The 2021 MNF schedule opened up with a thrilling overtime finish, and we were just treated to another one in Week 5. As the NFL calendar moves along, this week’s edition brings us a meeting of AFC playoff contenders under the bright primetime lights
We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about betting on Monday Night Football all season long, including the best MNF odds at online sportsbooks. See the full lineup of this week’s NFL odds & lines here.
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When the NFL schedule gets released in the offseason, it doesn’t take too long for many eyes to zero in on which teams are locked into the coveted Monday Night Football time slot. Schedule makers do their best to put the most appealing matchups on in primetime, and they’ve done a pretty solid job year after year. Here’s what we have to look forward to on Monday Night Football in 2021.
Las Vegas Raiders 33, Baltimore Ravens 27 (OT)
The Ravens walked onto the field as 3-point road favorites, and it was looking like a sure cover when they pushed the lead to 24-17 with about six minutes to go. Then one of the most entertaining stretches of football you could ask for happened. The teams traded scores and wound up knotted up at 27 apiece as the fourth quarter clock expired. Derek Carr hit Zay Jones for a 31-yard TD in extra time to give the hosts a thrilling walk-off victory.
Green Bay Packers 35, Detroit Lions 17
After getting thoroughly outplayed by the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, the stage was set for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to make a statement at home under the MNF lights. Let’s just say that they delivered. Rodgers threw for four scores, and Aaron Jones made four trips to the end zone as Green Bay put on a show for the home faithful, easily covering the 11.5-point spread.
This one wasn’t as close as the final score suggested. The Cowboys had their way with the Eagles in a 20-point home win, easily covering as 3.5-point favorites. Dak Prescott threw for three scores while Ezekiel Elliott found the end zone twice on the ground. The two teams crushed the total of 52 points, pushing the year to date MNF Over mark to 3-0.
Two of the more impressive teams through the first three weeks of the season hooked up for a highly-anticipated showdown in La-La land. The Chargers got out to a 21-0 lead at the half and kept things under control after the break for a decisive win. Justin Herbert threw for three scores to outduel Derek Carr as Los Angeles staked its claim as best in the AFC West.
It was looking like the Colts were cruising to a big road upset as they held a 22-3 lead late in the third quarter. Then Lamar Jackson and the rest of the Baltimore offense came to life. Jackson threw for four TDs from that point, including the game-winner to Marquise Brown in extra time. The Ravens go to 4-1 with the win while the Colta fall to 1-4.
After falling flat in the opener, the Bills have hit the gas pedal. The team has ripped off four straight wins and has a massive point differential of +108 on the year. Meanwhile, the Titans have been up and down, but they’re still on top of the AFC South with a mark of 3-2. Buffalo is an early 5.5-point favorite in this meeting of AFC playoff contenders.
Primetime games under the lights in Seattle are typically rather electric. The 12th man of the Seahawks has a lot to do with that, and you can expect the crowd to be particularly amped when the Saints come knocking in Week 7.
Big Blue hasn’t seen the playoffs in several seasons, and the team has a massive test on its hand with a road trip to Kansas City. NFL MVP odds favorite Patrick Mahomes seems to always deliver something special when the lights shine the brightest.
Two of the league’s most historic franchises are set to battle on MNF in Week 9. It’s an inter-conference showdown of two clubs with postseason ambitions as the Bears travel to take on the Steelers in primetime.
The Rams and 49ers both have winning the NFC West on their to-do list for 2021. A case can be made for all four squads to win the division, so each of the rivalry games takes on that much more significance this season.
The Giants have another incredibly challenging MNF road assignment in Week 11. It’s off to Tampa to take on the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers with the eyes of the NFL squarely planted on this primetime tilt.
A pair of division winners in 2020 hook up in the nation’s capital on MNF. The Seahawks were expected to be in the postseason, but it was a surprising run for Washington. By Week 12, we should have a good sense of where things stand for both clubs.
We saw a changing of the guard in the AFC East last season as the Bills broke the Patriots lengthy stranglehold on the division. This December divisional tilt should provide some fantastic insight into how the race will shake out this time around.
The Rams take their act on the road to face off with an NFC West foe once again on MNF. The division race appears poised to be uber-competitive in 2021, so this mid-December MNF affair should help sort things out.
Longtime NFC North rivals get set to face off in the final MNF game before the holidays. Fans of both the Vikings and Bears have lots on the wish list for 2021, and this could be a crucial late-season battle for positioning.
A 10-win season wasn’t enough for Miami to get to the playoffs in 2020, but this is (or should be) a team on the rise. Meanwhile, a Saints club with a changing of the guard behind center may have its work cut out to remain in the playoff conversation.
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers
This late-season rivalry game could have big ramifications on both the AFC North and the Wild Card picture. It’s also a rematch from last year’s playoffs for which the host Steelers will be looking for some revenge against the visiting Browns.
When there’s only a single NFL game on, you can be sure it’ll attract plenty of attention from sports bettors. That’s precisely the case with the NFL’s Monday Night Football. In addition to being the only football game on for the evening, it also marks the final time for viewers to get their NFL betting fix until the Thursday Night Football game odds are out.
On Mondays, debates will go on not only about which side will win, but also what the total may be and whether the spread will be covered. While those three types of wagers see a ton of action, there are also other ways for bettors to get in on the game.
For the single-game NFL broadcasts, prop bets become even more popular than the average Sunday. Since it’s the only game going, these wagers on specific events within the game make for other ways for bettors to take their chances. For those who like to wager and watch at the same time, live betting is gaining in popularity.
You can bet right along with MNF as the action plays out on your screen. Live betting is the way to do it. This is a fast-growing segment of the sports betting marketplace, and many sportsbooks have gone all in. Bets and odds will vary based on what’s happening, but here are some examples of the kinds of opportunities you should come across.
Live betting opens the doors to more profit opportunities and bet types for the game. Even better, you can stay on top of all of the action with ease via legal sports betting apps.
On an all-time basis, favorites have done pretty well on Monday Night Football. Naturally, you can’t just blindly bet on all favorites and expect to come out ahead, but it’s food for thought when we’re talking about particularly strong home or road favorites.
The lights shine brightly on MNF with the eyes of the football world watching. It certainly makes sense for teams to go in with designs on making a statement.
Here are some other basic tips you can keep in your back pocket for handicapping the Monday Night Football slate .
One other note to keep in mind: just because it’s the last NFL game for a few days, resist any urge to go overboard. This is especially true after you’ve had a bad week and are looking to MNF as a chance to ‘get even.’
As opposed to doing that, assess what went wrong in the past week and learn from it. Stick to your normal unit size and comfort level for Monday Night Football and enjoy the game, or simply take a pass if you can’t make heads or tails of what’s going to happen.
Sunday slates of NFL games are incredibly busy, but the spotlight on Monday Night Football is reserved for just two teams. For bettors, that means the dual benefits of just a single matchup to focus on as well as extra time to dig into the numbers.
How many points may or may not be scored will be a big talking point, and history can sometimes be a useful guide. Here’s how the totals broke down over the last three seasons of MNF.
When a primetime game is on tap, thoughts often turn to lots of points on the scoreboard. While this is a small sample size, the last three seasons have trended towards the Under being the right call more often than not.
However, that’s impacted by the clear advantage for the Under on totals results in 2019. For the other two seasons, it was close to even on both sides. For MNF and any other NFL game, remember to use trends as a supporting point and not the only factor to lean on.
Legendary moments and Monday Night Football seem to go hand-in-hand. Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s the only game going on that makes them stand out, but some players just seem to really step it up under the MNF spotlight. Here’s a look back at some of the record-setting performances.
Monday Night Football has been around since 1970, so each NFL team has had plenty of turns. Naturally, some of the top franchises have been on the game more often than their counterparts. Here’s a side-by-side look at the total number of appearances and records for both the AFC and NFC teams.
|AFC Team||# of Games||Record||NFC Team||# of Games||Record|
|Miami Dolphins||85||42-43||Dallas Cowboys||82||47-35|
|Denver Broncos||75||32-42-1||San Francisco 49ers||78||49-29|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||74||49-25||Washington Football Team||73||28-45|
|Las Vegas Raiders||71||41-29-1||Chicago Bears||72||32-40|
|New York Jets||56||22-34||New York Giants||69||25-43-1|
|New England Patriots||52||27-25||Green Bay Packers||68||35-32-1|
|Kansas City Chiefs||47||28-19||Philadelphia Eagles||64||36-28|
|Los Angeles Chargers||47||22-25||Minnesota Vikings||64||30-34|
|Buffalo Bills||45||19-26||Los Angeles Rams||63||30-33|
|Tennessee Titans||42||24-18||New Orleans Saints||46||23-23|
|Indianapolis Colts||41||23-18||Atlanta Falcons||43||15-28|
|Cincinnati Bengals||37||12-25||Seattle Seahawks||37||27-10|
|Cleveland Browns||33||16-17||Detroit Lions||36||16-19-1|
|Baltimore Ravens||25||14-11||Arizona Cardinals||27||10-16-1|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||15||8-7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||24||12-12|
|Houston Texans||14||5-9||Carolina Panthers||17||10-7|
The kickoff time for Monday Night Football is 8:15 p.m. EST. There’s a MNF game on the docket from the opening week of the regular season through Week 17, but no contest for the final set of games in Week 18. ESPN provides extensive pregame coverage throughout the day with the Monday Night Countdown show beginning well before kickoff.
ESPN has been the home for Monday Night Football since the 2006 season. Sister network ABC previously had the rights to MNF from its debut in 1970 through 2005, and will also jump in with simulcast coverage at times, including NFL Week 1 in 2021.
Both networks can be found on virtually all cable packages. If you’ve moved away from cable, ESPN and ABC can also both be located in a wide range of streaming services, but be sure to confirm availability before signing up.
There isn’t a Monday Night Football game scheduled for Week 18, which means that the Sunday Night Football telecast for that week is the final game of the regular season.
Viewers can also catch the broadcast online or via the WatchESPN app. However, this still requires a subscription to a valid cable TV package. You can find ESPN on several streaming options if you have moved away from cable.
ESPN will also offer up a feed for online and mobile viewers, but please note that you’ll need valid sign-in credentials from your provider to access. Online viewers can visit ESPN.com and sign in, while mobile users can download the ESPN app and do the same. The Yahoo Sports app also has coverage of local and primetime NFL games and is available for both iOS and Android users
A new team was tapped to handle the broadcasting duties for MNF beginning in 2020, and the band will remain together for the coming season. Steve Levy takes care of the play-by-play, while Brian Griese and Louis Riddick are on board for commentary.
Lisa Salters serves as the primary sideline reporter with John Parry serving as rules analyst. Suzy Kolber is the host for the pregame Monday Night Countdown show, and she’s joined by Randy Moss, Steve Young, Adam Schefter, and Booger McFarland for commentary.