The opening week of the NFL season is now finally just days away for the Las Vegas Raiders. With football back, we all know fans like to put a few bucks on the action, so how do things look like?
To open up the 2020 season, the Silver and Black will be facing the Carolina Panthers in an empty stadium due to restrictions brought on by the pandemic. As far as the matchup, the two opponents come in as young, up and coming teams, with the Panthers having arguably the best running back in the league. The Raiders themselves have a stud in Josh Jacobs who will be heavily featured in this game. Raider Nation’s also stoked to see the rookie class debut, especially the wide receivers and cornerbacks.
A telling prognosticator for this game is ESPN’s matchup predictor, which has this encounter almost dead even. The slight edge goes to the Panthers with a 51% chance to come out as victors. As far as betting, the NFL lines here show the Raiders are a 3.5-point favorites. Ben Brown of Pro Football Focus also weighed in on these odds recently.
“The Raiders travel across the country to play the Panthers as 3.5 -point road favorites. Bettors have been backing the new team in Las Vegas after seeing an opening line of pick ’em, as the Raiders have been pushed all the way out to -2 in certain spots.”
Do the Raiders have an edge in this game?
One of the advantages for the Raiders in this game that might swing gamblers in their direction will be Derek Carr. PFF points out that while the quarterback is by no means elite, he gives the Silver and Black the edge in this matchup, “Derek Carr gets the slight edge — according to PFF passing grade — but we know enough about both quarterbacks to comfortably say that they are not in the elite tier of NFL passers.”
As Raider Nation has seen, Carr’s accuracy can be downright scary, one of his strongest attributes. However, he excels with a clean pocket as PFF pointed out via their Twitter, his passing grade stood at 91.6 in 2019.
— PFF Las Vegas Raiders (@PFF_Raiders) August 20, 2020
So knowing this, it would appear you’re in good hands by trusting Carr and the Raiders in this opening week matchup. After an odd and unique offseason that had no preseason, fans can now look forward to getting into the action.
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*Top Photo: Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal