Las Vegas Raiders (0-0) at Carolina Panthers (0-0)
The Raiders should be better this season than last season, especially since their offensive line figures to be significantly healthier, but that won’t necessarily translate to more wins, as the Raiders were not as good as their 7-9 record suggested last season. All 7 of their wins were close games, decided by 8 points or fewer, including a few that easily could have gone the other way, while 6 of their 9 losses came by 18 points or more, giving them a -106 point differential on the season, which is much more in line with a 4-5 win team than a 7-win team. That is also the case with first down rate differential, in which they ranked 29th at -5.27%..
The Raiders start their 2020 season with a relatively easy one. They have to travel across the country, but the Panthers will have an empty stadium due to pandemic restrictions and the Panthers enter the season as one of the worst teams in the league. We’re not getting real line value either way with the Raiders favored by a field goal, which is my exact calculated line. I would take the Raiders if I had to, but the most likely result might be a push.
Las Vegas Raiders 34 Carolina Panthers 31
Pick against the spread: Las Vegas -3