For Week 8’s Monday Night Football matchup the Las Vegas Raiders (3-4) head to Detroit to take on the 5-2 Lions. This is a game with huge question marks, as related to the point spread, given the health of QB Jimmy Garappolo. Garappolo hurt his back in the Raiders Week 6 victory over the Patriots and missed last week.
The Raiders started an inept Brian Hoyer in Week 7 and eventually went to rookie Aidan O’Connell in their loss to the Chicago Bears. The Raiders will face the 9th best defense per DVOA which isn’t a good sight to see for either backup QB. That being said, we’ve gotten some news regarding Garappolo that he might be able to suit up on Monday night.
It’s hard to recommend a play on the point spread given how much impact Jimmy G will have on the team. We’re already seeing some range to the market as some books are at -8.5 and some at -7.5 on the game.
Given the state of the Raiders roster I have to believe that the Lions should be a -7 or better favorite regardless of whether Jimmy G plays or not. Yet, I think a line of -8.5 cannot imply that he’s in and should we get positive news on his health, we could see this line adjusted by two full points or more.
This could be considered a “bounce back” spot for Detroit after they no showed against Baltimore in Week 7. In our Sunday best bets article we talked at length about how this was a huge step in the right direction for Baltimore and how many positive takeaways I had from their performance. This was kind of a level set for the Detroit defense as perhaps they’ve been overrated this season.
Going matchup by matchup they played a Chiefs team on opening night without Kelce, were awful against Seattle, and then benefitted from poor quarterback play in the next four straight victories before running into Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. Aidan Hutchinson has been great for the Lions, and they are generating pressure against opposing Qbs. That being said, I don’t think this will end up being a top ten unit when it’s all said and done this year.
The total has also bounced around in this one, hovering around 46 right now but going to 45.5 or 46.5 at different points in the week. This would be an over or nothing for me as the Raiders injuries to the secondary are too meaningful for them to have a chance at stopping the Lions offense.
The Lions team total is sitting at 27.5 which I think is just a hair too high in a game that they aren’t going to be incentivized to run up the score. Without knowing who the QB is for the Raiders at this time makes it difficult to recommend a play on either the spread or total.
If we get news that Jimmy G is in and this line falls below 7 I would recommend a 1.5% play on Lions at -6.5 or 1% on Lions -7. If Jimmy G is confirmed out, I think this line holds around -8.5/-9.
The best play as of now is to put the Lions in a teaser as I believe they will come out with a victory regardless of who plays QB for the Raiders. The Raiders are the 25th ranked defense per DVOA and the Lions should have no problem moving the ball against them.
Amon-Ra St. Brown looks to be back and healthy and Jahmyr Gibbs has looked more comfortable in the feature back role, should David Montgomery continue to miss time.
At this point in the news cycle, my recommendation would be to tease Lions -7.5 with the Chargers -8.5 on a 1% play, 6-point teaser. Remember, you are looking for -120 or better when playing a teaser. We will wait out the injury news and circle back on Monday.