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2013 Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders have struggled mightily over the past decade and are still looking to turn the corner and post their first winning season since 2002. The Raiders started 3-4 last season both straight-up and against the spread and then proceeded to drop eight of their final nine games down the stretch to finish 4-12 overall. They killed their backers down the stretch as well, going just 2-7 ATS.
Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer benefited from playing behind in most games by topping 4,000 yards for the third time in his career with 4,018 yards to go along with 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. But Palmer did not have much help, as Raiders running back Darren McFadden had another disappointing season, rushing for just 707 yards and two TDs in 12 games and failing to record 1,000 yards of total offense for the second consecutive season. Tight end Brandon Meyers was the team's surprise leader in both receptions and receiving yards with 79 catches for 806 yards and four TDs. However, the Raiders offense ranked 26th in the league in points scored at 18.1 per game while their defense ranked 28th in points allowed, giving up 27.7 per contest.
Getting outscored by nearly 10 points per game in 2012 did not cost head coach Dennis Allen his job in his first year in Oakland. Allen will be under heavy pressure though this year to show he belongs in the NFL. The Raiders did fire offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, and veteran NFL assistant coach Greg Olson was hired as his replacement. They also made a big QB change, trading Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals and acquiring Matt Flynn from the Seattle Seahawks. Flynn will finally get an opportunity to be a starting QB after he sat behind Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay and then backed up rookie sensation Russell Wilson last season. Oakland drafted cornerback D.J. Hayden out of the University of Houston in the first round and also added safety Charles Woodson and CBs Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter in free agency. The team's secondary and man-to-man coverage should be greatly improved this season, especially with former Raider Woodson back in the fold to provide veteran leadership. One of the biggest concerns this season for the Raiders will be their defensive line, where they lost defensive tackles Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly and Desmond Bryant. They also had four other key losses in Meyers, wide receiver Darius Heyward-Bey, linebacker Phillip Wheeler, S Michael Huff.
The oddsmakers at 5Dimes have the Raiders set at O/U 5.5 wins for this upcoming season. Oakland had far more key losses than key additions this offseason, and the team's offense will continue to struggle to score enough points to win games due to a severe lack of weapons. For those reasons, five wins looks to be the ceiling for this team ,with less even more likely.
Recommended Play: UNDER 5.5
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