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What better way to open a brand-new stadium than with an upset win? That's what the Las Vegas Raiders will try to pull off Monday night against the New Orleans Saints (-5.5, 49.5) in their first game at Allegiant Stadium.
Here are our favorite trends, props, and bets for Monday night.
In many ways, this is an excellent spot for the Saints. Since 2016, they're 11-3 against the spread as road favorites, and they've covered 17 of their last 21 road games sandwiched between two home contests. They've also covered four of their last five games dating back to last season following an 11-point win over Tampa Bay in Week 1.
Will that victory result in a letdown this week? New Orleans is 3-8-1 ATS in its last 12 games after a divisional win. The team is also 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games on Monday night, while the Raiders have covered in four of their last five MNF affairs.
The strongest trend play in this one is the under, which is on a 10-4 Monday night run that began in Week 4 last season. Las Vegas has gone under in four straight Monday night games and seven of its last nine in prime time. The Saints, meanwhile, are 8-2-1 to the under in night games since 2017.
The high total here helps, too. Since 2017, the Raiders are 9-2-1 to the under when the total is 49.5 or higher, and the Saints are 9-4 to the under over their last 13 in that spot. Las Vegas is also 7-3 to the under in its last 10 as a home underdog.
Jared Cook to score a touchdown (+140)
With Michael Thomas on the shelf, the Saints will need someone to step up as a primary target over the middle against a vulnerable Raiders pass defense. Insert Cook, who was second on the team in targets (seven) in Week 1 and has scored a touchdown in seven of his last 11 games.
The Raiders' linebackers allowed 10 touchdowns in coverage in 2019, and new addition Cory Littleton gave up four TDs with the Rams last year, tied for the seventh-most among linebackers. Touchdown props can be volatile, but there's too much value here in a favorable spot for Cook.
Josh Jacobs over 68.5 rushing yards (-112)
Yes, the Saints haven't allowed a 100-plus-yard rusher in 44 games. Still, this number is too low. Jacobs is averaging 88.8 rushing yards per game since he was drafted in 2019 and has recorded over 68 yards in 11 of his 14 career games - and one of those three misses was a 66-yard effort.
The Raiders' second-year back logged 93 rushing yards a week ago against Carolina, and he should be the focus of Las Vegas' offense while the club tries to shorten the game and keep it close, forcing Drew Brees to make plays with Thomas out.
The Raiders' hands will be full while trying to stop the Saints' intermediate passing game, but they won't need to fear a full-scale aerial assault from Brees. The veteran QB attempted just four deep passes last week and was tied for the fewest air yards per completion (3.2) of any Week 1 starter - and that was with Thomas playing most of the game.
Las Vegas shouldn't struggle to put up points, and its biggest weakness is mitigated with Thomas sidelined. Expect the Raiders to force-feed Josh Jacobs on offense, which should keep the clock ticking and the game close until the end.
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.