2012 Oakland Raiders Betting Preview
The Oakland Raiders had an excellent chance last year to break an eight-season playoff drought, sitting at 7-4 headed into the home stretch. But Oakland being Oakland, they lost four of their final five games, including the season finale at home vs. the Chargers, and missed out again on the postseason. Then, while you might have thought the coaching carousel would have ended with the passing of Al Davis, Oakland went ahead and canned Coach Jackson, bringing in former Denver Broncos DC Dennis Allen to take over. So while the Raiders might have some talent, especially on offense, they now again have to go through a learning curve with another new coaching regime.
Oakland started 4-2 last year, and it should have been 5-1, had it not blown that big lead at Buffalo. But the Raiders then came up with a couple of stinkers in losses to the Chiefs and Broncos. They then won three in a row to get to 7-4, but then lost three straight. Finally, after a victory at KC, with a chance to win the AFC West on the last Sunday, Oakland got beat at home by the Chargers to finish a disappointing 8-8.
The Raiders ranked ninth in the league in offense last year at 380 YPG and seventh in rushing at 132 YPG, which was pretty good considering they lost RB Darren McFadden in Week 7 and new QB Carson Palmer threw 16 interceptions in half a year.
But on the other side of the ball Oakland ranked 29th in defense, allowing 388 YPG, and 27th vs. the run, giving up 136 YPG on the ground. So improvement is needed there.
Overall the Raiders ranked 18th in total yardage at -8 YPG and 17th in total rushing at -4 YPG, numbers just about on par for an 8-8 team.
Notably, though, Oakland also set new NFL records for penalties in a season with 163 and penalty yardage at more than 1,300. That’s 85 yards a game they gave away in penalties.
Betting-wise the Raiders managed to go 9-6-1 ATS last year, and 10-6 on the totals, as their games averaged 49.5 points, eighth-most in the league.
Individually Palmer threw 16 interceptions vs 13 touchdowns, but also racked up an 8.4 YPA average, which ranked in the top-five among starting QBs. And WR Darrius Heyward-Bey broke out with 64 catches for 975 yards.
Oakland took some serious hits over the off-season, losing QB Jason Campbell, RB Michael Bush, TE Kevin Boss, LB Kamerion Wimbley and CB Stanford Routt, and didn’t do a whole lot in the acquisitions department to replace them. Then at the draft they didn’t have a pick until the third round. So the off-season looks like a net loss for the Raiders.
2012 Raiders Schedule
According to last year’s W/L records Oakland will play the 18th-toughest schedule in the league this season. But to our eyes it looks a little tougher than that. They’ve got seven games vs. teams that made the playoffs last year, four of those on the road. The Raiders play the Chargers, Steelers and Broncos within the first four weeks, later go Ravens-Saints-Bengals, and finish at Carolina and at San Diego.
2012 Oakland Raiders Betting Odds and Prediction
Bovada is listing Oakland at +500 to win the AFC West this season, 30/1 to win the AFC and 65/1 to win the Super Bowl, while Bookmaker has the Raiders pegged with a regular-season wins ‘over/under’ of seven (O +105/U -135).
Oakland is working under yet another new head coach, but they do get Palmer from the start, instead of throwing him in cold half-way through the year. Much of the Raiders’ fortunes will depends upon whether McFadden can stay healthy. We think the defense should be better, but so should Oakland’s competition in the AFC West. If we were going to play anything on Oakland for this season it would be taking the +500 to win the division.