Upcoming Match-ups

Raiders’ Playoff Odds on the Rise Following Positive Offseason

Oakland Raiders fans in their traditional attire.
Are the Oakland Raiders good enough to make the playoffs in 2020? Photo by Keith Allison (flickr) [CC License].
  • The Oakland Raiders won just four games last season, but their 2019 postseason odds are getting better
  • The Raiders won’t have it easy, facing the toughest schedule in the league and travelling more miles than any other team
  • Is there value in better Oakland to either make or miss out on the 2019 NFL playoffs?

The Oakland Raiders have been one of the most talked about teams in the offseason. They’ll be under the microscope even more now that they’ve agreed to be featured on this season’s Hard Knocks.

Although they’ve been criticized plenty, it seems that many bettors feel they have a shot to make the playoffs, as their average NFL postseason odds have improved considerably.

Are the Silver & Black a good bet to make the 2019 playoffs?

2019 NFL Playoff Odds: AFC Teams

Team Odds To Make Playoffs at BetOnline Odds To Miss Playoffs at BetOnline
Baltimore Ravens +175 -215
Cleveland Browns -140 +110
Denver Broncos +350 -500
Houston Texans +400 -600
Indianapolis Colts -260 +200
Jacksonville Jaguars +260 -350
Kansas City Chiefs -500 +350
Los Angeles Chargers -225 +185
Miami Dolphins +1000 -2500
New England Patriots -800 +500
New York Jets +275 -350
Oakland Raiders +400 -600
Tennessee Titans +300 -400

*Odds taken 06/21/19

Raiders Odds to Make the Playoffs Shorten

When BetOnline opened up their “make or miss the playoffs” prop, the Raiders were at +500. When you take a look at the board nowadays, they’re at +400 at BetOnline and +350 at Bovada. The Raiders were a laughing stock last season and have been heavily scrutinized for every move they make, but it seems bettors believe in this roster right now.

Raiders Have Taken Positive Steps

At the end of the day, whatever you think of this team, it’s hard to make a case that they’ll be worse this season. Are they a legitimate playoff contender? That’s up for debate. What isn’t is that they have improved the talent on the roster.

On offense, the Raiders signed Trent Brown, the best left tackle available in free agency, and traded for Antonio Brown. In the draft, they picked up a workhorse running back in Josh Jacobs. Those three moves alone should put the offense in much better position to compete.

On defense, the Raiders made wholesale upgrades to a unit that was nothing short of pathetic last year. They added plenty of talent through the draft including lineman Clelin Ferrell, safety Johnathan Abram and cornerback Trayvon Mullen.

Division Is Challenging

The Raiders figure to be in the conversation at times this season, but the division they’re playing in will make things really challenging for them. The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers both won 12 games last year and figure to have double-digit wins again. The Denver Broncos were just 6-10 but might be slightly improved.

There’s only one way for Oakland to go after a four-win season (up) but their ceiling figures to be low unless one of the teams in front of them – specifically the Chiefs or Chargers – falls off a lot. That’s hard to envision at this point.

Raiders Schedule Is Brutal

The other big hurdle for the Raiders is that they have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL this season. To start, they’ll have to travel more miles than any other team this season. On top of that, the Raiders have the toughest strength of schedule. Take a look at how they start the season:

  1. vs Broncos
  2. vs Chiefs
  3. at Vikings
  4. at Colts
  5. vs Bears (neutral site)
  6. BYE
  7. at Packers

The back half of the schedule is much easier but that is a brutal start. If they can’t beat the Broncos on opening night, there’s a chance they start 0-6 or 1-5.

What’s The Best Bet?

I would love to believe in the Raiders but the challenge is I don’t see them any better than 3-3 after their first six games and even that’s optimistic. On top of that, they have a division with two playoff teams already. I believe they’ve improved but not enough to get ahead of either of those.

With such a difficult schedule in front of them, I expect improvement from the Raiders in 2019, but not a playoff berth.

Author Image
Discussion

Let's have fun and keep it civil.