The Las Vegas Raiders surprised most of the NFL last season when they won ten games and made the playoffs in the AFC. It was a season with a lot of turbulence, between the Henry Ruggs situation and the Jon Gruden situation. Nevertheless, the Raiders rose above the noise and put together a solid campaign.
Over the offseason, the Raiders hired Josh McDaniels who has been one of the most respected offensive minds in the game for quite a few years. His first head coaching gig didn't work out well, but there's hope he learned from that experience. In addition to hiring McDaniels, the Raiders made one of the biggest trades of the offseason when they acquired Davante Adams from Green Bay. Adams reunites with his former college quarterback in Derek Carr and gives the Raiders a legitimate No. 1 receiving option.
Despite the big moves, it doesn't seem like the football world is sold on the Raiders. A lot of that has to do with their vision. The Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos both improved greatly as well, while the Kansas City Chiefs remain the team to beat until proven otherwise. Yahoo's Frank Schwab has the Raiders ranked 18th in his preseason power rankings. It's a fair ranking that suggests they should be in the mix for a playoff spot. However, it's notably the lowest ranking of any AFC West team. The betting market agrees that the Raiders will be competitive, but they're not sure about where that will lead them.
Las Vegas is an underdog to make the playoffs
Despite winning ten games last season, the Las Vegas Raiders' over/under for wins this upcoming season is set at 8.5 wins. Prior to last season, the Raiders went under this win total in four straight years. However, bettors are siding with Las Vegas. Currently, 85% of bets and 88% of the money is backing the Raiders to go over 8.5 wins.
Las Vegas is a -225 favorite to miss the playoffs. At those odds, it's implied the Raiders miss the playoffs over 69% of the time despite qualifying last season. Once again, bettors disagree with the oddsmakers as 96% of bets and 90% of the money is backing the Raiders to make the playoffs at +180.
The Raiders are +650 to win the AFC West in 2022. Those are the lowest odds in the division by a substantial margin, as all three other teams are at +260 or better to win it. However, these are also the lowest odds of any team to win their division that is projected to finish fourth. In other words, while the market thinks the Raiders are the worst team in their division, they don't think there's as much separation in this division compared to others.
The Raiders are odds-on favorites to finish the season in fourth place in the division at -125. They are +225 to occupy one of the top two spots in the division despite the fact they finished second last season. The Raiders are only the third most popular bet to win the AFC West, but due to their odds, they are the biggest liability for the sportsbook.
Las Vegas is 40-to-1 to win the Super Bowl this upcoming season. Those odds are tied for 16th best with the Patriots, Saints, Vikings, Titans and Dolphins. Las Vegas is currently the 10th most popular Super Bowl bet at BetMGM.
The Raiders are 18-to-1 to win the AFC and represent the conference in the Super Bowl. Those odds are tied for ninth best with the Titans. They're just behind Cleveland and just ahead of the Patriots and Dolphins. Las Vegas is 30-to-1 to enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed, the 12th best odds in the conference.
Raiders' player props and awards
What does the betting market think of players like Derek Carr and Davante Adams?
Derek Carr is 25-to-1 to win NFL MVP in 2022. Those odds are 13th best, just behind Jalen Hurts and Kyler Murray while just ahead of Trey Lance. Carr is currently the 8th most popular MVP bet at BetMGM.
Carr is the most popular bet to lead the league in passing yards this upcoming season, receiving nearly 28% of the betting handle in that market. He's 10-to-1 to accomplish the feat after finishing 5th last season. He has the 6th best odds behind Justin Herbert, Patrick Mahomes, Matthew Stafford, Tom Brady and Joe Burrow. Carr is 14-to-1 to lead the league in passing touchdowns. He's the second most popular bet in that market behind Justin Herbert.
In terms of season-long props, Carr's numbers for the upcoming season are set at over/under 4499.5 passing yards, 29.5 passing touchdowns and 12.5 interceptions. He threw for over 4800 yards last season, but was under this number every other year of his career. He had just 23 touchdown passes last year and has hit 30 just once in eight years. He threw 14 interceptions in 2021 and has 85 over his eight year career.
Entering his first season with the Raiders, Davante Adams is 100-to-1 to win NFL MVP. Amongst non-quarterbacks, only Jonathan Taylor, Derrick Henry and Deebo Samuel have better odds. Adams is 20-to-1 to win Offensive Player of the Year, which non quarterbacks have a better chance of winning. Those are the sixth best odds.
Adams is 12-to-1 to lead the NFL in receiving this upcoming season. Those are the fifth best odds behind Justin Jefferson, Cooper Kupp, Ja'Marr Chase and Ceedee Lamb. Adams finished third last season. He's +850 to lead the league in receptions, the second best odds behind Kupp who was the only player with more receptions than Adams last season. Adams is also +900 to lead the league in receiving touchdowns. Those odds are tied for third best with Chase, Jefferson and Travis Kelce. Only Kupp and Mike Evans have better odds.
Adams' season long props are set at over/under 99.5 receptions, 1244.5 receiving yards and 10.5 touchdowns. While it's hard to extrapolate last years' numbers to this year with it being a new team, he did post 123 receptions for 1553 yards and 11 scores in 2021.
Maxx Crosby is 22-to-1 to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Those odds are tied for seventh best with Rashan Gary. Crosby is currently the 7th most popular bet to win the award at BetMGM.
Crosby is 18-to-1 to lead the NFL in sacks this upcoming season, which are the 10th best odds. His over/under for sacks is set at 10. He had just eight last season and has 25 over three seasons. Crosby has never gone over 10 sacks.
Other Raiders' players
Hunter Renfrow is 40-to-1 to lead the NFL in receptions after finishing 9th last season. His season-long props are set at over/under 76.5 receptions, 799.5 receiving yards and 5.5 touchdowns. Last year, he posted 103 receptions, 1038 yards and 9 touchdowns but it's obvious oddsmakers expect the presence of Davante Adams to have an impact on Renfrow.
Josh Jacobs is 40-to-1 to lead the league in rushing and 40-to-1 to lead the league in rushing touchdowns. He finished 15th and 9th in the two categories last season. His over/under for rushing yards is set at 749.5 yards. He's gone over this number in all three seasons. His over/under for rushing touchdowns is 7.5 scores. He had nine last year.
Chandler Jones is 16-to-1 to lead the NFL in sacks this season. Those odds are tied with Khalil Mack for 8th best. His over/under for sacks is set at 11. Jones had just 10.5 last season, but he did average 14.5 sacks per season from 2015-2019.
Darren Waller was injured for much of last season, and he's dealing with a minor injury and/or contract situation currently in camp. He's a tough one to judge in the prop market. His season-long props are 72.5 receptions, 899.5 receiving yards and 5.5 touchdowns. He had just 55 receptions for 665 yards last year over 11 games. However, the two seasons prior to that, he eclipsed 1100 yards in both and averaged nearly 100 receptions a year. Of course, that was before Davante Adams and the true emergence of Hunter Renfrow.
Zamir White is 50-to-1 to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year if you think he can wrestle the backfield away from Jacobs.
Josh McDaniels is 18-to-1 to win NFL Coach of the Year. Those are the eighth best odds and he's currently the fifth most popular bet.
Raiders open season as underdogs
The Raiders open the season with a trip to Los Angeles where they'll meet the Chargers. Las Vegas is currently a 3.5-point road underdog and +150 to win the game outright.
These two teams met twice last season and split the series with each team winning at home. Of course, the more memorable meeting was the final game of the regular season where the Raiders broke the hearts of the Chargers by refusing to play for a tie to send both teams to the playoffs.
Few teams are getting as much hype as the Chargers, so it's no surprise to see them favored at home. However, Raiders fans will travel and take over that stadium. I'd lean towards taking the 3.5-points with Las Vegas.
Oddsmakers are expecting a high scoring affair as the total is set at 51.5-points. This is the second highest total of any Week 1 game.