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Oddsmakers project 6-win season for Raiders: Five reasons to bet the over and under

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NFL: Oakland Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Most of the free agent additions that matter have happened. Prior to the draft Vegas oddsmakers have put win total projections on each team, daring you to pick between betting the over and betting the under. Their goal? To get equal better over and under. To do that, they have to pick a number that will yield as many people thinking the team will surpass their number as those who think they will not.

The Raiders win total line? 6

Yes, I know, Raiders fans will overwhelmingly take the over. After all, 100% of those who voted in our recent FanPulse survey said the team improved in free agency. That kind of confidence doesn’t usually mean fans are thinking they will have a 1-or-2-win improvement. Fans are thinking .500 or better, but that’s typical.

The excitement is understandable. Skepticism would also be. So, I am going to take a more evenhanded approach and give you five reasons to bet the over and five reasons not to. And you can just decide for yourself after that.

Bet the OVER because...

  1. The Raiders have had one winning season in 18 years and it came when Derek Carr had the same offensive coordinator two years in a row. He has that now.
  2. Antonio Brown is easily the best receiver Derek Carr has ever had and along with Tryell Williams it’s probably the best receiving duo he’s ever had.
  3. The tackle position will be improved with Trent Brown and Kolton Miller in his second season as opposed to the rookie duo of a gimpy Miller and third round pick Brandon Parker who gave up 30 sacks between the two of them.
  4. With Lamarcus Joyner and Nevin Lawson joining a defensive back unit with Gareon Conley, Daryl Worley, Karl Joseph, and Erik Harris, the secondary is actually pretty deep and talented.
  5. From historically bad in 2018, the defense can only improve, right? Not to mention an improved offense can help them just by keeping them off the field and forcing opponents not to be conservative.

Be the UNDER because...

  1. They still don’t have a pass rusher. We don’t know Arden Key will take a step forward or if he’s ever going to be more than a situational pass rusher. They can draft one, but rarely do pass rushers have instant success, especially if they don’t have any help. Remember, Khalil Mack had 4.0 sacks as a rookie and the Raiders went 3-13 that season.
  2. Both the linebackers they signed (Vontaze Burfict and Brandon Marshall) were cut by their previous teams and signed to friendly 1-year deals. They look more like patches and/or draft insurance. Not making inside linebacker a priority has failed the Raiders for many years.
  3. Derek Carr lost his top receiver Jared Cook. Yeah, Carr got a new top receiver, but Cook was a weapon and a great security blanket that he no longer has.
  4. They traded away Kelechi Osemele. Does losing a recent All Pro guard while bringing in an unproven tackle to play across from Kolton Miller — who gave up 16 sacks as a rookie and who we still don’t know is a worthy NFL starter — brings a lot of uncertainty as to whether this line will improve. One thing we know is Derek Carr needs to be protected to thrive and everything falls apart when he isn’t comfortable.
  5. They came into this offseason with an historically bad defense and three of the four long term deals handed out in free agency were on offense. The draft is a long term investment in a foundation. This team has a myriad of immediate problems with the odds being that maybe two of their draft picks will bring instant return. Will they be enough to add three wins to their total? Would you put money on that?

That is the question.

Poll

If you are betting, where do you put the 2019 Raiders with a 6-win line?

This poll is closed

  • 79%
    Over
    (1540 votes)
  • 17%
    Right at 6
    (342 votes)
  • 3%
    Under
    (59 votes)
1941 votes total Vote Now