After going all-in last offseason by trading for wide receiver Davante Adams and signing pass rusher Chandler Jones, the Las Vegas Raiders stumbled to a disappointing 6-11 finish in 2022, setting up a substantial offseason of change. The Raiders front office parted ways with quarterback Derek Carr, opting to sign veteran Jimmy Garoppolo and re-tooling the roster with players that better fit Josh McDaniels’ offensive scheme.
Raiders Super Bowl odds: +8000
The stars must align on both sides of the ball for the Raiders to make a miraculous run and with the Super Bowl, on their home turf no less. Las Vegas’ offense was efficient in 2022, having scored at a clip of 23.2 ppg, but don’t forget that Jimmy Garoppolo is now replacing Derek Carr under center while former Pro Bowl tight end was traded to the Giants in the offseason.
In comes Jimmy Garoppolo and a plethora of former Patriots like Jakobi Meyers, which means that they’ll need to fit in seamlessly in Josh McDaniels’ scheme in order for the offense to reach its fullest potential.
The most notable leap has to be had on defense, where outside of defensive end Maxx Crosby there were no consistent impact players for the Raiders in 2022. Patrick Graham’s unit ranked 26th in defensive scoring last season, giving up an average of 24.6 ppg, which makes it hard for any team to win on a weekly basis. The Raiders' defense would need another impact player to emerge alongside Crosby while taking a leap at least into the top 15 of defensive scoring.
Raiders AFC West division title odds: +1200
Las Vegas holds the fourth-best odds to win the AFC West in 2023, behind the Kansas City Chiefs (-165), Los Angeles Chargers (+340), and Denver Broncos (+550). Kansas City enters with a streak of seven consecutive seasons as division winners, while the Raiders’ closest finish came in 2020 and 2021 when they came up in second place in the division standings.
The Chiefs and Chargers are clear front-runners in the division given their respective quarterback situations with Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. While Russell Wilson is coming off a forgettable inaugural season in Denver, the addition of future Hall of Fame coach Sean Payton gives the Broncos immense upside.
Garoppolo, while a proven winner and no stranger to McDaniels’ offense, comes with notable injury concerns and questions about his ability to stay healthy for the long haul of the season.
Raiders win total odds: Over 6.5 (+110); Under 6.5 (-130)
While Las Vegas' 6-11 record in 2022 may be an eyesore on paper, it’s essential to understand how one-score games impacted their finish. In 13 games decided by eight points or less, the Raiders went 4-9, highlighting their inability to close out games and execute on the margins. If the Raiders can be a better situational football team, and part of that lies on McDaniels’ playcalling, they should be able to win enough games and hit the over.