2020 NFL week 1 upsets: Losing Las Vegas Raiders
Everyone who loves to watch and wager on the NFL loves a good upset. When an underdog surprises early in the season the fans take notice. The important thing is to spot them before they happen, which is easier said than done. The first game making the list of 2020 NFL week 1 upsets is the Carolina Panthers to beat the Las Vegas Raiders.
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One look at the betting lines
The NFL oddsmakers at the top sportsbooks know what they are doing. When they set a line they cannot afford to be wrong or they will lose millions. At first glance, the point-spread in the Raiders game looks off. The Raiders under Jon Gruden look to be improved this season. Meanwhile, the Panthers appear to be in rebuild mode. If this assumption is true than the Raiders would be big favorites. However, in the first game of the season, the Silver and Black are just (-1.5) road favorites.
Public piling on
If that is not enough cause for concern, it gets worse for fans of the Las Vegas Raiders. Over 78 percent of the early wagers are on the road team. This is the highest amount of concentrated public money on one play. The Raider beat out the Arizona Cardinals and the Green Bay Packers, two other very popular plays. This is not surprising as Mile Mayock has done a great job of rebuilding this team and the Raiders are ranked No. 1 to surprise everyone this year.
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Looks good on paper
The Raiders have a huge crop of young and talented playmakers on offense. OC Greg Olsen will be happy to guide this offense on the field. The Raiders brought in veteran Jason Witten to lead young players like Josh Jacobs and newly drafted rookie WR Henry Ruggs III. Although everyone is optimistic about this offense, they have to show it. It’s the defense that really needs to improve. This is a team that lost five of the last six games a year ago and will have to try and flip a switch to start the season. This is not easy to do.
Buy in on Bridgewater
The Panthers parted ways with Cam Newton and long-time coach Ron Rivera and everyone instantly thinks to rebuild. Teddy Bridgwater will be a great fit and is already comfortable in the offense under OC Joe Brady. With weapons like Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore, this offense can be just as dangerous as the Raiders. Bridgewater should have time considering that Raiders ranked 27th in Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Sack Rate metric. The Raiders improved in the off-season but still have a vulnerable secondary.
2020 NFL week 1 upsets: Panthers beat the Raiders
Both of these defenses are suspect. But young players in the Panthers camp have impressed like DT Derrick Brown, DB Jeremy Chin, and CB Stantley Thomas-Oliver III. This Panthers team is young and exciting and it will show in game one. The Raiders are 17-36-1 ATS in their last 54 games as a favorite and 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games as a road favorite. In the second week of the season, the Raiders open up their new stadium on Monday night football against the New Orleans Saints. With one eye on that game and some areas to improve on, the Raiders will lose in week one.