The last time the Oakland Raiders finished with a winning record (11-5) they went to the Super Bowl. That was 2002 and the last time the Raiders finished above .500. The franchise has been abysmal since and has won just 11 games in the past three seasons. The Raiders have, however, drafted well the past few years and are poised to make a move in the AFC West. However bookmakers aren't that confident "Da Raidas" will make any moves having listed the Raiders as 66/1 underdogs in Super Bowl predictions to hoist the Lombardi trophy, 33/1 to win the AFC Conference and +1200 in NFL odds to win the AFC West.
Since 2002, the Oakland Raiders have had seven different head coaches. NFL veteran defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio makes it number eight. He will have some work to do. The Raiders were dead last in total offense and just one point better than league-worst Jacksonville in scoring offense. Offensively, the Raiders have some weapons including second-year QB Derek Carr, TE Mychal Rivera, and this year’s first-round draft pick wide receiver Amari Cooper. Oakland also signed former San Francisco WR Michael Crabtree and RB Roy Helu Jr from Washington. The offensive line protected Carr last season giving up just 24 sacks, but the running game was virtually nonexistent. That will have to improve.
No other team in the league gave up more points than the Oakland Raiders last year, but the defense is starting to come together. Last year’s No. 1 draft pick Khalil Mack is an emerging star. The 6-3, 250-pounder is terrific against the run and the Raiders hope to unleash him as a pass rushing threat this season. Former Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith and Curtis Lofton of New Orleans were picked up in free agency and will make the linebacking corps even better. Oakland also drafted a pair of linebackers in Ben Heeney of Kansas and Neiron Ball of Florida. At 39 years of age, Charles Woodson will patrol the secondary for the Raiders once again.
Woodson will suit up for his 18th season in the league after leading Oakland in tackles (110) and interceptions (4) last season. Nate Allen and James Dockery were signed in the offseason to add depth to the defensive backfield. With a change of coaching staff and some new life injected into the franchise, the Raiders should improve on their 3-13 mark from a year ago; winning the 2015 AFC West however is unlikely. How much they improve may rely on how quickly the team can come together under Del Rio and his new coaching staff. That being said, sportsbooks are predicting that Oakland will only win two more games than last year with NFL odds for the Raiders total regular season wins listed at 5½ OVER (-130).
Raiders Update (9/11/15): Oakland are now +10000 favorites in Super Bowl predictions, +4000 to win the AFC Conference and +1200 to win the AFC West.