Last season the Raiders only won four games, and this season even with some nice free agent pick ups, they may not be much better than 2013. Even though there is cause for optimism, the Raiders are still a long way off from being valuable in the offseason NFL Odds.
Super Bowl (+10,000)
Last year the Terrelle Pryor experiment pretty much failed, and this season the Raiders are turning to a stopgap measure in Matt Schaub. The former Texans QB has a chance to reignite his career in Oakland behind a solid defense, however he is definitely not the long-term answer by the Bay. The question of who is the long-term answer under center may still be up in the air, and the guy who eventually takes over this job for the long haul may not even be on the Raiders’ current roster. However they do still have Matt McGloin who did show a few flashes in 2013, and of course they drafted Derek Carr in the second round of the draft this offseason. Whether or not one of these guys becomes the answer long-term, I can’t see it happening this season, so I can't recommend Oakland as a football betting pick to win the Super Bowl.
However outside of their quarterback situation, the rest of the Raiders are shaping up for the future. As we have seen with NFL teams of the past and present, it’s much easier to rebuild your defense before your offense. This seems to be exactly the approach of Reggie McKenzie and the Raiders’ front office. Oakland spent a ton of money on their defense this season, bringing in solid veterans like Justin Tuck, LaMarr Woodley, Antonio Smith and Carlos Rogers. Even though their future NFL Odds from Bovada are far from a good betting pick in 2014, the Raiders’ defense is shaping up to be a pretty solid, and possibly undervalued unit. Maybe it turns into solid ATS value, or maybe it doesn’t, but one thing it might do is help this offense get going some with more possessions. Oakland was already a top ten defense in sacks last year, and this year they might make the leap into the top five.
AFC West (+1800)
Much like the rest of their futures, the Raiders’ divisional price is off limits as well. However even though you can’t get any value with Oakland this offseason, you could find some this season ATS in the NFL Odds. With as good of a defense as I think the Raiders will have this year, they could easily improve by two or three wins SU if the offense is at least competent. The addition of James Jones to go along with Denarius Moore and Rod Streater should give whomever is starting at quarterback good options to throw the ball to, and as long as their aging running back core of Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew can stay healthy and average more than three yards per carry, this team has some ATS upside. They are very lowly ranked in the offseason NFL Odds, and if they are a seven win team SU this year, there is a good chance they could also be above .500 and profitable ATS. Keep an eye on the preseason to see if you can get an idea of who may win the starting job.