Las Vegas Raiders Odds
One of these days, the Raiders are either going to ride with Derek Carr at quarterback or move on for good. Carr had a fine statistical season in 2019 but general manager Mike Mayock again resisted saying Carr was the man for the Raiders with names like Drew Brees and Tom Brady on the free agent market.
Carr, however, has more weapons than ever and the quick-trigger West Coast-style offense could give him a chance to be a major surprise.
Las Vegas is the team’s new home, but the approach won’t change much — running back Josh Jacobs is going to get the ball early and often to set up play-action and let Carr’s new receivers eat against a Panthers’ defense without teeth.
Carolina Panthers Odds
It’s not difficult to count the reasons the Panthers are home dogs in Week 1. Beyond a new head coach and franchise faces Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly moving along, the defensive depth chart was almost entirely erased and Carolina kept more rookies than any team on its 53-man depth chart.
Four are expected to start on defense, and holes at cornerback and linebacker could prove serious pain points. The Raiders are not smashmouth by any stretch. But head coach Jon Gruden will pound the ball when he sees a vulnerable opponent and then keep bringing it straight ahead until you slow the Raiders down.
Carolina’s best chances lie with 2019 MVP candidate Christian McCaffrey, who will get as much work as he can handle as an outlet receiver and runner.
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater doesn’t stretch the field but gets rid of the ball, and that means the Raiders’ secondary must tackle — a problem area in 2019.
Raiders at Panthers Team Betting Pick for Week 1
Wary bettors know the West Coast to East Coast challenge can show up, especially this time of year, but the Raiders are rabid after folding late last season and should open the season with a W.
Raiders at Panthers Betting Pick: Raiders (-3), Panthers (+3)
Raiders 34, Panthers 19
Raiders at Panthers Best Bet
Scoring was the issue for the Raiders last season and red-zone woes in particular rankled Gruden and Mayock.
All of the changes made to the roster are designed to trigger more points, and we expect a statement Sunday.
Raiders at Panthers Best Bet: Raiders OVER 31.5 points