2012 Monday Night Football Doubleheader Preview
Tonight (Monday, September 10), NFL betting fans across the United States and Canada are in for a treat because they can look forward to a Week 1 Monday Night Football doubleheader to celebrate the start of the new season.
The first Monday Night Football matchup will start at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore at 7:00 PM ET, where the Baltimore Ravens will host the Cincinnati Bengals, while the second MNF matchup will start at 10:15 PM ET at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, where the Oakland Raiders will host the San Diego Chargers.
Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens Preview
Looking at game one, most online sportsbooks including Sports Interaction, have laid Baltimore as the -7 point favorites over the Bengals in this AFC North division matchup. There are many reasons for this, not least the fact that the Ravens ended last season on 12-4, compared to their rival's 9-7.
But more importantly, in both of their showdowns last season, the Ravens pipped the Bengals in the fourth quarter, even though the latter's offense appeared to be firing on all cylinders. So, in the off season the Bengals added some new players to their offensive lineup, which may give them an advantage.
The Ravens, meanwhile, used the off season to bolster their defensive lineup by bringing Paul Kruger and Albert McClellan on board. But most eyes will be on Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, who is expected to throw the ball more. And, judging by his preseason stats - where in just two quarters he completed 27 of 36 passes for 266 yards with two TDs - he seems more than up to the job.
It seems unlikely that the Bengals will get the upper hand this evening. Our pick: Ravens 32, Bengals 25.
Bengals vs Ravens Odds at Sports Interaction
Cincinnati +7.0 1.91 Baltimore -7.0 1.91 +69
San Diego Chargers vs Oakland Raiders Preview
Game two of the Monday Night Football doubleheader will see the Oakland Raiders host the San Diego Chargers in what is expected to be a much tighter, harder to call game than the first game of the evening. The reason being that these AFC West divisional rivals are far more evenly matched, both having ended last season on 8-8. As such, bookmakers have laid the Raiders as the slight -1 point favorites.
Both teams used the off season to plug any gaping holes. For the Raiders, that meant installing Reggie McKenzie as the team's new general manager (who replaces the late and great Al Davis), hiring Dennis Allen as head coach (the youngest HC in the NFL at age 39), and adding 23 new players to the roster, including all five cornerbacks.
In terms of the Chargers, John Pagano (formerly the team's linebackers coach) will start as defensive coordinator this season, while 16 new players have been added to the lineup, including many talented youngsters courtesy of the draft. These include defensive end Kendall Reyes and outside linebacker Melvin Ingram, both of whom are expected to come to the party this year.
Both the Chargers and the Raiders used the off season to bolster their respective defensive units - but particularly the Chargers with regards to their third-down defense. Last season the San Diego proved to have the worst defense of any NFL franchise since 1995, allowing their rivals to convert almost 50% of third downs.
Despite their underdog status, we believe the Chargers will win tonight. Our pick: Chargers 15, Raiders 12.
Chargers vs Raiders Odds at Sports Interaction
San Diego +1.0 1.91 Oakland -1.0 1.91 +69