The moment the schedules were released, the oddsmakers put out their point spreads for the season opening games. That was April 17. Before the draft and OTA’s and minicamp. With those initial odds, the Raiders were 2.5-point favorites over the visiting Broncos on Monday Night Football.
Now, nearly three months later, with both the Raiders and Broncos’ rosters pretty much how they will look heading into training camp, the latest odds have come out. And the Raiders are still 2.5-point favorites according to @WilliamHillUS
The biggest changes for both teams since then came through the draft. The Broncos picked up tight end Noah Fant in the first round and guard Dalton Risner and quarterback Drew Lock in the second. Then got great value in Dre’Mont Jones in the third.
The Raiders had four picks in the first 40, picking up pass rusher Clelin Ferrell at 4th overall, running back Josh Jacobs and safety Johnathan Abram late in the first and cornerback Trayvon Mullen early in the second round. They had no third round pick.
At this juncture there is no reason to believe either team came out better than the other.
Fant was a top tight end in this draft, and someone the Raiders had their eye on. Risner is one of the top guards in the draft — also a player the Raiders could have used. And Lock was thought of by some to be a first round product who could challenge Joe Flacco for the starting QB job.
For the Raiders, Ferrell instantly adds much needed pass rush. Jacobs steps in immediately as the team’s starting running back as does Abrams at safety. Mullen will be valuable depth at cornerback and compete for snaps.
It could be the only thing that would change this line between now and the game is a major injury.