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Oakland Raiders Betting – Raiders Improving, But Still Have A Ways To Go

Posted by Stan Simmons on 7/5/2011 3:09:35 PM
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Online betting players can see a lot of potential in Oakland, where they have a lot of good, young players with high ceilings. That means there will still be some bumps in the road for the Raiders, so don’t worry about their NFL betting futures for this season.

  • Head Coach: Hue Jackson
  • Offensive Coordinator: Al Saunders
  • Defensive Coordinator: Chuck Bresnahan
  • Owner: Al Davis
  • Stadium: O.co Coliseum, Oakland, CA
  • Capacity: 63,026
  • Super Bowl Wins: 3

Offense

The Raiders were buoyed by the No.2 rushing attack in the league, trailing only AFC West rivals Kansas City, and running back Darren McFadden broke out in his third year in the league, finishing with 1,157 yards on the ground. He got some valuable backup from Michael Bush, and the Raiders were allowed to minimize their mistakes by running the ball. Jason Campbell was eased into his first year as the Raiders’ quarterback, but he missed a few games because of injury, leaving the dependable Bruce Gradkowski to take over at some points. Young receivers Jacoby Ford and Louis Murphy showed glimpses of massive potential last season, and they’re especially dangerous going deep, while tight end Zach Miller led the team in catches and was a solid release valve over the middle. The Raiders also used McFadden coming out of the backfield, and they’ll likely utilize more of that this season as he is their most dynamic player and he needs the ball as much as possible.

Oakland looked to boost their offensive line in the draft by taking center Stefan Wisniewski, whose uncle, Steve, was an eight-time Pro Bowl guard and is currently an assistant with the Raiders. Oakland also picked up tackle Joseph Barksdale in the draft, and even though they had an extremely good running game, the Raiders couldn’t protect their quarterbacks; Oakland gave up the most sacks in the league, and that’s never a good statistic to boost your NFL betting odds.

Grade: C

Defense

Oakland’s defense finished 11th in the NFL, and linebacker Rolando McClain had a solid season in his rookie year, finishing third on the team in tackles. He still has some improvements to make in terms of tracking the ball, but McClain is going to be the leader of this unit for a long time. Another rookie, end Lamarr Houston, showed signs in his debut and will be counted on to provide more help for Richard Seymour, who is now 31 years old. Cornerback Nmandi Asomugha continues to be one of the top cover backs in the NFL, while safeties Tyvon Branch and Michael Huff can defend the run as well as the pass. The Raiders would do well to improve their linebacking corps around McClain, and they should look towards free agency to do so.

But speaking of free agency, the Raiders are in danger of losing Asomugha, whose contract is up now and is reportedly looking to move to a team that has a chance to win the Super Bowl. A major worry for the Raiders heading into this season was finding a corner to play opposite Asomugha, but now it looks like they’re not even going to add him. Losing Asomugha will be huge for the Raiders, as he effectively takes the opposition’s best receiver out of the game, and that allows the Raiders to blitz a little more.

Grade: C+

Special Teams

Ford helped the Raiders come in 16th in the league in kickoff returns, but the punt-return team was 26th, and that is something they’ll have to work on ahead of this season. The Raiders were also a mid-pack team when it comes to covering kicks and punts, and they really should be better when it comes to covering punts, as they have Pro Bowl punter Shane Lechler. Meanwhile, kicker Sebastian Janikowski still has a massive leg, but he’s inconsistent.

Grade: C

Prediction

NFL betting odds have the Raiders listed at +500 to win the AFC West, and +4000 to win the Super Bowl, and the division bet would be the more realistic of the two, although a lot of things would have to happen to Kansas City and San Diego. The Raiders are still a very young team that has a lot of room to improve, and they’re not going to be able to move forward until they can protect their quarterback, whether it is Campbell or anyone else.

Also, the loss of Asomugha will be massive for the Raiders, and trying to make up for his exit is going to keep promoted head coach Hue Jackson up at night. Don’t expect much from the Raiders’ sports betting odds this season.

2011 Schedule

  • Week 1 – at Denver (Monday, 10:15 PM ET)
  • Week 2 - at Buffalo (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 3 – vs. New York Jets (4:05 PM ET)
  • Week 4 – vs. New England (4:15 PM ET)
  • Week 5 – at Houston (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 6 – vs. Cleveland (4:05 PM ET)
  • Week 7 – vs. Kansas City (4:05 PM ET)
  • Week 9 - vs. Denver (4:05 PM ET)
  • Week 10 – at San Diego (Thursday, 8:20 PM ET)
  • Week 11 – at Minnesota (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 12 – vs. Chicago (4:05 PM ET)
  • Week 13 – at Miami (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 14 – at Green Bay (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 15- vs. Detroit (4:05 PM ET)
  • Week 16 – at Kansas City (Saturday, 1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 17 – vs. San Diego (4:15 PM ET)

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