Skip to content

Up-and-Down First Season in Las Vegas for the Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders 2020 Season in Review

Raiders 2020 Betting Record

Moneyline: 8-8

Point Spread: 8-8

Bryan Edwards of the Las Vegas Raiders celebrates a touchdown catch against the Denver Broncos
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

Total: Over-Under: 12-3-1

The Raiders marked their move from Oakland to Las Vegas by being active in free agency. The Raiders signed LBs Corey Littleton and Nick Kwiatkowski’s three-year deals along with shorter deals for veterans like WR Nelson Agholor and TE Jason Witten. They also brought in Marcus Mariota to give Derek Carr some competition at QB.

The move to Vegas was certainly marred by the coronavirus pandemic as no fans were allowed in the newly built Allegiant Stadium for the duration of the season. This certainly may have played a part in the Raiders abhorrent 2-6 home record. Las Vegas got off to a good start but faltered down the stretch in coach Jon Gruden’s third season. As far as NFL Betting goes, Raiders games were quite a good bet to go over the point total in 2020. This happened in 12 of their 16 games as Vegas was a pretty good offensive team but a sieve defensively.

First Quarter

The season started off quite well for the Raiders. In Week 1, they defeated the Panthers 34-30 on the road. Second-year RB Josh Jacobs picked up 93 yard on 25 carries. The next week they defeated a very good Saints team in their first game in Vegas, albeit, without anyone in the stands watching. Carr threw three touchdown passes and TE Darren Waller had a game-high 105 receiving yards. So after two weeks, Las Vegas stood at 2-0 both ATS and SU.

But, Las Vegas dropped two straight against tough AFC East competition, in the Patriots and Bills. Through four games, the Raiders were allowing 30 points per game which was a harbinger of future troubles to come.

Moneyline: 2-2

Point Spread: 2-2

Total: Over-Under: 3-0-1

Grade: B

Second Quarter

The Raiders started off this stretch with a surprise win against the Chiefs in a game they were 11-point underdogs in. Two of Carr’s three touchdown passes were for more than 50 yards as Agholor caught a 59 yarder and WR Henry Ruggs III caught a 72 yarder.

But, after the bye week, the Raiders suffered their worst loss of the season to date. The Tom Brady-led Bucs put up 45 points and held Vegas to 20. The Raiders were able to bounce back nicely with consecutive road wins and covers against the Browns and Chargers.

Moneyline: 3-1

Point Spread: 3-1

Total: Over-Under: 3-1

Grade: A-

Third Quarter

At 5-3, the Raiders could have done their playoff hopes a solid with a 4-0 or 3-1 record during this period. Things started off well as Las Vegas had its best defensive performance of the season in a 37-12 win against the Denver Broncos. It was perhaps unreasonable to expect Raiders to take both games against the Chiefs, but despite losing, they did once again cover the spread as underdogs.

Now with games against a struggling Falcons squad and the winless Jets, the Raiders had a prime opportunity to pick up crucial wins. What unfolded instead was a blowout loss and lucky win. The Raiders had an inexcusable 43-6 loss against the Falcons that could have been even worse had they not forced five field goals. They followed it up by needing a hail mary from Carr to Ruggs on an inexplicable Jets blitz call to beat 0-11 New York. Something was clearly up with the Raiders and they were quickly starting to look more like a pretender than a contender.

Moneyline: 2-2

Point Spread: 2-2

Total: Over-Under: 2-2

Grade: C

Fourth Quarter

The Raiders, at 7-5, were still in the AFC playoff race and faced a challenging but winnable schedule for the remainder of the year. The Philip Rivers-led Colts beat the Raiders 44-27 in Week 14, followed by another Raiders loss to the Chargers in Week 15.

The Raiders could still technically keep their playoff hopes alive with a win against the Dolphins, but they lost on a last-second field goal in a game where the lead changed four times in the last few minutes. Another Raiders season, another late-season collapse. They did beat the Broncos in Week 17 as a consolation, though.

Moneyline: 1-3

Point Spread: 1-3

Total: Over-Under: 4-0

Grade: D

Divisional Record: 4-2

Conference Record: 6-6

Full Season Grade: C

Looking Ahead to Next Season

Glaring Needs:

The Raiders need to improve their defense, generally. Specifically, their DTs, LBs, and safeties. It still doesn’t look like the Raiders have found an adequate replacement for Khalil Mack after a few seasons. The Raiders did just sign DE Yannick Ngakoue and DT Solomon Thomas. But, their offseason has drawn mixed reviews. There have been multiple offensive line departures, which is concerning.

Obvious Strengths:

The Raiders have a dangerous running back tandem with the signing of Kenyan Drake, who rushed for 955 yards and 10 touchdowns with the Cardinals in 2020 and joins Josh Jacobs as a formidable duo. Carr perhaps doesn’t get the respect he deserves around the league and put together a solid individual season. He threw for 4103 yards, 27 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in 2020 on a 67.3% completion percentage. Darren Waller also put up 1,196 yards and nine touchdowns at the TE position and is a great option to have.

I think the Raiders still have work to do and project as an average team once again. They have long Super Bowl Odds of +7500 and should be on the playoff bubble.

Predicted Record for 2021 Season: 7-9

Featured Picks

Related News