and stack those units!