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Way too early Raiders’ game-by-game spread picks

Early look at this season’s odds and predictions

Las Vegas Raiders v Pittsburgh Steelers
Maxx Crosby
Photo by Gaelen Morse/Getty Images

We’re still several months away from the start of the 2023 season, but now that the Las Vegas Raiders schedule is out, our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook are staying on top of the odds and have already released spreads for every game this season. So, let’s make some way too early predictions and take a look at how the oddsmakers think the Raiders stack up against the rest of the league.

Week 1: at Denver Broncos

Spread: DEN -3.5

Pick: DEN -3.5

Both the Raiders and Broncos underwent significant changes in the offseason that could cause them to stumble out of the gate. Las Vegas will be breaking in a new starting quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo while Denver has Russell Wilson under center for the second year in a row, but with a new head coach and offensive play-caller in Sean Payton. However, at least Wilson will have some continuity with his receivers, unlike Garoppolo. That plus home-field advantage is why I lean toward the Broncos in Week 1.

Week 2: at Buffalo Bills

Spread: BUF -8

Pick: LV +8

Don’t get me wrong, I still expect the Bills to win this game outright but I think it will be closer than a lot of people expect. Buffalo has a huge Monday Night Football matchup against the New York Jets the week before, meaning Las Vegas will have one more day to prepare and could sneak up on them.

Week 3: vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Spread: LV -1.5

Pick: LV -1.5

I’m not much of a believer in Kenny Pickett and the Raiders getting to play him early in the year while he still won’t have a full season’s worth of starts under his belt favors the Silver and Black. Plus, it will be the home opener and a primetime game in Las Vegas, so they should have plenty of momentum heading into the contest.

Week 4: at Los Angeles Chargers

Spread: LAC -4.5

Pick: LAC -4.5

While Los Angeles will always be a home game for the Raiders, starting the season with three travel games in the first month is just brutal. Plus, the Chargers have a superior roster and should be Super Bowl contenders this year, that is if they can avoid being the Chargers in the playoffs...

Week 5: vs Green Bay Packers

Spread: LV -1.5

Pick: LV -1.5

This year could be uncharacteristically rough for the Packers as they kick off the post-Aaron Rodgers era. In my opinion, Jordan Love hasn’t shown anything to suggest he’s capable of seamlessly carrying the torch and the Packers are very young offensively with second-year wideouts Christian Waston and Romeo Doubs leading the way. The Raiders will benefit by playing the Packers early in the season and should be able to get a ‘W’ on Monday Night Football.

Week 6: vs New England Patriots

New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders
Jakobi Meyers, Amik Robertson
Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

Spread: NE -1.5

Pick: NE -1.5

I’m not a big believer in the Patriots this season, but I’ll always give Bill Belichick the benefit of the doubt when he faces off against one of his protégés. Plus, he’ll be out for revenge against Las Vegas—and Jakobi Meyers—after last season’s inexplicable loss in the desert.

Week 7: at Chicago Bears

Spread: CHI -1

Pick: CHI -1

This was a tough one for me to pick because I do think the Raiders have a better, or at least more experienced, roster overall. However, I also think Justin Fields takes the next step this season with the weapons general manager Ryan Poles has surrounded him with, and Chicago will have the home-field advantage with a 10 a.m. body clock game for Las Vegas.

Week 8: at Detroit Lions

Spread: DET -3.5

Pick: DET -3.5

If I was buying stock in one team and head coach ahead of this season, it’s the Lions and Dan Campbell. Detroit’s offense seemingly found its stride at the end of last season, and they learned how to win with eight W’s in their last 10 games to round out the campaign. I like them to win the NFC North this year. Plus, this is the second leg of back-to-back outings in the Midwest for the Raiders.

Week 9: vs New York Giants

Spread: LV -1.5

Pick: LV -1.5

The Giants made no sense to me last season as their roster was terrible but they managed to win nine games and not only make the playoffs but win a playoff game. Head coach Brian Daboll undoubtedly earned the Coach of the Year award and looks like a future stud in the league, however, I think they regress in 2023. The only win they had that was by more than one possession last season came in Week 17 against the Jeff Saturday-led Indianapolis Colts and that’s just not sustainable from year-to-year.

Week 10: vs New York Jets

Spread: NYJ -2.5

Pick: NYJ -2.5

The only thing holding the Jets back from being a playoff team last year was quarterback play and they added arguably the best QB in the last decade this offseason. Rodgers should be hitting his stride with his new team by Week 10 and New York’s defense allowed just 18.6 points per game which was the second-best in the NFL last season. This one could get ugly on primetime.

Week 11: at Miami Dolphins

Las Vegas Raiders v Miami Dolphins
Josh McDaniels, Mike McDaniel
Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Spread: MIA -5.5

Pick: LV +5.5

I still like Miami to win this game outright, but I think that’s too many points. Las Vegas will be used to long road trips at this point in the season, and while a lot will be made about how their secondary matches up with Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Co., the Dolphins’ offensive line should struggle with the Raiders’ pass rush to help mitigate that issue.

Week 12: vs Kansas Chiefs

Spread: KC -5

Pick: KC -5

The fan in me really wants to pick the Raiders at home against the spread here, but the realist on my other shoulder is reminding me of the 31-13 beatdown in Week 18 of last year. Granted, that game was a very different circumstance as Las Vegas’ season was basically over and Jarrett Stidham was making his second NFL start, but I just can’t rationalize them being competitive with the Chiefs this year.

Week 13: BYE

Get your holiday shopping in for an early-December bye week!

Week 14: vs Minnesota Vikings

Spread: LV -1.5

Pick: LV -1.5

Both teams will be coming off a bye so the Raiders’ advantage of having the extra time to prepare will be negated, but I have my doubts about the Vikings this season. Kirk Cousins enters a contract year and I get the feeling this is the beginning of the end of his tenure in Minnesota. Las Vegas should be able to win this one at home.

Week 15: vs Los Angeles Chargers

Spread: LAC -1.5

Pick: LAC -1.5

Am I too bullish on the Chargers? Maybe, but it’s a short week and, again, they have the better roster so I’m predicting a sweep of the season series for Los Angeles as things stand in the middle of May.

Week 16: at Kansas City Chiefs

Spread: KC -8.5

Pick: LV +8.5

My logic here is similar to Week 2 against the Bills, too many points. Las Vegas will have more time to heal up too as they go from Thursday Night Football the week before to Monday morning football on Christmas Day while Kansas City goes Monday to Monday. Plus, I feel like a Christmas morning game favors the road team as they’ll have fewer distractions with all of the holiday hoopla. The Chiefs probably still win, but, to quote one of my childhood idols Lee Corso: “In a close one!”

Week 17: at Indianapolis Colts

Spread: LV -2

Pick: LV -2

I’ll be honest, this is a pure crapshoot pick as the game won’t be played for over half a year from now and I have no idea what to make of the Colts this season. Anthony Richardson might be playing by this point in the year so the Raiders will get to face a rookie quarterback who is expected to have a bit of a bumpy transition to the NFL.

Week 18: vs Denver Broncos

Spread: DEN -1

Pick: LV +1

Again, this is hard to predict over six months out as the Broncos should be better than last season, but they also weren’t supposed to be 5-12 in 2022 nor was Wilson supposed to be as bad as he was. I do think they’re more than capable of turning that around but, for now, I’ll keep the series as a split between the divisional foes.


ATS: 9-8

As noted in a few of my picks above, this doesn’t mean I think the Raiders will finish with a winning record overall, but they can at least cover which should be a team who’s home is in the gambling capital of the world biggest goal on the season anyway! Las Vegas was 8-9 against the spread last season so this would be a one game improvement and the step in the right direction everyone is hoping to see from the organization. (Yes, that’s sarcasm).