NFL Betting - Yes, The Oakland Raiders Are Popular Again

Oakland Raiders fan cheering for team

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 9:04 PM GMT

They might be one of football's biggest sad-sack stories of the new millennium, but those Oakland Raiders have returned to the spotlight by beating the NFL odds.

 

Record: 14-10-1 ATS, 4-7 Totals

A long, long time ago, the Oakland Raiders were the most popular team in football. We're talking ancient history here: the turn of the millennium. The Raiders had three straight years of double-digit victories starting in 2000, led by an elite quarterback in Rich Gannon and one of the NFL's most recognizable coaches in Jon Gruden. Or at least they did until they traded Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Whoops.

It's been a complete gong show ever since. Gruden led the Buccaneers to a surprise demolition of Bill Callahan's Raiders at Super Bowl XXXVII, winning 48-21 as 3.5-point underdogs. Oakland hasn't been to the playoffs since. But it looks like this ship has finally turned around; the Raiders are 5-2 SU and 4-3 ATS heading into Week 8 of the 2016 regular season, and now that they're winning again, they're one of this year's most popular NFL picks.
 

Pewter Science 101

So who do the Raiders play next? The Buccaneers (3-3 SU and ATS), of course. They'll tangle this Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, starting at 1:00 p.m. Eastern on CBS and this game is a pick 'em on the NFL odds board as we go to press. Those odds are very likely to change over the weekend, as Raiders fans go all-in and Buccaneers fans think twice about opening up their wallets and/or purses.

Life hasn't been very good for the Bucs since that Super Bowl win, either. They only made the playoffs twice in six more seasons on Gruden's watch, losing a pair of Wild Card games, and they haven't made the postseason since letting him go after the 2008 campaign. Four head coaches and six starting quarterbacks later, and Tampa Bay may or may not be back on track – we'll see how things develop in the Dirk Koetter-Jameis Winston Era. But bettors haven't been particularly impressed with this program just yet.

This sets up a potential “fade the public” spot once the floodgates open this weekend and bettors start pouring into the marketplace. The Raiders were already getting 55-percent support as a pick 'em on our early consensus reports; if that line moves closer to Oakland –2 by Sunday morning, it's well worth considering a value bet on Tampa Bay. Like the song says, buy low, sell high.

 

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