Las Vegas will host an NFL game for the first time ever tonight on Monday Night Football. The Raiders are officially the Las Vegas Raiders after moving from Oakland to Las Vegas. Las Vegas will likely host their first Super Bowl in the next five or six years as well. The Super Bowl in 2025 or 2026 seems like a lock for Vegas. It’s exciting to have a team in Vegas now, but it is sad to see Oakland lose out on their Raiders. There are a lot of passionate fans in Oakland that had to watch their team skip town.
In the first matchup in Las Vegas history, the New Orleans Saints and Raiders will clash at the brand new Allegiant Stadium. The Rams won their opener at the new SoFi Stadium, and the LA Chargers forced overtime against the high-flying Kansas City Chiefs. We’ll see if the Raiders hold strong in their home opener on Monday Night Football. They don’t get a cupcake out of the gate. Drew Brees and the Saints will be at Allegiant Stadium for the Raiders’ home opener.
The Saints are coming off an impressive win over the Tom Brady led Buccaneers. They dispatched the Bucs by a score of 34-23 to give Brady a loss in his first game with his new team. The Saints are a well-rounded team on offense and defense. This isn’t the same Saints team that has to rely solely on the shoulders of Brees. We’re fresh off a 3 for 3 night on our props and aim for more success in Las Vegas. Head below for our free New Orleans Saints vs. Las Vegas Raiders props picks for September 21, 2020 on Monday Night Football.
— Allegiant Stadium (@AllegiantStadm) September 19, 2020
Latavius Murray Rushing Yards
The Saints will be without Michael Thomas on Monday night. That’s Drew Brees’ favorite target. He’s been ruled out for this one, but fortunately his ankle appears to be healing quicker than the team anticipated.
He caught just 3 passes for 17 yards in Week 1 before getting the news of a high ankle sprain. Jared Cook led the Saints with 5 receptions for 80 yards. Emmanuel Sanders will move into a larger role for the Saints tonight.
I think what we’re going to see is a lot from the ground game. Between Latavius Murray and Alvin Kamara, expect Brees to hand the ball off to them plenty on Monday night. Murray led the Saints in Week 1 with 48 yards on 15 carries.
Kamara ran for 16 yards on 12 carries, so Murray was the better runner, while Kamara was more of a factor in the passing game. Kamara hauled in 5 receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown. He’s still going to be the feature back for the Saints despite a slow day rushing the ball in Week 1. He’s a Swiss Army knife that can do it all.
That said, Murray and Kamara will likely share the ball in the backfield. Murray will spill Kamara to keep his legs fresh. Kamara’s total here is 53.5 yards, while Murray is 30.5 rushing yards. Kamara is the bigger name, and still the better player overall, but Murray will still see around the same amount of snaps, give or take.
Also keep in mind that Murray will be playing his former team tonight. Murray spent 2014 to 2016 in Oakland. He might be motivated to impress his old team on Monday night. It’s a small thing, but could be a motivator for him. I’m on Latavius Murray to gain more than 30 yards rushing in Las Vegas on Monday night.
Alvin Kamara Receiving Yards
Right over to Murray’s running mate, Alvin Kamara. Like I noted above, Kamara is a Swiss Army knight who knows how to get it done from all eras on the field. He has the talent to run or catch out of the backfield, or line up in another spot and act as a receiver.
His hybrid role as a pass catcher and runner is going to earn him a lot of money in his next deal, which is reportedly close to being a done deal. Kamara has caught 248 receptions for 2,119 yards and 11 touchdowns in his career. This being his fourth year in the NFL.
Kamara reeled in 709 yards and 533 yards the last two years. After one game in 2020, he already has 51 yards and a touchdown. Michael Thomas will not be on the field to take receptions away from Kamara on Monday night.
Without Thomas, Kamara and Jared Cook have to be Brees’ favorite targets. Sanders will play a bigger role at wide receiver, but Kamara should get more opportunities in the passing game. This total looks a touch too low. The way I see it, this number should be 45ish yards or so. I’m backing Kamara to gain more than 37 receiving yards in Las Vegas.
Joshua Jacobs Receptions
The Oakland Raiders took the first wide receiver off the board in the draft and selected Henry Ruggs III. He was a speedster at Alabama and Jon Gurden had to pull the trigger on a receiver that would stretch the field. However, only two games into the season, Ruggs is questionable to play and might have to sit the home opener out. He was injured against the Carolina Panthers last week and came back into the game. Ruggs has missed practice throughout the week, but it appears that his status is a coin flip right now.
Ruggs led the Raiders in receiving last week with 55 yards on 3 receptions. If he is unable to play or even playing hobbled, that will free up opportunities for others in the offense. When Joshuah Jacobs has the ball in his hands good things tend to happen. Jacobs hit paydirt three times and rushed for 93 yards on 25 carries. He also caught 4 balls in the passing game to gain 46 yards as a receiver. Expect the Raiders to continue to use Jacobs as the focal point of the offense.
As a rookie, Jacobs wasn’t utilized as much as a receiver in 2019. He was fine with 20 receptions and 166 yards, but wasn’t much of a threat. The Raiders want to take Jacobs to the next level, though, and make him a dual-threat on the field. The 4 receptions he caught in Week 1 were the most in his NFL career. It’s clear that the Raiders worked hard in spring training to get Jacobs more involved in the passing game. He should be able to catch more than two passes from Derek Carr.