Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:02 AM
Monday's Tip Sheet
Jets at Lions (-6 ½, 44 ½) – 7:10 PM EST - ESPN
SAM I AM READY
Although Buffalo’s Josh Allen and Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson saw action at quarterback on Sunday, former USC standout Sam Darnold is the first rookie from this past NFL draft to start a regular season contest. Darnold beat out veteran Josh McCown for the starting position looking to improve a Jets’ squad that finished 5-11 last season, capped off by four consecutive losses.
Darnold began the preseason by throwing a touchdown pass in a 17-0 shutout of the Falcons, but the Jets lost the final three exhibition contests. The Jets head to Ford Field coming off a dreadful 1-7 record on the road last season, while picking up only one cover, which came as 16 ½-point underdogs in a 31-19 setback at New Orleans. In case you were wondering, the only victory away from Met Life Stadium for New York came at Cleveland, 17-14.
HE AIN’T LION
Matt Patricia makes his head coaching debut for Detroit following a successful run as defensive coordinator of the Patriots. The Lions lost three of four preseason games, including both contests at Ford Field to the Browns and Giants. In the lone preseason victory at Tampa Bay, the Lions erased a 27-6 deficit to stun the Bucs, 33-30.
Patricia inherits a team that is coming off consecutive 9-7 seasons, but the franchise is seeking its first playoff victory since 1991. The Lions began 2017 with a solid 3-1 record and even owned a 6-4 mark through 10 games. However, Detroit split its final six games as nine wins was not enough to make the postseason for the second consecutive year.
Since losing the infamous Calvin Johnson non-touchdown catch game at Chicago in 2010, the Lions have captured six of their past seven season openers. In this span, Detroit is 4-0 at Ford Field, including rallying from an early 10-0 deficit in a 35-23 victory over Arizona as two-point underdogs in 2017. The Lions are hosting a Week 1 Monday night affair for the first time since 2014, when Detroit blew out the other New York club by beating the Giants, 35-14 as 6 ½-point favorites.
The last time the Lions and Jets hooked up came back in 2014 at Met Life Stadium as Detroit grabbed a 24-17 triumph as two-point underdogs. Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns, while wide receiver Golden Tate hauled in eight receptions for 116 yards. The Jets’ signal-caller that day was Geno Smith, who compiled 209 yards passing to go along with a touchdown and interception as the Lions led by as many as 14 points in the second half.
The Jets won in their most recent trip to Ford Field in 2010 as Mark Sanchez threw for 336 yards in a 23-20 overtime victory. However, Detroit covered as a 5 ½-point home underdog.
This game opened with the Lions listed as six-point favorites at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, but has crept up to 6 ½ points at most outlets. The total opened at 44, but is up to 44 ½ and even 45 at several books. Last season, Detroit cashed the OVER in six of eight games at Ford Field, including three of four times in the favorite role.
Rams (-4 ½, 48) at Raiders – 10:15 PM EST – ESPN
Jon Gruden spent four seasons as the head coach of the Raiders from 1998-2001 as he lead Oakland to consecutive AFC West titles in his final two seasons. Gruden’s final game with the Raiders was the famous “Tuck Rule” game in the playoff overtime loss to the Patriots, which began New England’s dynasty. After a successful run as the analyst on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, Gruden is back in the East Bay looking to restore the Silver and Black to excellence.
The Raiders started 2017 with plenty of promise after beating the Titans and Jets by double-digits. However, Oakland fell apart by losing 10 of the final 14 games, while the Raiders scored 17 points or less in all 10 defeats. Following a 6-2 record at the Oakland Coliseum in their playoff run of 2016, the Raiders slipped to 4-3 at the Black Hole last season, while their other “home” game in Mexico was a 25-point blowout at the hands of the Patriots.
In his first season as the head man in Los Angeles, Sean McVay helped ramp up a mediocre Rams’ attack as L.A. scored at least 30 points in eight games. The Rams captured their first NFC West title since 2003 by finishing 11-5 before getting tripped up by the Falcons in the Wild Card round. Quarterback Jared Goff threw 28 touchdown passes compared to seven interceptions, while running back Todd Gurley racked up 1,305 yards on the ground.
The Rams didn’t own much of a home-field advantage at the L.A. Coliseum by going 4-4, but Los Angeles posted a tremendous 7-1 road record, including five wins in the favorite role. However, the Rams put together a 3-2 ATS mark in those five road chalk affairs, but finished OVER the total in all five of those opportunities.
MONDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
Los Angeles is making only its third appearance on Monday night football since 2013. The Rams were last on Monday night two seasons ago following their move from St. Louis as the 49ers blasted Los Angeles, 28-0 in the 2016 opener. In this same stretch, the Raiders own a 1-2 record on Mondays, with their last win coming in Mexico against the Texans in 2016. The last time the Raiders hosted a Monday night affair came in 2012 as they lost to the Chargers in the season opener, 22-14.
The last time Derek Carr saw the Rams back in 2014, the Raiders were destroyed in St. Louis, 52-0. The Rams jumped out to a 38-0 halftime lead as quarterback Shaun Hill threw two touchdown passes, while running back Tre Mason found the end zone twice. That season, the Raiders finished in last place of the AFC West at 3-13, while this loss was amazingly not the worst in franchise history as they suffered a 55-0 defeat to the Oilers in 1961.
The Raiders beat the Rams in L.A.’s last trip to Oakland in 2010 by a 16-14 count as three-point favorites. The last victory for the Rams on the road in this series came in 2006 by a 20-0 shutout as Steven Jackson rushed for 127 yards and two scores.
In early May, CG Technologies released the Raiders as 1 ½-point favorites, but the Rams have flipped to a 4 to 4 ½-point favorite at most books. The total opened at 49 ½ before briefly dropping to between 47 ½ and 48 at many outlets.
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