Moving a franchise from one city to another is a common occurrence in US sport. That’s what has happened in the NFL this year with the Raiders moving from Oakland to Las Vegas. Just how will they get on in their new home?
This isn’t a franchise that is alien to Super Bowl success or moving to a new home. When playing in Oakland, they won two titles and one more after moving to Los Angeles. No one is saying that their first season in Las Vegas is going to see them win the Super Bowl.
The Raiders will play their home fixtures at the brand-new Allegiant Stadium. It’s a great arena, but at present, no fans will be allowed into games due to the ongoing health crisis. It’s good to see the NFL come to Las Vegas, though, and hopefully, it won’t be too long before fans can attend. A weekend of gambling, entertainment, and an NFL game sounds highly appealing.
But can the new kids in town become a winning team? When it comes to predicting what is going to happen in sport, getting the views of a bookmaker is always a good idea. They have a team of sports experts whose job it is to predict results and ensure the bookmakers offer the right odds on games. Betting on the NFL online is a relatively new experience with more states legalizing sportsbooks. If you are new to all of this, there are sites that can help you find the best sportsbooks to join.
It is going to take a lot of improvement for the Raiders to make it into the playoffs. Last season saw them win seven of their nine games and finish third in AFC West. That was a step in the right direction because they only won four games in the 2018 season.
Head coach John Gruden has been working hard to rebuild the Raiders, but his bosses will be expecting more improvement this season. Not since 2016 have they made it to the playoffs when losing to Houston Texans in the wild card match. That’s their only playoff appearance since 2003.
Winning AFC West is another dream that is most unlikely to be fulfilled. Current Super Bowl champions, Kansas City Chiefs are in their division, along with the Los Angeles Chargers and the Denver Broncos.
Their chances of making the playoffs have been increased, though. This season will see 14 teams take part in the playoffs with an additional wild card in each of the leagues. Reaching the playoffs via a wild card has to be their main aim this season.
The Raiders are a team that has plenty of young players that are gradually improving. Their offense looks stronger this season, and new signings in defense, including Maliek Brown from the Cowboys, will aim to do the same in that area of play.
The season got off to a good start with a 34-30 win at Carolina Panthers. They led by 12 points going into the final quarter and just held on after their opponents closed the gap. An impressive performance by Josh Jacobs helped the Raiders to their win.
Last weekend’s home opener also had a happy ending as the Raiders went on to win 34-24 after New Orleans had scored the first 10 points in the new arena.
Next up for them are the New England Patriots, back home hosting the Buffalo Bills and an away game against the Chiefs. Winning three of their first five games would give them a good platform for the rest of the season.
Realistically though, despite their good offense, they are likely to be struggling for wins in those three games. Two are in the bag, that’s a great start, and the addition of more talent can hopefully lead to more consistency.
Finishing second behind the Chiefs is an achievable target. It might need another season before they can really challenge for the playoffs, though. Establishing themselves in the casino capital of Las Vegas and building a solid fan base is important for the Raiders. Success on the pitch is a possibility.