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Don't Look Now, but the Silver and Black are Back

Khalil Mack Oakland Raiders NFL

If you listen closely, you can hear the motto “Just Win, Baby” echo throughout Oakland as if the words were just muttered by legendary Raiders figure Al Davis. They weren’t, of course, but that famous slogan once again has meaning as there is excitement surrounding this franchise.

The best part is that it’s deserved.

The Raiders were hot and cold last year but posted quality victories over the likes of the Super Bowl-champion Denver Broncos as well as the 10-win New York Jets. Furthermore, the hype around quarterback Derek Carr and budding superstar-wide receiver Amari Cooper is warranted as the duo is forming the core of an absolutely lethal offensive attack. Throw in 1,000-yard rusher Latavius Murray, the excellent Michael Crabtree and an exceptional offensive line and you just know this team is going places.

Oh, did I not mention the freakishly good Khalil Mack on the other side of the ball? They also added cornerback Sean Smith and linebacker Bruce Irvin via free agency to bolster the defense. See, it’s not just offense in Oaktown. General manager Reggie McKenzie has done a fine, fine job of building this team and his commitment to excellence is evident all over the roster.

The wins are going to come, baby.

Here’s a look at their odds for the upcoming season:

Super Bowl +2500

The Silver and Black haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1983 (XVIII) and haven’t even been to the postseason since 2002. Yes, the Rich Gannon era.

The price tag attached with the Raiders is really quite appealing but perhaps it’s wise to pump the brakes and wait for this team to return to the playoffs before writing Super Bowl-futures tickets.

As stated, these are indeed exciting times, but there are other futures a bit further down the board that present some better value.

AFC West +220

Like this one.

Sure, they are in the same division as the current Super Bowl holders, but the Broncos lost a ton of talent in the offseason and the quarterback position is a bit of a question mark at the moment in case you hadn’t heard.

Yes, the defense is still all-world, but the Raiders played them so admirably in 2015, losing just 16-10 in Week 5 and winning 15-12 in Week 14. They aren’t intimidated.

Certainly, after posting an excellent 11-5 record last season, the Kansas City Chiefs are going to be an obstacle, but the San Diego Chargers should be easy pickings.

Considering this division could be a dog fight all season long, I like backing the Raiders in this spot.

OVER/UNDER Win Total 8.5

Ah yes. This is the Raiders’ futures wager I like best. I LOVE Oakland to record nine wins at the very least.

The opponents on their 2016 docket combined to post a 128-128 record in 2015. They get the AFC South and NFC South so they get to face the likes of the New Orleans Saints (Week 1) and Tennessee Titans (Week 3), plus the likes of the Baltimore Ravens (Week 4) and Buffalo Bills (Week 13).

Admittedly, the schedule is not without its challenges as three of their final four games of the season come on the road versus their three AFC West foes.

This is a team that exploded from three wins in 2014 to seven last season. The Raiders are trending in the right direction and 2016 is going to be an exciting year for Raider Nation.

Latavius Murray to lead the NFL in Rushing +4000

The mere notion that the NFL’s sixth-leading rusher (1,066 yards) one season ago is 20th – 20th!!! – on the board is insanity.

Murray put forth a strong, steady season as the primary back in Oakland carrying the rock 266 times (third most in the NFL) and catching the ball 41 times for 232 more yards.

Sure, he broke down a little bit as the season wore on – averaging just 53.75 yards per game in the final four contests – but one look at that fantastic offensive line that will be blocking for him and this longshot pick starts to look like it makes sense.

2016 Oakland Raiders Futures Odds
MarketOdds
Super Bowl+2500
AFC Championship+1200
AFC West+220
Win Total8.5

Odds as of August 26 at Bovada

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