Las Vegas Raiders predictions, odds, and preview for the 2023 season

By VSiN Staff  ( 

September 4, 2023 04:30 PM

Las Vegas Raiders 2023 season preview and predictions

This appeared in the original VSiN NFL Betting Guide released on June 29, 2023.

Matt Youmans: Midway through his first season, coach Josh McDaniels’ honeymoon in Vegas was over. The Raiders started 2-7, beating only the Broncos and Texans, and it was around that time when McDaniels decided he would be divorcing quarterback Derek Carr. In steps Jimmy Garoppolo as the franchise continues to add former Patriots. There were rumors that McDaniels initially wanted Tom Brady as his next quarterback. Instead, Brady has signed on as a minority owner. Despite a 6-11 debut, McDaniels is not on a hot seat because owner Mark Davis has a big-picture plan to mirror the New England organization, a rebuild requiring more time and the right quarterback.


The skill-position pieces are in place for something special to happen under the play-calling guidance of McDaniels and coordinator Mick Lombardi. Davante Adams is as good as it gets, totaling 100 receptions for 1,516 yards and 14 touchdowns in his first season without Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback. Hunter Renfrow and Jakobi Meyers, a free agent from New England, line up next to Adams. Michael Mayer, a second-round pick from Notre Dame, will likely start at tight end. Josh Jacobs returns after leading the NFL with 1,653 rushing yards. 

Las Vegas should improve its scoring offense, which ranked 12th at 23.2 ppg. The pieces are in place if Garoppolo can stay healthy and the offensive line performs better than it projects on paper. Aside from left tackle Kolton Miller, the line talent is a question mark. The backup quarterback situation is another concern. Carr is no longer the fall guy if things break down.


In a division with Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Russell Wilson as the opposing quarterbacks, it’s scary to face so many questions on defense. It obviously helps to have Maxx Crosby, who had 12.5 sacks last season, to chase those QBs. The Raiders ranked near the bottom of the league in all key defensive categories, including interceptions (six, 31st), sacks (27, 30th) and scoring (24.6 ppg, 26th). Las Vegas addressed the line in the draft by picking edge rusher Tyree Wilson in the first round and 300-pound tackle Byron Young in the third. Chandler Jones, who topped the NFL with 107.5 sacks from 2012-21, must do more after getting only 4.5 sacks. The second and third levels of the defense have too many holes, and a weak pass defense might mean the Raiders will need a high-scoring offense to win games.


The Raiders are still paying for numerous dumb-and-dumber draft mistakes made by former coach Jon Gruden and former general manager Mike Mayock. The 10-win season of 2021 was a mirage considering the team cashed in on close-game luck by going 4-0 in overtime. Las Vegas does have elite special teamers — dead-eye kicker Daniel Carlson and punter AJ Cole — to help in tight games. Pro Football Focus ranks the Raiders 25th in the league and as the worst team in the division. Las Vegas swept Denver last season, something that’s unlikely to happen this season. A Garoppolo injury would be big trouble, and a schedule with no soft spots will make it challenging to win eight games. DraftKings opened the Raiders’ win total at 7.5 (Under -150) and sharp money has pushed the price to -180.

This appeared in the Updated VSiN NFL Betting Guide released on August 31, 2023.

Michael Lombardi: After beating the Broncos in overtime in Week 11, the Raiders improved to 3-7. Over the next seven games, they turned the ball over 14 times, still won three games, and had a chance to win two more. They kept shooting themselves in the foot with poor decisions and lousy execution. The Raiders were determined this off-season to become a smarter situational football team, protect the ball, and not make the easy throw challenging. And so far this summer, they have done a nice job of displaying their improvements. 

They are faster on defense, have better linebacking play, and with a stronger front, they should be improved. Last season, the Raiders finished 29th in yards allowed passing, 31st in interceptions and overall just struggled to stop the run. They ranked 26th in third down defense and 29th in the red zone, which is why the Raiders, once again, spent the offseason trying to get smarter as a team. 

When Josh Jacobs returns and signs his tender, the Raiders will be a solid offense that must finish drives and not be ranked 26th in red zone offense. If the Raiders make improvements in those two areas, they will be an improved team. Will they be a playoff team? I’m not sure, but they will show progress, something they didn’t do last year.

Player to Watch: WR Hunter Renfrow

There’s really no way to sugarcoat the fact that 2022 was a lost season for Renfrow. After all the hype about how much slot receivers had thrived under Josh McDaniels with the Patriots, the outlook was extremely promising for one of the most precise route-runners in the league entering his first year in the system. Then, a combination of injuries and general unhappiness depressed Renfrow’s numbers. He has openly discussed being in a much better place mentally entering this season and it has been evident in training camp. Renfrow has been unguardable at times and served as a favorite target for new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who has excelled in the short and intermediate game while struggling to regain his timing in the downfield passing game. While there is still a non-zero chance Renfrow ends up elsewhere, look for him to surpass expectations in the prop market, particularly early in the season with such diminished expectations. - Adam Hill, Las Vegas Review-Journal (@AdamHillLVRJ)

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