With the Las Vegas Raiders standing at 5-3 through the most difficult part of their schedule, the odds the team makes the playoffs for just the second time in 17 years are getting better. What are the Raiders playoff odds as we enter Week 10?
Playoffs? Don’t talk about Playoffs. You kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game! – Jim Mora
This quote is from Jim Mora, when he coached the Indianapolis Colts in 2001, has been synonymous with the Las Vegas Raiders franchise for the majority of the previous seventeen seasons. Since 2003 the Raiders have only made one playoff appearance (2016) and it was spoiled as Derek Carr suffered a broken leg two weeks prior. The Raiders playoff odds since have always been a long shot. But is that changing this year – their first in Nevada?
It’s an understatement to say “things are different in 2020” considering the state of the world with COVID-19. As for the Raiders, things are most definitely different. It remains up for debate but Derek Carr’s name can rightfully be tossed into MVP consideration. With eight remaining games, Carr is poised to throw for 32 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, and over 4,000 yards yet again. The success of Carr will, in all likelihood, determine the direction this team goes.
Right now, things are trending up.
The Autumn Wind is blowing and it seems to be pushing the Raiders right into serious playoff contention. The Silver and Black have been forced to handle all sorts of issues thus far. Along the offensive line and at cornerback, it has been a game of musical chairs as the team fends off the injury bug. Add up the fines from COVID-19 violations, and one of the league’s toughest schedules to start the year, and it can create problems for any franchise.
Despite all of that, this Raiders team has shown its mental and physical toughness to put themselves in a good position. Of course, the Raiders must finish strong. The Raiders playoff odds hinge on them winning games they should and being close in even games they lose.
Despite the success, many media pundits weren’t buying it through the hardest part of their schedule. Early in the season, Cynthia Frelund of NFL Network had the Raiders playoff odds at a mere 17%. Prior to Las Vegas defeating the Chargers in Week 9, NFL.com via their Snapchat poll, had bumped the Raiders playoff odds to 41%.
That number continues to rise as FiveThirtyEight currently has the Raiders playoff odds at 62%. With half the schedule still to be played, Las Vegas is favored in five of their eight games remaining. In two of the three games they are not favored to win (Falcons & Colts), the Raiders are a one-point underdog in each. The one remaining game where the Raiders are a big underdog (+7), is at home against the Chiefs, a team they’ve already beat.
While the current projections are in line with a 10-6 final record, the way the Raiders have shown they can win games against proven top-rated teams indicates they can exceed 10 wins. The Raiders playoff odds may change over the coming weeks, but the league, and oddsmakers, are starting to respect the season Jon Gruden’s squad has had thus far.
Raider Nation, let us know your thoughts, will this team finish with 10+ wins, and do you think they’re a playoff-caliber team, why or why not?