We’re all wondering just what the Dennis Allen Raiders will look like once they take the field in 2012. Some see a return to double-digit losses while Reggie McKenzie continues his house cleaning. Others are predicting another middle of the road season which could still be good enough to compete for the AFC West crown.
Turns out the folks in Vegas like the Raiders to be right around the same range they’ve been in the last two seasons. Last week Vegas oddsmakers gave the hungry public its first NFL betting fix by unveiling the over/under betting lines for team wins. They’ve set the Raiders at 7 which is right in the 8-win to 10-loss range the Raiders have been stuck in for the past decade.
Now these odds are for betting purposes only. These aren’t so much predictions as they are propositions. Still, it is telling that the oddsmakers have the Broncos pegged with the highest win total for the over/unders in the AFC West. The Denver Mannings are going off at 9.5 wins with the Chargers clocking in at 9 and the Chiefs 8.
If these odds are any reflection of what will actually occur next season then it’s looking like another logjam in football’s most wide open division. That means if the Raiders can hover in that 8-9 win range they’ll be back in the hunt. Hopefully this time they’ll seal the deal if the opportunity presents itself. Last season the Raiders controlled their own destiny and let a division crown slip though their fingers. Getting to the playoffs in the first year of the McKenzie era would be the best start possible.