The odds makers in Las Vegas have turned sports lines into an absolute art form. Anyone who spends much time betting on sports knows how often Vegas is spot on with everything from points scored in an individual game to the over under for the Super Bowl. But at the same time, it is also important to remember that the beautiful part of sports is that the unexpected and seemingly impossible can often happen when you least expect it. Vegas will often get it right nine times out of ten but that it’s that one time where a team or player completely bucks expectations that makes sports fandom magical.
If you’re an Oakland Raiders fan, you’ve got to hope that the Raiders will have one of those magical seasons. Fellow Oakland team, the Athletics, experienced one of those seasons two short years ago when they took a roster of no names, expected by most to be the worst team in the major leagues, and won the AFC West title. With news that Derek Carr will be getting the start in week one, Raiders fans are hopeful that his talented arm will be enough to defy the expectations being placed on them by Vegas.
So, just how bad are the Vegas odds?
The over under for wins is five. That means they think the Raiders will finish with somewhere around five wins and are hoping an equal number of people will bet on either side of the over under.
The odds to make the playoffs? Well if you want to bet the Raiders will not make the playoffs, you’re not gonna make much money with -1400 odds. but if they do make it, only the Jaguars making the playoffs would pay out more with the Raiders odds to make the playoffs being set at +700.
For those who are unfamiliar with betting odds, a negative number shows how much you would need to bet in order to win $100. So if you wanted to bet that the Raiders do not make the playoffs, you would have to bet $1,4000 in order to win $100. On a positive number, you see what you would win if you bet $100. In other words, betting $100 on the Raiders to make the playoffs would win you $700.
Finally, the Raiders are tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the team most likely to finish the year with the worst record in the NFL. Only the Minnesota Vikings and the Cleveland Browns come close to the Jags and Raiders for likelihood of being the worst team in the league.
Based on what Vegas thinks so far, it’s pretty clear the Raiders won’t have to do too much to defy the odds.