The Raiders are a trendy pick to reach the Super Bowl after finally making it back to the playoffs last season, but preseason hype can quickly fade in the NFL. After locking up Derek Carr to the NFL's richest contract in the offseason, and coming off a 12-4 record and second-place finish in the AFC West, expectations couldn't be higher in Oakland.
Will the upward trajectory continue in 2017? Or will the possible distraction of a looming move to Vegas send the Raiders into a black hole? Let's see what our projections have to say.
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|Projected wins||In playoffs||Win division||Conference||Super Bowl|
SportsLine projects the Raiders to take a big step back after last year's surprise 12-win season and considers them just about a coin flip to return to the playoffs in 2017. Despite being considered a second-tier Super Bowl contender in the AFC, the Raiders likely won't offer value on bets to go deep into the playoffs.
|Win total||Playoffs||Division||Conference||Super Bowl|
|9.5 (O -115)||-145||+130||4/1||8/1|
All odds via Westgate.
Vegas isn't expecting quite the drop-off as SportsLine, and bettors by and large agree, as the lean has been on the Over. The Raiders are considered the favorites in a tough division, according to the odds here, and their odds to win the AFC or Super Bowl scream stay away.
Ryan Wilson defends his 11-5 prediction:
Everyone talks about Derek Carr coming back to Earth in 2017 after challenging for NFL MVP honors last season before suffering a broken leg in late December. But what if Carr was just scratching the surface on what he brings to the Raiders? We just got a glimpse of his potential, and we've yet to witness his best football.
Making his life easier: Michael Crabtree, Amari Cooper, Jared Cook, Marshawn Lynch, the league's best offensive line, and a young, tenacious defense led by Khalil Mack. In fact, when you couch it in those terms, it's pretty easy to imagine this team, which was 12-4 a year ago, winning at least 11 games this season.