The Raiders are somewhat of a mystery this offseason. With a ton of turnover, and after a 4-12 season SU, the Raiders are set at 5.5 wins from LVH Sportsbook in Las Vegas this season. Are the Raiders worth it as part of your NFL picks? Let's break down their chances.
The Raiders’ schedule is ranked 29th in the NFL based on its strength, but unless the Raiders come out and start the season hot, it will be an uphill climb. If they don’t go at least 3-3 SU to start the year before their bye week, I fear it may be another losing year for the silver and black. They do get to play Jacksonville, Kansas City and San Diego in their first six games, but two of those three teams are drastically improved this year.
Their second half is much more brutal. After their bye week they have a stretch where they play Pittsburgh and Philadelphia at home, followed by a cross-country trip to New York to play the Giants, and then another road game after that against the Texans in Week 11. As I said, unless they take care of business early, they may be doomed before their season is even half over.
How does Oakland measure up against the rest of the AFC West?
Oakland is a +7.5 underdog in the NFL odds against the Colts in Week 1 in Indianapolis. The total for this game is set just below 50 points at 49, and in some cases 48.5 points. Both the Colts and the Raiders have beefed up their respective defenses this season, and this total could be just a tad high for these two teams. Even though both should have some nice offensive production, this is the first game of the season. The over was 8-5 in Week 1 of the 2012 season, so will defense or offense prevail in this one?
The over is only 1-3 in the last four meetings between these two teams dating back to 2001 and the Manning days. Last season, these two teams were very overvalued in the totals. The two combined went 21-12 cashing the ‘Under’ in 2012.
Will Oakland shine a little brighter in 2013? Share your thoughts on our message boards!
The Sharp Pick
Season win totals are tricky for a team like the Raiders. On one hand, Matt Flynn could be a monster with Denarius Moore and Darren McFadden, or they could look weak and turnover prone like they were under Dennis Allen’s first season, and of course Carson Palmer.
With such a wide gap between their floor and ceiling, I think I am once again laying off the Raiders. The under is nice, but still risky and it comes with a price tag of -130. Neither side of this bet intrigues me at all. Lay off the Raiders in any form this offseason, and wait until the preseason. I’m not saying they will be bad NFL picks, but they won't be great, possibly not even average.
My Pick: No Play
Week 1 Lean: UNDER 49 at William Hill