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2010 Oakland Raiders Odds | Preview | Picks

2010 Oakland Raiders Team Preview/Predictions

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2009 Record: 5-11
ATS: 8-8-0

At times sports teams mirror their cities, and in this case that happens to be a good thing. In the past few years, seemingly, while nobody was really paying much attention, the city of Oakland has begun to turn itself around. Likewise the Raiders seem to be a team on the rise.

Finally admitting to themselves what the football world figured out two years ago, Oakland bid farewell to quarterback JaMarcus Russell this offseason and replaced him with former Washington Redskins’ starter Jason Campbell.

This is an automatic upgrade for a team that desperately needed exactly that at the position.

For years now, Oakland’s struggles under center – which led to a dreary 5-11 season that never showed any promise whatsoever – have been magnified because of the talent surrounding the position; 2009 was no exception.

Top draft pick Darrius Heyward-Bey spent his rookie season looking very much like the reach everybody said he was at wide receiver.

Although fellow receiver Louis Murphy surprised some folks in his rookie campaign, he still has a ways to go as well.

The good news for Campbell and the Raiders is that they have a great tight end in Zach Miller and, assuming he can stay healthy, running back Darren McFadden is a potential game-breaker.

However, that only matters if he can stay on the field. As it is McFadden will back up Michael Bush, who’s proven to be a more durable back, and with the release of running back Justin Fargas, both Bush and McFadden will be pushed for playing time by the arrival of Michael Bennett from San Diego and Rock Cartwright from Washington (the latter of whom will split time at the position with his fullback duties).

On the defensive side of the ball Oakland will get help on two fronts this year. First, the arrival of linebacker Rolando McClain from Alabama – whose college coaches praised him for both his skill and his smarts – should step in immediately.

If McClain can take over leading the middle of that defense, former Patriot defensive end Richard Seymour can be free to wreak havoc.

A strong secondary led by Nnamdi Asomugha and Michael Huff won’t have to worry so much about run support and simply focus on what they do best.

The second thing Oakland’s defense will benefit from this year, as was the case last season, is the presence of what is arguably the best special teams unit in the NFL.

It’s odd that one division can claim the two best punters in football, but the AFC West can with Mike Scifres in San Diego and Shane Lechler in Oakland.

Add to that the strong leg of placekicker Sebastian Janikowski, and the Raiders have the ability to open up the playbook in more spots on the field than many other teams. Now it’s just a matter of what they can do with the opportunity.

The Raiders need to jell, they need to mature, and they need some breaks. But every year there’s a team that finds a way to end up winning more games than it should.

Raiders 2010 Outlook

The Raiders could very well be that team this year. Put them at 8-8.

Raiders 2010 Futures

Super Bowl Odds: +8550
Conference Odds: +4050
AFC West Odds: +800

2010 Raiders Predictions

Place they’ll finish in AFC West: 2nd
Place they’ll finish in AFC Conference: 11th
Over/Under Season Wins Prediction: Over 5.5 Wins

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Dave Golokhov has written for BETUS Sportsbook, Sportsfanmagazine.com, FOX, Askmen.com, Sports-central.org, and the FOXSports.com Funhouse.

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