The Las Vegas Raiders hold an over/under of 7.5, and are not favored in many games. We dive into each matchup here, and whether to take the under or over.
For the first time in the history of the NFL, the sportsbooks in Las Vegas now have a home team. According to the Westgate casino sports book oddsmakers, the Raiders could be in for another season of mediocrity, despite the fact they are moving to a new city and into a new stadium.
The early over/under wins total for the Las Vegas Raiders has been set at 7.5, oddsmakers are not exactly showing the home team Raiders any love. Action Network posted their week-by-week spreads for the entire 2020 NFL season, and we dive into each of the Raiders matchups.
The Raiders are favored in only three games, which, based on all the talent they brought in, and a weaker schedule in 2020, seems a bit low. Yes, it's early and things can certainly change in the coming months and weeks but as of now it looks as if the Raiders have their work cut out for them.
Let's take a look at the way too early lines for each game and I'll give you my over/under wins prediction for the 2020 season.
Week 1: Raiders @ Panthers (PK)
In Week 1, the Raiders travel across the country to face the new look Carolina Panthers who, for the first time in a long time, will not have Cam Newton under center and Ron Rivera on the sideline. Matt Rhule makes the jump from the college ranks and Teddy Bridgewater came over in free agency.
The key for the Raiders will be slowing down all-world running back, Christian McCaffrey who can get it done as a runner as well as a receiver. Luke Kuechly, surprisingly retired in the offseason for the Panthers so look for the Raiders to use their big offensive line to pound the ball with Josh Jacobs.
Week 2: Saints (-4.5) @ Raiders
The Raiders will open Allegiant Stadium in style in primetime on Monday Night Football against contenders to reach the Super Bowl from the NFC, New Orleans Saints. The young secondary will have it's hands full trying to slow down one of the games best wide receivers in Michael Thomas, along with Emmanuel Sanders, and Jared Cook.
New Raiders linebacker, Cory Littleton will earn his money dealing with Alvin Kamara out of the backfield. Rightfully so, the Raiders are home dogs versus the Saints, but you never know what can happen under the bright lights of Monday Night Football.
Week 3: Raiders @ Patriots (-4.5)
Back on the road in Week 3, the Raiders will travel to Foxborough to face Jarrett Stidham and the New England Patriots. Wait, who...yes that's right Jarrett Stidham is in line to be the heir-apparent to the arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time, Tom Brady.
Yes, it is a road game, and Bill Belichick is still roaming the sidelines for the Pats, but it seems like a stretch to have a team who struggled offensively with Tom Brady last year who are now without him, as the early favorites in this game.
Week 4: Bills @ Raiders (PK)
In the third straight week against a playoff team from the 2019 season, the Raiders welcome in the Buffalo Bills to Sin City in week four. Bills quarterback Josh Allen made some plays with his legs last year, but still has a ways to go as a passer.
The Bills are built around a strong defense, and Derek Carr and his new weapons will need to score some points and force Josh Allen to beat them with his arm. This one is going to go down to the wire.
Week 5: Raiders @ Chiefs (-10.5)
For the first time since 2013, the Raiders are traveling to Arrowhead Stadium before the month of December. While the cold temperatures won't be an issue, the Chiefs are still the cream of the crop in the AFC West division, and are heavily-favored in this one.
Patrick Mahomes will be licking his chops against the young secondary of the Raiders. Despite adding some speed and explosion with Henry Ruggs, Bryan Edwards, and Lynn Bowden the Raiders are still not in the Chiefs class offensively.
Week 7: Buccaneers (-3) @ Raiders
The Bucs are absolutely loaded on offense with the additions of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, and they should be a playoff team in 2020. How quickly Brady and his new receivers can mesh will be a huge question for the Bucs offense this season.
Expect Derek Carr to play with some extra motivation in this one, as Tom Brady was rumored to be a possible replacement for Carr in the offseason. Tampa Bay won games with Jameis Winston without the eye surgery last year, so Brady could be just what this franchise needs to get over the hump.
Week 8: Raiders @ Browns (-4)
The Raiders end a difficult stretch in Week 7, and in Week 8, things seemingly get a little bit easier. While Las Vegas has to head East to take on the Cleveland Browns, this is a game they should be able to win, even as four-point underdogs.
The Browns badly under-performed last season with a very talented roster. With a new coaching staff in Cleveland the expectations are high once again. Will the Browns finally figure it out? I need to believe it to see it, I think this is a road game the Raiders can steal.
Week 9: Raiders @ Chargers (-3.5)
A road game on the schedule, Los Angeles is the Raiders home away from home, so they should have no problems against the Chargers in this one. If fans are allowed in stadiums expect a very pro Raiders crowd, just as we saw last season.
The quarterback is a big question mark for the Chargers. Justin Herbert was selected sixth overall in the draft but Tyrod Taylor is expected to be the starter. The Chargers defense has the talent to be one of the best in the league, and being a divisional matchup, this is going to be an exciting one.
Week 10: Broncos @ Raiders (-2)
It took 10 weeks but the Raiders are finally favored to win a game, and it will be against a division rival that revamped their offense this offseason. Denver won a bunch of games down the stretch with their rookie quarterback last season, and are suddenly one of the teams many expect to surprise people in the AFC.
Second-year quarterback Drew Lock will be the starter from day one in 2020. The Broncos surrounded him with all kinds of talent including the additions of Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, and Melvin Gordon. This one has the makings of a potential shootout.
Week 11: Chiefs (-6.5) @ Raiders
The third of four primetime games, the Chiefs will travel to the desert to take on the Raiders on Sunday Night Football. The Death Star will be rocking in this one, as the Raiders should have gelled on defense by this time, and the younger players should be ready to compete at a high level.
Even at home, oddsmakers still aren't convinced the Raiders are ready to compete with the Chiefs despite a fixation from coach Jon Gruden on building a roster that models the Chiefs. It is less than a touchdown in the second of two meetings, but this one could still get ugly in a hurry.
Week 12: Raiders @ Falcons (-3)
Things get a little tricky in Week 12 with the front end of back-to-back weeks on the road against east coast teams. The NFL allowed the Raiders to couple up their East coast swing in 2020, and it will start in Atlanta against a Falcons team that really underachieved in 2019.
Dan Quinn was on the hot seat last season but a strong finish helped his cause. What Falcons team will the Raiders see in Week 12 is anybody's guess. Matt Ryan is getting up there in age, but still has weapons in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, and running back Todd Gurley was signed in free agency.
Week 13: Raiders @ Jets (-2)
Jon Gruden could opt to stay out East following the Falcons game as he did last season with back-to-back games across the country. The Jets are favoried in this one, and the hope is that the Raiders can have better luck than they did when they headed to MetLife in 2019.
The Raiders were in a similar spot late last season and were blown out in an embarrassing loss to the Jets, 34-3. Playing at MetLife in December could be an issue for Derek Carr, as he has yet to prove he can play well in the elements, and the Jets should be a much-improved team this upcoming season.
Week 14: Colts @ Raiders (PK)
Week 14 is the beginning of what could be a very important stretch of games, which includes three straight home games in weeks 14, 15, and 16. The Raiders start the stretch by facing a familiar foe in a new uniform, as they welcome Philip Rivers and the Indianapolis Colts to town.
If the Raiders are in the mix down the stretch, they need to take advantage of their home field and win these games. It will be strange to see Rivers sporting a Colts uniform, but based on what we saw from him last year, this is a game the Raiders should win.
Week 15: Chargers @ Raiders (-2.5)
By this time of the year, the Justin Herbert era could be underway for the Chargers. That means that the Raiders have to win this game, as the defense should be playing at a high level, and forcing the kid into making mistakes.
The Raiders will need to take advantage of the young quarterback and make life difficult for him in a divisional road game inside a rowdy Allegiant Stadium. Last season, the Raiders swept the series against the Chargers, and I think it's likely it happens again in 2020.
Week 16: Dolphins @ Raiders (-4.5)
I don't care how many improvements were made to the Dolphins roster, this is a game the Raiders must win at home. In the final game at Allegiant in 2020, the Raiders try to inch closer to the playoffs, beating a Dolphins team that is probably a year away from being a real threat to the rest of the conference.
Whether it's Ryan Fitzpatrick or Tua Tagovailoa, it shouldn't matter, as the Raiders will be in the playoff mix, and the Dolphins will be closing out another losing season. The Dolphins are still a major work in progress, and they did upset New England late last season, but give the Raiders the win here.
Week 17: Raiders @ Broncos (-4)
As is the case most seasons, the Raiders will face their most-hated division rival, the Denver Broncos in the regular season finale. Elements will play a huge role in this one, and it will be interesting to see if the Drew Lock experiment in Year 2 was worth all the weapons the Broncos brought in.
Not to beat a dead horse, but again the weather could be an issue playing at Mile High in January. Both the Raiders and Broncos look to be much improved on paper. It's possible the two teams are battling for a wildcard spot in this one.
If I was a betting man I would take the over. The Raiders rank 21st in the league according to strength of schedule (.496), which doesn't mean a whole lot because the NFL is such a year to year, week to week league.
However, looking through the schedule, things won't be easy out of the gate, facing four 2019 playoff teams in the first five games. If they can weather the storm early and take advantage of a favorable stretch to end the season, I can see the Raiders finishing with a 9-7 record.
That would be a two-game improvement over last season, and a five-game improvement from the dreaded 2018 campaign. This is a franchise trending in the right direction, and with the NFL expanding the number of playoff teams this upcoming season, maybe the 2020 Las Vegas Raiders sneak into the playoffs as a Wild Card team.