The Las Vegas Raiders’ first regular season game of the 2023 NFL is finally upon us. You know what that means? It is time to make some money. A few weeks ago, we brought you some great Raiders futures bets. Today we are focusing on the season-opening showdown with the Denver Broncos. All lines come via Draft Kings as of Saturday morning. Let’s get into the picks, starting with the best value pick of the week.
Best Value: Raiders Money Line (+145)
This may be setting up for disappointment, but let’s go for it! We are picking the Raiders to start out with a win. There is actually a lot to like about this pick. For starters, people forget that the Raiders have dominated this rivalry as of late. Las Vegas has not lost to Denver since 2019, and they have only lost to them twice in total over the last five seasons.
So, why are the Raiders underdogs in this tilt? A lot of it likely has to do with Sean Payton taking over as Denver’s head coach. He has a tall task ahead of him though. It’s quite possible that Russell Wilson is closer to retirement than he is to being an elite quarterback. Also, the roster is riddled with injuries, especially on offense. Fully healthy with an improved Wilson, the Broncos would make sense as 3.5-point favorites at home. Given the current situation, this game is a toss-up that probably leans towards the Raiders. At +150, the value is fantastic. It’s even better knowing that Josh Jacobs will be back.
Lock of the Week: Josh Jacobs Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+115)
Picking Jacobs to score as a lock may seem crazy. There is concern that he could be a little rusty after missing all of training. That would be a cause for hesitancy in any other matchup, but not in this one. Jacobs could not get a better opponent to start his second consecutive contract year against.
The defending NFL rushing champ has dominated the Broncos for his entire career. In seven games against Denver, Jacobs has found the end zone nine times. He has scored at least once in five of those matchups. The Raiders running back could wake up from a month-long coma and still score against the Broncos. He will be fine with only practicing for a week. This is a sure-fire lock, the fact that there are plus odds on this is bonkers. Hammer this pick. There is no such thing as a bad Jacobs prop this week.
Long-shot of the Week: Josh Jacobs to Score a Touchdown First (+700)
We are doubling down on Jacobs this week. As mentioned before, he scores a lot against the Broncos. Jacobs has actually scored twice in four of his seven games against Denver. More likely than not, he is going to score twice. Let’s say there are five touchdowns scored in total; that gives you a 40 percent shot at Jacobs being the first one.
It gets even better if you feel confident about the Raiders this week. As mentioned above, there is plenty of reason to do so. Let’s assume the Raiders win this game and score the first touchdown. Who on the Raiders do you like to score more than Jacobs? At +700, he actually has the best odds of anyone playing in this game to score first. That is right in the sweet spot between long odds and decent likelihood. It is definitely worth throwing a few bucks at.
*Top Photo: Chris Unger/Getty Images