Each Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from July 12 through Sept. 2, we will take a look at the projected win totals for each team in the NFL, running one division per week for eight weeks.
NOTE: All over/under win totals are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
2021 record: 10-7
2022 bye week: 6
Most impactful additions: WR Davante Adams, WR Demarcus Robinson, WR Keelan Cole, DE/LB Chandler Jones, DB Rock Ya-Sin, RB Zamir White (fourth-round pick)
Most impactful departures: DE Yannick Ngakoue, DL Quinton Jefferson, WR Zay Jones
Easiest part(s) of schedule: A six-week stretch after their bye, when they face Houston, at the Saints, at Jacksonville, Indianapolis, at Denver and at Seattle. The problem is four of those games are on the road, and there are very few breaks in the other tough runs.
No question the Raiders will have to win four or five of these games to have a shot to compete in this tough division.
Toughest part(s) of schedule: The beginning and the end, and not just opening with the Chargers and finishing with the Chiefs.
In the opening five weeks, other than Denver, the other four teams all finished with a winning season and three – Arizona, Tennessee and Kansas City – made the playoffs. What’s worse – and tougher – is all five of their final opponents made the playoffs, including the defending Super Bowl-champion Rams and the Chiefs again.
Caesars over/under win total: 8.5 – Over -120 / Under +100; Odds to win Super Bowl LVII +4000
Book it: OVER. I probably should have changed “book it” to “best guess” here, because there’s no way I am playing this total, but my chat with Adam Chernoff of Covers, who joins each of our videos to summarize my predictions, changed my mind on my projected record by a game and to have them finishing with a winning record.
All that being said, there is tremendous value on the division title odds of +700 – and potentially conference title (+2000) and Super Bowl title (+4000).
The obvious big upgrade for quarterback Derek Carr comes in the form of Davante Adams, who reunites the duo from their days at Fresno State. That in itself should equal a better record and potential move to the next level of the playoffs with new coach Josh McDaniels, but this schedule is brutal at times.
If they can up their rankings just slightly from 11th on offense and 14th on defense, the Raiders could pay off those aforementioned bargains. Just don’t bet the farm on it.
Projected finish: 9-8
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