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Raiders remain a Super Bowl long shot

The Las Vegas Raiders have made plenty of moves this offseason, but are they enough to get them out of their playoff drought?

I’m sure there’s a pun about a team relocating to a spaceship in the desert trying to end a drought somewhere in there, but for now we’ll focus on the betting odds as the first half of a truly dismal year comes to an end.

The coronavirus pandemic seems to be, at the moment, winding down with businesses and states reopening across the nation. The NFL has held firm throughout the nationwide stoppage that it will begin its season on time, with or without live fans, and it seems they are going to be keepers of their word.

It’s a perplexing reboot for one of the NFL’s most polarizing teams in the Los Angeles Oakland Las Vegas Raiders, which now boasts an incredible, futuristic Death Star-like 65,000 seat stadium. Allegiant Stadium, as it will be called, will have all the modern amenities one now comes to expect from billion-dollar monoliths, but when will it have live fans to marvel at the spectacle of it all?

For now, we can only guess about that outcome.

One thing that remains definitive is that the team remains a long shot to reach the Super Bowl this season. That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty at stake for the Raiders, their fans, or those that can’t wait for the thrill and agony of sports betting season to emerge once again.

Even though the Week 1 NFL odds for the newly minted Las Vegas Raiders are not set yet, seems that more than 85% of bettors will bet on them no matter what. Given Carolina’s recent upheaval at quarterback, this seems to be a solid play.

The Raiders own question marks around their roster will keep bettors guessing at least for the first few weeks until what the team truly has on the field comes into focus.

Entering into his eighth professional season and at 29 years old, Derek Carr is in now-or-never mode. His stat line (4,100 yds / 21 TDs / 8 INTs / 62.2 QBR) would suggest he’s a fairly good quarterback, but the Raiders need him to be more than that if they’re ever going to have extended and sustained success.

Enter former Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota, 26, who Head Coach Jon Gruden could be tempted to turn to should Carr falter early. That seems to be the case in the desert, where the Silver and Black have loaded up at wide receiver by selecting Alabama speedster Henry Ruggs III in the first round of the draft, and South Carolina’s Bryan Edwards later in the third round.

As of today, the odds of a Super Bowl appearance remain among the bottom of the league, with the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, and the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers early season favorites to take home the Lombardi Trophy.

It seems that the Raiders are going all-in on what they currently have on their roster, but will it be enough for them to challenge the defending Super Bowl champions in Kansas City?

 

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