LA Chargers: Score predictions for each AFC West game in Week 1
By Jason Reed
Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders
This is a game that I feel very strongly about and will probably end up actually betting on when it comes down to it. The Las Vegas Raiders host the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football and according to WynnBET, the Raiders are 4.5-point home underdogs in the game.
While some people are down on the Ravens because of how they played in the playoffs there is no denying that they are still an elite regular-season team. Sure, I do like the Browns to be one game better than the Ravens, but stopping Lamar Jackson and that running attack is still a really hard thing to do.
The Raiders also have one of the least talented rosters in the league. Derek Carr gets underrated because of the situation he is in. He does have some decent weapons but that is only because Darren Waller is a top-three tight end in the league. Henry Ruggs has to blossom into a true WR1 this season and behind him, it is not great.
The running attack should be fine with Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake but they are running behind an offensive line that got worse.
Defensively, the Raiders do not have a single true x-factor and brought in Gus Bradley thinking it would solve their woes. LA Chargers fans know that Bradley can seem like a good defensive coordinator when he has elite talent, which he doesn't have in Vegas.
The Raiders are going to implement the same "bend, don't break" defense that the LA Chargers ran and it is going to go terribly for them.
Let's also consider the fact that the Baltimore Ravens have made it a habit to blow out teams in Week 1, mostly because they are one of the best-coached teams in the league and prepare better than bad teams do when there is no footage for the season.
Last season the Ravens beat the Browns 38-6 in Week 1, the year prior they beat the Miami Dolphins 59-10 in Week 1 and the year before that (with Joe Flacco) they beat the Buffalo Bills 47-3 in Week 1. That is a combined 125 point differential in just three games!
The Ravens have not lost a Week 1 contest since the 2015 season. That streak will continue in 2021.
Final score prediction: Baltimore Ravens 34, Las Vegas Raiders 20