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2005 Oakland Raiders NFL Handicapping Review


By Tom Wilkinson


Following a disastrous 2003 season in which they finished 4-12 straight up, and 3-12-1 against the sports betting odds, little was expected of the 2004 Oakland Raiders and little is what they delivered, except to those sports betting players who had the Raiders on their “go against” list of football picks, that is. Norv Turner’s first year as Raider head coach got off to a brutal 1-7 straight up start, (2-6 against the sports betting odds).

Part of the sports handicapping problem specifically attributed to the Raiders themselves is the fact that they are a public or “name brand” team with the general sports betting public. Much like the Dallas Cowboys, the Raiders have a throng of fans who love them as much for their image and memories as they do for sports betting purposes and, thus, Oakland gets a lot of “fan” money wagered on them both at Nevada sportsbooks and at online sports betting websites. This combination of the Raiders being a weak team, and getting no value from the sports betting odds makers, makes them a potentially dangerous team to make football picks with.

After starting off 2004 with a 1-2 mark straight up, and 2-1 against the sports betting odds, the Raiders collapsed, losing five consecutive games both straight up and against the sports betting line. Even after an unexpected win and cover at Carolina stopped the bleeding of red ink, the Raiders went right back into the tank losing three of their next four both straight up and against the sports betting odds.

With a 4-9 record entering their final three games the sports betting value of the Raiders finally returned as even their most ardent fans wanted little to do with them against the sportsbooks and online sports betting websites. That being said, those doing the most thorough and complete sports handicapping analysis of Oakland would find that many of the players spoke openly about supporting Turner, and wanting to close out the season strong for him so he would be retained as coach.

Oakland played hard in their final three games, winning just once, but beating the sports betting odds in two of those final three games. Overall Oakland split their last eight games against the online sports betting websites and sportsbooks, reclaiming some of their value after nuking it in the season’s first half. A good sports handicapping lesson from the 2004 Raiders is to never completely write a team off vs. the sports betting odds.









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