In early May, Cantor Gaming which runs several sports books in Las Vegas released some very early point spreads for every NFL game through Week 16. I'll run down each of the Raiders lines but it's important to remember that Vegas doesn't really have an opinion on how good the Raiders will be- these lines are designed to increase betting on both the favorite and the underdog and drum up business. Vegas puts out these spreads based on perceived public opinion rather than any particular analysis.
Week 1: Oakland at Indianapolis (-7)
Week 2: Jacksonville at Oakland (-3)
Week 3: Oakland at Denver (-13.5)
Week 4: Washington (-4) at Oakland
Week 5: San Diego (-2.5) at Oakland
Week 6: Oakland at Kansas City (-4.5)
Week 8: Pittsburgh (-4.5) at Oakland
Week 9: Philadelphia (-1.5) at Oakland
Week 10: Oakland at NY Giants (-9)
Week 11: Oakland at Houston (-7.5)
Week 12: Tennessee at Oakland (-1)
Week 13: Oakland at Dallas (-7)
Week 14: Oakland at New York Jets (-6)
Week 15: Kansas City at Oakland (PK)
Week 16: Oakland at San Diego (-4.5)
So the bottom line is that the Raiders are favored in only two games: Week 2 against Jacksonville and Week 12 against Tennessee. Week 15 hosting KC is a pick 'em game. Obviously these spreads can and will change based on injuries, training camp reports and preseason results but a few things stand out to me.
Firstly, the Giants game in Week 10. Nine points is a lot to favor the Giants by when they routinely poop the bed in games they should win. If the Raiders have a semblance of a heart by Week 10, they might be a good play. Secondly, the Jets game. The Jets are a mess and probably won't have a quarterback by Week 14. Their defense isn't what it once was and their running game is a joke. Oakland is a strong play here unless they are in suck-for-Clowney mode. Finally, the Pittsburgh game. The Steelers are favored by 4.5, which seems high considering they don't play well in Oakland and lost the last game they played there with a vastly better team than they have now. The Raiders will probably cover that spread or win outright.
So Vegas doesn't expect much from the Raiders this year. That's alright, it means the rest of the league won't expect much either and Oakland can sneak up on some people. The better the team performs, the more attractive a FA destination we will be next offseason when we have a bajillion dollars to spend.