The Oakland Raiders won 12 games last year. Then they threw it all away. This year’s “Oakland” squad looks like a bad football pick to go 'over' nine wins in 2017.
It was so nice having the Oakland Raiders (12-4 SU, 10-6 ATS) in our NFL picks last year. They were a tremendous “buy-low” opportunity, on the cusp of emerging from their 13-year playoff drought. They had a bright young quarterback in Derek Carr – he ended up sixth in DVOA last year at Football Outsiders, ahead of guys like Aaron Rodgers (No. 8) and Ben Roethlisberger (No. 9). And they were the Oakland Raiders. Playing in the Pacific Time Zone usually brings enhanced betting value, since fewer people are watching across the country.
This year, fewer people will be watching at home, too. The Raiders have announced they’re moving to Las Vegas, but they’re going to keep playing in Oakland until they’re ready to leave. Yeah, that’s not a healthy relationship. And their 2017 schedule isn’t doing them any favors. So now the regular-season win totals have hit the NFL odds board, and the Raiders are pegged at 9.5 wins with the 'over' at -120. Of course we’re going to recommend the 'under.' All day, e’ry day.
We don’t even need the Las Vegas angle to make this pick. The Raiders don’t have that new Carr smell anymore; expectations are higher this year, and they’re probably too high after the 2016 club won 12 games. According to Football Outsiders, Oakland’s performance level last year was good enough for 8.8 Estimated Wins – and the same for Pythagorean wins. That’s a reasonable baseline expectation for 2017.
Will the Raiders even win nine games this season? Carr broke his leg in Week 16; he’s apparently healthy now, but he also wants a contract extension before training camp. Marshawn Lynch has come out of retirement to be their new running back; he’s an Oakland native, so that’s nice, but Lynch is also 31 years old and he ran for just 3.8 yards per carry with the Seattle Seahawks in 2015.
If Marshawn Lynch gets 1,000 yards rushing next season I'll give everyone who retweets this 15lt;/em>— ??ichigan Football?? (@MichiganFutball) April 27, 2017
But wait, there’s more: First-round draft pick Gareon Conley (No. 24 overall) is under investigation for sexual assault. The Raiders chose Conley anyway after the ex-Ohio State cornerback reportedly passed a polygraph test, but the ongoing investigation should last well into the summer regardless. Add all these question marks to a team that’s playing a lame-duck season(s) with a tough schedule at an absolutely dreadful stadium, and you don’t get much room left for error.
Here’s how we see the 2017 campaign shaking out for the Raiders here at the home office, a .500 record. Gaze into the crystal prolate spheroid...
Week 1: at Tennessee LOSS
Week 2: vs. N.Y. Jets WIN
Week 3: at Washington LOSS
Week 4: at Denver LOSS
Week 5: vs. Baltimore WIN
Week 6: vs. L.A. Chargers WIN
Week 7: vs. Kansas City WIN
Week 8: at Buffalo LOSS
Week 9: at Miami LOSS
Week 11: vs. New England (in Mexico City) LOSS
Week 12: vs. Denver WIN
Week 13: vs. N.Y. Giants WIN
Week 14: at Kansas City LOSS
Week 15: vs. Dallas LOSS
Week 16: at Philadelphia WIN
Week 17: at L.A. Chargers WINCheck Out An In-Depth Analysis Of Raiders 2017 Schedule