Things are happening in Oakland at a fast clip, but will it be enough to lift the team out of the NFL basement? Join us as we make some bold predictions for the Oakland Raiders in 2015.
Raiders Look To Improve In 2015
The Raiders finished a miserly 3-13 SU last season, but despite the lowly mark there seems to be ample positivity and bonhomie in Oakland. The ongoing rebuild in Oakland looks to be finally reaching a new stage; Derek Carr showed a lot of promise late last season and with several new targets at his disposal in 2015, including Crabtree, Cooper and Walford, he's one to spot in the maturation process. Of course, this doesn't mean the Raiders are going into the playoffs, bold though such a prediction would be and fitting for this column. But Raiders nation has much to be cheerful about in 2015.
So here are some bold predictions for the Oakland Raiders in 2015, with some handy NFL picks.
Regular Season Win Totals
Many fans are being wildly optimistic about the Raiders' prospects in 2015, particularly in the win column.
The guiding force: all the changes that have occurred on paper. Indeed, the Raiders have stocked up on some key positions which makes them look a lot better than they did in 2014. The additions of Crabtree, Walford and Cooper are going to give Carr intriguing offensive weapons. New head coach Jack Del Rio adds a new dimension on the strategic front while the defense looks to be better with Khalil Mack and seasoned veteran Charles Woodson.
Ultimately, though, much of it comes down to the play of Derrek Carr on the offensive side of the ball. Predicting that he'll take the side from 3-13 to anything above .500 isn't bold, unless bold is synonymous with ridiculous. This is a team that has underwhelmed three years in a row, winning just 11 out of 48 games.
Granted they've made positive changes, but games aren't played on paper. Rather they are played on the field and not until we see how all these new pieces come together can a prediction to go .500 or better be considered reasonably possible.
Keep in mind they have the seventh toughest NFL schedule this season with a winning percentage of 0.545. After clinching three wins with the toughest NFL schedule last season (0.578), it would be a massive leap to take 8 wins form a schedule that is essentially 0.030 percent easier. As such, we're boldly prediction the Raiders don't crack the 5.5 season win total. Take the UNDER 5.5 at -125 at Bet365.
Regular Season Points Scored
Last term, the Raiders were one of the lowest scoring teams putting up just 253 points. Where they ranked the worst was on differential of -199 after being outscored 253-452. The additions to the roster on the offensive and defensive side of the ball should see the Raiders improve. But by how much? Odds makers have rolled out regular season totals with the UNDER 251 trading at +200 NFL odds, while the 251-300 Inclusive trading at +170. OVER 300, meanwhile, is trading at +150. It's reasonable to assume that the Raiders would crack the 300 total. Consider they averaged 15.81 points per game last season. Going over 300 means an average of at least 18.75 per game. That's just three points more really. Take the Raiders to go OVER 300 at +150 on your NFL picks.