Despite not moving to Vegas for a few more years, the Oakland Raiders are already starting to make waves in the NFL betting circles. It’s been reported that more wagers have been placed on the Raiders than any other team, including the New England Patriots, to lift the Lombardi trophy in 2018. Originally the Raiders were sat at 18/1, ahead of many conference rivals, but have now seen their odds slashed to as low as 6-1 in some sportsbooks from the sheer number of bets.
Now the rise in bets won’t be off the back of Oaklands uneventful preseason match against the Cardinals, which they lost 20-10, but more the news and belief that Carr is coming back healthy and Lynch can return to his former self. The Raiders being at 18-1 or 20-1 was absurd considering the standard in which they played last year that saw them legitimate title contenders until Carr went down in week 16. If you were to base it on the teams wild-card performance, like many places may have, then you could say it was accurate.
When teams have over inflated odds like that they are always open for massive fluctuations. Now the season is coming around (thankfully!) people will begin to get their wagers on, and the Raiders was an option too good to miss. With such a large proportion of people betting on them, the overall odds had to decrease to counter act the market share heading their way and bring back some normality. It’s likely that over the coming weeks building up to the regular season we will see their odds return to roughly 10-1 when everything calms down, barring any serious injuries to the Raiders or anybody else.
It may be a surprise that more bets were put on the Raiders than the Patriots, considering New England is widely regarded as the team to beat following their Super Bowl win last season. This is more of a reflection on the high-risk, low-reward odds for New England (4-1) than their actual chances at winning the title. Pittsburgh, widely regarded as the other AFC powerhouse, haven’t seen their odds fluctuate much, and still sit around the 12-1 mark.
Over in the NFC the Packers are still favourites at 9-1, with the Seahawks and Cowboys just behind. Dallas will be an interesting team to watch and see how their odds change with Ezekiel Elliot’s looming suspension for 6-games. Should the odds improve from 12-1 before Elliot’s appeal hearing on August 29th then they could be worth a bet, especially considering the run of game-bans being overturned recently.