Raiders Still Underdogs Despite Surge Into AFC West Lead

Raiders And Eagles NFL Background

  • Raiders close gap on AFC West odds boards
  • Sportsbooks still confident in Chiefs despite slip
  • Carr in long shot status for postseason accolades

Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr passed for 323 yards and two touchdowns as the Raiders scored 30 unanswered points in a 33-22 win over Philadelphia at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday.

Despite the fact that the Raiders pushed into first place in the AFC West at 5-2, oddsmakers still list the 4-2 LA Chargers (-115) and the 3-4 Kansas City Chiefs (+250) ahead of Las Vegas (+400). The Denver Broncos, who has lost for in a row, are sitting with (+1400) odds to win the AFC West.

After running back Kenneth Gainwell scored on a 13-yard touchdown pass to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead early in the first period, Carr busted lose as he hit tight end Foster Moreau with an 18-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 7-7 early in the second quarter.

Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake each rushed for a score before Carr hit Bryan Edwards with a 1-yard pass play to give Las Vegas a 30-7 lead after three periods.

Please Note:
Sportsbooks had the Raiders listed at (+1800) to win the AFC West before the season started with the Chiefs at (-275) before the LA Chargers checked in at (+500) and the Denver Broncos posted (+600) odds.

Last week, Kansas City still had the advantage with the sportsbooks as the Chiefs were at (+110) odds to win the division while the Chargers (+135), Raiders (+600) and the Broncos (+1600) followed the Chiefs.

Chiefest of Problems

So far the 2021-22 season has been a nightmare for Kansas City as a porous defense and the lack of continuity offensively have spelled a 3-4 start.

The oddsmakers will not waiver on the Chiefs though as they still have the third best odds to win the AFC at (+650). Buffalo (+200) and Baltimore (+600) lead the conference while the Chargers (+800) and Titans tie for fourth with (+800) odds.

Kansas City is still tied with the Ravens for second in some places as both share a (+550) numeral.

The Raiders pushed up to (+2200) after the win over the Eagles and Denver fell off to (+5000). Las Vegas started the season as low as (+4000) in certain places, but the drama with Jon Gruden’s senseless racist, sexist and homophobic slurs and rants in emails seems to have galvanized the team after he parted ways with the organization two weeks ago.

Please Note:
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been off his game this season and much of that has been due to an offensive line that has allowed him to be under duress as he has thrown nine interceptions while he has been sacked 14 times.

Mahomes was only sacked on 22 occasions all of last year, so he is on pace to eclipse that mark. Tennessee dropped him four times in the Titans’ 27-3 win over Sunday.

A Jolt for the Bolts

The Los Angeles Chargers are tied in the loss column with the Raiders after their bye-week as they jump back into action against the desperate Patriots this week.

As the Bolts are a 5.5-point favorite over the Patriots, Justin Herbert continues to anchor an offense that is lethal in the passing game as it equates to 282 yards through the air per outing (7th/NFL).

LA started the season at (+1600) to win the AFC as the Chargers have closed to (+800) while their odds to win the Super Bowl are holding at (+1800).

Quarterback Justin Herbert looks to get back on track this week after he and the Chargers struggled so mightily in the 34-6 loss to the Ravens two weeks ago.

Herbert threw for only 195 yards as Baltimore turned in a masterpiece on defense in holding Los Angeles to 208 total yards.

Once again, sportsbooks are not discarding the Chiefs as they have fallen, but to (+1400), seventh in the AFC as they still have the best odds of any AFC West team to win the Lombardi Trophy.

Las Vegas is still a long shot at (+5000), but the Raiders were at (+10000) last week and were at (+8000) when the season began.

Denver is now posting odds at (+15000) to win the Super Bowl after starting the season in some online sportsbooks at (+5000) and they were sitting at (+8000) last week.

Raiders’ Carr Ride is Smooth

Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr completed 31 of 34 passes vs. the Eagles on Sunday, but his odds to win the NFL MVP still are tied with Derrick Henry of the Titans and Ravens QB Lamar Jackson at (+2500).

He had struggled in the last two games before the Gruden ouster when he was sacked seven times and he threw for only a combined 402 yards in the losses to Chicago and the LA Chargers.

Amazingly, he is a long shot for the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year as oddsmakers have him sitting with odds at (+5000).

Carr appears to be back at the point in which he started the season as he averaged 401 yards passing in his first three games as the Raiders got off to a 3-0 start.

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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

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